Response to White House HSR Awards

Commentary by Paul Dyson

  • $2.25 Billion for California High Speed Rail. Too little to make even the smallest impact, and relies on California matching funds. Did anyone tell USDOT that California is broke and can’t even issue passenger rolling stock bonds approved three years ago?Beneficiaries: Consultants and engineering firms.
    Blue collar jobs created this year or next? Minimal.
  • $94 million for California Corridors. The Board identified $1 billion for LOSSAN alone. Money spent here could have had a real impact on job creation and on improving mobility over the next ten years.
  • On top of this the Governor is once again raiding operating funds for transit and intercity putting the whole state rail program in jeopardy. I find it hard to imagine a worse outcome in this whole process. It has almost nothing to do with a sensible transportation policy and is entirely driven by short term political considerations.

    We’ll be taking a closer look at these issues in the March Review, and debating how to proceed from here at our April 17 Los Angeles meeting. I promise that we’ll allow a lot more time for member participation at this event.

    Paul Dyson, President. 01/28/09
    Your opinions welcome, pdyson@railpac.org

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