April 21, 2009

The Root of the Rails. Why the USA is Different.

The High Speed Passenger Rail Study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is telling.

"Federal funding for high speed rail has been derived from general revenues, not from trust
funds or other dedicated funding sources. Consequently high speed rail projects must compete
with other non-transportation demands on federal funds (e.g., national defense or health care)
as opposed to being compared with other alternative transportation investments in a corridor. Available federal loan programs can support only a fraction of potential high speed rail project costs. Without substantial public sector commitment, private sector participation is difficult to secure. The challenge of sustaining public support and stakeholder consensus is compounded by long project lead times, by numerous stakeholders, and by the absence of an established institutional framework." (March 2009)

In contrast, the central governments of France, Spain, and Japan generally funded the majority
of the up-front costs of high speed rail lines (Appendix V - page 84).

1 comment:

  1. My wife's brother lives in Nashville and she refuses to fly. We are senior citizens and do not want to take the train to Memphis arriving middle of the nite, stay over, rent a car and drive. It is incomprehensible why rail should not extend from Indianapolis or Cincinnati thru Nashville and on to Atlanta.