Members of the U.S. House of Representatives recently introduced the American High-Speed Rail Act, which would invest $205 billion federal dollars into high-speed rail.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Massachusetts), Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pennsylvania), Suzan DelBene (D-Washington), and Mike Doyle (D-Pennsylvania) are the original sponsors of the bill. The lawmakers say the legislation will create at least 2.6 million direct American jobs over five years and provide Americans with a new travel option that is "safer than driving, cleaner than flying, and never delayed by weather."
“High-speed rail is faster, cleaner, safer and better for our economy. It will connect people to more jobs in new places, give Americans freedom and choice in how they travel, and put us on par with the rest of the world. This bill is the plan that will get us there,” Rep. Moulton said in a statement.
Congressman Moulton's office says the bill will help build a national high-speed rail system by:
- Investing $41 billion annually in high-speed and higher-speed rail through grants administered by the Federal Railroad Administration over 5 years, with incentives for $38 billion or more in non-federal funding;
- Prioritizing the evaluation of high-speed rail grant applicants based on equity, resilience, sustainability, economic development potential, and climate;
- Prioritizing high-speed rail grants for regions not serviced by the aviation industry or where the government subsidizes aviation routes;
- Creating funding flexibility and transit-oriented development incentives for non-federal partners, including state and local transportation agencies and private partners; and
- Developing comprehensive, performance-based safety regulations and standards for high-speed rail to reduce project costs and expedite development.
Lawmakers say passage of the bill would provide the country with a number of transportation improvements by better connecting economic mega-regions along high-speed rail corridors to increase productivity and global competitiveness. They also say it would help build more walkable communities with economic development around train stations in city centers, among other potential benefits.
SOURCE: Office of Rep. Seth Moulton