The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the International Union of Railways (UIC) are hosting the 8th World Congress on High-Speed Rail in Philadelphia, PA from July 11-13 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This is the first time that the World Congress on High-Speed Rail has come to the United States. About 1,000 attendees from 37 countries are expected to attend. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will make remarks in the opening session.
“APTA is very excited to be hosting this prestigious, international high-speed rail congress,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “High-speed rail experts from all across the world are coming to the United States to share their expertise and their proven success with high-speed rail in their respective countries.
The UIC World Congress on High-Speed Rail is the leading global event for showcasing and exchanging information on the developments and achievements of high-speed rail worldwide. Educational sessions, roundtable discussion will address technical and economic issues. The high-speed rail trade exhibition is the largest in the world dedicated to high-speed rail equipment, infrastructure projects and services.
At today’s opening session, APTA Chair and Dallas Area Rapid Transit President/Executive Director Gary Thomas announced the results of a national survey that show that nearly two-thirds of Americans are interested in traveling by high-speed rail and the figure soars to 74 percent among those in the 18-24 age brackets.
“People want high-speed rail and it is time for high-speed rail to come to the United States,” said Thomas. “It is the logical next step in the evolution of a balanced transportation system needed to support mobility and economic growth in the coming decades.”
Yesterday, APTA released a report, “Opportunity Cost of Inaction: High Speed and High Performance Passenger Rail Service,” which shows that building a high-speed rail program in the United States will result in $26.4 billion in net benefits over the next 40 years.
Noting that $10 billion was proposed by the Obama Administration and approved by Congress, Melaniphy said, “We have good news on the high-speed rail front in the United States. High-speed rail projects are underway in 32 states and the District of Columbia. At this world congress we will learn from the worldwide experts on how we further advance public transportation in the United States.”
Both the “Opportunity Cost of Inaction: High Speed and High Performance Passenger Rail Service” and the national survey can be found on the APTA website www.apta.com.
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.