Congressional Members Send Letter to President Obama Supporting High Speed Rail

Rep. James L. Oberstar (Minn.), Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, and more than 100 other House Members sent a letter to President Obama urging him to support a dedicated revenue source for planning and development of high-speed rail.

On March 22, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the Administration plans to soon unveil a set of policy principles for a new multi-year surface transportation authorization bill.  The letter stresses the importance of including in those principles a dedicated revenue source for planning and development of high-speed rail in the United States. 

“The development of high-speed rail in the United States is an historic opportunity to create jobs, develop a new domestic manufacturing base, and provide an environmentally-friendly and competitive transportation alternative to the traveling public.  A robust, high-speed rail system will go a long way toward solving some of our nation’s economic, energy, environmental, and transportation challenges, such as ever-increasing congestion on the nation’s roads,” said Rep. Brown.  “I and my colleagues in Congress look forward to working with the Obama Administration to ensure there is a dedicated revenue source for high-speed rail.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided $8 billion for high-speed and intercity passenger rail and $1.3 billion for Amtrak.  The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (Public Law 110-432), enacted in the 110th Congress, laid the foundation for the Recovery Act investments by creating two grant programs focused on high-speed and intercity passenger rail investment.

Click here to view the letter to the President.