Former Deputy Secretary of PennDOT
Former Vice Chair Appalachian Regional Commission
I became aware of AIRNet-21 while I was serving as Deputy Secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). I was impressed at that time and I believe this initiative is even more salient today. AIRNet-21 addresses rail passenger needs not only on the NEC but in the Midwest, where Amtrak owns and maintains additional rail infrastructure. The initiative funds and rapidly implements significant, long overdue investments in Amtrak’s owned infrastructure; it preserves the Federal Government’s ownership of Amtrak; it promotes transparency, it returns commuter carriers using Amtrak owned corridors to paying avoidable costs; and, it causes Amtrak to do what it does best – solely focusing on offering and providing safe and efficient rail passenger service across the USA.
A reinvigorated passenger rail infrastructure on the NEC and in the Midwest combined with a reconstituted Amtrak would provide America with attractive transportation options and create many jobs and new growth in the process. AIRNet-21 is a solid and exciting program that will benefit our country and serve to enhance rail passenger ridership for decades to come.