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Mayor Koos: Prevent High Speed Rail From Lagging Behind

J.P. Mueller
Creative Commons

The Mayor of Normal is giving Congressional testimony on the merits of high speed rail.

Chris Koos is appearing before the subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets of the Community on Oversight and Government Reform.

Before boarding a flight, to D.C. Koos told GLT, dollars that have been committed to the Chicago to Saint Louis Corridor are safe, but future investments could be at risk unless Congress acts.

"You know it's part of a full transportation package: highway investment, airline investment, passenger rail investment. Passenger rail is certainly growing in the United States and it's certainly an important part of our transportation infrastructure," said Koos.

Mayor Koos said he will use Uptown Station as an example of what the subcommittee needs to hear.

"Well, I think it needs to hear public private partnership success that has happened in Normal; that federal dollars invested in projects like this generate significant private development," said Koos.

He said high speed rail will allow more business ties and economic activity among separate regions.

Koos planned to thank the members for including a passenger rail title in the recent Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.  He will argue Thursday for more funding. The hearing is titled "Lagging Behind: The State of High Speed Rail in the U.S."

The subcommittee Chair is Representative John Mica (R-FL). The ranking minority member is Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.