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MIPRC’s chair testifies before US House rail subcommittee

On Tuesday, MIPRC Chair Rep. Elaine Nekritz (Illinois) testified on behalf of the commission before the rail subcommittee of the U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. The subcommittee was holding a field hearing in Chicago on High-Speed Rail Grants Awarded under the Recovery Act.
Rep. Nekritz spoke about the benefits of the Midwest’s complementary plans – the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI) and the Ohio Hub – to bring faster, more frequent passenger rail to the region, and the positive effect that the federal stimulus funding awarded to the Midwestern states will have. Midwestern states were awarded a total of $2.6 billion of the $8 billion available to states for high speed and intercity passenger rail projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Rep. Nekritz stressed that full build-out of the MWRRI and the Ohio Hub will need continued federal investment over several years. She said that the priority of additional federal funds should be given to these existing plans, which can be implemented more quickly and at a much more reasonable cost than competing proposals. She also emphasized that these proposals are expected to yield the greatest social return with an expected return of around 80% over the life of these projects.
To read Rep. Nekritz’s testimony, click here.
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