NORMAN — Norman city council members voted Tuesday night to join a growing number of metro communities backing a resolution asking Gov. Brad Henry to appoint a special commission to study rail transit options in the Oklahoma City metro area and to weigh alternate routes for the Crosstown Expressway. The resolution is being sponsored by Oklahomans for New Transportation Alternative Coalition, a grassroots organization dedicated to saving the Oklahoma City rail yard. Marion Hutchinson, communications director for OnTrac, said the current design plan for rerouting the I-40 Crosstown Expressway would remove rail space and infrastructure that could serve as the hub of a commuter rail system. The group says it would like to save Oklahoma City's Union Station and rail yard. Norman, as well as all metro cities and towns, would benefit from a commuter rail system, Hutchinson said. OnTrac representatives are approaching metro cities and towns to gain support for saving the rail yard so such a system could be developed. Rising fuel costs and public demand for safe, reliable, inexpensive and cost-effective transportation options make the time right to push for developing a hub at Union Station, Hutchinson said. Hutchinson spoke at Tuesday's council meeting to persuade Norman to vote for OnTrac's resolution. El Reno and Chickasha already have voted to support the plan, he said. Edmond and Shawnee are expected to consider the resolution in the near future. Preserving the Union Station rail yard only requires changing the proposed rerouting of the I-40 Crosstown Expressway about 300 feet in the area of the station and rail yard, Hutchison said. "I'm not saying it won't cost money, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the cost.” "I have such a passion inside me for something so right,” Councilwoman Rachel Butler said. "This is a chance to do something fabulous for the region.” More is needed besides metro cities voting to support the resolution, however, Butler said. "Our legislators, ODOT and the governor need to hear from everyone about this. Please write or call those folks if you support this.” Councilman Doug Cubberley said a similar resolution presented to the council four years ago failed to win support. "This plan is far superior because it proposes a solution. There's a broader base of support now. This has a tremendous chance of success,” he said.