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Rail News Home High-Speed Rail

9/8/2010



Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Transportation organizations, legislator weigh in on Obama's infrastructure proposal


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On Monday, President Barack Obama announced a $50 billion infrastructure plan that calls for expanding and improving railways, roads and runways. Obama proposes to pair the plan with a long-term framework to renew and expand transportation infrastructure investment.

That framework should integrate high-speed rail on “equal footing” in the surface transportation program, according to a White House press release.

Since the announcement was made, various transportation organizations have voiced support for the program.

“The Administration’s announcement to commit $50 billion to transportation infrastructure provides one more strong signal that the federal government is serious about making high-speed rail a reality, in California and across the country,” said California High Speed Rail Authority Deputy Director Jeffrey Barker in a prepared statement. “That means we’ll continue to have a strong partner as we look to Washington for the sustained support California’s high-speed train project needs.”

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) also commended the infrastructure proposal, as well as Obama’s call to enact a new six-year surface transportation authorization bill.

“This authorization legislation can’t happen fast enough,” said APTA President William Millar in a prepared statement. “It will put Americans back to work to build and maintain our country’s woefully underfunded transportation infrastructure.”

The plan is being met with opposition, as well. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republican Leader John Mica (R-Fla.) says the Administration shouldn’t spend new transportation money until all the funds available through the stimulus bill have been issued.

“Only 32 percent of the infrastructure funding approved 18 months ago in the first stimulus has been spent. Projects continue to be bogged down by bureaucracy and red tape,” Mica said in a prepared statement. “Moving some of the tens of billions of infrastructure dollars that continue to sit idle should be an Administration priority to get people working and stalled major projects moving forward.”


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