This morning I announced $2 billion for high-speed rail projects across America, and I have been energized by the tremendous response.
Whether people live near the Northeast Corridor, in the Midwest, or elsewhere, everyone is excited about the prospect of getting on a train and getting to their destination quickly, safely, comfortably, and affordably. They're excited about hassle-free rides that help them avoid slogging through highway traffic or airport security. And they're excited about being able to use their travel time--whether to relax or get some work done.
The targeted investments we announced today will help them do exactly that.
In the Northeast Corridor, for example, we're awarding $795 million to upgrade some of the most heavily-used sections of the corridor. The investments will increase speeds from 135 to 160 miles per hour on critical segments, improve on-time performance and add more seats for passengers.
As U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer said, “This will unravel the spaghetti of confusing lines and signals that slow down traffic throughout the New York metropolitan area and the Northeast Corridor.”
In the Midwest, we're providing $404.1 million to expand high-speed rail service.
To rehabilitate track and signal systems and bring trains up to speeds of 110 mph on a 235-mile section of the Chicago-to-Detroit corridor, we're granting Michigan $196.5 million. And $268.2 million will purchase 48 high-performance passenger rail cars and 7 quick-acceleration locomotives for 8 corridors in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Missouri.
I'm not the only Republican who's ready to see this route improved. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder noted that Michigan is ready for other transportation investments, but he agreed "Rail is a critical component."
The way that leaders from both major parties in Michigan came together reminds me that there are no Republican or Democratic roads or rails. And what I saw today in the Motor City made it crystal clear to me that--thanks to Mayor Bing and others--Detroit is truly on the move.
Those are just a few examples of today's selective awards. There's also $450 million to Amtrak to boost capacity, reliability, and speed on a system that continues enjoying record-high ridership.
And there are many other awards, honoring smart, manageable projects that will really advance U.S. high-speed passenger rail. As I said on Morning Joe today, we're not talking about 10 or 20 years--some of the projects we've invested in today will have passengers speeding to their destinations within 3-5 years.
Remember, we're not just talking about quicker, more convenient travel. We're talking about jobs. We're talking about opportunities for economic development. We're talking about cutting dependence on foreign oil, reducing tailpipe emissions, and easing congestion so commercial drivers can avoid highway freight bottlenecks.
These are practical benefits our nation needs, and they would not be possible without today's awards. That's why the people of New York are happy. That's why the people of Detroit are happy. And that's why, from coast-to-coast, America is abuzz today with the news that the high-speed train is just around the bend.