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U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) has introduced the Interstate Rail Compacts Advancement Act, a bill that proposes to create multistate passenger-rail commissions to promote regional coordination and sustain a passenger-rail service vision across the nation.
The bill would:• incentivize the formation of up to 10 passenger rail commissions by providing states with matching operating funds up to $500,000 per year per applicant; and• task each commission with promoting intercity passenger rail and commuter-rail passenger service, develop new or further existing intercity passenger rail, and provide technical assistance to communities to plan for new, restored or expanded intercity passenger rail.
"Passenger rail is an essential connection for millions of Americans. Expanding this service would connect more communities to educational, economic and recreational opportunities that may not be accessible via air travel or to those without access to automobiles," said Cohen, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, in a news release.
The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).