The Lone Star Rail District (LSRD) aims to develop and implement passenger rail solutions between Austin and San Antonio to help create the mobility choices our region needs and improve the performance of the transportation network. Hahn and Lone Star Rail have been partners since 2008, when our first assignment was to rename the agency and develop its new brand and identity.
After a very successful branding process and launch, Hahn Public was tapped to execute the public involvement program for the entire preliminary engineering/environmental impact study process. Beginning in January 2012, Hahn Public began developing the overall strategy and messaging to communicate this process with local government and interested stakeholders. We developed a master messaging document with input from our client and partners that has driven all communications and materials developed.
We also developed and prioritized a stakeholder database to ensure we talk to the right people, in the right order and at the right time. To support our outreach, we developed a PowerPoint presentation and two-sided handout to leave behind after stakeholder meetings. We also developed a freight rail relocation section on the existing www.LoneStarRail.com website.
With our tools in place, Hahn took responsibility for managing all external meetings. We hosted more than 30 meetings across the Austin-San Antonio corridor with stakeholder groups, including elected officials at the city and county level, city and county staff and local utilities. These stakeholder meetings have provided us solid relationships and valuable feedback as the project enters the full engineering and environmental impact study phase.
We were also responsible for designing and implementing six public meetings across the Austin-San Antonio corridor as part of the EIS process. As the Public Involvement (PI) lead in the EIS, Hahn is implementing a strategic plan to meet the criteria of the process and strategically inform and optimize public comments.
In addition to the EIS, Hahn works closely with LSRD officials to influence opinions of policy makers in each municipality along the corridor through writing, distributing or securing letters to the editors, op-eds and targeted stakeholder outreach.
Our work continues today, helping the agency communicate with key stakeholders up and down the corridor following Union Pacific’s announcement it would pull one of rail line from the planning process.