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Public Transit Necessary

RECEIVED Mon., Nov. 19, 2012

Dear Editor,
    Mayor Lee Leffingwell remarked that the arrival of Formula One racing reflected Austin’s “maturation” [“The Birth of Formula One – Austin,” News, Nov. 16]. He might also have observed that decent public transit is the sine qua non of a mature city. Part of this maturation process should include extending the rail line on Fifth Street to the airport and on to the F1 track.
    That would be a boon to travelers, as anyone who has flown into San Francisco or Atlanta can attest – you simply step off the plane and onto a train to Downtown.
    Such a line would provide transport to F1 events, eliminating helicopters, lines of buses, long walks, and traffic jams.
    During the week it could serve as a park-and-ride for commuters coming into Austin from the Bastrop area.
    It would provide transport synergy by enabling passengers on the rail line from Leander to change trains at Fifth Street and thus reach the airport conveniently.
    Since the last two municipal bond packages have funded more roads, it’s about time for corresponding investment in public transit.
Philip Russell
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