Thursday, January 09, 2014
St. John the Baptist Parish officially joined the Louisiana Intrastate Rail Compact with its appointment of four new members. The compact is a convening of leaders from around the region with goals of developing and improving an efficient, safe and well-maintained rail transit system between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Parish President Natalie Robottom, Brian Nunes, Director of Public Works, Eliza Eugene, Economic Development Board Member and Council Member Marvin Perrilloux were appointed to represent the Parish at the upcoming meeting.
The group, which met for the first time in October of 2013, will direct its focus on developing and implementing the Rail Compact Act, passed by Legislation in 2010, to create the passenger rail system between the two major corridors with a stop in LaPlace.
The Intrastate Rail Compact gives local leaders the authority to develop and implement passenger rail infrastructure and service by examining the benefits and costs associated with a basic Amtrak system, contracting with other entities for related projects, levying fees for operations and seeking loans and grants to carry out work. “The development of a rail system in the region would ease congestion on the roadways while connecting towns, jobs and resources,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom. “The economic impact for St. John Parish would be enormous.”
To assist the Rail Compact in its work, the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission, the Capital Region Planning Commission and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation will create a Rail Strategic Plan that will continue to lay the foundation for the passenger rail line.
After being nominated by his fellow council members to serve on the committee, Marvin Perrilloux, St. John the Baptist Parish District 4 Councilman said he appreciates the confidence bestowed in him to serve on the committee and he “looks for the economic benefit to St John as a business opportunity, eliminating some of the traffic and allowing more affordable travel between cities.”
To read more about the Louisiana Intrastate Rail Compact, visit http://connect.cpex.org/.