Las Cruces, El Paso rail eyed to connect border cities

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) – A proposed plan seeks to build a commuter rail line in one of the nation’s busiest regions along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports a feasibility study unveiled this week said there is a sufficient economic base to support a rail system running from Las Cruces, New Mexico, to El Paso, Texas.

A feasibility study by the Chicago-based nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology estimates potential rail ridership between 4,500 and 7,400 passengers on an average workday.

The group’s principal business analyst David Chandler says the cost of driving the 86-mile, round-trip from city to city is about $11,000 per household.

David Armijo, South Central Regional Transit District executive director, says officials need to conduct an engineering study next.

Officials estimate the rail system would cost costs between $120 million to $430.6 million.