Friday, February 13, 2009

Funding for high speed rail in stimulus bill

I've been pretty sour on the stimulus bill - probably for different reasons than right-wing skeptics - but I will acknowledge one good facet of the legislation. Namely, I'm pleased to see some tangible funding for actual high-speed rail projects. As we face a future in which oil is harder to come by and considerably more expensive (don't get too complacent about the current oil prices!), it is critical that the US invests in transit that can be powered by other energy sources. I gathered that one of the projects involves a high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Hopefully we'll see many more such lines spring up. One benefit would be the elimination of short air flights between nearby metropolitan areas (yes, people actually fly from Los Angeles to Las Vegas - something that always struck me as a bit nuts), or the need to drive for hours on the crowded I-15 freeway (something that may become less attractive once oil and gasoline prices go back up).

This is a start. Next is getting the powers that be to invest in overhauling the remainder of the US rail system in preparation for life in a post-peak oil world.

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