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What they said! Notable quotes from speakers at Michigan Rail Summit 2011

“You draw a circle from Chicago through Montreal with Detroit right in the heart of it, that’s about a third of the North American economy. So there’s a big opportunity (for passenger and freight rail) using this as the centerpiece.”
—Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder 

 
“We in Michigan have the opportunity to attract tourists from all over the world more and more. We see that now in Dearborn with the Henry Ford … but we have to offer them alternatives that make sense to them. They don’t all want to rent a car and drive around.”
 —Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly, Jr.
 
“If you look at southwest Michigan and how close we are to that loop of Chicago—really the 6 to 10 million people in the Chicagoland region—it is a significant opportunity for all of us on rail.”
 —State Senator John Proos of St. Joseph 

“It has taken me time to understand the interlaced and interwoven requirements of this intermodal transportation discussion. I can promise you that most of my colleagues, many of my colleagues, don’t see it this way.” 
—Sen. Proos, again 

 “I would encourage you to reach out and look beyond the rail to how it links to our airports and our ports and our bus systems….”
—Michigan Chamber of Commerce CEO Rich Studley 

“When (U.S. Transportation Department) Secretary (Ray) LaHood comes, he usually brings money. How much have you brought?”
 —MEC President Chris Kolb, introducing Transportation Dept. Deputy Secretary John Porcari 

“I think you just found the difference between the secretary and the deputy secretary.”
—Porcari, to Kolb 

“We need to market this…we need to share it and don’t be quiet…. Humble Midwesterners is really nice but it doesn’t work well when you really want to change how we operate.”
—Gov. Snyder, urging rail advocates to advocate 

“So what are we gonna need for moving ahead? ...Big ideas, big agendas and a lot of kick-butt attitude and willingness to take some chances.”
 —Rick Chapla of The Right Place, a nonprofit economic development agency in West Michigan
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