America 2050 Update: July 29, 2011

  • While Buses Play a Valuable Role, they are no Replacement for High-Speed Rail
  • EVENT: Job Creation and U.S. Investment in High Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail (August 3rd, 11:30am, Capitol Visitors Center, South)
  • Carnegie Endowment Releases Plan to Reform Transportation Funding
  • House Republicans Move to Take Back High-Speed Rail Awards
  • House and Senate Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bills, A Far Cry from the President's Proposal
  • America 2050 in the News

While Buses Play a Valuable Role, they are no Replacement for High-Speed Rail

A recent policy analysis by the Cato Institute's Randal O'Toole claims that the existence of intercity bus service negates any need for passenger rail. America 2050 responds, refuting O'Toole's claims that buses are safer and less subsidized than passenger rail, and argues that rail provides an alternative to ever-worsening highway congestion, while buses do not.

Read this article on the America 2050 website.


EVENT: Job Creation and U.S. Investment in High Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail

The American High Speed Rail Alliance is holding a briefing for members of Congress entitled "Job Creation and U.S. Investment in High Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail." Event participants will discuss not only construction jobs directly created by rail investment, but also how improved rail transportation can generate economic growth, which leads to additional job creation. Planned in conjunction with the Congressional Bicameral High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Caucus, the event will feature an informal lunch and is open to the public.

WHEN: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 at 11:30am - 1:00pm
WHERE: Capitol Visitors Center - Meeting Room South, Washington, DC

Find more details at www.AmericanHSRA.org.


Carnegie Endowment Releases Plan to Reform Transportation Funding

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has released a nonpartisan plan to put our transportation infrastructure on a financially sustainable path, entitled Road to Recovery: Transforming America's Transportation. The report, authored by former Senator Bill Bradley, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, and former Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office David Walker (a Democrat, Republican, and independent, respectively), identified the growing social cost of underinvestment in and deficit spending on our infrastructure. The authors advocate for reforming taxes on oil and gas to pay for transportation infrastructure as it is built and maintained.

Find more details and download the report on the America 2050 website.


House Republicans Move to Take Back High-Speed Rail Awards

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would revoke funding already allocated to high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects. The Fiscal Year 2012 Energy & Water Appropriations Bill contains an amendment that would provide over $1 billion in emergency disaster relief for flood victims, offsetting this spending by stripping states of high-speed rail grants they have already won. Disaster relief spending does not require an offset, and the funding provided by this bill would not be available for months, making it clear that this initiative is an attack on the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program.

Please visit www.StandUpForTrains.org to let your representatives know you oppose the rescission of funding for passenger rail.

Find more details about this bill on the America 2050 website.


House and Senate Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bills, A Far Cry from the President's Proposal

At a time when American transportation infrastructure is failing to keep pace with international rivals or even our own domestic needs, the House and Senate have proposed Surface Transportation Bills that fall woefully short of President Obama's bold call for a six-year, $556 billion program. The Senate has proposed a two-year authorization that would maintain current funding levels, rather than increase them as needed. The House proposed a six-year authorization, but one that drastically cuts transportation funding by over a third from 2009 levels, putting our already-stressed infrastructure at serious risk.

Read this article on the America 2050 website.


America 2050 in the News

NATIONAL COVERAGE

CNN U.S. high-speed rail program hit by deep budget cuts - Steve Kastenbaum - April 13, 2011

InfrastructureUSA America 2050: High-Speed Rail Down, Not Out - Steve Anderson - April 13, 2011

The Railist America 2050 Says High-Speed Rail Is "Down, Not Out" - Tim Halbur - April 13, 2011

New Urban Network How to salvage Obama's high-speed rail 'disaster' - Philip Langdon - April 21, 2011

Region Forward Global Fridays: (Forever) playing catch-up? - April 22, 2011

Arbiter Online Experts say dynamic cities key to nation's future - April 28, 2011

Streetsblog DC Northeast Corridor, the Midwest, and California Say "Thanks, Florida!" - Tanya Snyder - May 9, 2011

CNN Rejected by Florida, U.S. reallocates $2 billion for high-speed rail - May 10, 2011

Progressive Railroading America 2050 praises USDOT's high-speed, intercity rail grants - May 11, 2011

Streetsblog DC Can High-Speed Rail Reduce Air Travel and Highway Expansion? - Tanya Snyder - June 9, 2011

Streetsblog DC House Plan to Privatize Northeast Corridor Retains Public Ownership - Tanya Snyder - June 15, 2011

Transportation Nation Amtrak to Get 70 New Energy-Efficient Locomotives Through "Underutilized" DOT Program - Alex Goldmark - June 29, 2011


REGIONAL & LOCAL COVERAGE

Fresno Bee Valley rail line could expand to Merced, Bakersfield - Tim Sheehan - March 29, 2011

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel State seeks high-speed rail money for Hiawatha upgrade - Larry Sandler and Tom Held - March 29, 2011

Albuquerque Express Federal high speed rail projects suffer major cuts - April 14, 2011

Anchorage Daily News Experts say dynamic cities despite challenges key to nation's future - Garth Stapley - April 18, 2011

WNYC (93.9 FM) Northeast Rail Reaps Nearly $800M From Fed Funds Rejected by Florida - Jim O'Grady - May 9, 2011

Chicago Tribune Voice of the People (Letter to the Editor by Robert Yaro) - May 10, 2011

LoHud.com Metro-North's shovel-ready projects to improve Hudson Line need funds - Ken Valenti - May 15, 2011

CBS New York New Proposal Could Privatize Northeast Corridor Train Service - Peter Haskell - June 16, 2011

Mobilizing the Region Another GOP Attempt to Defund Northeast Corridor Rail - Steven Higashide - June 20, 2011

Revolution Boston (AM 1510) Radio Interview with Petra Todorovich & John Businger - Jeff Santos - July 21, 2011