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Stimulus Disappoints Transit Advocates

Hopes are fading from transit enthusiasts who wanted to see high speed rail and public transit profit from Obama's stimulus package. Even the road lobby is disappointed that infrastructure will get less than tax cuts and state bail-outs.
January 22, 2009, 12pm PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Less than one-third of the $825 billion plan that was introduced Thursday (1/15) in the House would go to infrastructure.

Some hoped that the time had finally come to bring high-speed rail to the United States, or to wean the nation from its dependence on foreign oil with new or transformed public transit systems.

At a time when the American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that $1.6 trillion is needed to improve the nation's crumbling infrastructure, the proposal calls for spending $30 billion on roads and, to the consternation of transit advocates, only $10 billion on transit and rail.

Proponents of mass transit had hoped that much more money would be devoted to transit projects

"It's a drop in the bucket," said Robert D. Yaro, the president of the Regional Plan Association, which has shaped long-term planning in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut since before the New Deal.

The plan also calls for using existing federal formulas to send transportation money quickly to the states, giving policy makers in Washington little say as to where or how the money should be spent."

Thanks to Bay Area Transportation News

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Published on Monday, January 19, 2009 in The New York Times
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