The hopes for high speed rail in America have downshifted somewhat into a hope for “higher speed rail.” Many of the tentpole high speed rail plans were scrapped, particularly in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin, where Republican governors returned the money. The California plan, really the only survivor, has enough funds to build the first segment, but the funding gets really sketchy from there. We don’t really know the future of a national HSR network, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for one.
|By: David Dayen Friday October 19, 2012 1:55 pm|
|By: David Dayen Tuesday July 10, 2012 11:40 am|
If California didn’t pass the bonds for the first stage of its high speed rail project last Friday, I don’t think this happens. Amtrak has unveiled their new vision for the Northeast Corridor, the most-used rail lines in the country, with a 42-page report outlining the future of high speed rail in the Northeast.
|By: David Dayen Friday July 6, 2012 6:00 pm|
In a closely watched vote of the California state Senate, a bill to issue the first $5.8 billion in bonds for the construction of high speed rail lines passed 21-16. It needed all 21 votes to pass.
|By: David Dayen Friday July 6, 2012 7:34 am|
If you believe that America should have first-class infrastructure, if you believe in the benefits to productivity and reducing carbon emissions and creating an environment for economic growth in the nation’s largest state, if you believe that times of economic struggle are actually perfect moments for infrastructure improvements, while labor costs are relatively low, then tomorrow is an enormous test of that proposition.
|By: Swopa Friday April 20, 2012 8:00 pm|
Okay, so maybe part of me just wanted to post a video of a long-lost favorite song from my youthful days seeing local bands in L.A. clubs… but, as someone who spent several years living in Los Angeles and then just across the bay from San Francisco, I’ve long wondered if I would live long enough to see high-speed rail make it to the Golden State.
|By: David Dayen Thursday January 5, 2012 6:01 am|
California’s ambitious high speed rail program hit a snag yesterday when a peer review group recommended a halt to continued bond funding of the project until a long-term funding source can be secured.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday August 17, 2011 4:40 pm|
During a recession, demand for public transit goes up. People cannot afford cars and still need to find their away around their local communities. Smart public policy would have added funding for public transit, for a variety of reasons. First of all, it would support public transit jobs. Second, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Third, making it cheaper for folks to get around both increases productivity and makes it easier for someone to take a job outside their immediate area. So there are a lot of wins here.
|By: David Dayen Monday May 9, 2011 7:15 pm|
A good deal of money earmarked for high speed rail was sacrificed in the 2011 appropriations deal. Billions of federal dollars will not go toward constructing a networked of high speed rail lines across the country.
However, the Transportation Department has been able to award willing states with grants, mainly because of money turned down from the initial stimulus package by states with Tea Party governors like Florida and Wisconsin. Today, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood took Florida’s $2 billion and gave it to 15 states and Amtrak.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday April 12, 2011 7:07 am|
Food safety is cut 1% below the previous year’s level. The Labor Department program for green jobs has been cut. The Justice Department’s asset forfeiture fund, which helps fund its criminal investigations, got a $500 million hit. The Special Supplemental Feeding Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has been cut $500 million from 2010 levels. The total reduction in the Financial Services area, barely a year out from passing Dodd-Frank, approaches 10%. There’s a $942 million cut to the Community Development Fund program, which is nearly 1/4 of the total. And two programs in the health care law, Kent Conrad’s co-ops and Ron Wyden’s Free Choice voucher, have been eliminated.
|By: David Dayen Saturday April 9, 2011 8:35 am|
In the end, the deal to a avert a government shutdown and keep funding going for the rest of the fiscal year amounted to a $38.5 billion cut in appropriations from the 2010 baseline. There was a time last December, with the McCaskill-Sessions compromise, promoted by the very conservative Republican ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, when Republicans agreed to a 2011 budget appropriation $20 billion ABOVE the 2010 baseline. If mixed in with the tax cut deal, that level could have been put in place. Therefore, this deal inked late last night cut $58.5 billion from the level of McCaskill-Sessions. This equals all of the tax advantages that didn’t extend current law, outside of the business expensing provisions, in the December 2010 tax cut deal. The entire stimulus is gone.