AHSRA ADVOCACY AGENDA

The American High Speed Rail Alliance is dedicated to creating and sustaining a clean, energy efficient, advanced national high speed rail system for the United States. As a national non-profit membership organization, the Alliance advocates for a robust national high speed rail network financed through a broad range of grants, loans, public/private partnerships and other innovative investment strategies.

To achieve this goal, the Alliance supports the following policy agenda:

One
A national rail plan that identifies the ways and means to build in America the world’s premier high speed and regional passenger rail network by building new high speed rail corridors that will fundamentally expand and improve passenger transportation in the geographic regions they serve while upgrading existing intercity passenger rail services and laying the groundwork for future high speed passenger rail services through small projects and planning efforts.

Two
The Alliance supports major investment in high speed rail in surface transportation authorization and an annual appropriation for high speed rail.  The Alliance supports authorizing the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), acting in part through a proposed National Infrastructure Bank, to provide grants, loans, loan guarantees, lines of credit, private-activity bonds, tax-credit bonds and other funding and financing tools to allow investment in the design, planning and construction of these high speed rail corridors.

Three
Sustainable funding sources adequate to build and operate the world’s premier high speed and regional passenger rail network. The Alliance supports facilitating high speed rail development through various financing programs offered by the USDOT such as the Rail Line Relocation program, the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program and the Build America Bonds program.

The Alliance is also working to develop a dedicated funding source for HSR to allow effective long-term planning and develop a predictable and sustainable market for HSR services.

Four
Workforce development initiatives that identify, train and support American workers to design, build operate and maintain America’s high speed and regional passenger rail network.

Five
National procurement and safety standards that assure the interoperability and safe operation of the world’s premier high speed and regional passenger rail network.


Six
Support the USDOT in its efforts to develop clear and effective metrics that ensure comprehensive and transparent evaluation of all elements of proposals that seek to use government resources to design, build, operate and maintain high speed and regional passenger rail service.

Seven
Full funding of a comprehensive national transportation research program that includes metrics to measure the proposed and actual performance of America’s passenger rail industry.

Eight
Energy and environmental laws and regulations that promote the development and use of clean and renewable energy and other initiatives that reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuel and reduce green house gas emissions.

Nine
Support efforts of the Secretary of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration and the President to coordinate national priorities, especially in the areas of national security, economic renewal and redevelopment, and energy independence with the planning, construction, operation and maintenance of a national high speed passenger rail network.