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American Public Transportation Association

 Transit News



Mantill Williams
(202) 496-4869

 Federal Investment in High-Speed Rail Could Spur 1.3 Million Jobs


New report shows tangible economic benefits of investments in building a 21st century rail system

Washington, DC – April 6, 2011 –The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released a report detailing the enormous impact high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects will have in driving  job development,  while also rebuilding America’s manufacturing sector and generating billions of dollars in business sales.  This report focuses on key issues critical to private investors as they consider investments or future expansion into businesses serving the growing passenger rail markets.

The report, “The Case for Business Investment in High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail” reinforces the point that investments in high-speed and intercity rail will have many direct and indirect benefits.  Nationally, due to proposed federal investment of high-speed rail over a six-year period, investment can result in supporting and creating more than 1.3 million jobs.  This federal investment will be the catalyst for attracting state, local and private capital which will result in the support and creation of even more jobs. 

According to this new report, investments in building a 21st century rail system will not only lead to a large increase in construction jobs, but to the sustainable, long-term growth of new manufacturing and service jobs across the country.

“It is evident that investing in high-speed and intercity rail projects presents one of the clearest and fastest ways to create green, American jobs and spur long-term economic growth,” said APTA President William Millar. “Investing in high-speed rail is essential for America as we work to build a sustainable, modern transportation system that meets the environmental and energy challenges of the future.”

APTA noted for each $1 billion invested in high-speed rail projects, the analysis predicts the support and creation of 24,000 jobs. 

In addition to the thousands of new construction jobs, investments in high-speed rail will jumpstart the U.S. economy. The Economic Development Research Group for the U.S. Conference of Mayors studied the business impact of high-speed rail investment in different urban regions.  For example, in Los Angeles, CA, high-speed rail investment generates $7.6 billion in business sales and $6.1 billion in Chicago, IL.

“Federal high-speed rail investment is a strong driver in getting private companies to invest,” said Kevin McFall, Senior Vice President at Stacy and Witbeck Inc., a leading public transit construction firm. “This program can be a shot in the arm for the manufacturing industry.  These high-speed rail projects will give us the opportunity to put people to work building the rail infrastructure this country desperately needs.”

“U.S. businesses have been known for their cutting edge technologies and innovations, said Jeffrey Wharton, President of IMPulse NC. “We need to put this expertise to work, providing business and employment opportunities while catching up with the rest of the world in high-speed rail and its associated benefits.”

“We are excited about the prospect of putting Americans to work building the rail tracks and equipment that will keep America’s economic recovery moving forward,” said Charles Wochele, Vice President for Industry and Government Relations at Alstom Transport. “We look forward to partnering with the federal and state governments to ensure these projects get off the ground.”


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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private member 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 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.


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