The mission of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership is to provide the leadership to stimulate regional economic development and employment. For almost 40 years, BAHEP has forged strategic alliances which support collaborative approaches to generate solutions to issues that relate to such development.
Even a freshman urban planner knows that an efficient transportation system is key to economic development. According to a report from Texas' Office of the State Demographer, Texas' population, currently estimated to be 26,230,098 residents, will grow to 54,446,355 residents by 2050. Moving those people from Point A to Point B will be critical if Texas is to continue its upward economic growth.
In recognition of this, BAHEP President Bob Mitchell recently gave the organization’s endorsement for a high-speed bullet train to provide service between Houston and Dallas. His letter of support stated, "Texas is an economic powerhouse and has been steadily growing for more than a decade. It remains one of a handful of states without income taxes, which may partially account for the fact that Texas has done very well with both attraction and retention of business, a sign of steady, more permanent job growth. The downside of such growth is that it worsens the traffic congestion that already exists in our big metro areas such as Houston and Dallas, especially along the I-45 corridor.
"The nearly 50,000 people who commute between these major metropolitan areas more than once each week will find that their commute will increase from the current four hours to seven hours within the next 20 years. Texas has a well-earned reputation for being business friendly. Hours spent in traffic on the I-45 North ‘parking lot’ won’t look very friendly for businesses that rely on rapid transportation to fuel their growth. The old adage that time is money is truer now than ever before.
"Texas Central Railway’s proposal to develop a high-speed passenger rail between Houston and Dallas using the Utility Corridor will help to reduce traffic congestion, create thousands of jobs, and offer a safe, efficient, and comfortable 90-minute commute. The N700-I Bullet System technology, which will be utilized, has been in operation in Japan for more than 50 years without incident. High-speed rail will be a game changer for businesses and families alike, especially as it could potentially evolve to include more stations within Texas and the rest of the country.
"Texans have never backed away from a challenge. The logistics of building such a project are enormous, but the pay-off will be enormous, as well. Therefore, the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership supports Texas Central Railway’s efforts to make high-speed rail a reality in Texas.”