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AAR, APTA praise TTI report on easing highway gridlock


A Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) report published Thursday underscores the importance of rail and other forms of transportation to ease highway congestion in U.S. urban areas, Association of American Railroads (AAR) and American Public Transportation Association (APTA) officials said in separate statements.

TTI's 2010 Urban Mobility Report, which examined road congestion in 439 U.S. urban areas, calls for increased freight and passenger rail to alleviate traffic congestion on the nation’s highways.

"By moving more people and goods by rail, we can relieve congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help consumers save expensive fuel wasted in highway traffic," said Edward Hamberger, AAR's president and chief executive officer.

The report recommends improved grade separations, rail yard improvements and new intermodal terminals.

The report also found that without public transportation available in the 439 urban areas studied, congestion-related costs for 2009 would have risen by $19 billion, from $115 billion to $134 billion.

"Reducing traffic congestion is one of many reasons why the 112th Congress needs to move on passing a well-funded, multi-year, surface transportation authorization bill," said APTA President William Millar.