JEFFERSON CITY - You can help shape the future of Missouri's rail system. The Missouri Department of Transportation seeks public input on the movement of goods and people in Missouri by rail at a series of public open house meetings across the state.
The purpose of the meetings is to gather public input on the development of MoDOT's Statewide Rail Plan. The plan will guide the development of both freight and passenger rail service in Missouri for the next twenty years, so it is vital that Missourians' needs are included.
The information in Missouri's Statewide Rail Plan is used to pursue critical federal funds for planning and construction of rail projects, and to prioritize investments that improve movement of people and goods, expand connections between all modes of transportation and support long-term economic growth in Missouri.
Meeting dates/locations are:
•· The Northeast District meeting will be held from 5:30 - 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18, at the Hannibal Nutrition Center, 219 South 10th Street in Hannibal, Missouri.
•· The Central District meeting will be held from 5:30 - 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25, at East Elementary School, 1229 East McCarty Street in Jefferson City, Missouri.
•· The St. Louis District meeting will be held from 5:30 - 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, at the Kirkwood Amtrak Train Station at 110 West Argonne Drive in Kirkwood, Missouri.
•· The Southeast District meeting will be held from 5:30 - 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 27, at Osage Community Center, 1625 North Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
•· The Northwest District meeting will be held from 5:30 - 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1, at MoDOT NW District Office at 3602 North Belt Hwy in St. Joseph, Missouri.
•· The Kansas City District meeting will be held from 5:30 - 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2, at Sermon Center North Room at 201 N. Dodgion Avenue in Independence, Missouri.
•· The Southwest District meeting will be held from 5:30 - 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 3, at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce at 202 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway in Springfield, Missouri.
In addition to the open house meetings, MoDOT will host an online public meeting from Oct. 18 through November 18 at http://www.morail.org/ to give those unable to personally attend an open house a chance to ask questions and provide comments about freight and passenger rail in Missouri.
As work on the plan begins, the public is asked to comment on the following:
• The current rail system's ability to serve Missouri's businesses in moving raw materials and finished products.
• The state's interest in and potential ridership of intercity passenger rail.
• The role of publically funded improvements to move people and goods on privately-owned railroad systems.
• The importance of investing in different types of rail projects compared to other infrastructure needs, given likely funding limitations.
The public is encouraged to join the open house or online meeting to review project information, ask questions and discuss the plan with MoDOT representatives. All public meeting sites are wheelchair accessible. The information presented at the open house meetings will also be included as part of the online public meeting.
For more information, visit http://www.morail.org/.