Ray LaHood Responds To High-Speed Rail Critics

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood responds to a Washington Post editorial that condemned not only the California High Speed Rail project, but President Obama's vision for a national high-speed rail network.
January 17, 2011, 6am PST | Irvin Dawid
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The editorial makes several criticisms of the federal funding of the Ca HSR project, among them the selection of the Central Valley as the place to begin construction. LaHood also notes that the federal government has awarded the Northeast Corridor, the one corridor that the Washintong Post deemed worthy of investment, $1.7 billion in funding.

"The Post creates a false choice between the Central Valley and other sections of the project that are not ready for construction. The Central Valley segment will connect to existing rail service at both ends of the line, improving passenger service even before other sections of high-speed rail are built. And, perhaps most important, the project will put Californians back to work."

From WaPo editorial: Hit the brakes on California's high-speed rail experiment: "We have our doubts about the ultimate feasibility of this vision, in part because in much of the country passenger rail can't compete with car travel by interstate highways. It's unclear that the public benefits attributed to high-speed rail - reduced carbon emissions and less airport congestion - would outweigh the inevitable operating subsidies, as Amtrak's experience suggests."

Thanks to John Carpenter

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Published on Friday, January 14, 2011 in The Washington Post
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