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  • 21st Century Transportation Updates | INPIRG
    Info Students in Action Like Us Follow Us RSS Contact Students in Action Student leaders educate the campus about income inequality during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week We collect petition signatures lots of them Hunger and Homelessness intern Roua Aboukhadijeh collecting interview footage on campus for a short film on poverty Students campaign for High Speed Rail Fast Trains ARE Cool Students volunteer at a local garden for the

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/node/548/content (2016-04-29)
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  • The Right Track | INPIRG
    restore rail service along its east coast providing new service to important coastal destinations The Gulf Coast states are pursuing the restoration of passenger rail service east of New Orleans that was disrupted after Hurricane Katrina Over the long term the states are looking to build a modern passenger rail network with links between New Orleans and Baton Rouge to the north Houston to the west Birmingham to the northeast and the Florida Panhandle to the east The proposed Texas T Bone high speed rail network would serve as a core for improved passenger rail service throughout the South Central region The T Bone network running from Dallas to San Antonio and east to Houston would serve fast growing metropolitan areas with more than 15 million residents Additional connections would include high speed service between Texas Oklahoma City and Tulsa and an eventual high speed rail connection with Little Rock The rapidly growing Southwest trails other regions in planning for high speed rail but has several potential corridors for new service including potential lines serving Denver Colorado s Front Range Phoenix Tucson and Las Vegas The Midwest already has extensive rail lines which states are seeking to modernize creating a regional network of efficient passenger rail routes with Chicago as the hub St Louis Kansas City Cleveland Detroit Milwaukee Madison and Minneapolis St Paul would all enjoy convenient connections with Chicago and each other with a revitalized regional rail system Building the system is estimated to create over 152 000 person years of work and 57 000 permanent jobs In the Pacific Northwest ridership on Amtrak s Cascades line between Eugene Portland Seattle and Vancouver B C has increased eight fold over the past 15 years Further improvements to the line will reduce travel time and add round trips attracting more than 3 million passengers a year and relieving congestion on crowded Interstate 5 California s high speed rail system one of the most comprehensive and modern networks planned in the United States will be a big step forward in addressing the state s problems with traffic and air pollution The network will provide the efficient travel between California s major cities that the state s large population and economy require with multiple trains per hour stopping in all of the state s largest cities and traveling at top speeds over 200 mph Recent investments in passenger rail have already paid off in higher ridership Over the last decade Amtrak ridership has increased by 26 percent with an additional 5 6 million passengers per year riding intercity rail Despite the economic downturn Amtrak served a record number of riders in the last three months of 2009 Ridership on regional commuter rail lines has increased as well The creation of near high speed service between Boston and Washington D C has resulted in rail capturing nearly half of the air rail travel market in the Northeast Corridor Initiation of 110 mph service along the Keystone Corridor between Harrisburg and Philadelphia has

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/reports/in/right-track (2016-04-29)
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  • Road Work Ahead | INPIRG
    in the wise use of taxpayer dollars often fail to achieve the proper balance between building new infrastructure and taking care of what we already have built To fix our roads and bridges America first must fix our transportation policies To counteract the tendencies to neglect repair and maintenance we must adopt strong fix it first rules that give priority to maintenance of our existing roads and bridges set national goals for the condition of our transportation system and hold state governments accountable for achieving results Road Work Ahead describes how America s roads and bridges are in disrepair bringing together a wide variety of statistics and sources with state by state analysis It shows how special interest pressure tilts the playing field toward the construction of new and ever wider highways at the expense of repair and maintenance U S transportation policy fails to properly emphasize highway and bridge maintenance with federal transportation policies allocating vast amounts of money to the states with little direction and no accountability and with Congressional earmarks further tilting spending away from maintenance State transportation funding policies are often similarly short sighted focusing on the creation of politically popular new highways rather than maintaining existing roads and bridges Spending more money on transportation won t fix America s roads and bridges without a top to bottom shift in funding priorities and policies The report s recommendations include ways to Make highway and bridge maintenance a national priority Reorganize federal highway programs to focus exclusively on either maintenance or new construction Require states receiving federal aid to plan for future maintenance before building new roads Measure performance the right way Reward states for good performance on national objectives Create fix it first policies in the states as well In 2008 63 of major roadways in

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/reports/in/road-work-ahead (2016-04-29)
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  • A Track Record of Success | INPIRG
    increase in overall economic activity compared with the rest of the region Office space in the vicinity of highspeed rail stations in France and northern Europe generally fetches higher rents than in other parts of the same cities The city of Lyon experienced a 43 percent increase in the amount of office space near its high speed rail station following the completion of a high speed rail link to Paris Property values near stations on Japan s Shinkansen network have been estimated to be 67 percent higher than property values further away Several cities have used high speed rail as the catalyst for ambitious urban redevelopment efforts The city of Lille France used its rail station as the core of a multi use development that now accommodates 6 000 jobs The new international high speed rail terminal at London s St Pancras station is the centerpiece of a major redevelopment project that will add 1 800 residential units as well as hotels offices and cultural venues in the heart of London High speed rail has increased overall travel in corridors in Spain and France and the number of one day business trips in South Korea Increases in overall travel indicate that high speed rail is having an impact on broader economic decisions and improve the chances that high speed rail lines can recoup their overall costs High speed rail can expand labor markets and increase the potential for face to face interactions that create value in the growing knowledge economy A British study projects that the construction of the nation s first high speed rail line will lead to more than 26 billion in net economic benefits over the next 60 years High speed rail lines generally cover their operating costs with fare revenues In the United States a financially sustainable high speed rail system will likely not require operating subsidies from taxpayers although public funding is essential to getting the system up and running High speed rail service generates enough operating profit that it can subsidize other less profitable intercity rail lines in countries such as France and Spain as well as in the U S Northeast Two high speed rail lines the French TGV line between Paris and Lyon and the original Japanese Shinkansen line from Tokyo to Osaka have covered their initial costs of construction through fares Properly planned high speed rail can encourage sustainable land use and development patterns In the United States focusing new development around highspeed rail stations can reduce pressure to develop in far flung areas reducing other infrastructure costs such as for sewers and electricity By creating new centers of commerce and activity high speed rail stations can create new opportunities for riders to travel by public transportation by bike or on foot Cities throughout Europe have paired the arrival of high speed rail with expansion of local public transportation options in some cases using new high speed rail lines to bolster local commuter rail service Proper land use policies in areas

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/reports/in/track-record-success (2016-04-29)
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  • Affordable Higher Education | INPIRG
    student aid that actively encourages student and parental participation and stronger safeguards for student borrowers in repayment Also we can lower student debt by protecting student consumers College students pay unjustifiably high amounts for college textbooks each year And those who rely on credit and debit cards to help offset day to day costs of education or to access their financial aid disbursements can get slapped with penalty fees and terms that take advantage of them Tell Congress Protect Student Aid Issue updates News Release Higher Ed Student Debt STUDENTS CALL FOR SENATE TO REJECT STUDENT LOAN DEAL Today college students spoke out to urge Senators to reject the pending student loan deal which may come up for a vote in the Senate as early as this afternoon Keep Reading Resource Higher Ed Student Debt Issue Brief Student Loan Debt in Indiana Summary If Congress fails to act on July 1 the interest rate on subsidized Stafford student loans will double from 3 4 percent to 6 8 percent A 2007 college affordability plan lowered the rate but expired in 2012 Last year President Obama and Congress extended the low rate for one year In Indiana 271 089 federal student loan borrowers will be impacted Keep Reading News Release Higher Ed Student Debt Interest Rates for 271 089 Student Loan Borrowers in Indiana Set to Double on July 1 Indianapolis IN Unless Congress acts on July 1 the interest rate for 271 089 student loan borrowers in Indiana will double from 3 4 percent to 6 8 percent According to an issue brief released today by Indiana PIRG the rate increase translates into 932 more debt per student per loan Keep Reading Blog Post Consumer Protection Higher Ed Hunger Sustainability Textbooks Transit Highlights from Fall Semester Thanks for being part

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/campaigns/in/affordable-higher-education?page=1 (2016-04-29)
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  • Affordable Higher Education | INPIRG
    contribute to educational debt We need robust grant programs on a state and federal level a simpler system of student aid that actively encourages student and parental participation and stronger safeguards for student borrowers in repayment Also we can lower student debt by protecting student consumers College students pay unjustifiably high amounts for college textbooks each year And those who rely on credit and debit cards to help offset day to day costs of education or to access their financial aid disbursements can get slapped with penalty fees and terms that take advantage of them Tell Congress Protect Student Aid Issue updates Blog Post Higher Ed Student Debt Victory for Students INPIRG Students We did it Over 7 million students will save an average of 1 000 in loan repayments helping us become the next generation of teachers doctors and innovators Friday in a strong display of bi partisan support Congress voted to stop student loan interest rates from doubling This is great news for students who now graduate with an average of 25 000 in student debt twice as much as a decade ago Without Congressional action the interest rate would have doubled from 3 4 to 6 8 on July 1st Keep Reading Media Hit Higher Ed Students Lose When Financial Aid Goes Onto Fee Laden Debit Cards Thought the student loan crisis was bad as it is Now add hefty fees into that mix Providers say students can avoid the fees that pile up when they elect to receive their financial aid on a debit card but new research from a consumer advocacy group finds that these companies throw up roadblocks to keep the fee revenue rolling in even as colleges make big bucks off their affiliations with these institutions Keep Reading Media Hit Higher Ed Campus debit cards can carry downsides Consumer advocates have long criticized the amount of fees associated with debit cards Most recently a report by the U S Public Interest Research Group Education Fund found that hundreds of colleges have partnerships with financial companies to put a student s financial aid on debit or prepaid cards that carry hefty fees Under some of these deals official student photo ID cards can double as debit cards Keep Reading News Release Student PIRGs Consumer Protection Higher Ed Student Debt Banks Skim Millions in Fees from Student Aid Using Debit Card Linked Student IDs Washington D C Over 9 million students are at risk for increased educational debt due to bank affiliated student debit cards that come with high fees insufficient consumer protections and few options Financial institutions now have affinity partnerships with almost 900 campuses nationwide grafting bank products onto student IDs and other campus cards to become the primary recipient of billions in federal financial aid to distribute to students Keep Reading Report Consumer Protection Higher Ed Student Debt The Campus Debit Card Trap Banks and other financial firms are taking advantage of a variety of opportunities to form partnerships with colleges and

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/campaigns/in/affordable-higher-education?page=2 (2016-04-29)
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  • Affordable Higher Education | INPIRG
    a simpler system of student aid that actively encourages student and parental participation and stronger safeguards for student borrowers in repayment Also we can lower student debt by protecting student consumers College students pay unjustifiably high amounts for college textbooks each year And those who rely on credit and debit cards to help offset day to day costs of education or to access their financial aid disbursements can get slapped with penalty fees and terms that take advantage of them Tell Congress Protect Student Aid Issue updates Blog Post Higher Ed There is no A for effort Here s my statement on the failure to move debate forward on a bill to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling this July Keep Reading Report U S PIRG Higher Ed The Cost of College Will Soar if Interest Rates Allowed to Double The loans distributed by the U S Department of Education currently hold an interest rate of 3 4 percent But that rate is set to double if Congress fails to act by July 1 2012 If that occurs millions of students will see their interest rates soar to 6 8 percent on the new loans they take in the next year thereby causing a steep rise in their loan burden and effectively increasing the cost of attaining a college degree Keep Reading News Release Higher Ed Senators Block Bill to Keep Student Loan Interest Rates From Doubling On July 1 The bottom line is that this is important to future graduates and their families it is a top concern among students and has support from across the political spectrum Keep Reading Blog Post Consumer Protection Higher Ed Student Debt The New Student Battle Cry Don t Double My Rate During a speech Tuesday at the University of North Carolina

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/campaigns/in/affordable-higher-education?page=3 (2016-04-29)
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  • Affordable Higher Education | INPIRG
    robust grant programs on a state and federal level a simpler system of student aid that actively encourages student and parental participation and stronger safeguards for student borrowers in repayment Also we can lower student debt by protecting student consumers College students pay unjustifiably high amounts for college textbooks each year And those who rely on credit and debit cards to help offset day to day costs of education or to access their financial aid disbursements can get slapped with penalty fees and terms that take advantage of them Tell Congress Protect Student Aid Issue updates Media Hit Higher Ed New York Times Student Loan Interest Rates Loom as Political Battle Rich Williams the higher education advocate for U S Public Interest Research Group said he thought about 14 moderate Republican senators might support the effort to keep the interest rates down This should be a bipartisan issue he said It s something everyone gets Keep Reading News Release The State PIRGs Higher Ed Students to Congress Don t Double Student Debt Rates Washington D C With the student loan interest rate about to double this July for almost 8 million loan borrowers INPIRG and coalition partners deliver over 130 000 letters to Congress urging a different plan Keep Reading Media Hit Consumer Protection Higher Ed Textbooks Groups target textbook prices to rein in college costs A push to create free or inexpensive textbooks is gaining momentum as educators philanthropists and policymakers nationwide search for new ways to rein in college costs Keep Reading Blog Post Higher Ed Student Loan Interest Rates to Double This July There s a countdown to an ominous deadline for college students across America When time runs out on July 1 2012 student loan interest rates will double for almost 8 million students Without a

    Original URL path: http://inpirg.org/campaigns/in/affordable-higher-education?page=4 (2016-04-29)
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