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MAP OF ROUTES I'm really excited about the routes they're talking about. Both of my states get good lovin... Also the East coast is gonna be so easy to maneuver. No more sketchy $8 Chinatown Buses with potential bodies underneath...
"Where is the money going to come from to pay for this ?"
First is the 8 billion from the stimulus, which is small potatoes for epic intercity transportation projects, China by comparison is dumping hundreds of billions in rail every year basically. But there is a budget for federal transportation spending that comes up every 4 years, and this year a new one will be drafted. Presumably if Obama is serious about this, the mode split should be more balanced than in years past where highways got 80%, airlines and airports got most the rest, and Amtrak got the peanuts left over.
This graph shows the history of federal investment in intercity transportation that was included in the Obama administration's report. That little green sliver at the bottom is for rail.
04.17.09 - 12:33 pm
This graph shows the history of federal investment in intercity transportation that was included in the Obama administration's report. That little green sliver at the bottom is for rail FAIL.
The $8 billion dollar question is what I got from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
"The recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment of Act of 2009 (ARRA) appropriated $8 billion for high speed rail and intercity passenger rail congestion and capital grants (the latter of which were authorized by the PRIIA), with priority given to projects that support the development of high speed rail service."
Since it's already passed, The stimulus package included high speed rail as a provision under teh ARRA. The first stimulus package Pres. Obama signed a few weeks after he was inagurated. The money for this stimulus had to be by loans or tax revenues or both. Seeing past this IMO, if private enterprise can't help invest in improving our rail infrastructure, then it would be a good time now to put the stimulus package to good use for improving High Speed Rail and commuter and regional rails. If Amtrak is as close as Deutsche Bahn AG in at least 10 years from now, I'd say it was money well invested.
I would imagine if the high speed rail goes on baby steps beyond the Acela Corridor (Washington to Boston), the first would be Amtrak's second most popular corridor to have the high speed rail, which would be Los Angeles to San Diego and the Capital Corridor, which would be the Bay Area to Sacramento.
Still, This is optimistic news.
I mean we've had these opportunity costs for over 30 years to build new freeways over rail projects and the freeways have proven to be failures. Nobody's buying cars anymore. People can't afford to buy expensive gas and even if it's affordable now, why risk your chances against dangerous drivers. This is the fucking Reagan Revolution for you and yeah it was awesome if you wanted to drive around town in cheap gas, not anymore and we're falling behind in mass rail transit and inter-city transit compared to Asia and Europe.