Commentary by Yoav Hagler

Final Version of Economic Stimulus Quadruples Amount for HSR

The total amount of money for transportation held roughly steady at just under $50 billion, about 6 percent of the total price tag of the stimulus bill.  However, in late stage negotiations, the amount allocated for high speed rail increased from the $2 billion proposed in the Senate version to $8 billion.  The Associated Press reports that the push for increased funding for HSR was made by the Administration and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, whose office issued a statement noting that a proposed Los Angeles-to-Las Vegas HSR route might receive a large percentage of that funding.

Highway and transit funding in the bill emerged from the House/Senate negotiations mostly unchanged.  Here are the final transportation figures to emerge from conference committee:

$27.5 billion for highway
$8.4 billion for transit
$1.5 billion for competitive grants to state and local governments
$1.3 billion for aviation
$8 billion for high speed rail
$1.3 billion for Amtrak