Victory for Commuter Safety
The Southern California region won an important victory for commuter safety last week. Through the work of the L.A. Area Chamber, Mobility 21 and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles), Congress is moving closer to providing greater funding for train anti-collision technology. That's good news for passengers throughout our region.
All of us remember the deadly 2008 Metrolink train crash, which cost 25 lives and brought the issue of rail safety to the forefront for many Americans. Many experts believe that this crash could have been averted had the rail system been equipped with state-of-the-art safety technology known as Positive Train Control (PTC). That technology helps prevent train-to-train collisions, overspeed derailments and other accidents that can result due to human error.
There was an immediate uproar to secure more PTC funding after the crash, but political focus has shifted largely to matters of economic stimulus and recovery in recent months. The L.A. Area Chamber applauds Roybal-Allard and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena), who refuse to give up on rail safety and have paved the way for PTC in our region.
Last week, the L.A. Area Chamber traveled to Washington, D.C. with our partners in the Mobility 21 coalition to advocate for greater transportation investment including funding for PTC. Scheduled to coincide with the House of Representative's consideration of next year's Transportation Appropriations Legislation, our delegation met with a number of Congressional offices, our two Senators and administration officials to push adequate funding to install the PTC improvements in our local rail lines.
On Thursday, Roybal-Allard took to the House floor and engaged a key House Committee chairman on the need for immediate investments in PTC in Southern California. We are happy to report that she was able to secure at least $5 million dollars for PTC. This number is expected to increase as it goes through the legislative process.
There are still additional hurdles getting PTC installed in our regional commuter rail lines. As the House and Senate work to complete this important spending bill, the L.A. Area Chamber will continue working with our transportation partners and our Congressional delegation to make sure that PTC funding is included in the final package. As more of us park our vehicles to ride mass transit, this is a federal expenditure that is in the safety and interest of all of us.
And that's The Business Perspective.
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