B/CS Chamber in DC: Improved transportation options
WASHINGTON, D.C. (KBTX) - The Brazos Valley is located near the biggest cities in the State of Texas, but there isn’t a direct, easy path for people to get to from Houston, Austin or Dallas.
That’s why the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce delegation continues pushing for improved transportation options, not just for convenience, but for economic reasons too.
“We only had about 5% of our visitors last quarter from inside the seven county area of the Brazos Valley,” said Tracy Paine, Public Programs Director at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
Most of the people visiting the George H.W. Bush Library and Museum in College Station are coming from outside the community. Museum officials say they could likely draw even larger crowds if there were more transportation options.
“We’re not far away from the big cities but we’re far enough away that if you don’t have a way to get here, it’s a hindrance,” said Paine. “Sometimes it is hard to get speakers here from out of town, from DC or even from foreign countries. It’s hard to get them here physically.”
There’s already work underway to bring an interstate closer to Bryan-College Station, but construction on that project isn’t even expected to begin for another 15 to 20 years.
In the meantime, local chamber and elected officials continue pushing for improved passenger rail and commercial air service too.
“Close to 90% of the population of Texas is within the triangle that Bryan-College Station is in the center of and getting mobility in between all those locations and through Bryan-College Station is very important,” said Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson. “It’s important for the people who live here, people who are trying to get through here, to get to and out of our community to other parts of the world.”
Experts say accessibility is key when trying to drive local tourism.
“There is a community of people that just go to presidential libraries. That’s their bucket list. They want to visit every presidential library in the country, and the fact that we have three in Texas is such a great thing for them that they could easily get to all three of them and increased transportation options would be a wonderful thing for them as well,” said Paine.
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