There’s a flurry of news out there about state requests for federal HSR stimulus money. Thankfully, Yonah Freemark over at the Transport Politic has compiled a list of state applicants for federal HSR money, both confirmed and likely. There are the high profile projects on there of course, ones likely to take home a good chunk of that money (California, New York). But the FRA’s calls for projects in the planning phases, which obviously will be asking for less money (for now), seem to have not gone unheeded either, as Pat’s post about Arkansas’ new awakening to the possibilities of fast rail indicates.
This would seem to be in line with the different “tracks” set out in the guidelines for funding requests put out last month. Projects more in the planning phase would receive money out of the congressional appropriations hat rather than the stimulus package.
Of course, not everyone can get funded. How this money is distributed will be a good indication of this administration’s commitment to getting high-speed rail built. Regional political pandering is, unfortunately, an important legislative strategy, but an overemphasis on these types of proposals will leave necessary improvements undone and the country not much closer to a functioning ideal of American HSR.