Freemark is responding to a recent interview with University of Minnesota Professor David Levinson, where he suggested that high-speed rail is not the best way to spend scarce resources.
Freemark responds, "The U.S. certainly has "scarce resources" at the moment; the $9 trillion government deficit over the next ten years will likely force budget cuts and require a reevaluation of spending in all executive branches, including the Department of Transportation. But the question here is not whether to invest in urban or long-distance travel systems. The country continues to grow relatively quickly, and both in-city and intercity travel demand will have to be met. Thus, we simply cannot devote all funds currently designated for the latter type of travel to the former; while we certainly should commit more funds to urban transit, we also need to find new and better ways to move between cities, since more and more people will be doing exactly that."