PRICE REMARKS AT RALEIGH UNION STATION GROUNDBREAKING
Raleigh, NC – Today, Congressman David E. Price (NC-04) attended a groundbreaking at Union Station, a new multi-modal transportation hub in downtown Raleigh. Congressman Price helped secure federal funding for the project, which is expected to be completed in early 2017. His remarks as prepared are below.
“Hello everyone. I am pleased to be with you today to celebrate the City of Raleigh and the Union Station project groundbreaking! Let me take a moment to thank Carlos Monje from the Federal Railroad Administration and Jay McArthur from Amtrak for joining us in Raleigh today, and to also thank the rest of the distinguished group gathered here – including Governor McCrory, Secretary Tata, Mayor McFarlane, and friends from Triangle Transit, NCDOT, and the Council.
“I am proud to represent Raleigh and the Triangle area, which has received well-deserved national recognition as a top place to live, work, raise a family, start a business and retire. We are determined to grow not just rapidly, but smartly. The plans we have put in place to promote sustainable growth require strong leadership, leadership with a tenacity and a collective will to get things done. That kind of leadership has been demonstrated by the City of Raleigh, from the Mayor and City Council, to the City management team, and the community at large. The Union Station project serves as a perfect example of this partnership with support coming from the City, Triangle Transit, and both the state and federal DOT.
“Raleigh’s transit and train ridership are on the rise, and current Raleigh facilities are failing to meet the needs of users today, much less anticipated future growth. The multi-modal Union Station project is a well-designed and strategically located facility that will encourage and accommodate intermodal transportation, including local, regional, and intercity bus service, as well as Amtrak’s passenger rail service – moving at faster and faster speed – and future commuter and light rail. Today we share the excitement at the opportunities this transportation center will bring to Raleigh, and we eagerly anticipate its completion.
“I am proud that this multi-modal project was awarded two of the very competitive federal TIGER grants. What this federal investment recognizes is that Raleigh’s Union Station signifies the wave of the future: an America that includes revitalized downtowns, increased mobility for people wherever they live and work, reduced traffic congestion and cleaner air, and smart public policy that brings all levels of government together in support of diverse modes of transportation. This project, like other TIGER transportation infrastructure investments, will pay dividends for our economy both now and in the future.
“This project was also able to draw on some of the Recovery Act funds awarded to the state for the advancement of rail. These funds were awarded because of the commitment the state had shown to developing inter-city rail as a viable transportation alternative between Raleigh and Charlotte. Sometimes it seemed, as we said back then, that we were doing it “one grade crossing at a time.” But now serious work is underway, and need to resolve that Raleigh to Richmond, and on to Washington, is next!
“This year I have begun serving as the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that allocates funding for the Department of Transportation. I hope to use this position to champion TIGER, inter-city rail, and the other funding streams essential, along with state and local support, for this project. We must also support enhanced bus service, the New Starts program that helps communities develop transit systems, Amtrak and high-speed rail. We also need a long-term surface transportation authorization bill. The stakes for Raleigh and North Carolina are great – we’ve got to get moving!
“That said, while federal support is going to be instrumental to modernizing our transportation infrastructure, I also know how important it is that we work closely with state and local officials on these priorities. That’s why I am encouraged that mass transit and rail have been included in Governor McCrory’s 25-year transportation plan, which I know Secretary Tata was instrumental in developing.
“Secretary Tata and his team have kept me and others in our delegation informed about his Department’s progress toward realizing that vision. This is one area where Democrats and Republicans and state, local, and federal officials can all work together with advocates and outside organizations to help ensure that our transportation needs are met.
“So I am happy to introduce Secretary Tata today, and I look forward to continued cooperation on Raleigh Union Station and many other projects. He is offering effective leadership, and it is significant and appropriate that he be here today to help launch this project.”