Will the Jobs Summit yield fruit for transit?

Posted on December 10, 2009 by Nicole Schlosser

The White House Jobs Summit, held last week, drew business executives, economists, finance experts, labor leaders and small business owners to Washington, D.C., to share ideas on boosting employment.

A national delegation of transit and business leaders was among those in attendance, with plans to promote the benefits of investing in “ready-to-go” public transit infrastructure projects that will create and sustain jobs.

An alliance of several of the nation’s metro transit systems, including New York; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia and Chicago, among others, partnered with corresponding chambers of commerce to meet with the White House Office of Urban Affairs, the U.S. Department of Transportation and key members of Congress to highlight transit’s critical infrastructure needs, the opportunity to invest in creating jobs and boosting the economic recovery. 

If funding for high-speed rail projects is distributed any time soon, it could be among those job investment opportunities, since enthusiasm for these projects seems to be growing across the U.S. On Wednesday, in addition to the many regional high-speed rail groups already established across the country, the Western High-Speed Rail Alliance was formed. However as interest grows, competition for the $8 billion that President Barack Obama has set aside specifically for high-speed rail will be even tougher.

What are your thoughts on public transit getting support from the White House to play an active role in job creation? Do you see high-speed rail as part of the picture?

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