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Biden administration puts $16 billion toward project ‘Americans have wanted for years’: ‘We are finally delivering the generational investments’

The area it spans accounts for 24 million jobs and 20% of the national GDP.

The area it spans accounts for 24 million jobs and 20% of the national GDP.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration has announced a huge funding boost to upgrade one of the nation’s most-used railway networks. 

Electrek has reported that the Northeast Corridor will receive a $16.4 billion cash injection to go towards long-overdue upgrades along its routes, with the aim of maintaining passenger volumes and even encouraging more people to travel via train

Funding will be taken from the $66 billion earmarked under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will be used to upgrade tunnel systems, replace bridges, and improve tracks, signals, and network safety, according to the U.S. DOT.

“Under President Biden, we are finally delivering the generational investments in passenger rail that Americans have wanted for years, including modernizing the busiest rail corridor in the country,” Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Transportation Secretary, said in a press release. 

“These investments will make our busiest passenger railroad safer, faster, and more reliable, which means fewer delays and shorter commutes for the 800,000 passengers who rely on the Northeast Corridor every day.”  

The Northeast Corridor is a 457-mile stretch between Boston, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C., and it runs through Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

In the Department of Transportation’s statement, it notes, “the area the NEC spans accounts for 24 million jobs and 20% of the national GDP.” 

Reliable, quick, affordable, and accessible trains can deliver huge benefits when it comes to reducing transport-related pollution. 

While it’s tricky to quantify whether trains are all-around more environmentally friendly than cars on a passenger-by-passenger basis — due to the range of factors that affect the outcome — the International Energy Agency, alongside the International Union of Railways, found that in 2009, road travel accounted for 71% of carbon dioxide pollution from the transportation sector, while trains were responsible for just 1.8%. 

If updates can include electrification of railways to move away from traditional diesel-powered trains, the polluting impact will be reduced further. 

Meanwhile, public transport is far better for the environment than traveling by dirty-fuel-powered cars — although there’s an argument to be made that electric vehicles provide even more environmental benefits. 

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