Your weekly source of fresh takes on news affecting America's passengers. See also the NARP Blog.

Hotline #925

A vintage post card of of the Hudson River Tunnels. Image courtesy of the Northeast Corridor Commission. As the wrangling over when a new Hudson River Tunnel will be built and who will pay for it, the New York Times editorial board urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to “get on board” with the Gateway project. The editorial noted that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) recently met with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and said it was time for Cuomo to do the same. Gov. Cuomo hasn't denied

Hotline #924

Now that Congress is out for its summer recess, the fate of the Hudson River tunnel continues to be the hot news topic. Rail advocate Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has joined Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J) to position themselves as the brokers to come up with a permanent solution. Schumer wants to create a new partnership called the Gateway Development Corporation, reports Politico New York. The corporation would use resources and staff from Amtrak, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the s

Hotline #923

All Aboard Florida secured approval to sell $1.75 billion in municipal bonds from the Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC) on August 5. The proceeds of the bond issuance will help finance creation of a $2.5 billion privately-run rail corridor that will connect communities between Miami and Orlando with frequent, fast train service. All Aboard president Michael Reininger was on hand to speak about the huge economic boost the service would bring to Florida. The company is investing $

Hotline #922

It was a busy July for transportation in Washington, D.C., and your NARP leadership and staff have been working hard to make sure the voices of America’s passengers are being heard on the Hill. The U.S. Senate was just able to beat a July 31st deadline to pass a long-term transportation bill on July 30 by a vote of 65 to 34. The Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act includes a four-year passenger rail title, creating a truly intermodal surface transportation

Hotline #921

The debate between House and Senate leaders on the right transportation bill continues and, with the July 31 deadline for the expiration of the highway and mass transit trust fund looming, legislators are starting to feel the pressure. Senate Republican leadership have been pushing a comprehensive six-year transportation bill that provides three-years of funding. The bill includes the Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act of 2015 (R2E2), hailed by NARP as a game changer for Ameri

Hotline #920

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx speaking at the COMTO conference. The House of Representatives has passed a five-month transportation funding extension that would authorize federal spending on highway and rail transit projects through Dec. 18 and inject about $8.1 billion in general fund subsidies into the rapidly dwindling Highway Trust Fund, reports Reuters. The five-month measure will be offset across ten years, including extending higher airport security fees levi

Hotline #919

The Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act—as approved by the Senate Commerce Committee—was included as a title in sections of the highway bill introduced on Thursday. A Commerce Committee staffer told NARP they were pleased that rail was included in the bill, calling that inclusion "a significant and symbolic step." NARP is asking members to send letters of support to Committee Chairman Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ranking Member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) for including the rail

Hotline #918

July 2, 2015 U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) sent a letter calling for increased investment in transit and passenger rail on behalf of 35 California Democratic members of Congress. The letter, addressed to House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), outlined 21 transportation reauthorization priorities, including providing for a long-term, well-funded transportation bill and increasing transit funding. NARP has come out in sup

Hotline #917

Image courtesy of the U.S. Senate June 26, 2015 The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies approved a fiscal year 2016 funding bill that extends current levels of funding for Amtrak at $1.4 billion, rejecting cuts made in the House version of the T-HUD bill. Key funding provisions include: Highway Trust Fund – $40.26 billion, equal to the FY2015 enacted level, from the Highway Trust Fund to be spent on the Federal-aid Highwa

Hotline #916

The U.S. Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation dropped its version of the passenger rail reauthorization bill -- the Railroad Reform, Enhancement, and Efficiency Act of 2015 (RREEA 2015) -- on June 18. NARP issued a press release, along with a blog post, explaining the details soon after the bill was unveiled. While we didn’t get everything we wanted, we see it as a big improvement over the House’s Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015 (PRRIA 2015). The bi