VIDEO from Siemens and Synaptic Digital: US Transportation Secretary LaHood to Visit Siemens Light Rail Manufacturing Plant in Sacramento

Visit Comes as Studies Show More Commuters Are Hopping on Light Rail

Sacremento, CA, Feb. 7, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Two weeks after President Obama called for investments in transportation as part of "An America Built to Last" in his State of the Union address, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is touring the Siemens light rail manufacturing plant in Sacramento, Calif. The Siemens plant employs more than 800 people and is the only permanent light rail manufacturing plant in the United States. Siemens recently hired an additional 200 workers in Sacramento after winning a $466 million contract to build 70 electric locomotives for Amtrak’s Northeast and Keystone Corridor lines. Following his tour of the Siemens Plant, Secretary LaHood will deliver the keynote address at the "Next Generation Rail Supply Chain Forum," where he will discuss how President Obama’s commitment to rail is spurring American innovation and creating quality American manufacturing jobs.

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Secretary LaHood’s visit comes as studies show more than three million Americans a day- that’s an all-time high- are choosing light rail. Studies also suggest the green, clean transportation reduces congestion on roadways, speeds up the daily commute, and helps boost the local economy, even amidst these tough financial times.

The U.S. now boasts 35 light rail systems, a five-fold increase in the past 30 years. Ridership is up 4 percent from last year alone, and 40 additional systems are currently being considered nationwide. And according to the American Public Transportation Authority (APTA), every billion dollars invested in public transportation will create 36-thousand new jobs; and every dollar invested in public transportation will generate four dollars in economic returns.

Siemens manufactures 100 percent of its light rail vehicles for the North America market in the United States and notes the correlation between light rail use and improved air quality. Each person who forgoes a 20-mile round trip car commute in favor of light rail reduces his annual CO2 emissions by 4800 pounds a year.

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