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Mayors’ Report: High Speed Rail Will Create Chicago Transportation Jobs

Posted on June 14, 2010

A research project from the United States Conference of Mayors discusses the economic impacts of high speed rail in cities, citing that rail growth will create Chicago transportation jobs.

According to the report, which was sponsored by Siemens, four cities, Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Albany were selected to represent metropolitan areas impacted by planned High-Speed Rails. In all four cities, the introduction of high-speed rail services will significantly increase jobs, wages, business sales, and value-added Gross Regional Product. Results particularly point to an increased economic payback when intercity travel time is under three hours.

The potential long-term economic impact of proposed high speed rail service will grow over time as service is fully implemented and savings in travel are realized.

According to the NYTimes, who analyzed the report’s findings, a Chicago high-speed rail network connecting to Minneapolis, St. Louis and other areas would create $6.1 billion per year in new business, according to the report. This includes a $3.6-billion-per-year increase in gross regional product and 42,000 new jobs.

The numbers are comparable to the economic revitalization seen in Europe and Asia when they got their high-speed rail systems, Hauck said.

“We are planning for the future,” said Fitzroy of the Economic Development Research Group. “We have to be competitive on a global scale and be able to move from city to city without relying on fossil fuels.”