ACTION ALERT

On January 25th, the NH House Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing on HB 267, a bill to abolish the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority (NHRTA). 

NHRTA receives NO public funding yet is tasked with the important role of examining rail expansion projects that would improve transportation options and boost economic growth in New Hampshire. While some argue now is not the right time for rail expansion, abolishing an unfunded Authority with oversight of a key transit option would dramatically set New Hampshire back. Please consider attending the Concord hearing at 1:30pm in Legislative Office Building Room 203, email the committee at HouseTransportationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us, or contact key committee members directly:

 

ISSUE Overview

After years of study, the evidence is in that commuter rail is New Hampshire's biggest economic development opportunity in a generation. For a modest up-front investment, we can unleash hundreds of millions of dollars in outside investment for the good of our entire state and create thousands of middle-class jobs to grow our economy and keep our young people from leaving.

It is time for the state legislature and Executive Council to look to the future by beginning the financial planning, preliminary engineering, and environmental permitting that will allow New Hampshire to leverage federal funds and invest in commuter rail.

The Capitol Corridor Rail Project study, completed over two years under the NH Department of Transportation, finds that extending the Lowell line to Nashua and Manchester alone would serve nearly 700,000 passengers per year, bring $174 million in federal tax dollars back to New Hampshire, create 5,600 permanent jobs, spur approximately $750 million worth of new real estate development and add nearly 2 million square feet in new commercial space by 2030. 74 percent of Granite Staters support commuter rail, along with Chambers of Commerce and numerous business leaders.

 

RECOMMENDATION

I am calling on the New Hampshire state legislature and Executive Council to reinsert over $3 million in available federal funding for the Capitol Corridor rail project back into the state’s Transportation Improvement Plan, and develop public private partnerships to assist with financing the proposed extension of the Lowell line to Nashua, Manchester Airport, and downtown Manchester. My opponent has voted to reject federal funding for study and implementation, against the recommendations of the NH Department of Transportation and contrary to public demand.