Press Release

Conference President at National Forum Calls for a 'National Rail Policy for the 21st Century'

October 4, 2000
Jubi Headley
(202) 861-6766

Kevin McCarty
(202) 861-6711

H. Brent Coles, Mayor of Boise and President of The United States Conference of Mayors, will give a keynote address before the participants of the Rail-Volution Conference on Thursday, October 5, in Denver (CO). In his address Mayor Coles will call for a 'National Rail Policy for the 21st Century,' to re-focus the nation's efforts on rail and infrastructure needs.

WHO:Conference of Mayors President and Boise (ID) Mayor H. Brent Coles
WHAT:Keynote Address by Mayor Coles at Rail-Volution 2000 Conference
WHEN:12:00pm (2:00pm EST), Thursday, October 5, 2000
WHERE:The Adams Mark Hotel, 1550 Court Place, Denver, CO

Led by Mayor Coles, the Mayors have been meeting to develop a transition strategy to increase investment in passenger rail. At one such session the Mayors urged the top policy advisors to the Bush and Gore Campaigns to make investment in rail infrastructure a priority for the next Administration. As part of this process, the initial policy statement developed by the Mayors identifies enactment of S. 1900 as the most important first step in crafting a new rail policy for the nation. The Mayors expect to highlight this issue throughout the presidential campaign and transition, and plan to convene a National Rail Summit during the 69th Winter Meeting of the Conference of Mayors in January 2001, during the Inaugural Week.

Coles will be speaking to these and other issues before the more than 2,000 officials and activists attending the conference. Coles will discuss the need for a new national rail policy, which he has made one of his top priorities as President of The U.S. Conference of Mayors this year. "I know that we must be able to link cities across the nation by rail if we are to thrive," Coles recently told the Idaho Statesman, the state's largest newspaper. "Rails are not obsolete. It's time to 'bring the tracks back.'"

Earlier this week, Mayor Coles, on behalf of the City of Boise, took title to over 18 miles of track from the Union Pacific Railroad. Acquisition of the rail line, which runs from the eastern city limits and connects with the Union Pacific main line southeast of the city, will anchor a future commuter rail line as well as support the reinstatement of Amtrak service to Boise.

The Rail-Volution conference brings together a cross-section of concerned citizens, business leaders, academics, federal, state and local officials, planners, and transit operators, to examine strategies to for building more livable and stronger communities, with an emphasis on rail and other transportation approaches. To date, it has attracted representatives from 48 states, the District of Columbia, and hundreds of cities from all over the world. To find out more about the Rail-Volution Conference, please visit the Rail-Volution Website at

The United States Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,100 such cities in the United states today. Each city is represented in the membership of the Conference by its chief elected official, the Mayor.