As we noted in an earlier post, Senator Hadley, who represents Nebraska’s Legislative District 37 (Kearney, Buffalo County), has introduced a bill that would revoke the state’s signature to the Midwest Intercity Passenger Rail Compact. This would withdraw Nebraska from participating in an already-funded study of Chicago-Omaha high speed rail, which is necessary before high speed rail could possibly come to Omaha. If Nebraska withdraws from the compact and refuses to be a part of a future high speed rail plan, then the logical terminus for the study would no longer be Omaha.
The bill has been referred to the Transportation and Telecommnications Committee and is available to read here. This bill is clearly bad for transportation choice and would keep us from even exploring the potential benefits of high speed rail.
Please contact Transportation and Telecommunications Committee members and your State Senator to tell them that we should remain engaged in considering future options for regional travel.
UPDATE: This bill is scheduled for public hearing on Tuesday, January 31, 1:30pm.
This statement is in the main true, but somehat misleading. LB 747 will withdraw Nebraska from the compact. It will not withdraw Nebraska from the study of Chicago-Omaha passenger rail. That study has been funded and is underway, being conducted by the Iowa Department of Transportation. The Compact has nothing to do with it. Also, the State of Nebraska has nthing to do with it, since they declined to participate.