Hare, Braley Call for Quad Cities Passenger Rail Funding

Cong. Bruce Braley, Cong. Phil Hare, and Paul Rumler talk about $475,000 received for the Quad Cities track improvements.

Cong. Phil Hare and Cong. Bruce Braley sign a letter to US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

A large crowd of QC Rail supporters attended the media event.


Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) and Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) joined with the Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition at an event on March 27th to help advance the Quad Cities Amtrak route.  Before a packed room of passenger rail supporters, the Congressmen signed a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood urging him to make funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) available for intercity passenger rail from the Quad Cities to Chicago and the Quad Cities to Iowa City.  Secretary LaHood is currently developing a funding strategy and guidelines for $8 billion earmarked for intercity and high speed passenger rail in AARA.

“With ridership on the Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City route expected at 187,000 annually, the direct economic impact will bring jobs and progress to our Illinois and Iowa constituents,” the letter reads. “In the Quad Cities alone, an estimated 550-825 jobs will be created, household income is expected to increase by $11-16 million, and property values will increase between $55-72 million.”  Click here for a copy of the letter.

Track improvements for the Quad Cities to Chicago line are estimated to cost $22.7 million while the Quad Cities to Iowa City portion is projected at $32.5 million. Hare recently secured $475,000 in the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act to enable the Illinois Department of Transportation to begin critical engineering and track improvements on the Quad Cities to Chicago corridor.

“Bringing Amtrak service to the Quad Cities will create jobs and strengthen the region’s economy,” Braley said.  “Not only will passenger rail create jobs in the short term, but it will create opportunity down the line, attracting businesses and more closely linking the Quad Cities with the economic powerhouse of Chicago.”

“I can think of no better economic stimulus than bringing passenger rail back to the Quad Cities,” Hare said. “It will create jobs, grow businesses, attract college students to area schools, and provide local residents with a safe and convenient mode of transportation.”

© 2007 Quad Cities Passenger Rail Coalition