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The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has endorsed the passenger-rail authorization bill that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed last week.In a letter to the committee's leadership, AASHTO officials expressed support for the bipartisan approach taken toward the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2014, as well as the bill's focus on greater accounting transparency and streamlined environmental reviews. "Forty-nine percent of Amtrak ridership is on state-supported rail corridors, and this legislation seeks to ensure that states have a greater role in decisions affecting these routes," wrote Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary and AASHTO President Michael Hancock.
The letter also emphasized the need to provide states the eligibility to invest in capital infrastructure improvements that will improve on-time performance, increase trip frequency and reliability, and provide a program of projects that will advance intercity passenger rail programs.
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