The Austin City Council voted last week to spend $100,000 to study how to finance an urban rail system that is expected to cost $1.3 billion.

The city hired Public Finance Management Inc.’s local office to determine the viability of a number of financial options, including city-issued general obligation bonds, federal funding, fare revenue, and increased property tax revenue resulting from development along the proposed route.

The PFM study is scheduled to be completed this fall.

The consultant is expected to deliver specific recommendations on a funding mix, city officials said.

The council also approved a measure delaying a bond election on the rail project until at least 2012 as recommended by Mayor Lee Leffingwell.

He wants the rail effort to be part of a larger bond package that would include parks, public safety, libraries, and other city projects.

The 16.5-mile proposal would require almost 34 miles of track.

Under the plan, here would be two north-south routes that would begin in east Austin and pass through the University of Texas campus and the downtown capitol complex before terminating at the city’s airport.

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