July 25, 2010
No money for train maintenance, so let's build more
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 1:04 PM
What happens when you subsidize mass transit? More riders and less money for maintenance.
Subsidies, one candidate for state office recently said, are why we call it public transit. It's a way to meet the transportation needs of low-income
residents. But the Federal Transit Administration estimated public transit systems need $77.7 billion to get in good condition. Compare that to the $8 billion set aside in the stimulus bill for high-speed intercity passenger rail projects which could destroy the world's best freight rail system.
The proposed high speed rail projects, like the existing Amtrak lines and the proposed Triangle rail service, would all share tracks or right of way with freight service, making the freight trains less reliable and keeping the passenger trains operating below their top speeds most of the time.
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