7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

Membership
Benefits
News and Issues
Departments
Information
Secretary-Treasurer
Merchandise
Communications
FELA
Events
Links
User Info

GAO: Gov't lacks strategic high-speed rail plan

(The Associated Press circulated the following story by Kimberly Hefling on June 24, 2009.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. agency in charge of $8 billion in stimulus money for high-speed rail projects doesn't have an adequate plan to oversee the projects, and the system of super-fast trains ultimately will cost much more than even the $8 billion, a government watchdog official told Congress on Tuesday.

The Federal Railroad Administration does not have a clear role other than to distribute the stimulus money, which states are competing fiercely to obtain, said Susan A. Fleming, director of infrastructure issues at the Government Accountability Office.

"In our view, it is more of a vision than a strategic plan," Fleming said.

The Transportation Department's deputy secretary, John Porcari, said the agency's plan was "carefully thought out."

Fleming also said the $8 billion represents only a small fraction of the estimated costs for starting and enhancing service on federally authorized high speed rail corridors.

"While the potential benefits of high-speed rail projects are many, these projects - both here and abroad - are costly, take years to develop and build, and require substantial upfront public investment, as well as potentially long-term operating subsidies," Fleming said.

Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa., told lawmakers that the federal government needs to ensure adequate funding for such projects - a sentiment shared by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who chaired the Senate transportation subcommittee hearing.

"We can't do infrastructure on the cheap," Rendell said. "We have to find the political courage to find a way to pay for this."

Fleming said in Japan and many other countries with such high-speed rail projects, there was a significant investment by the government.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Like us on Facebook at
Facebook.com/BLETNational

Sign up for BLET News Flash Alerts

© 1997-2022 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

 


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

National Negotiations

ND Officers Election Rules

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts

DAILY HEADLINES

National contract talks head for mediation after impasse
Will BNSF workers strike? U.S. judge in Fort Worth to rule
Loved ones of railroaders protest new attendance policy outside federal courthouse during hearing
“It’s a slap in the face:” BNSF workers consider strike over new attendance policy
BNSF tries to stop worker strike as employees continue to fight for rights
NTSB highlights need for better rail worker safety
Before recent wave of train cargo thefts, Union Pacific laid off an unspecified number of railroad police officers
RRB Q&A: Annuitants may need to increase tax withholding at age 62
COVID-19 vaccine mandates and Unemployment and Sickness Benefits under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA)
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines