Washington, D.C. — Rob Hooper, President & CEO of the Northern Nevada Development Authority along with Keith Martin Executive VP of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Rafael E. Ortega commissioner and Chair of the Regional Rail Authority of Ramsey County, Minnesota expressed their support for freight rail in an op-ed for Inside Sources. The three leaders joined GoRail and over 1,000 other community, business, and industry leaders in signing a letter to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.

“In signing the letter, we were joined by a bipartisan group including more than 320 mayors, commissioners, and local government representatives; over 230 state legislators; more than 200 business leaders, ports and economic development organizations; nearly 90 think tanks and policy groups, think tanks and associations; nearly 150 rail supply companies and associations; and 25 former administration officials and congressional leaders, including seven former U.S. secretaries of Transportation.”

Hooper, Martin & Ortega spoke to the innovation and efficiency of the freight railroads to be a model of what public-private partnerships can achieve with smart regulation.

“Of course, we do not just support a 40-year-old law because it was bipartisan, we support it because it is still working and is critical to the future of freight rail. Since 1980, privately owned U.S. freight railroads have invested over $710 billion of their own capital into the equipment, technology and infrastructure necessary to completely transform railroading.

Even without the billions of dollars in taxpayer support other modes receive, freight railroads have doubled their traffic and fuel efficiency since 1980, while rail rates are down more than 40 percent adjusted for inflation.  Recent years have also been among the safest on record.”

Read the full op-ed.