Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stimulus package: Make your voice count!

Written by 

The U.S. House and Senate have passed two different versions of aneconomic stimulus package, and a House-Senate Conference Committee is currently in the process of combining both into a single bill that both houses can pass, and send to President Obama for his signature. Both bills contain provisions for the rail industry.

“We are requesting that you communicate with your Senators and Representatives today regarding rail infrastructure investment issues in the economic stimulus legislation that is being debated right now,” says National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association President Chuck Baker. NRC has provided a convenient means to do this through its website. Click here to make your voice count. An editable letter is included that will be sent to members of Congress and to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The House bill includes $300 million for intercity passenger railgrants to states; $800 million for Amtrak; $7.5 billion for transitformula spending; $2 billion for transit fixed guideway (rail) modernization; and $2.5 billion for transit new starts. The Senate bill includes $250 million for intercity passenger rail grants to states;$850 million for Amtrak; $2 billion for high speed rail corridors; $8.4 billion for transit formula spending; $5.5 billion for competitive surface transportation grants that could go to states or local government for highways, public transit systems, transit new starts, passenger rail, freight rail, or port infrastructure; $100 million for transit and rail security grants; and flexibility in the $27 billion of highway money to state DOTs that would allow the recipients to invest in passenger or freight rail infrastructure if they so choose.