...but if we want to move from recovery to prosperity, then we have to do a little bit more. We also have to build a new foundation for our future growth. Today our aging system of highways and byways, air routes and rail lines is hindering that growth. Our highways are clogged with traffic, costing us $80 billion a year of lost productivity and wasted fuel.
...We are at the mercy of fluctuating gas prices all to often. We pump too many greenhouse gases into the air. What we need then is a smart transportation system equal to the needs of the 21st century. A system that reduces travel times, and increases mobility. A system that reduces congestion and boosts productivity. A system that reduces destructive emissions and creates jobs.
What we're talking about is a vision for high speed rail in America. Imagine boarding a train in the center of a city, no racing to an airport, and across a terminal, no delays, no sitting on the tarmac, no lost luggage, no taking off your shoes, imaging whisking through towns at speeds over 100mph... walking only a few steps to public transportation....and ending up just blocks from your destination. Imagine what a great project would be to rebuild America.
Now all of you know this is no fanciful pie in the sky vision of the future. It is now. It is happening right now. It has been happening for decades. The problem is that it has been happening elsewhere, not here.
In France high speed rail has pulled regions from isolation and ignited growth. remade quiet towns into thriving destinations. In Spain, the high speed line between Madrid and Seville is so successful that more people travel that line than by both car and air combined. ....
There is no reason we cannot do this. This is America. There is no reason that the future of travel should lie somewhere else beyond our borders. Building a new system of rail in America will be faster cheaper and easier than building more freeways or adding to an already over burdened aviation system, and everybody stands to benefit.
And that's why today, with Sec LaHood, adn VP Biden, I'm announcing my administrations effort to transform travel in America with an historic investment in high-speed rail...
Watch video here
Via The New Deal Rail Plan