Rail Passengers Reiterate Support of FRA’s Work on High-Speed Rail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (#12-11)

November 6, 2012




The National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) reiterated its general support for the Federal Railroad Administration’s handling of the high-speed intercity passenger rail program today, in the wake of a critical report issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General.  NARP’s support was previously stated in the December 6, 2011 testimony given by Ross Capon, president & CEO, before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.

In response to the DOT Inspector General’s report, FRA’s Requirements for High Speed

Rail Stakeholder Agreements Mitigated Risk, but Delayed Some Projects’ Benefits [Report No. CR-2013-007; November 1, 2012], the Association released the following statement: 

“The Recovery Act’s $8 billion was provided for a program that was not well developed and had previously received only small amounts of funding; only $30 million was appropriated for high-speed rail in 2008 (0.00375 percent of what the FRA would be responsible for under the Recovery Act), and $90 million in the appropriations omnibus for 2009.  It made sense, therefore, for the agency responsible for ensuring that taxpayers received value for their money to proceed carefully at the outset in a way that would not, for example, have been expected of the Federal Highway Administration; or, for that matter, expected of Amtrak, which received $1.3 billion in Recovery Act funds, and spent it within two years of obligation, as the law required.

“Moreover, as it is generally recognized that the economy is still not producing enough jobs, the ‘delayed stimulus’ which the high speed rail program is producing is valuable for the jobs it is producing now and going forward.  Thus the result is that we have the best of both worlds – funds spent more responsibly than would have been likely under a ‘quick outlay’ approach, and useful jobs still being produced today when the economy still needs them.”

 

About the National Association of Railroad Passengers

NARP is the only national organization speaking for the users of passenger trains and rail transit. We have worked since 1967 to expand the quality and quantity of passenger rail in the U.S. Our mission is to work towards a modern, customer-focused national passenger train network that provides a travel choice Americans want. Our work is supported by over 22,000 individual members. 

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