Fellow Pittsburghers, it's time to let our elected representatives know that we have heard the call and are "all aboard" with the proposal to build a high-speed passenger train serving Pittsburgh ("Pa. Wants on Board Obama's Rail Plan," April 17). Pittsburgh residents can now make tracks to create our link to the 21st century, not to mention the world outside of Pittsburgh.
Let me be clear about what our vision should be: A Pittsburgh-Harrisburg-Philadelphia line is merely the caboose of our goal. Though ambitious, we must weld direct high-speed connections to other leading cities, including Chicago, Washington and New York.
A high-speed passenger train serving Pittsburgh will restore Pittsburgh's image as an industrial leader and further build our brand as a bold city that not only attracts young, international and diverse populations with a fast and convenient transportation system for business and recreational travel, but also positions us as the "city of choice" for meetings and conventions. One can attend a meeting or event in Pittsburgh or another key city during the day and be back with the family that night while finishing work on the train ride home. The economic impact to our city is obvious: Jobs will be created, our population loss will be reversed, our convention center will be busier, hotels will have more guests and our local restaurants will fill up with diners.
A high-speed rail system in America - in Pittsburgh - means a true commitment to decreasing our dependency on oil and investing in affordable, demonstrated new technologies, such as Bombardier's JetTrain, which does not require electrification of rails. Let's encourage our elected representatives now to act in a high-speed fashion so Pittsburgh once again can be the "conductor" of its future.
HILDA PANG FU