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EUGENE, Ore. -- City leaders have vowed to get a high-speed rail system running in the future.
The Oregon State Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG), along with Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, released a report on Tuesday which outlines the benefits of high speed rail for future investment in Oregon. OSPIRG is a statewide nonprofit that advocates on behalf of the public interest.
The group says the system from Eugene to Vancouver, British Columbia would reduce the carbon footprint, create thousands of construction jobs, and ultimately reduce travel time.
The report comes as the Obama administration announced last month that 31 states will receive a portion of $8 billion in funding to build and plan for high speed rail under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Oregon has received $8 million for high-speed rail projects. Now, the only issue is getting city and state leaders on board.
"From Portland down to Eugene, we really need to get our act together and be ready to move because now is the time for this committment to take place," said Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy.
The mayor says that includes where the money to maintain the system annually will come from. She says this first batch of federal dollars is just a down payment. City leaders will keep moving this process along with Eugene playing host to a statewide rail summit in March.
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