Federal and state transportation agencies are seeking comments at a public meeting in Charlotte on Thursday night on a proposed 280-mile high-speed rail line between Atlanta and Charlotte. The train would cut travel time between the cities to as little as two or two-and-a-half hours -- compared with four hours or more by car.
Comments are being sought on what's called the Tier 1 environmental impact statement, where officials will evaluate the environmental, economic and social effects of each proposal. But it's not clear how the rail project will be paid for, said Kaycee Mertz of the Georgia Department of Transportation.
"It's important to know that funding and a timeline for next steps have not been identified yet," Mertz said on WFAE's "Charlotte Talks" on Wednesday. "The outcome of this Tier 1 environmental impact statement will be to select one of the three corridor alternatives."
Mertz said officials will use the feedback to help choose among three route options: One that runs north of I-85, another along I-85, and a third in open space south of the highway. They would cost between $2 billion and $15 billion -- money that has yet to be appropriated.
The drop-in meeting is one of three this month by the Federal Rail Administration and Georgia DOT, and is from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday at Metrolina Regional Transportation Management Center at 2327 Tipton Dr. Details are on the Georgia DOT website.
You can hear the full "Charlotte Talks" episode here.