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7/19/2001



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Appropriations bill gains fans as it nears Senate consideration


U.S. Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002 (H.R. 2299) still has a few hurdles left to clear, including full Senate action — which might begin soon — and a House-Senate Conference to follow. But transportation officials’ patience might be rewarded if HR 2299 passes in its most recent form.



High Speed Ground Transportation Association (HSGTA) July 16 declared in a prepared statement that it strongly supported Federal Railroad Administration appropriation recommendations from Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who chairs the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.



The subcommittee recommends increasing funds for FRA’s activities by nearly $50 million to $755.58 million.



"It looks like high-speed, energy-efficient ground transportation has an invaluable ally in Sen. Murray," said HSGTA President and Chief Executive Office Mark Dysart. "These recommendations come from a leader who obviously understands the importance of offering transportation alternatives as a way of reducing gridlock and pollution."



Specifically, HSGTA commends the appropriation of $111.34 million for safety and operations; $40 million for next generation high-speed rail; and $12 million for national rail development and rehabilitation.



HSGTA officials believe "these appropriations represent a proactive approach to high-speed ground transportation that has been lacking in recent years."


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