The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) supports suffi cient and sustained funding for the maintenance of Amtrak, passenger rail and high speed rail, allowing for expansion, capital improvements and operations support to enhance service, promote safety and improve economic development.
- Support and enhance the federal government partnership with state and local governments and regional planning organizations on passenger rail and Amtrak issues.
- Engage directly with local elected officials, who understand the local needs, opportunities and obligations through their “on-the-ground” perspective.
- Encourage local collaboration on a regional-scale for the planning and expansion of rail infrastructure.
- Fully fund passenger rail and Amtrak investments to meet the needs of localities and regions.
- Establish a sustainable funding mechanism to continue broad-based nationwide passenger rail service.
- Ensure funding addresses both capital and operational needs of passenger rail, high speed rail and Amtrak.
- Support funding for metropolitan and non-metropolitan opportunities to expand rail service.
- Encourage public-private partnerships to generate investment capital for rail infrastructure and operations.
- Support nationwide passenger rail service.
- Support cooperative agreements between Amtrak and commuter rail systems.
- Recognize Amtrak and passenger rail contributions to the U.S. economy.
- Encourage economic development opportunities tied with Amtrak, passenger and high speed rail operations.
- Recognize and promote the environmental and energy efficient benefits of Amtrak, passenger and high speed rail.
- Ensure equity and connectivity among transportation modes to reduce congestion, protect the environment, stimulate
economic development and achieve other objectives.
- Include passenger rail options as options within the building of livable communities.
- Examine and denote Amtrak and nationwide passenger rail as a critical elements for redundancy in emergency planning and evacuations.
- Give priority to projects that promote long-term outcomes, protect the environment, create jobs and help the economy.
- Encourage, as appropriate, the integration of rail into plans that build livablesustainable communities.
Passenger rail is a critical component of our country’s multi-modal transportation system. Amtrak provides a means of intercity transport for many populations and offers a viable alternative over taxed airlines and congested roadways. Further, Amtrak is the only intercity connection that many small and rural communities have. It serves 174 communities, mostly in rural areas, that are more than 75 miles from a large, medium, or small hub commercial airport, and 51 communities without intercity bus service. Passenger rail is a fuel effi cient and environmentally friendly mode of transportation, which can help in achieving energy and environmental quality goals, while interlinking customers to commerce and job opportunities. High speed rail will provide an alternative and rapid way to for economic expansion that connects urban and rural regions, people and businesses.
By federal law, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) direct the planning for construction and maintenance of surface transportation infrastructure in urban areas with 50,000 people or more. MPOs and Councils of Government (COGs) perform comprehensive planning with substantial public input to support economic growth, environmental sustainability and enhanced mobility for all. MPOs and COGs strongly support maintaining a workable multi-modal transportation system through regional planning and comprehensive development initiatives.