Sires Votes to Fund Amtrak and Intercity Passenger Rail Services
(Washington, D.C.) - On March 4, 2015, the House of Representatives voted for H.R. 749, the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015, by a vote of 316-101. The bill would provide $7.2 billion for passenger rail over the next four years, including $1.9 billion to improve Amtrak routes that run through New Jersey in the Northeast Corridor. It would also provide $1.2 billion for intercity passenger rail grants, half of which would be dedicated to the Northeast Corridor.
"This legislation addresses much-needed infrastructure improvements along the Northeast Corridor that many New Jerseyans use," said Congressman Sires. "In 2014, the Northeast Corridor saw a ridership of 11.6 million; its highest ridership year on record. As ridership continues to grow, the necessity to invest in rail infrastructure becomes more vital. I am pleased that this bill will provide 1.9 billion dollars for capital improvements along the Northeast Corridor. This money will assist states with the opportunity to grow their passenger rail services, which in turn will help provide more affordable transportation options."
H.R. 749 improves the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loan program by including provisions to expedite the Department of Transportation's consideration of applications in addition to applying Buy America requirements to the program.
"I am a strong supporter of the Buy America provisions in the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loan program that will ensure that American railroads are built with American iron and steel. In addition to providing the capital and resources needed to bring the American rail system into the 21st Century, this legislation will help meet the growing demand for more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly means of transportation."