2003 Adopted Resolutions
71st Annual Meeting

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WHEREAS, intercity travel and tourism is critical to the national and metropolitan economies; and

WHEREAS, the faltering economy, homeland security and other factors have led to a severe drop in intercity travel and tourism; and

WHEREAS, the financial crisis affecting the nation's airlines has negatively impacted the nation's airports, both in terms of lost passenger revenue and threats to airline lease payments; and

WHEREAS, the near bankruptcy of Amtrak and continuing questions about its long-term future also impact cities across the nation; and

WHEREAS, new higher speed, medium distance intercity rail services in the Northeast, the Northwest, and California have proved to be popular with the public, which supports an improved national intercity rail system; and

WHEREAS, the interconnection of rail, air and bus into "travelports" has been so successful in Great Britain, France, Germany and Japan in relieving airport capacity problems by diverting short and medium distance travelers to a speedy and comfortable rail connection that it is now official European Union policy to provide for air-rail connections; and

WHEREAS, a better connected, more financially stable, redundant and reliable system for intercity travel would boost tourism, aid economic growth and productivity, provide consumers greater choices, and improve environmental performance and energy efficiency; and

WHEREAS, Congress has an opportunity to enact legislation to reconnect our transportation systems this year as it simultaneously considers the reauthorization of the national highway and transit, aviation and rail programs; and

WHEREAS, an independent policy effort called Reconnecting America has proposed that Congress adopt policies to interconnect our separate air, rail, and intercity bus network by providing incentives to create "travelports" at airports and downtown rail stations, by providing stable capital funding to assist states and localities in partnering with Amtrak to improve short and medium distance intercity travel, by establishing a "Last Mile Intermodal Connections Fund" for passenger and freight projects that connect transportation networks, as well as maintaining the current long distance passenger rail operations by promoting better coordinated planning and by removing barriers to integrated projects, by establishing an Essential Transportation Services program to provide rural states and small cities the flexibility to choose a mix of air service, rail service and intercity bus service to major hub airports, and by enacting a multi year reauthorization for Amtrak which promotes partnering between Amtrak, States and localities and private entities and provides for needed capital maintenance and rehabilitation; and

WHEREAS, this policy effort is consistent with prior policy resolutions of The United States Conference of Mayors,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors supports the Reconnecting America policy effort, and urges Congress and the Administration to incorporate the recommendation of Reconnecting America into the reauthorizations of the aviation, rail, and highway and transit programs in this session of Congress.