Mayor Teresa Tomlinson names passenger rail commission -, GA News Weather & Sports

Mayor names 30-member passenger rail commission

From the City of Columbus

COLUMBUS, GA - Mayor Teresa Tomlinson has named a 30-person commission to study the feasibility of a passenger rail line from Columbus to Atlanta, Georgia. Communities across the nation and right here in Georgia are studying and developing passenger rail as part of their transportation network.

With the help of a federal grant, the Charlotte to Raleigh, North Carolina passenger rail line is in the development and pre-construction stages.

Georgia communities have been exploring the possibility of passenger rail from Atlanta, through Griffin to Macon. Recently, Savannah, Georgia has convened a commission to investigate the possibility of a passenger rail line reaching the east coast.

The Columbus, Georgia commission is made up of business leaders, transportation officials, elected officials (including three City Councilors) and interested citizens. State Representative Calvin Smyre and Columbus attorney and rail enthusiast Edward Hudson will co-chair the commission.

The first meeting will be held in January 2012. Meetings will be open to the public. The objective of the commission will be to review the viability of passenger rail in Georgia and the feasibility of a Columbus, Georgia line.

Mayor Tomlinson and community leaders have advocated that any study of a Georgia passenger rail system include Columbus.

"While Columbus may not be the first city connected to any Georgia passenger rail line, we have to know whether we should be the second, third or fourth city to be on the line. We can't sit on the sidelines and let Georgia's transportation future pass us by," said Mayor Tomlinson.

Mayor's Commission on Passenger Rail


Edward Hudson, Nicolson and Ray, LLC
Calvin Smyre, Dean of Local Delegation

Gary Allen, City Council
Scott Allen, 2WR Architects
David Arrington, Deputy City Manager
Betsy Covington,  Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley
Patti Cullen, River Valley Regional Commission, Executive Director
Glenn Davis, City Council
Lance Duke, The Medical Center, President; Chief Executive Officer
Timothy Farmer, Citizen Representative
Col. Jeffrey Fletcher, Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, Garrison Commander
Fred Fussell, Citizen Representative
Ed Harbison, Georgia State Senator
Joel Harrell, Norfolk Southern, Vice President
Bruce Huff, City Council
Isaiah Hugley, City Manager
Saundra Hunter, METRA
Jeremy Jeffrey, Aflac, Senior VP, Investments; Chief Investment Officer
Gordon Kenna, Georgians for Passenger Rail, Chief Executive Officer
Antonio Lawson, Citizen Representative
Colin Martin, Chamber of Commerce, Transportation Committee
Nelson McGahee, Citizen Representative
Tim Mescon, Columbus State University, President
David Millen, GDOT, District Engineer
Linda Nguyen Page, Scrantom, Sprouse, Tucker, Ford, P.C.
Mark Olivie, W.C. Bradley Co., Chief Executive Officer
Mark Oropeza, Columbus, GA Airport, Director
Phil Tomlinson, TSYS, Chief Executive Officer
Alan Ware, GDOT, Rail Planning and Policy Specialist
Sam Wellborn, GDOT, Board Member

Informational Attendees:
Kenneth Cutts, Office of Congressman Sanford Bishop
Laura Gower, Office of Johnny Isakson


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