With dreams of being faster than a speeding bullet, U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Queens, LI) yesterday spearheaded a Congressional push to bring high-speed rail (HSR) to the country’s Northeast corridor.
In a letter fired off to U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Suozzi led 22 members of Congress from seven states, including New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine, in urging authorization of the North Atlantic Rail Corporation (NARC) to receive federal funds to design, build, and oversee a high-speed rail (HSR) project across the Northeast.
“Now is the time to authorize this massive high-speed rail project which will not only dramatically improve the quality of life and economy of the seven states affected, it will also produce an enormous amount of jobs,” said Suozzi.
The HSR project upon completion would see travel time from Boston to NYC – currently roughly three hours and 50 minutes – cut to one hour and 40 minutes. Proponents of the project put the cost at about $105 billion.
“This authorization will be the delivery vehicle for the North Atlantic Rail (NAR) Network, a bold transportation infrastructure project under consideration for the New York/New England region. The North Atlantic Rail Network will be the nation’s first integrated high-speed, high-performance and regional rail network, serving the seven-state New York/New England region. It can serve as a prototype for new 21st-century rail networks in the nation’s other megaregions,” the lawmakers wrote.
According to supporters of the project, the HSR will reach speeds along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor of up to 225 MPH. Currently, the high speed along this corridor is 150 mph.
Suozzi said that the new rail line will also reduce local time travel. To travel from Jamaica, Queens to Midtown Manhattan will be shaved to a quick ten minutes. Currently, this travel time takes around 30 minutes.”
Other Congressional members signing on to the letter included Katherine Clark, Jake Auchincloss, Ayanna Pressley, Jim McGovern, Bill Keating, Stephen Lynch and Lori Trahan from Massachusetts (MA); John Larson and Jim Himes from Connecticut (CT), David Cicilline and Jim Langevin from Rhode Island (RI), Ritchie Torres, Kathleen Rice and Grace Meng from New York (NY), Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster from New Hampshire (NH), Peter Welch from Vermont (VT), and Chellie Pingree from Maine (ME).
The New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) also expressed support for the infrastructure project.
“Public transportation is the lifeblood of our economy and deserves increased investment on the federal level, and we appreciate more federal attention to these needs. The MTA supports improved intercity and commuter rail service for the benefit of all New Yorkers and the region,” said MTA Spokesperson Brianna Borresen.