September 15, 2014

SMART supports California high speed rail program

The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers announces support for California Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal to authorize funding for the state’s high-speed rail program, utilizing $300 million of cap and trade revenue.

This investment includes upgrades to commuter and intercity rail systems that improve connectivity and modernize transportation between regions throughout the state. Without high-speed rail, California’s existing transportation network cannot meet the demands of the projected population growth of 20 million new residents in the coming decades. Studies find that adding more highways and airports to what already exists would cost up to three times as much as high-speed rail.

According to SMART General President Joseph Nigro, “California’s leadership in this effort will serve as a trailblazer for other states as the nation moves toward high-speed rail as a solution to solving present and future transportation challenges.”

SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, is one of North America’s most dynamic and diverse unions with 216,000 members. SMART’s members produce and provide the vital services that move products to market, passengers to their destinations and ensure the quality of the air we breathe. We are sheet metal workers, service technicians, bus operators, railroad engineers and conductors, sign workers, welders, production employees and more. With members in scores of different occupations, we advocate for fairness in the workplace, excellence at work and opportunity for all working families.