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Obama’s $8 Billion Investment in Sustainable Travel

Obama’s $8 Billion Investment in Sustainable Travel
Cities
Christine Huang
  • 18 february 2009

One part of the new economic stimulus plan environmentally conscious americans are excited about is the $8 billion investment in a new railroad system. The investment, the largest in US history, is set to enliven and modernize the form of transport through the development of a high-speed rail system that will link cities across the nation. Treehugger explains:

…The only sector in which Amtrak makes an actual operating profit on running trains is in the Northeast, where larger cities are closer together than in other parts of the nation, and the primary infrastructure has been in place for decades. Obama hopes to build upon that model by installing railroads to link cities in other parts of the nation—an effort he believes could help revitalize the Midwest. A faster rail service could relieve traffic congestion, conserve energy, prevent pollution, and offer greater accessibility for intercity travel. Which may be why it’s a key part of Obama’s vision for America’s future—you may have heard him mention it a couple months back on the campaign trail.

…And change is possible—after 9/11, for instance, train ticket sales skyrocketed by 40 percent. With the proper incentives, many could again be convinced to ride a less expensive train to their destination instead of flying or driving. Which would be great news: railroads are one of the most sustainable modes of transportation available.

…With high speed service, more destinations on the menu, and a modern image, Americans might just be willing to park their SUVs and get on the train again.

Treehugger: Obama Plans New High Speed Railroad

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