(Albany, NY)-Senate President Malcolm A. Smith and Senator Martin Malavé Dilan, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee are traveling to Washington D.C. today to speak with federal officials about bringing High Speed Rail to New York. Senators Smith and Dilan are scheduled to meet with Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Carl Tubbesing, Deputy Director, National Conference of State Legislatures and Dana Gresham, Assistant DOT Secretary for Governmental Affairs.
New federal funding for New York to support high-speed rail (HSR) for the Empire Corridor (New York City- Buffalo) and the Northeast Corridor (Washington, DC-Boston) is available under the Obama Administration HSR initiatives in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the upcoming reauthorization of the federal transportation program, Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA).
In April, President Obama released a strategic plan outlining his vision for high-speed rail, identifying $13 billion in federal funds, ($8 billion in the Recovery Act and $5 billion requested in the President’s budget), to jump start a potential world class passenger rail system that would set the direction of rail policy for the future.
“High speed rail can be the economic engine that drives New York toward a 21st century economy,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Malcolm A. Smith. “Sound investment in high speed rail, supported by a strong federal partnership, will create the modern infrastructure and transportation system New York needs to compete in the global economic market and get our economy back to work. I applaud President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of Transportation LaHood, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, as well as our entire congressional delegation for their efforts to bring us one step closer to realizing the future of New York’s economy today.”
“The ability to travel quickly and efficiently will help stimulate regional economies and reconnect communities nationwide. New York must play an integral role in seeing that the development of high speed rail projects across the country as well as throughout New York move forward,” said Senator Martin Malavé Dilan, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “We must begin to look to a sustainable transportation system and high speed rail will help get us there.”
Senator Bill Perkins (D- 30th District), Chair of the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions said, “High speed rail is key to the 3 E’s that are vital to our future, economic revitalization, employment opportunities and environmental responsibility.”
The New York City Metro area is America’s most-used transportation rail infrastructure. Corporations, non-profits, educational and research institutions and municipalities across the state require an effective, efficient and environment-friendly transportation system.
HSR for the Empire Corridor would create approximately 1 million jobs in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls-Rochester area and 750,000 in the Rochester-Syracuse areas.
Schedule for Tuesday October 6, 2009:
Senators Smith and Dilan will meet with Dana Gresham, Assistant DOT Secretary for Governmental Affairs.
US DOT, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington DC
Senators Smith and Dilan will meet with Carl Tubbesing, Deputy Director, National Conference of State Legislatures.
444 North Capitol Street NW 501
Senators Smith and Dilan will meet with Senator Charles Schumer.
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Senators Smith and Dilan will meet with Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.
Senators Smith and Dilan will meet with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Senators Smith and Dilan will meet with Congressman Jerrold Nadler.
2334 Rayburn House Office Building