Amtrak Reauthorization & Safety Bill Signed

Two weeks after Congress passed HR 2095, Bush signed this bill to double Amtrak funding and mandate safety technology to prevent Metrolink-like crashes. It may be a precursor to greatly expanded transit spending in the next administration.

"President Bush today signed into law a bill to provide billions of dollars to boost passenger rail safety and strengthen Amtrak, including upgrades to the Northeast Corridor.

The legislation, pushed by New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, would allocate $1.6 billion for rail safety, and renew and expand the Federal Railroad Administration.

Additionally, the bill contains a provision pushed by Republicans to open up the Northeast Corridor to private competition. Specifically, the measure would allow the transportation secretary to invite bids from private companies to build new high-speed rail tracks alongside existing ones in the Northeast and other well-traveled corridors."

from wsj:

"The legislation provides roughly $13 billion for Amtrak and passenger-rail funding over five years, nearly double current spending levels.

The shift to rail and away from cars -- Americans have been driving less for nearly a year now -- will also affect next year's debate on a transportation-spending bill that could cost as much as $500 billion. Currently, the federal government spends more than $40 billion annually on highways, roughly $10 billion on mass transit and about $1.4 billion on Amtrak.

Going forward, debate will also focus on whether to allocate federal dollars differently. Several Democratic leaders who will play key roles in the coming transportation debate say concerns over congestion, pollution and oil consumption should lead to greater spending on passenger-rail service."

Thanks to MTC-ABAG Library

Full Story: Bush signs rail bill

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.
$50.00

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.
$55.00