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AAR praises start of Trump infrastructure plan

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
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The Association of American Railroads today said it supports President Trump’s efforts to begin the process of developing infrastructure legislation.

In a broad set of principles that lack specific details, the Administration called for the federal government to contribute just $200 billion of the estimated $1.5 trillion in funding needed for projects to upgrade the nation’s transportation infrastructure. Trump wants state and local governments and private entities to pick up most of the cost of repair and replacement for railways, highways, waterways, aviation and other projects.

“The private freight rail industry commends the Trump administration for formally beginning the discussion on infrastructure legislation with this document today,” said Edward R. Hamberger, president and chief executive of the Association of American Railroads (AAR). “The sector particularly welcomes the efforts to streamline the federal permitting processes, including in the proposal’s attempt to codify Executive Orders into law while also strengthening existing processes.

Hamberger also renewed the rail industry’s call for trucking to pay its fair share for using public roads.

“At its core, however, the most important aspect to any such package remains the integrity of the Highway Trust Fund. Policymakers should make every effort to return surface transportation funding to a truly equitable, user-pay system as originally designed.”

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