Budget Deal Derails High-Speed Trains

Thursday, April 14, 2011

One of President Obama's signature policy initiatives has been to connect 80 percent of Americans to high speed rail within 25 years. However, the 2011 budget allocates no further funding to high speed rail projects. Furthermore, in states like Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin, Republican governors have returned money for high speed rail projects, which was given to them as part of the stimulus. Is high speed rail dead? 

Florida Governor Rick Scott rejected $2.4 billion on ideological grounds, saying the state cannot afford a major infrastructure project. Now Congress will only allow the Department of Transportation to redistribute $2 billion of that money. Andrea Bernstein, director of our Transportation Nation project, has been going through the budget and reports on the latest. 


Andrea Bernstein

Produced by:

Max Bernstein

Comments [3]

thenewsjunkie from Brooklyn, New York

Your piece on High-speed Rail made it sound like the program is dead. It's far from dead. They just took funds away from FY2011. That doesn't mean projects that are under way in several states around the country (as well as track improvements that lay the ground work for high speed rail) won't proceed. Many projects arleady have funding for portions of the track and they are proceeding. And they are confident that they will receive additional funding in the future. I think you owe your audience some clarification on your coverage because I am afraid you left listeners with the feeling that High-speed Rail in the US is now dead.

Apr. 14 2011 11:30 AM
Julian from Manhattan

To say that the U.S. is behind in high-speed rail is an understatement. The first dedicated high speed rail line opened in Japan in 1964, almost 47 years ago. The average speed for trains on this line was just as fast if not faster than the Acela. The French started TGV service in 1980, and other European and other countries have followed since. To this day, the U.S. does not have a single dedicated high speed rail line: we are decades behind.

Apr. 14 2011 09:37 AM

Maybe high speed rail which few people use was intended to be sacrificed during budget negotiations and added to the phony 38 billion in "cuts". High speed rail belongs in a museum and not the Space Shuttle.

Apr. 14 2011 08:49 AM

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