Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today praised the inclusion of a provision in the Amtrak Reauthorization bill which would create a new State Capital Grant program for intercity passenger rail projects.
The bill provides $2.5 billion for grants to states to pay for the capital costs of facilities and equipment necessary to provide new or improved intercity passenger rail. "I have been working hard to establish passenger rail between the Quad Cities and Chicago," Hare said. "A new grant program would provide another important avenue to acquire the funds necessary to bring this project to fruition."
Hare has requested $13.5 million in the Fiscal Year 2009 Transportation Appropriations bill for track improvements to reestablish this line. "I will continue to work to secure the resources necessary to bring passenger rail back to the Quad Cities."
With gas prices in Illinois averaging $4.13 a gallon, the Amtrak Reauthorization bill will also give struggling consumers an alternative mode of transportation. "With the price at the pump completely out of control, it is critical that we invest in all forms of mass transit," Hare said.