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 17, 2011
November 07, 2011
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
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
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
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
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.
June 28, 2011
There have been many developments in high-speed rail over the last two weeks. Here is a summary of what I feel are some of the most important developments, including one item that needs your input!
May 24, 2011
I recently spent some time tending the Midwest High Speed Rail Association's booth at the 2011 Green Festival held at McCormick Place in Chicago. I met hundreds of people interested in high-speed rail.
April 15, 2011
Thanks to everyone who sent emails to Congress Monday night. Unfortunately the high-speed rail appropriation in the FY2010 budget was cut from $2.5 billion down to $2.1 billion. Worse yet, the entire $1 billion FY2011 appropriation has been completely eliminated.
March 25, 2011
Attention, anti-train governors: Any state that fails to provide its young people with modern transit and intercity train service is going to find its best and brightest drifting away to places that appreciate young people and provide them with the amenities they expect.