Intercity Transit Improvements: The Quest for “Higher Speed Rail”

By: Friday October 19, 2012 8:30 am

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, [...]

High Speed Rail in the Northeast? Amtrak Plans for It by 2040

By: Tuesday July 10, 2012 9:35 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. Idealab [...]

California Legislature Passes High Speed Rail Bond Issue, Moving Project Forward

By: Friday July 6, 2012 4:14 pm

High speed rail survived by the skin of its teeth today. 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. Four Democrats voted no – including Allen [...]

California State Senate Vote Do-or-Die for High Speed Rail

By: Friday July 6, 2012 6:55 am

Today is a consequential day in the future of high speed rail in America. The California State Senate will vote to approve initial funding for the state’s HSR project through a bond issue. The Assembly has already passed the funding, but observers expect a tougher road in the Senate. Governor Jerry Brown has been a [...]

California High Speed Rail Threatened by Peer Review Report

By: Wednesday January 4, 2012 11:34 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. Let’s back up a bit. In 2008, California voters passed a proposition enabling bond financing of a high speed rail network stretching [...]

Appropriations Bill Funding the Government Zeroes Out High Speed Rail

By: Friday November 18, 2011 7:00 am

One thing that Democrats and Republicans were able to get together on yesterday was to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government for an additional four weeks beyond today’s deadline, until December 16. The continuing resolution was attached to a “minibus” of three appropriations bills, for various federal departments, including Commerce, Justice, Transportation, Housing [...]

California’s Brown Makes Powerful Case for High Speed Rail

By: Thursday August 18, 2011 9:00 am

I wrote yesterday about the problems with a lack of investment in public transit, highlighting California’s high speed rail system, and the knives that malign legislators and the traditional media have out for it. Fortunately, Jerry Brown isn’t taking the bait. He could have cut loose the program, and would have been rewarded for it [...]

Decreased Investment in Public Transit Forcing Higher Fees, Worse Service

By: Wednesday August 17, 2011 2:23 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. [...]

Legislative Analyst Comes After High Speed Rail in California

By: Wednesday May 11, 2011 10:55 am

A lot of the hopes in the Administration for a solid demonstration project on the potential for high speed rail are pinned on California. The state has passed an initiative that will help fund the project through a bond sale, top officials are on board, and the project is further along than most of the [...]

Florida’s High Speed Rail Money Distributed to 15 States and Amtrak

By: Monday May 9, 2011 8:10 am

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 [...]

Railroad Exec in Wisconsin Pleads Guilty to Illegal Campaign Donations to Scott Walker

By: Tuesday April 12, 2011 10:44 am

A railroad executive in Wisconsin has been charged with making illegal campaign donations to Gov. Scott Walker in 2010. The executive plans to plead guilty, but says he was unaware he did anything wrong. Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co. president and chief executive officer William Gardner was charged with one count of excessive political contributions [...]

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