March 12, 2012
Shira Orlowek
Here's a quick update on the status of the federal surface transportation reauthorization bill. As a reminder, the current surface transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, expires on March 31st. So far, it has been extended 8 times over a roughly 2-year period.
February 02, 2012
Richard Harnish
The new transportation bill making its way through the U.S. House of Representatives is a delusional attempt to revive the transportation policies of the Eisenhower era. It is important that everyone who wants to walk, bike, or ride a bus or train make their opinion known this week. Help us make your voices heard!
December 06, 2011
Richard Harnish
Whenever somebody suggests a movie, book or television program with a railroad theme or setting I just know that at some point the work is going to get the railroading wrong. But in his new film "Hugo," Martin Scorsese doesn't commit any blunders. While the story isn't about trains, the trains and the vast station are used with care to further a story about the loss and recovery of reputation — and that in itself ought to give American rail advocates some grounds for reassurance and excitement...
November 21, 2011
Richard Harnish
Our opponents claimed victory last week, stating that Obama’s high-speed rail program is dead. Before you concede, remember that Congress appropriates funds every twelve months. The high-speed rail program can, and will, return in another budget. We have made huge strides in the last two years. We need to celebrate our successes, including a just-launched bullet train study in Minnesota, and move forward with determination. As added motivation, let’s look at what happens if our opponents are right.
November 17, 2011
Richard Harnish
House and Senate negotiators this week agreed on a fiscal 2012 “minibus” spending bill that includes transportation. The bill funds Amtrak at $1.42 billion and protects state-supported Amtrak routes by eliminating language passed by a House subcommittee that would have prohibited the use of federal operating funds on state-supported routes. Unfortunately the bill did not include any funding specifically for the High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program. The Senate had proposed $100 million for this, the House proposed nothing. The bill is expected to pass both House and Senate this week.
November 07, 2011
Richard Harnish
Oversees visitors have been flocking to Pontiac's Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as to other historic-motoring landmarks along the legendary highway. The irony is that foreigners used to visit America in order to experience the newest, the fastest and the most technologically advanced developments—especially in travel. Now they come here to experience the way things used to be.
October 03, 2011
Richard Harnish
The Indiana Department of Transportation released a draft of the new 2011 Indiana Rail Plan this week. The rail plan catalogs existing proposals within the State of Indiana. It then suggests that the state might implement these proposals as funding is available and as projects are deemed to be cost effective solutions for transportation in Indiana. They do not, however, create any proposed timeline for pursuing any of the outlined proposals or a funding scheme. This demonstrates that passenger rail development is not a priority for the State of Indiana and that the state has chosen to take a passive approach.
September 09, 2011
Richard Harnish
September marks the beginning of a debate concerning the future of transportation in the United States - a debate that will determine whether we choose to invest in a world-class transportation system, or continue down our current path, which serves no one's best interest. Federal transportation funding is in crisis—and the crisis presents an opportunity for high-speed rail to be part of the solution.
July 21, 2011
Richard Harnish
Throughout history, there have been leaders who broke down barriers of culture, special interests, fear and ignorance to unite diverse people and powers toward a common goal. Such a leader emerged in Japan more than five decades ago. In 1964 Japan woke up the world with its Bullet Train...
July 08, 2011
Richard Harnish
Thursday July 8, Congressman Mica (R-FL), Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, held an event to outline his proposal to reauthorize the surface transportation program.  His proposed legislation would set policy for highways, transit and other programs funded out of the Highway Trust Fund.  High-speed rail and Amtrak have not been included in the program to date and may move forward in a separate bill.