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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Roskam proposes bill to advance Metra's STAR line


Last month, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) reintroduced the Reaching for the STAR Act, which aims to advance the Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp.'s (Metra) Suburban Transit Access Route, or STAR line.

The bill would direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to designate a rail right of way as a corridor for the suburb-to-suburb commuter-rail line. To be designated as an inter-surburban corridor, the right of way must link important economic centers, have potential for attracting new businesses and economic development, and feature a hub-and-spoke layout radiating from a central urban area to connect with the inter-suburban corridor. Once the corridor is designated, USDOT would limit increased usage of the line to the inter-suburban rail system.

The STAR line would connect nearly 100 communities from Joliet, Ill., to O'Hare International Airport.

"As President Obama and Congress craft a stimulus plan to help revitalize our nation's economy, we must work together to advocate the type of common sense infrastructure projects that will not only generate jobs, but help to create long-lasting economic growth," said Roskam in a prepared statement. "Reducing surface transportation congestion and increasing access to area businesses would undoubtedly help reinvigorate the Chicagoland economy while greatly improving the efficiency of our suburban transportation system."

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More News from 2/4/2009