LUBBOCK, TEXAS–Texas Tech University Chancellor Kent Hance and real estate developer the McDougal Company have proposed the development of a monorail to connect the downtown Central Business District to the Cultural District two miles away. Given municipal budgetary constraints, the groups look to Washington for funding according to local news reports.
According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, the McDougal Company is spending $17,000 to lobby for federal funds to build a monorail. The real estate development company hired Public Information Associates, a Dallas firm, to move forward with the project in hopes that those in Washington, D.C. would fund Lubbock’s project, as reported in the local paper.
The monorail plan for Lubbock would not include the entire city according to recent comments to press. Instead, it would connect downtown Lubbock and the cultural district to Texas Tech University which is roughly two miles away from downtown, according to the Lubbock paper. The hope is that students at Texas Tech would travel to downtown Lubbock and eventually live, eat, and work in downtown.
Like many cities, Lubbock’s population has spread beyond its Central Business District. The Hub City’s population has continued to grow to the south and southwest parts of town. Development has sprawled to the point that the Texas Department of Transportation recently disclosed to local media that they are currently looking at plans for an outer semi-loop that would connect the south and southwestern parts of Lubbock County to surrounding cities. The plan has been blasted by some in local media who claim an outer route would have a negative impact on downtown revitalization.
Complete development cost estimates remain largely unknown at present. Costs have varied in the past for monorail system ranging up to $166 million dollars.
Chad Hasty is the host of the Chad Hasty Show on KFYO-AM Lubbock. Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadyHastyRadio