For immediate release: June 3, 2009
Kate Slevin
Tri-State Transportation Campaign
P: 212-268-7474

Tri-State Transportation Campaign Encourages Gov. Paterson to Pursue High-Speed Rail Funding for New York

Paterson Administration’s Attendance at Federal Roundtable Demonstrates Commitment to Winning Rail Funds

Today, New York Economic Recovery Chair Timothy Gilchrist will join Vice President Biden, Transportation Secretary LaHood and other state leaders in a High Speed Rail roundtable to share ideas and discuss the process of applying for a share of $8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds set aside for high-speed passenger rail projects. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign applauds the Paterson Administration for participating in the roundtable and urges state officials to continue to aggressively pursue funding that will help make New York a leader in 21st-century transportation.

“At a time when communities throughout the state are struggling, high speed rail investments can strengthen our crumbling infrastructure, create good jobs now, and spur long-term economic growth,” said Kate Slevin, Tri-State Transportation Campaign executive director. “We applaud Gov. Paterson for ensuring that New York is represented in this roundtable discussion and positioning New York to strongly compete for this and future funding.” State officials have said that high-speed rail funds would initially be spent on the Empire Corridor between Buffalo and Albany.

Research from the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative shows that every billion dollars in High Speed Rail investment can create 7,500 permanent new jobs, plus almost 20,000 person-years of work during construction. High speed rail construction will also attract businesses, reduce roadway congestion, and provide a cost-effective way to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

“Our High Speed Rail mission is clear: prove that we are well-prepared to reap the economic benefits, or risk losing out to other states,” Slevin said.  “Tri-State looks forward to working with Gov. Paterson throughout the application process to help ensure New York’s High-Speed Rail proposal is approved.”

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a non-profit organization working towards a more balanced, transit-friendly and equitable transportation system in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.