WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD), and Related Agencies Subcommittee, led a group of senators in requesting funding to make much-needed upgrades and improvements to America’s transportation systems, including to the Northeast Corridor (NEC). In two letters addressed to THUD Subcommittee Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-Maine) and THUD Subcommittee Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the group of senators emphasized that sufficient funding for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and NEC infrastructure improvements is important to millions of people – including those in Connecticut – who travel by rail.
“The economic impact of the Northeast Corridor cannot be overstated: seven million jobs are located within five miles of a station on the line; workers who ride the NEC contribute $50 million annually to the U.S. economy; and a loss of the NEC for a single day would cost the U.S. $100 million in travel delays and lost productivity. However, as any commuter or traveler on the NEC can attest, the infrastructure is at risk of failing,” the senators wrote in their letter requesting NEC funding. “NEC stakeholders and states have worked diligently together to improve the corridor and to fund capital projects, and a strong federal investment…would be a catalyst for further collaboration and additional non-federal investment.”
The senators specifically requested that the FY 2019 THUD Appropriations bill fund NTSB at $110.4 million, at minimum, to hire additional rail investigators. The senators also requested that two NEC programs – the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program, which improves passenger rail infrastructure, and the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program, which can expand the use of life-saving Positive Train Control technology – be funded consistent with levels authorized in the FAST Act of 2015.
For the PDF of the senators’ letter requesting funding for the NTSB, click here. U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) joined Murphy in sending this letter.
For the PDF of the senators’ letter requesting funding for the NEC, click here. U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D- Del.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) joined Murphy in sending this letter.
Murphy has held various summits with Connecticut commuters, business owners, and transportation leaders to receive feedback on how a shorter, more reliable commute and more transit options could improve commerce, productivity, and quality of life for Connecticut residents. Last month, Murphy applauded an infrastructure plan released by Senate Democrats that would create more than 15 million jobs and strengthen Buy America requirements for all infrastructure projects. The plan calls for passage of Murphy’s bipartisan BuyAmerican.gov Act to increase transparency and ensure federal agencies prioritize the purchase of American-made goods.