Amtrak, Passenger and High Speed Rail

Click here to download the PDF.

ISSUE

The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) supports sufficient and sustained funding for Amtrak, passenger rail, and high speed rail, allowing for expansion, capital improvements, and operations support to enhance service, promote safety, and improve economic development.

RECOMMENDATIONS

PARTNERSHIPS

  • Support the federal government’s partnership with local governments and regions to address 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 passenger rail infrastructure.

FUNDING

  • Fund passenger rail and Amtrak investments to meet the needs of localities and regions, including both capital and operational needs.
  • Establish a sustainable funding mechanism to continue broad-based, nation-wide passenger rail service.
  • Support funding for metropolitan and non-metropolitan opportunities to expand rail service.
  • Encourage and enable public-private partnerships to generate investment capital for rail infrastructure and operations.

PROGRAM

  • Support nationwide passenger rail service.
  • Support cooperative agreements between Amtrak and commuter rail systems.
  • Recognize the economic contributions of Amtrak and passenger rail.
  • 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 other passenger rail as critical elements in emergency planning and evacuations.
  • Encourage, as appropriate, the integration of rail into plans that build livable/sustainable communities.Support nationwide passenger rail service.

BACKGROUND

Passenger rail is a critical component of our country’s multi-modal transportation system. In many cases, 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. Amtrak also supports corridors that are used by many local and regional service providers, making them even more important to these areas. Passenger rail is also fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly mode of transportation, and can help in achieving energy and environmental goals while interlinking customers to commerce and job opportunities. High speed rail will provide an alternative and rapid way for economic expansion that connects urban and rural regions, people, and businesses.

Click here to download the PDF.

Copyright © 2013 National Association of Regional Councils