Hey Congress, How About $4 Billion for High-Speed Rail?
Credit: Richard Fisher.
Fourbillion.com wants folks to jump on the high-speed train, and pump up Amtrak, too. The four billion is a mantra being used by Transportation for America to push Congress to approve $4 billion more for bullet trains in 2011, and another $2.6 billion for Amtrak. Apparently, sixpointsixbillion.com was already taken.Transportation for America aren't lightweights. This is the same coalition that got Congress to approve $2.5 billion for high-speed rail earlier this year, notes OnMilwaukee.com.
TFA's partners in prodding include the AARP, the National Association of Realtors, the National Wildlife Federation and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
"... Rail will create new jobs, expand transportation and entertainment options and reduce our environmental impact," says Gary Hannig, chair of the Midwest High Speed Rail Steering Group.
Is there opposition to the coalition? Sure. People in some regions, including Wisconsin, are upset about plans for high-speed rail projects in their backyards.
The pro-side is using the fourbillion.com website to allow regular folks to call on Congress for the extra funding. They're train-ing people to do it (Terrible, I know). All you have to do is enter your ZIP Code to send a letter.
Apparently, the funding logjam has been in the Senate, and some predict nothing will be settled until after the November elections.
Where's the opposition? Some of it's over selected train routes. Some of it's over subsidies and the huge investment required to make the jump to light speed, er, high speed rail.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch has called high speed rail "a bridge to the 19th century."