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Lawmakers propose billion-dollar project that would revolutionize the way Americans travel: 'We have the chance to think big and think differently'

"Let's not waste the opportunity."

"Let's not waste the opportunity."

Photo Credit: iStock

The United States is one step closer to an interstate high-speed rail system after Reps. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Suzan DelBene of Washington introduced the American High-Speed Rail Act to the House of Representatives on March 8.

A news release from Moulton's team outlined the proposal, which would allocate $205 billion to high-speed rail over five years through grants managed by the Federal Railroad Administration, with incentives for upward of $38 billion in non-federal funding.

It added that the bill would create 2.6 million jobs and "provide Americans with a new travel option that's safer than driving, cleaner than flying, and rarely delayed by weather." 

"High-speed rail is faster, cleaner, safer, and better for our economy," Moulton said in the statement. "It will connect people to more jobs in new places, give Americans freedom and choice in how they travel, and put us on par with the rest of the world."

The project, which Moulton first presented in 2020, follows the Biden administration's $8.2 billion investment in high-speed rail projects.

It plans to increase connections among regions that lack air travel infrastructure and evaluate grant applicants "based on equity, resilience, sustainability, economic development potential, and climate."

Should the bill pass, it would reduce reliance on imported, planet-warming gas while providing eco-friendly, reliable, and safe transportation between city hubs. It would also encourage walkable communities around train stations, ease the burden on highway and aviation networks, and connect burgeoning job markets to more affordable communities.

The bill had 26 original sponsors from the House and had grown to 39 as of March 21.

"This legislation marks a transformative step toward creating a more connected, sustainable, and prosperous future for all Americans," DelBene said in the release. "By investing in a national high-speed rail network, we are not only alleviating strain on our highways and airports and creating safer communities, but we are also strengthening productivity and lowering carbon emissions." 

"We spend vast amounts of money subsidizing planes, which are delayed by weather, and roads, which are crumbling nationwide," Moulton said. "We have the chance to think big and think differently. Let's not waste the opportunity."

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