The House of Representatives voted Thursday March 14, 2018 to pass HB 2018, which updates the 10-year transportation plan. An amendment to include a federally-funded study to expand commuter rail into the Capitol Corridor passed on a 166-160 vote.
House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook) said, "a transportation plan that utilizes federal funds to study the most effective way to bring rail service to New Hampshire is an important step to providing the transportation options that will allow our economy to grow. Commuter rail is a top priority of our state’s business community, and is strongly supported by Granite Staters.”
“Unlike many of the high profile issues we take up in the legislature, the public is united in its support for bringing commuter rail through Nashua, Manchester, and Concord. By a margin of over 7 to 1 in a recent Granite State Poll, the people of New Hampshire want us to make this service available.”
“Despite opposition from most House Republicans, the Democratic caucus stood together because we understand how important the expansion of commuter rail is to the advancement of New Hampshire’s economy. We will continue to advocate for the infrastructure improvements that will be needed to drive our economy into the future.”
Representative Skip Cleaver (D-Nashua), prime sponsor of the rail amendment said, "I introduced the rail amendment because New Hampshire businesses, colleges, and the Business and Industry Association believe commuter rail is critical to the growth of our state’s economy. Advanced cities and countries around the world utilize modern rail service because it is an effective, efficient way for people to commute. The Merrimack Valley Corridor is the largest metro area in the U.S. without rail service. It is no surprise that chambers of commerce in New Hampshire’s largest cities believe rail will be key to their continued growth. I thank the House for its vote in support of this important federally-funded study.”