Sunday, November 30, 2008

Arlen Specter Stirs, Jumps On The High-Speed Rail Bandwagon

Last week, Specter and John Kerry teamed up to introduce The High-Speed Rail for America Act.
Today, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) introduced a bill to create new jobs by updating the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. The High-Speed Rail for America Act of 2008 would transform America’s outdated and underfunded passenger rail system into a world class system.

“At a time when our economy desperately needs a jumpstart, we need an effective national investment that puts Americans back to work,” said Sen. Kerry. “A first-rate rail system would protect our environment, save families time and money, reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and help get our economy moving again. The High-Speed Rail for America Act will help fix our crumbling infrastructure system, expand our economy, and match high-tech rail systems across the globe.”

“We must continue to focus our energies on building and maintaining a strong national passenger rail system in order to ease congestion of air and highway corridors connecting high-growth markets, as well as to meet energy and environmental goals,” said Sen. Specter. “The High-Speed Rail for America Act is an investment in our nation’s infrastructure and has the potential to provide tremendous economic opportunities throughout Pennsylvania and the nation.”
Indeed.

But was does Fast Eddie think?
“This long-overdue national investment in high-speed rail would help to stimulate economic recovery while creating good jobs that cannot be outsourced,” said Gov. Rendell, one of the founding co-chairs of the Building America’s Future coalition.

“Expanding our nation’s critical rail infrastructure will make our transportation network more efficient, reduce traffic pressure on our already busy interstate highways, and improve the environment.”
Hell, if Rendell is on board, you really can't lose.

And while the bill's allotted $24 billion is really only a drop in the bucket needed for a serious high-speed rail build out, at least it's a start.

Related:
Kerry and Specter push for more high-speed rail [ Los Angeles Times ]
For stronger cities, build better connections [ Gristmill ]

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