Sunday, March 8, 2009

Where Obama's Getting It Right: High-Speed Rail

There's a good story in this morning's paper about the Obama Administration's push for increased high speed rail coverage, especially the prominence of such projects in the President's recently released stimulus package. I am an unabashed supporter of increased high speed rail, both to move people and to make the movement of commerce across state lines even more efficient. The promotion of interstate commerce is one of the things the federal government is supposed to do, and beefing up this element of our nation's transportation infrastructure is a good move.

It was a lot of fun to make fun of Harry Reid for slipping $8B into the stimulus package for a high-speed rail line from LA to Las Vegas--but I can't get excited about a plan that makes sense to me, and that could spur the development of other lines like it in the rest of the country.

My interest in rail is two-fold. I believe we can move people far more efficiently in the Northeast corridor using high speed rail than by air--especially given the Northeast's bad winter weather. Secondly, we can move even more freight with greater efficiency if passenger and rail systems don't have to vie for the same track and rights of way.

The Obama Administration has this right, and we should be with them on it--especially making sure that the Federal Railroad Administration distributes the money in a way that makes sense to best leverage the advantages of rail.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

CW for Director, High Speed Rail Initiative!

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