The nation's top transportation official touted President Barack Obama's jobs bill in Minnesota Monday.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined construction workers and local officials in St. Paul on a future-light rail platform for the Central Corridor line. LaHood said the bill includes billions of dollars for transportation projects.
Despite some critics worried about government spending, high-speed rail and other forms of transit have plenty of supporters, he said.
"This is the next generation of transportation. If we don't do what our ancestors did, we will leave behind our kids and grandkids, and their opportunities to have the same great infrastructure that we all benefit from today," LaHood said. "So there are a few naysayers. We will not be dissuaded by them because we know friends and neighbors need good-paying jobs. That's what projects provide."
LaHood spoke in front of the old Union Depot train station, which is scheduled to reopen as a transportation hub with buses and Amtrak service by the end of next year.
LaHood is the keynote speaker at the Railway Interchange conference 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Minneapolis Convention Center.