Antiplanner weighs in on President Obama’s high-speed rail plan, which would send a cool $520m North Carolina’s way:

Obama proposes to “freeze government spending for three years.” Yet he is also going to Florida to announce which states are getting funds for high-speed rail. (Ironically, Florida is the state that decided not to build high-speed rail because the environmental impact statement it wrote for the project concluded that the environmental costs would be greater than the benefits.)

High-speed rail is like a Lay’s potato chip: once you get started, you can’t stop, so the $8 billion Obama is giving away today is only the down payment on the down payment of the total bill. In other words, despite giving lip service to reducing deficits, Obama’s real policy is pork-barrel as usual.

I realize I’m hard on PART, but I give director Brent McKinney credit for saying that ridership between Guilford and Forsyth does not justify the expense of high speed rail in the Triad —yet. I’ll also note that conservative transportation experts like Antiplanner would certainly rather see local governments invest in regional bus service than high-speed rail.

That said, I still haven’t seen a PART bus with more than one person on it.