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2    WHEREAS, Passenger rail service is increasingly being
3recognized as a critical asset for small and medium-sized
4communities, providing reasonably priced, safe, and accessible
5transportation to complement the highway network; and
6    WHEREAS, Fast and frequent passenger trains will help our
7region to remain globally competitive by lowering travel
8costs, bypassing highway congestion, and improving access to
9jobs and education; and
10    WHEREAS, The State has an excellent mix of universities
11and colleges that have long been supported by trains to
12Chicago and will become more attractive with improved service;
14    WHEREAS, Improved access to O'Hare International Airport
15will make the airport more attractive for airlines to offer
16international flights, which will give communities throughout
17Illinois better access to global markets; and
18    WHEREAS, Illinois has a long history of investing in
19passenger trains, including Amtrak, Metra, and the South Shore
20Line; and



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1    WHEREAS, Amtrak and Metra are jointly developing a group
2of projects to improve rail infrastructure in Chicago,
3including a direct link between O'Hare International Airport,
4Chicago Union Station, and McCormick Place; and
5    WHEREAS, Metra has committed to converting to Regional
6Rail, where trains operate on "memory schedules", defined as
7arrivals and departures at the same time each hour they appear
8on the schedule, to provide quality service to people
9traveling for many purposes and between many destinations
10throughout the day; and
11    WHEREAS, Downstate communities will also benefit from
12Regional Rail, as use of frequent trains on memory schedules
13provides the opportunity to serve many types of passenger
14trips; and
15    WHEREAS, Regional Rail is the foundation for a future
16high-speed line operating at 220 mph; and
17    WHEREAS, The State Rail Plan, the Statewide Public
18Transportation Plan, and Metra's strategic plan call for a
19robust web of trains and buses that could create new
20connectivity throughout the entire State, but projects are
21currently considered in isolation, with a focus on trips to
22Chicago; many travel markets and constituencies that would use



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1a well-connected system are missing from the analysis; and
2    WHEREAS, A unified approach would expedite planning and
3construction, reduce capital expenses, and create statewide
4benefits more quickly; and
5    WHEREAS, Federal funds are now available to expand and
6upgrade the State's rail network; however, to make the most of
7these opportunities, the State must act; and
8    WHEREAS, The Illinois High Speed Rail Commission is
9developing a vision for an integrated rail plan that would
10combine high-speed rail and regional rail to link the entire
11State; therefore, be it
14we urge the Illinois Department of Transportation and the High
15Speed Railroad Commission to move expeditiously in preparing a
16Statewide Integrated Network Plan, including the
17identification of desired service points and key transfer
18stations, the construction of a theoretical rail and bus
19schedule with timed transfers, the creation of a ridership and
20revenue model for the desired network, the estimation of
21needed infrastructure investments, and the development of a
22phased implementation plan; and be it further



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1    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
2delivered to the Secretary of the Illinois Department of