Obama and his rail-boosting vice president made a big PR push for high-speed rail this morning. There aren't any real surprises in the routes they...
Obama and his rail-boosting vice president made a big PR push for high-speed rail this morning. There aren't any real surprises in the routes they think have the most potential. And we already knew there were funds for this in the stimulus package.
But we do have some new details on how projects will be chosen and which will happen first. Exciting! From Matt Yglesias:
“...there will be a two-stage competitive grant process. In the first stage ‘applications will focus on projects that can be completed quickly and yield measurable, near-term job creation and other public benefits’ and then there will be a ‘next round to include proposals for comprehensive high-speed programs covering entire corridors or sections of corridors.’ ”
So it seems that Ray LaHood's team will just be picking applications. And the applicants will be...states? Coalitions of states? Private companies? I'm a little unclear on that part.
At any rate, here's the map:
I would argue that the Los Angeles to San Diego route makes a lot of sense to prioritize. The current routes between those cities are horribly congested, the distance is relatively short (so the project would be cheaper and faster to complete), and there are lots of commuters along that path in Orange County and other intermediate locations.
That said, I'm sure there are other worthy projects. Your thoughts?