Birmingham, AL — Policymakers should look to freight rail’s “user-pays” example when considering highway infrastructure policy, argues Alabama State Director Christy Sammon in a recent op-ed for the Birmingham Business Journal.
“But while many of our highways, waterways, runways and other publicly funded infrastructure have been starved for cash, one mode — freight rail — has been doubling down on its private spending to steadily connect businesses and meet increasing demand. Powering investments in track, equipment and technology, rail’s spending ($25 billion annually in recent years) helps shippers move more, move it more efficiently and move it at lower cost.”
On top of rail’s economic impact, Sammon notes that those who supply railroads are also a boon to the state’s economy.
“Among the many sectors of the economy supported by private freight railroads is the rail supply industry, as evidenced by a 2018 study that showed rail suppliers contributed $1.6 billion to the Alabama economy, employed over17,000 Alabamians and paid out over $900 million in compensation.”