May 25, 2011
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-Fla.) outlined an alternative for a public-private partnership to develop true high-speed rail service in the nation’s Northeast Corridor (NEC).
Mica will chair a Full Committee hearing focusing on the need for private sector competition in bringing high-speed rail to the densely populated NEC, one of the most valuable transportation assets in the United States. While there is a need and great potential for high-speed rail in this congested corridor, Amtrak’s $117 billion 30-year plan to upgrade NEC service is unacceptable. Amtrak has not proven itself capable of managing large-scale projects, 30 years is too long, and the cost is much too high.
Thursday’s hearing will provide an opportunity to discuss an alternative for a public-private partnership model that relies on private sector competition to help finance, design, build, operate and maintain NEC high-speed rail services. Witnesses will include Senator Lautenberg of New Jersey; transportation policy, investment and real estate experts; and representatives of rail labor. More information about Thursday’s hearing can be found here.