How to Spend $8 Billion in High-Speed Rail Funds

Transportation reporter Tom Belden of the Philadelphia Daily ponders how and where the $8 billion in stimulus funds allotted to high-speed rail should be spent, referencing a report by the Progressive Policy Institute.

"In the 1990s, the U.S. Department of Transportation identified California and a dozen other states as places with corridors, with metro areas of sufficient size at either end, where fast trains would work well to take traffic off highways and out of the air.

There is interest in developing systems in several of those corridors, including one in Texas linking Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, and another in the Midwest connecting Chicago to Detroit, Minneapolis, and St. Louis. California has the most advanced high-speed rail (not maglev) project going today, with a plan to link major cities with
an 800-mile network of trains traveling as fast as 220 m.p.h.

The Northeast is the only part of the country that already has relatively high-speed trains, with Amtrak providing sufficient competition to airlines that it has the largest share of passengers traveling between New York and Washington."

"The left-leaning Progressive Policy Institute, in a research paper released just before Obama took office, argued for federal aid to
high-speed rail as a way to create construction and other jobs, relieve air and highway congestion, save energy, and help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions."

Thanks to Bay Area Transportation News

Full Story: Winging It: Stimulus raises hopes for high-speed trains

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