ADVOCATES FOR ENVIRONMENT, FREIGHT AND PASSENGER RAIL AND
TRANSPORTATION REFORM UNITE TO PROMOTE RAIL INVESTMENT
OneRail Coalition Encourages Transportation Policies that Increase Mobility,
Reduce Emissions, Promote Economic Growth
WASHINGTON - January 15, 2009 – Two days before President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden arrive here by train for their inauguration, environmental, freight and passenger rail groups have come together with reform-minded transportation experts to form a coalition that will advance rail programs. The coalition will encourage public policies recognizing rail as a critical element of the national transportation system and an essential part of the future economic growth and environmental well-being of the nation.
The group, called the OneRail Coalition, brings passenger and freight rail stakeholders together for the first time. Members include American Public Transportation Association, Amtrak, American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association, Association of American Railroads, Building America’s Future, National Association of Railroad Passengers, Natural Resources Defense Council, Railway Supply Institute, States for Passenger Rail Coalition, and Surface Transportation Policy Partnership. According to the group, public policies that support both freight and passenger rail objectives are needed to maximize transportation options that enhance mobility, achieve energy efficiency, address climate change, boost economic growth and improve quality of life for all Americans.
“Rail must be an essential component of any national infrastructure investment initiative,” said Anne Canby, President, Surface Transportation Policy Partnership. “Rail provides a solution for many of our most urgent transportation, energy and environmental problems.”
“As we look to increase recovery and sustain economic growth, we ask that Congress and the administration focus investment on our U.S. rail system. That focus can help de-congest choke points, put more freight and passengers on fuel-efficient trains, and lower our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Frank Busalacchi, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Chairman, States for Passenger Rail Coalition and a member of the 2008 National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission.