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[Editor's note: The link to the ridership study has been updated.]
The proposed high-speed rail line between Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston could serve nearly 5 million passengers annually by 2026, a new study has found.The figure represents almost 25 percent of all trips between the cities, according to L.E.K. Consulting, which performed the ridership study.By 2050, the train could serve as many as 10 million annual riders.The report was based on new research and publicly available data, L.E.K. Consulting officials said in a press release. Texas Central Partners LLC, the private firm working to build and operate the line, commissioned the study."This study demonstrates strong, pent-up demand for better travel options," said Tim Keith, chief executive officer of Texas Central Partners.The study also found the high-speed train trip between Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston would be 70 minutes faster than traveling by car and 50 minutes faster than traveling by plane, taking into account airport security and other factors.In all, more than 90 percent of those in North Texas or Houston would save about an hour or more taking the train, according to the report.More than 83 percent of Texan travelers surveyed said they would use the bullet train; 15 percent of respondents stating that they wouldn't consider an alternative to their personal vehicles. In addition, 71 percent of frequent travelers said they would "probably or definitely" use the high-speed train on their next trip to North Texas or Houston if it were an option today.
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