Friday, April 13, 2012
Earlier this month, MIPRC officers sent a letter to members of the US House and Senate appropriations subcommittees on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), asking that key funding for passenger rail development be included in the federal FY 2013 appropriations. The commission requested $1.050 billion for the HSIPR program (the amount authorized in PRIIA); $500 million for the TIGER program and $2.167 billion in operating and capital support for Amtrak.The full text of the letter follows:
On behalf of the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC), we would like to provide input into the FY 2013 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriation process. While we appreciate the extraordinary budgetary constraints you face, we continue to believe strongly that investment in intercity passenger rail – to reduce travel times, improve reliability, increase frequencies, allow better equipment utilization, and, ultimately, grow both ridership and revenue – will lead to valuable economic growth and environmental benefits for the general public.
Despite a fragile national economy, intercity passenger rail ridership continues to grow across America, especially in the Midwest, where just one example is the 210% ridership surge we’ve seen along the Chicago-St. Louis corridor in the last five years, before the current improvements even began. We believe that investments in rail will provide a positive rate of return for the nation both now and well into the future and urge your support for these initiatives.
Thank you for your consideration.