Lone Star Rail leaders are hoping for financial backing from Travis and Hays counties—as well as Austin and San Marcos—by the end of this year.
Joseph Black with the Lone Star Regional Rail District, expects at least 10,000 people in Travis County would ride the proposed region rail each weekday.
"The annual total there is 2.7 million trips per year,” Black said. “That's 2.7 million trips per year that won't be using the region's highways."
Black says the latest studies show almost 90 percent of the cars and trucks on Interstate 35 are not passing through the area. The drivers live and work here.
"Thirty percent of the jobs in the entire region are centered in just four ZIP codes in Austin," Blacks said.
The transit planner said it takes 10 to 20 years to see significant impact from rail projects. The problem, though, is convincing drivers to try other ways of getting around.
Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty doesn't believe they can be convinced.
"Do something that enhances the move-ability of the automobile, that is what 90-something percent of the people elect to get in every day of their lives," Republican Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty said.
Daugherty says rail costs too much, and that the money Lone Star Rail wants needs to stay in county coffers.
Lone Star Rail contends that the trains will promote growth and increase tax revenues which can help pay for the project.
Capital Metro's Todd Hemingson said something will have to change soon.
"A person in a single occupant vehicle occupies more road space than 30, 50, 100 people on a transit vehicle," he said.
Planners say that if we don't change our ways, it could take three hours to get from Round Rock to Downtown Austin by 2035.