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Transportation Secretary LaHood, Rep. Slaughter, tout high speed rail to New York

ROCHESTER - Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-28) was joined by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at the Rochester Amtrak Station, where he reaffirmed the Obama Administration’s commitment to a well developed high speed rail system that serves Upstate New York.

Secretary LaHood's visit to New York brought together dozens of business and community leaders and elected officials from across the state. They discussed high speed rail as a source for new opportunities and economic development throughout Upstate New York.

“High speed rail can create thousands of construction, manufacturing, operations, and maintenance jobs,” said Secretary LaHood. “It can also reduce greenhouse gas pollution, lower transportation costs, and give families another choice about how to get from here to there. Thanks to national leadership from Congresswoman Slaughter and the president, these opportunities are in reach for Upstate New York.”

“I was so pleased to be at the Rochester Amtrak Station today to talk with Secretary LaHood about the future of Western New York’s high speed rail network,” said Slaughter. “High speed rail will revolutionize New York and our nation’s transportation system, create jobs while we build it, and help our local businesses stay competitive in a global economy. Bringing high speed rail to Upstate New York was one of the first goals of the Upstate Caucus I formed, and it is exciting to be we talking the first step toward a 21st century transportation infrastructure.”

In January, New York received $151 million from the stimulus package, more than 41 other states. These federal funds will be used to begin work on a third track dedicated to passenger rail making stops in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica and Albany.

Slaughter and LaHood were surrounded by dozens of elected officials, business and community leaders and others committed to a third track dedicated to high speed rail running from Buffalo to Albany. They realize that with better transportation comes economic development.

LaHood’s visit to Rochester came a day after he visited Stewart International Airport, near Newburgh.  He praised the Port Authority’s vision for Stewart as a strong regional airport, and said Stewart has a “bright future”.