May the best state win

Posted on February 18, 2011 by Nicole Schlosser

This week, as yet another Republican Governor turned his nose up at federal high-speed rail funds, California and New York stepped forward to ask that the funds be redistributed to them. California is apparently the only state close to building a high-speed rail line. If the state receives the extra $2.4 billion, how much would that help?

A report released on Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California says that, to fix California’s traffic congestion issues, policymakers need to encourage “job growth near transit stations and implement strategies that raise the cost of driving.” Higher fuel taxes and road use charges were cited as being the most effective in getting more solo drivers off the road and on to buses and trains. High-speed rail eventually may be a part of this transit oriented development solution, but, it did not factor heavily in the report.

In fact, the report claims that California hasn’t yet reaped the benefits from its substantial investment in passenger rail. “While rail ridership has increased slightly — from 0.9 percent of all commutes in 1990 to 1.4 percent in 2008 — the growth is much slower than the pace of transit cost increases and service expansion.”

Additionally, according to a recent news item put out by the San Ramon, Calif.-based Bay Area News Group, the project has several critics among universities and nonpartisan government analysts, who have published studies — though no specific ones were cited in the story.

Meanwhile, New York at least already has some high-speed rail infrastructure in place, and the residents seem more accustomed to using rail, unlike many car-crazed Californians, with the exception of a couple urban pockets.

What do you think? Should California or New York get Florida’s money?

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, which asks about the cost of not funding public transportation  here.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (7 Comments)

More From the Editor's Blog Posts

February 12, 2019

Come Together to Shut Down the Shutdown, Fund a Transit Bill

As I write this, we are a few days away from another potential government shutdown if negotiations on border security are not hammered out.

December 19, 2018

New Year, New Hopes for the Motorcoach Industry

Hiring and retaining drivers is the greatest challenge facing motorcoach operators, according to 70% of respondents of METRO Magazine's 2019 Motorcoach Survey. The public transit industry is not immune to this issue either.

November 6, 2018

When voting 'yes' says 'no' to funding for transportation

I’m crossing my fingers that by the time you read this, the proposition repealing California’s gas tax and vehicle fees (SB 1) will have failed.

July 2, 2018

Lest we forget, we are all human beings

As you may know, I like to use this column to draw attention to transportation-related issues that are important to me, such as climate change, accessibility, and innovation.

June 30, 2015

Can Courtesy Campaigns Curb the 'Trashing' of Transit?

It drives me nuts when people litter. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people throw trash out of their car windows while they’re driving. I’m always tempted to honk my horn when I see drivers slyly ditching cigarette butts through their open window. Listen up, people. We see you!

See More

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (7)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation