Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) issued the following statement in response to the announcement that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has designated the Northeast Corridor, from Washington, DC, to Boston, MA, as the eleventh and final High-Speed Rail Corridor in the United States. This designation would make Maryland and other states along the Northeast Corridor eligible for the reprogramming of $2.4 billion in federal funding that the state of Florida recently rejected.
“The Northeast Corridor is the busiest transportation corridor in the country and traffic congestion along our region’s highways hinders economic growth and wastes energy. Developing high-speed rail service along this corridor is top priority of mine and the decision from USDOT demonstrates that high-speed rail on the Northeast Corridor also is a priority for our national transportation system. Amtrak and the state of Maryland have rail infrastructure projects that are ready to go, and I stand ready to support their efforts to bring these projects to fruition. High-speed rail along the Northeast Corridor is essential to alleviating vehicle traffic, saving people time and money on transportation expenses, creating jobs and growing our economy.”
Last month, Senator Cardin and group of his colleagues representing states along the Northeast Corridor wrote U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood requesting that the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program funds rejected by the State of Florida be redirected to high-speed rail projects on the Northeast Corridor. The Senators noted that the Northeast Corridor accounts for roughly one-fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product, 20 percent of the nation’s population and has the nation’s only operating high-speed train.