Urge Congress to Support Amtrak and Passenger Rail

Here’s a great way to support transit before we head in to another traffic-snarled Memorial Day weekend. H.R. 6003, the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act, is currently in need of co-sponsors in the House (a version has already passed the Senate). The bill "authorizes Amtrak for the five years Fiscal 2008-2012, provides for capital assistance for states, and development of state rail plans," according to the National Association of Railroad Passengers. Five years of funding will, among other things, put a stop to the current practice of forcing Amtrak to beg for money every year.

Jerrold Nadler is the only member the New York City delegation to sign on as a co-sponsor so far. It needs 218 co-sponsors to get floor time in the House, but only 41 are on board. (See who’s a co-sponsor.)

Judging by the response to a recent post about the bill on Daily Kos, progressive-minded voters are more than willing to get behind investment in rail. Streetsbloggers can join Kossacks in urging support for the bill by contacting your representatives. The NARP website has some handy talking points to help get started.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

What Boondoggle? Private Sector Wants in on HSR Action

|
President Obama’s proposed high speed rail initiative would have the US embarking on the biggest infrastructure project since the interstate highway system. And while the significance of this effort — and the need for more sustainable transportation options — may be lost on a few cranky governors, it is not going unnoticed by the private […]

Obama Builds Rail Cred With Biden Pick

|
Barack Obama’s standing as an advocate for investment in US commuter rail looks to have gotten a boost with his selection of Joe Biden as his running mate. Whereas John McCain is the Senate’s sworn enemy of Amtrak, his colleague from Delaware is known as a "Champion of the Rails." Notes Daily Kos diarist MissLaura […]

Eleven Things to Look for in the Passenger Rail Reauthorization

|
Now that the surface transportation bill fight is over — at least for the moment — transportation reformers are eying the expiration date of another key piece of legislation later this year. The reauthorization of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) could be a chance to make some needed changes to jump-start progress […]

House Plan to Privatize Northeast Corridor Retains Public Ownership

|
Under the House Republicans’ proposal to bring more private competition to the nation’s most valuable transportation asset, the Northeast Corridor would remain in public hands. Transportation Committee Chair John Mica (R-FL) made clear that under his and Rail Subcommittee Chair Bill Shuster’s plan, “the public maintains ownership of the corridor; we’re not giving it to […]