The House of Representatives will be holding a hearing tomorrow morning (Dec. 15) on the California High Speed Rail Project. The hearing is entitled: California's High-Speed Rail Plan: Skyrocketing Costs & Project Concerns, and starts at 10 a.m. in room 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.
The US High Speed Rail Association has issued the following statement on this hearing and high speed rail in America:
An open letter to Congress and Members of the House Transportation Committee:
We commend Chairman Mica and the Committee for holding the hearings continuing the focus on developing true high speed rail (HSR) in America as another transportation option. We submit this letter for the record for the hearing California's High-Speed Rail Plan: Skyrocketing Costs & Project Concerns, held on Dec. 15, 2011.
The US High Speed Rail Association (USHSR) supports the development of true high speed rail in California, the Northeast Corridor, and several others to expand our mobility options. The nation's current transportation options are deteriorating rapidly, creating major problems nationwide:
Severe highway congestion in every region of America, getting worse each year Aviation in continuous decline with increased cancellations, delays and bankruptcies permanently rising transportation fuel costs (oil currently around $100 per barrel)
America desperately needs additional options for moving people and goods around the nation. Our roads and airports were built when oil was $5 per barrel. Today, America struggles to keep these running with oil now at $100 per barrel, and rising. Experts predict oil will surpass $200 per barrel this decade, establishing a real urgency to constructing HSR in multiple corridors as quickly as possible.
Businesses across America are paying the price every day in lost productivity for a transportation system that gets more expensive as the service levels worsen. Our growing congestion and rising fuel prices combine to make it more costly to do business in America. Congestion delays alone cost more than $156 billion each year in wasted time and fuel stuck on our highways and runways. This 'hardening of the nation's arteries' - makes America less competitive with nations that have HSR - the only form of transportation not subject to congestion.
Investing in high speed rail as part of a balanced transportation system is smart business for America. HSR costs less to build than roads and airports. High speed rail delivers:
Proven technology with a 45 year track record; Highly successful everywhere it's built Safely transporting billions of passengers Relieving congestion, saving time, money and fuel Creates jobs, economic development, efficiency, and real estate development
HSR is currently in operation in more than 20 countries (including the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan). HSR is under construction in more than 10 countries (including China, Spain, and Italy); and in development in another 14 countries (including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Morocco, Russia, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, India, Argentina, and Brazil). HSR has been in operation in Japan for 45 years carrying more than 9 billion passengers without a single fatality.
The US High Speed Rail Association urges you to keep the nation moving forward on high speed rail by continuing to fund the following priority corridors simultaneously: