On March 4, 2011, Congressman Sires joined 38 of his colleagues in the House of Representatives in sending a bi-partisan letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, requesting that the $2.4 billion in high speed rail funding that was rejected by the State of Florida be reprogrammed to the Northeast Corridor.
"I have been a long-time supporter of high speed rail and believe that the Northeast Corridor, which runs from Washington, DC to Boston, MA, is the most viable candidate for true high speed rail," said Congressman Sires. "I know that New Jersey and the other states that span the Northeast Corridor stand ready to improve passenger rail service in the nation's most densely populated region."
The Northeast Corridor is the most developed intercity rail service in the nation and Amtrak's Acela Express currently holds 69% of the air/rail market share between Washington, D.C. and New York, N.Y. Amtrak's Acela Express has grown its ridership by 600% during its nine-year history. Updates to rail infrastructure and greater funding are necessary to meet high speed rail needs.
"New Jerseyans and all Americans deserve access to high speed rail," said Sires. "With several cities in New Jersey and along the Northeast Corridor ranking among the nation's most congested areas, it makes sense to build improve the speed and efficiency of our current passenger rail service."