Friday, October 23, 2009

Urban Democrats Press For Additional $4 Billion For High Speed Rail Construction

While the Obama administration is seeking only $1 billion for high speed rail construction in the 2010 Transportation/HUD appropriations bill, urban region Democrats in Congress want to bump that number up to as much as an additional $4 billion, on top of the $8 billion already included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

States wanting to create high speed, intercity rail corridors have already submitted applications for $50 billion in funding against the $8 billion the stimulus package makes available, and leaders in both houses believe high speed rail construction is one way to create new jobs with good pay. Also, many believe the level of 2010 funding for high speed rail development will indicate whether the stimulus funds for that purpose are merely an aberration, or a real government commitment to improving intercity rail transportation infrastructure across the nation. Senator Charles Schumer of New York says expansion of high speed rail networks will help "the country mitigate some of the environmental, energy and congestion issues that plague our roads and airspace."
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