The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

John Krieger, Federal Transportation Policy Analyst
U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S PIRG)
(202) 546-9707 x.333
Tweeting @TransitPIRG

High-Speed Rail Breaks Ground in Illinois


Today, Illinois Public
Interest Research Group (Illinois PIRG)
state director Brian
joined Governor Pat Quinn, and other state and national officials,
including Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Administrator Joseph C. Szabo,
at an event marking the first high-speed rail project to begin significant
construction under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Improvements on
the route from Chicago to St. Louis will allow passenger-rail service to
operate at speeds of up to 110 mph, significantly reducing travel times between
the cities.

Excerpt from the statement
of Illinois PIRG state director Brian
, delivered at the event:

"In building a 21st century economy, Illinois
is hampered by an outdated transportation system. We've got congested
airports and crammed highways that hinder travel around the Midwest, and our
transportation system is overly reliant on oil, which leaves us vulnerable to
unpredictable gas prices and pollution.

High-speed rail is a part of
the solution. It will boost our economy and create jobs. It will modernize our
transportation system, while helping to solve our nation's oil
dependency, worsening congestion and pollution. High-speed rail will get us
moving in the right direction."

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.