Louisiana, Gulf Coast Push for New Passenger Rail Service
Speaking to the 10th Annual Louisiana Smart Growth Summit, Knox Ross, the secretary-treasurer of the Southern Rail Commission, noted that "the cities that are succeeding and growing have made tremendous commitments to rail." Reporting in The Advocate, Timothy Boone writes that Ross' goal of building better rail connections has earned the support of both the Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor in Louisiana, and a plan is in place to build the link in the governor’s first term.
Both state Rep. John Bel Edwards and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, the two candidates for governor, have said they would support a rail line connecting Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Ross said there’s a study about extending Amtrak service from New Orleans to Orlando, Florida, and talk about creating a line along the Interstate 20 corridor linking Dallas-Fort Worth with Meridian, Mississippi.
Also speaking at the conference, Anthony Foxx, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, addressed the importance of transportation systems in bringing "opportunities for jobs and a better life to people," instead of dividing communities, as had been done in the past.