“Transportation is the backbone of America’s economy. Our country cannot successfully compete in the global economy if we fail to invest adequately in our domestic transportation infrastructure.” explained Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of The United States Conference of Mayors.
High-speed rail (HSR) is a type of rail transport that operates significantly faster than traditional rail traffic, using an integrated system of specialized rolling stock and dedicated tracks. The maximum speed of high-speed rail is 268 mph, which holds the speed record for commercial train service. HSR project could help to drive the local economic growth in a tremendous way, especially for Chicago, the third largest city in the United States. So the following are three main economic benefits for operating high-speed rail service in Chicago.
Benefits to employment:
HSR service would support new startups development and create new job opportunity. “In Chicago, up to $6.1 billion per year in new business, including up to $3.6 billion per year in GRP growth and up to 42,000 jobs” .
Benefits to tourism:
HSR’s projected larger flow of passengers will lead to increased tourism and business travel, generating additional spending at local hotels, restaurants and retail stores. “Projections show that by 2035, HSR can annually add roughly $42 million in the Chicago area”.
Benefit to environment:
HSR access will also allow travelers without cars to reach destinations previously only accessible by automobile. Beyond cost and time savings, HSR will have a positive impact on the environment as each rail car can remove as many as 200 vehicles from the road, producing up to ten times less CO2 per rail trip than the equivalent number of road journeys. “By switching to high-speed rail, we not only vastly reduce fuel and carbon dioxide emissions, but also improve traffic flow, ultimately reducing America’s annual fuel use. Our calculations show that just in the city Chicago studied, a high-speed rail system would reduce annual carbon emissions for intercity travel by 0.7 million tons a year. This translates to a reduction of more than one-twelfth of the total carbon currently generated by intercity travel in the Chicago.”
Siemens High Speed Rail Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uHx04VvEgM
U.S. conference of mayors report details significant economic impact of high-speed rail. (2010, Jun 14). PR Newswire Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.wisc.edu/docview/375390722?accountid=465