The PCC Joins the Movement for Regional Rail

The Parents’ Climate Community is thrilled to become the first Austin-based organization to join the Restart Lone Star Rail District coalition. Restart LSRD is a grassroots organization building a coalition of advocacy groups, elected officials, and everyday citizens who want to see Central Texas cities and towns connected with fast, frequent, and reliable passenger rail service.

We voted to support this initiative because transforming how we get around the region is a crucial step toward ensuring cleaner air and a more livable climate for our kids.

Parents' Climate Community and Restart LSRD founders jointly hold a sign reading more lanes equals more traffic. I-35 is in the background.
PCC Founder Eileen McGinnis and Restart LSRD Founder Clay Anderson at a recent press conference opposing the widening of I-35 through Austin.

Transportation accounts for 38% of our carbon emissions here in Austin, and it is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases in the state of Texas. If we want to protect kids’ respiratory health and their climate futures, we need to start building alternative infrastructure to reduce single-occupancy car travel.

According to a recent study, train connection between San Antonio and Austin could shift more than 20% of the ridership on our highways from single-occupancy cars to more sustainable train travel. Investment in rail can also impact land-use, incentivizing more infill development rather than suburban sprawl.

Aside from climate and health impacts, how does rail transit benefit kids and families? After shootings, car crashes are the second leading cause of childhood fatalities in the U.S. Moreover, for teenagers who don’t yet drive or who are choosing not to drive, regional rail could offer greater independence and self-sufficiency to explore the region.

As parents, we are demanding transformative changes in our region to meet the climate and health crises our kids are facing. Want to show your support? Sign the Restart LSRD petition.

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