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American Public Transportation Association

 Benefits of High-Speed Rail for the United States

A high speed train in the Netherlands, going through the countryside.

Implementing high-speed rail (HSR) will provide Americans with more transportation choices. It will also make sure that America remains an economic engine, and meets the environmental and energy challenges of this century.

Investing in high-speed rail:  

  • Creates Jobs:
    Building high-speed rail will create hundreds of thousands of jobs.  Every $1 billion in investment creates 24,000 jobs. These are highly skilled jobs that will revitalize the domestic rail industries supplying transportation products and services. Many additional jobs are created through the commerce fostered through the economic activity and development which they spark. 
  • Increases Economic Activity:
    Every $1 invested creates $4 in economic benefits. Upgrading passenger operations on newly revitalized tracks, bridges and rights of way is spurring business productivity along corridors.  The rail services will connect America’s economically vital mega-regions and help keep them mobile, productive, efficient and internationally competitive.
  • Reduces Congestion and Boosts Productivity:  
    Congestion on our nation’s roads costs $140 billion in lost time and productivity.  The U.S. population is projected to grow by another 100 million people in the next 40 years. The population growth is creating mega-regions that will not prosper unless they can be freed from the stranglehold of highway and airport congestion. At the same time, the United States cannot build enough highway capacity or airport runways to meet demand.
  • Reduces the Nation’s Dependence on Foreign Oil:  
    Implementing high-speed rail will keep billions of dollars in the U.S. economy by decreasing the amount of oil that the U.S. consumes.    According to the International Association of Railways (UIC), high-speed rail is eight times more energy efficient than airplanes and four times more efficient than automobile use. It will also decrease greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.  
  • Expands Travel Choices and Improves Mobility:
    High-speed rail can deliver people from one downtown to another as fast as or faster than air travel.  The addition of HSR as an integrated part of America’s transportation system will help airports work better and highways work better. It will also expand options for citizens in rural and small urban communities with increased transfer points and feeder services that connect with new HSR corridors.
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