President Obama today laid out plans for a high-speed rail system in the United States, saying it would rival air travel, relieve congestion, create jobs, reduce pollution, and curb U.S. dependence on oil. The economic stimulus package passed by Congress in February includes $8 billion to start the project. Obama is also seeking another $5 billion over five years for high-speed rail development.
"A major new high-speed rail line will generate many thousands of construction jobs over several years, as well as permanent jobs for rail employees and increased economic activity in the destinations these trains serve," Obama said in prepared remarks. "High-speed rail is long overdue, and this plan lets American travelers know that they are not doomed to a future of long lines at the airports or jammed cars on the highways."
According to a fact sheet put out by the White House, there are 10 likely high-speed rail corridors as potential recipients of federal funding:
- California Corridor (Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego)
- Pacific Northwest Corridor (Eugene, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver BC)
- South Central Corridor (Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Little Rock)
- Gulf Coast Corridor (Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Birmingham, Atlanta)
- Chicago Hub Network (Chicago, Milwaukee, Twin Cities, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville)
- Florida Corridor (Orlando, Tampa, Miami)
- Southeast Corridor (Washington, Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Macon, Columbia, Savannah, Jacksonville)
- Keystone Corridor (Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh)
- Empire Corridor (New York City, Albany, Buffalo)
- Northern New England Corridor (Boston, Montreal, Portland, Springfield, New Haven, Albany)
Tell me, what do you think of the President's proposal?
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