The New York Times has an editorial today concerning President Obama’s proposed 18 month delay in a comprehensive transportation policy. The writers correctly observe that, while Japanese trains cruse through the countryside at 180 mph., Acela operates between Boston and Washington at an average speed of 70 mph.
The administration has proposed $8 billion for a high speed rail down-payment this year, while Spain plans an outlay of $140 billion over the next decade for its domestic network. Yes, Spain.
The Times observes that the country has some urgent needs for improved infrastructure. TFA agrees with the NYT.
There are big needs — like money in New York City for the Moynihan Station and funds for the corridor between Los Angeles and San Francisco. But there are many smaller communities that dream about high-speed rail as well. Florida’s Tampa to Orlando corridor was the subject of one proposal. Another was for a fast train from Portland to Eugene, Ore. The total number of requests would cost about $100 billion.
The administration’s desire to fight one war at a time is understandable. Nonetheless, a comprehensive transportation bill is better considered now than later.