Will High-Speed Rail Drive Business?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

By Tom Madigan, NationalJournal.com

Does a recent report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors touting the economic benefits of high-speed passenger rail put to rest questions about HSR’s value as a business engine?

The report focused on four hub cities: Albany, N.Y.; Chicago; Los Angeles; and Orlando. Despite the differences of these hubs, the report found that high-speed rail networks had similar effects in all of them, including expanding markets; making business travel more efficient; and encouraging mixed-use development. Among its conclusions, the report argued for looking at these networks “in the broader context of a changing economy” that includes more long-distance tourism and business travel, and ever-wider markets and supply chains.

In 2035, the report says, high-speed rail networks around these four hubs could generate as much as $19 billion in new business.

Click here to read the full post by the non-partisan National Journal, with a link to the Conference of Mayors report, and additional related commentaries.

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