Senators John F. Kerry and Arlen Specter introduced a bill today to fund high-speed rail lines along the East Coast and in several other key areas of the country.
Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, said the legislation would help repair the nation's crumbling infrastructure, and at the same time create jobs when the country appears headed for a deep economic recession.
At a time when our economy desperately needs a jumpstart, we need an effective national investment that puts Americans back to work, Kerry said in a statement. A first-rate rail system would protect our environment, save families time and money, reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and help get our economy moving again.
The bill would provide money for tax-exempt bonds to finance rail projects which reach a speed of at least 110 miles per hour. It would include $10 billion over 10 years to fund improvements in the Northeast and California, and $5.4 billion over a six-year period for 10 rail corridors, including connecting the cities of the Midwest through Chicago, connecting the cities of the Northwest, connecting the major cities within Texas and Florida, and connecting all the cities along the East Coast.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.