Energize America Urban Rail

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The Urban Rail Investment Act - Background

Energy Implications

Effective urban rail systems such as the New York City Subway are key to the high energy efficiency and economic impact of city centers. Urban rail can achieve the equivalent of thousands of passenger-mpg, and by using electricity, they eliminate dependence on liquid fossil fuels for passenger transportation.

Current Urban Rail Status

There is roughly a $200 billion backlog of urban rail projects. The highest priority items are a new line for New York City along 2nd Avenue, extension of the Los Angeles Red Line, and ... Given the strategic and security importance for our nation to reduce our dependence on oil and our emissions of CO2, federal support for these projects is in high national interest.

Current Legislation and Activity

Within the Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration is responsible for urban rail projects. Despite previous support levels as high as 80% federal/20% local, projects are currently being provided with only a 30% federal match.

HR.1300 includes FTA money...


The Urban Rail Investment Act - Draft Text

Subways for all


To greatly reduce automobile congestion, pollution, and oil consumption in US cities through greatly increased federal support for city rail systems.


The Urban Rail Investment Act will re-prioritize federal spending of the Department of Transportation by:

  • changing the primary metric for project funding from reduced transit time per dollar to reduced energy use per dollar
  • clarifying the interest of the federal government in increased use of public transit through its energy savings
  • allocating funds for heavy and light rail


The URIA will ...


Key Messages

  1. urban rail can get thousands of passenger-mpg
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