Mayor Bloomberg today gave his support to a push to make a higher-speed train line between New York and Washington, D.C., endorsing federal legislation that seeks to create a two-hour rail trip between the cities.
The Acela, Amtrak’s high-speed service launched less than 10 years ago, takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes between the two cities.
The bill, part of a reauthorization of Amtrak, would solicit preliminary bids from the private sector to build the service. It’s being pushed by Representative John Mica, a Florida Republican.
Statement from Mr. Bloomberg:
“I met today with Congressman John Mica of Florida, the Ranking Republican on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, who briefed me on his plan to encourage proposals to bring high-speed rail service to New York. Congressman Mica’s plan makes a great deal of sense and I strongly support it. High speed rail service could cut the travel time between New York and Washington to only two hours. This would encourage more people to take the train, which simultaneously would relieve congestion at New York City airports and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
“Congressman Mica’s plan, which is included in the House Amtrak reauthorization bill, would solicit proposals – including proposals from the private sector – to build the high speed rail service. Those proposals would be evaluated and presented to Congress for further action. Soliciting and considering proposals is an important and necessary first step toward determining the feasibility of this initiative.
“Congressman Mica’s plan demonstrates the kind of ambitious, pragmatic thinking about our future that guided PlaNYC and that Building America’s Future – my coalition with Governors Rendell and Schwarzenegger – is asking Congress to provide. Investing in modern mass transportation is critical to New York’s future, and all options should be on the table. No idea should be ignored or dismissed simply because it is ambitious. That is not how America’s greatest infrastructure marvels – from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Grand Cooley Dam – got built.”