Letter: High-speed rail is good for Michigan

From The Detroit News

Recently, Gov. Rick Snyder and I announced an historic investment of nearly  $200 million to expand high-speed rail service from Detroit to Chicago.

The Obama administration’s investment in this high-speed rail project will  not only provide fast, reliable and energy-efficient service for passengers, it  will open up a world of opportunity for economic and commercial development  along the corridor (“Feds provide $200M for high-speed rail in Michigan,” May  10).

Unfortunately, Randal O’Toole paints an inaccurate picture of this important  project’s benefits (“O’Toole: The great train con,” The Michigan View, May 12).

Once complete, trains will travel at 110 miles per hour over 235 miles on the  Detroit to Chicago line, cutting the total trip by 30 minutes. Construction will  support nearly 1,000 new jobs for hard-hit Michiganians. And U.S. manufacturers  will also get a boost thanks to our Buy America requirement that will put  Americans to work building state-of-the-art passenger rail cars and locomotives.

With growing congestion on the roads and gas prices at such high levels, the  people of Michigan are already choosing to take the train: Amtrak ridership  along the Detroit to Chicago corridor is up more than 15 percent since last  year. Ridership will only increase with the reduced trip-time and the  reliability that high-speed rail service provides.

I don’t need to tell the people of Detroit that Americans will always love  their cars. But people are also clamoring for other kinds of transportation  opportunities that are fast, convenient and affordable.

High-speed rail is a strategic investment that will help provide the service  that Americans want and lay the foundation for future economic growth.

Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Washington, D.C.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110602/OPINION01/106020348/Letter–High-speed-rail-is-good-for-Michigan#ixzz1OId9xGj6