Can States Afford High-Speed Rail?

Federal money is making high-speed rail possible, but state governments are unsure if they can afford to maintain and operate the systems once they are in place.

Daniel C. Vock of the Pew Center on the States writes, "The price tag of high-speed rail remains a big sticking point, even in Wisconsin, where the federal government granted the state its full request for the Milwaukee-Madison leg. At issue is whether the state could subsidize the route's operating costs once trains start to run in 2013. The state, in its application (PDF), estimated that the Milwaukee-Madison route would require $7.5 million a year in state subsidies, on top of the $8.1 million needed to keep trains running between Milwaukee and Chicago."

Wisconsin Republicans are up in arms over the cost of the new system, and are promising to sink it if they get elected.

Full Story: The not-so-fast track for high-speed rail


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