Date: 3/15/97 1:58:36AM
Subject: Ampenny News 3/14
more half-penny info.
WASHINGTON, March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A bill introduced yesterday by Senator
William Roth (R-DE) was hailed today as "the key to an American rail
renaissance" by James P. RePass CEO of the National Corridors Initiative.
"Senator Roth's bill to create a trust fund for intercity passenger rail is
long overdue," stated RePass. "It has strong bipartisan support, because
across party lines there is a growing realization that we can not continue to
pave over America when so many regions are already choking on highway-driven
RePass' organization is a bi-partisan coalition of business, environmental,
and academic leaders founded in 1989 that advocates rail corridor
"The national railroad passenger system run by Amtrak has been systematically
starved of capital for 25 years, while the heavily tax- subsidized highway
and airport systems have received virtually all available Federal and state
funding," stated RePass. "It is time to end this obscene imbalance in
transportation investment, so that Americans, like Europeans and Japanese,
have a choice." Sen. Roth's bill would provide about $700 million/year in
capital for intercity rail.
"This is not nostalgia. It is the future. The American rail network already
largely exists, and can be upgraded to permit both commuter and intercity
high speed rail travel at a fraction of the cost of highway construction. In
areas where officials see congestion, and think about adding more lanes, they
should consider rail instead. As Californians have learned, and as others
are learning, highways fill up," stated RePass.
"The Highway Lobby likes to talk about rail subsidies, which is laughable
given that its members are the beneficiaries of most Federal, state, and
local transportation spending. Unfortunately, the public has heard only the
heavily funded Highway lobbying effort. This is largely because the national
news media has not dug into the debate. Once they do, especially as the Roth
bill goes forward, the American public will have its eyes opened to the fact
that the cheapest way to expand highway capacity is to upgrade rail," stated
"There is enormous grass roots activity in terms of rail corridor
development, and it comes from the people and local political leadership,"
stated RePass. "Although there has been virtually no national publicity,
rail corridors are under development in more than half a dozen regions, and
those operating now have usually far outstripped predictions. That will be
good for our air, our economy, and the way we and our children will live," he