high Speed Rail: An Essential Piece of the Build Back Better Act’s Climate Program
- The transportation sector is the U.S. economy’s single largest source of climate pollution, contributing 29% to our emissions budget every year.* If the Build Back Better Act is to effectively address the climate emergency, it must transform the transportation sector. There is no more powerful tool to decarbonize the transportation sector than world-class high speed rail:
- High speed rail is all-electric and can be powered by clean, renewable energy;
- It runs on brand new, dedicated tracks, allowing it to operate at speeds above 186 miles per hour;
- And because high speed rail is so fast and convenient, it creates a time-saving alternative to driving and short-hop flights.
- High speed rail is a proven technology that has existed since 1964. It is in operation in 32 nations around the world, rapidly and safely moving millions of people every day.
- As we build true high speed rail in America, it will initiate climate-friendly transformations across our entire transportation system – not just the rail sector. It will take thousands of planes out of the sky and millions of cars off the roads. It will reduce the need for new and expanded highways and improve air quality in frontline communities. And as we clean up the power sector, it will run on clean energy.
- While the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides major investments for conventional, diesel-powered rail service, it does not provide any dedicated funding for all-electric high speed rail. Fortunately, the Build Back Better Act includes $10 billion in dedicated funding for world-class high speed rail. This modest investment will finally make high speed rail a reality in the U.S., demonstrating the benefits of this remarkable technology to millions of Americans.
- High speed rail is a transformational climate investment – one we would be wise to prioritize as Congress charts our nation’s future in the coming weeks.
- ______________________________ *Fast Facts on Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emissions, United States Environmental Protection Agency
about the us high speed rail coalition
- The U.S. High Speed Rail Coalition is mobilizing leading unions, businesses, and public servants to build an American transportation system that protects our climate, connects our communities, and creates good union jobs. A bipartisan group of former Secretaries of Transportation — Ray LaHood, Anthony Foxx, and the late Norman Mineta — serve as co-chairs of the coalition. High-speed rail will deliver on the Biden Administration’s top priorities of climate, jobs, and equity, and to those ends, the U.S. High Speed Rail Coalition is supporting a federal advocacy campaign to ensure that America builds back better with high speed rail.
- Our Executive Committee members include ACI, AECOM, Arup, Brightline, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, DB, Grimshaw, Herzog, HJI Group, HNTB, InfraStrategies, International Union of Operating Engineers, National Conference of Firemen & Oilers 32BJ SEIU, Quandel Consulting, Rebel, Renfe, SENER, Siemens, Stacy and Witbeck, Teamsters Rail Conference, Waterford Solutions Limited, and WSP. Learn more at ushsrcoalition.org.