Monday, December 20, 2010

Thoughts on Investing in High-Speed Rail

Emil Frankel, BPC’s Director of Transportation Policy recently weighed in on the National Journal expert blog discussion about whether investment in high-speed rail is beneficial for the economic growth of our country. In his latest blog entry, Mr. Frankel acknowledges that high-speed rail has become a contentious, partisan, and ideological issue, and warns that this type of discussion can distract us from a broader, critical consideration of how and where we should invest scarce federal resources.

Emil points out that NTPP’s 2009 Performance Driven report proposed a mode-neutral competitive "connectivity" grant program. Under such a program, intercity passenger rail projects would be eligible for federal support on the basis of projected performance toward a suite of national goals. This type of competitive grant program would help ensure that investments, including investments in high-speed rail, are made only if they are able to demonstrate and deliver greatest returns and benefits to the country compared to investments in other modes.

Check out the debate among transportation experts on this topic, as well as Emil’s full blog post here.