State representatives from the western side of the Metroplex lined up Wednesday in support of Rail North Texas — a proposal to create new taxes, with voter approval, and build a regionwide web of commuter trains.But this morning there was some other interesting news. Kay Bailey Hutchinson is looking to run up against Rick Perry for Governor in 2010. If she won, this would be a shift in transportation policy from the Trans Texas Corridor of clear cutting to perhaps a more balanced approach that could be friendly to rail. I'm not sure where KBH stands on livable community stuff like biking and walking (though she was a mindless supporter of drill baby drill), but her support for rail would bode well for the Texas High Speed Rail project (she's written bills before with Joe Biden) and local light rail lines. She's worked hard to get funding for DART and even helped Houston some when Tom Delay and John Culbertson snubbed their nose at Houston's future.
But the lawmakers warned elected leaders from Tarrant, Johnson and Denton counties that their chance of success in the legislative session that begins in January is a long shot at best. Attempts to win approval for commuter rail failed in 2005 and 2007.
We'll see what happens, but past work on behalf of transit on the hill has been fairly good, and amazing if you compare her to the current Mr. 39% (Rick Perry, not GWB).