May 31, 2011

Privatization of Northeast Corridor proposed

House Transportation Committee leaders outlined a dramatic change in direction to develop true high-speed passenger rail service in the Northeast Corridor (NEC). Their proposal would transfer development of the nation's most congested corridor from Amtrak to private sector competition.

Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) and Rail Subcommittee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) announced at a Congressional hearing that they are preparing legislation to significantly speed up development of high-speed rail and reduce high taxpayer subsidization of the project.

"We plan introduce legislation to separate the Northeast Corridor from Amtrak; transfer it to a separate entity; and begin a competitive bidding process that would allow for a public-private partnership to design, build, operate, maintain and finance high-speed service. Our plan would do so in a dramatically shorter time, in closer to 10 rather than 30 years, and at a fraction of the $117 billion cost proposed by Amtrak, while creating new jobs," Mica said.

Last week's hearing revealed that despite the tremendous potential of the corridor, Amtrak's ridership in the NEC has actually decreased since 1977. In fact, Amtrak had 10.5 million NEC riders in 2010, down from 10.6 million in 1977.

The 437-mile Northeast Corridor is the only rail corridor owned, almost in its entirety, by Amtrak. The NEC is one of the most valuable transportation assets in the nation and its population density and other existing transportation connections make it the most viable location for successful U.S. high-speed rail.

At the hearing, Mica highlighted an example of profitable private sector rail operations in Great Britain's Virgin Rail, which doubled its ridership in six years, saw employment increase from 2,800 to 3,500, and has returned to the government an annual payment of $244 million in addition to $81 million in company profit. Witnesses provided additional examples of successful public-private partnerships in other countries.

Witnesses also discussed how to tap the vast potential for development in and around high-speed rail stations.

 

deli.cio.us digg it stumble upon newsvine
[ Request More Info about this product / service / company ]


E-NEWSLETTER

Receive the latest Metro E-Newsletters in your inbox!

Join the Metro E-Newsletters and receive the latest news in your e-mail inbox once a week. SIGN UP NOW!

View the latest eNews
Express Tuesday | Express Thursday | University Transit

White Papers

Mass Transit Capital Planning An overview of the world-class best practices for assessing, prioritizing, and funding capital projects to optimize resources and align with the organization’s most critical immediate and long-term goals.

The Benefits of Door-to-Door Service in ADA Complementary Paratransit Many U.S. transit agencies continue to struggle with the quality of ADA service, the costs, and the difficulties encountered in contracting the service, which is the method of choice for a significant majority of agencies. One of the most basic policy decisions an agency must make involves whether to provide door-to-door, or only curb-to-curb service.

Mass transit mobile Wi-Fi & the public sector case study How Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority successfully implemented Wi-Fi on its light rail and bus lines

More white papers


STORE
METRO Magazine - November/December 2013

METRO Magazine
Here are the Highlight:
  • Who Will Runn Transit Tomorrow
  • BusCon 2013 Expo Recap
  • Tracking Progress: Light Rail Projects in the U.S. and Beyond
    And much more…
  •  
    DIGITAL EDITION

    The full contents of Metro Magazine on your computer! The digital edition is an exact replica of the print magazine with enhanced search, multimedia and hyperlink features. View the current issue