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Voters to Decide On Urban Rail Line

Jack Money Published: November 21, 1993

That goal was realized recently when the transportation authority's board of directors voted to approve an agreement between Greyhound Bus Lines and the authority for the bus company to operate its terminal at the Union Train Station, SW 7 and Hudson.

But the interstate bus service won't be linked with a commuter service until an expanded commuter rail line is in place.

The concept of the resulting link - COTPA buses, to commuter rail to interstate bus service - is called an "intermodal transportation hub" by governmental officials.

Klika said intermodal hubs are a goal of the Federal Transportation Administration, the agency that hands out federal dollars for transportation projects.

Persistent pressure from appointed and elected officials can convince the federal government to proceed with the plan, Klika said.

After all, federal officials have already provided COTPA with the funds for the Union Station's purchase, something Klika calls a major piece of the plan.

Oklahoma also has been a major "donor state" to the federal funds that supply grants for these programs, he said.

"We pay for the use of these funds through a penny-and-a-half sales tax on gasoline," Klika said. "Oklahoma annually pays in an about $38 million for these projects, but we only get about $1 million back each year.

"So, we have been kind of short-ended on getting these funds back into this state. " Klika said a good way to convince federal authorities that a commuter rail line is wanted would be to approve the Meridian-downtown-Bricktown rail project on the MAPS sales tax election Dec. 14. BIOG: NAME:

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