President Bush signed into law a measure that will reform passenger rail service and help establish the nation’s first true high-speed system.
“This measure calls on private sector expertise and resources to participate in the development, financing, operation and maintenance of
U.S. high-speed rail,” said House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republican Leader John L. Mica (R-FL). “This new law can have a meaningful impact on the crippling congestion that affects the entire nation by providing a cost-effective, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly transportation alternative.”
The law requires the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to solicit high-speed rail proposals for 11 corridors across the country. DOT will convene commissions of stakeholders – governors, mayors, railroads, Amtrak and labor – to review proposals, and then report its recommendations to Congress.
The nation’s 11 high-speed corridors, which have been designated by DOT with Congress’ authorization are: the Florida Corridor; the Southeast Corridor; the Gulf Coast Corridor; the Northeast Corridor; the California Corridor; the Empire Corridor (New York); the Pacific Northwest Corridor; the South Central Corridor (Texas-Oklahoma-Arkansas); the Chicago Hub Network; the Keystone Corridor (Pennsylvania); and the Northern New England Corridor.