Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

New political realities

From the San Joaquin Valley of California, congressional representatives are looking at a new federal landscape with an uncertain economy and some new more promising realities. McClatchy newspapers takes a close look.

With the new president-elect, it’s going to create an opportunity for federal support for high-speed rail,” Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, said when asked for his new year’s agenda.

High-speed rail illustrates how the post-election shakeout hits on Capitol Hill and at home. It’s a longstanding love for Costa, buttressed by California voters’ recent approval of a $10 billion bond measure for what’s ultimately foreseen as an 800-mile, $45 billion project.

Congress, with more Democrats coming on board and with Obama’s blessing, will now craft an ambitious economic stimulus package. Costa wants high-speed rail funding included, and Obama sounds like he could be sympathetic.

“Why aren’t we building high speed rail in America … putting people back to work, saving on energy?” Obama said, encouragingly, while campaigning in Michigan in September. “Why aren’t we doing that?”

Filed under: Passenger Rail Politics, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, United States High Speed Rail

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November 2008


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