Let's Get Us Some High Speed Stimulus!
|Tip of the hat to Yglesias...|
Apparently the stimulus bill includes $2 billion (and perhaps more) for grants to build high speed rail in the Federal Railroad Administrations designated high speed rail corridors:
The Stimulus Plan includes provisions modeled after the High-Speed Rail for America Act (the Act), introduced by Senators John Kerry and Arlen Specter on November 19, 2008, to bring American rail infrastructure up-to-date with current world standards. Specifically, the Stimulus Plan provides $2 billion for rail projects related to trains reaching at least 110 miles per hour and exempts interest incurred from private activity bonds for high-speed rail from the Alternative Minimum Tax. By providing this tax incentive, the Stimulus Plan will promote public-private partnerships (P3s) between government agencies and private sector companies by giving them a financing vehicle to access the tax-exempt capital markets.
The FRA's dedicated high speed rail corridors include ...
...wait for it...
Cleveland - Columbus - Cincinnati
Cleveland - Toledo - Chicago
Cincinnati - Indianapolis - Chicago
Really! Here's the map:
Can we muster up the kind of dogged determination (like we did to build the Euclid Corridor Project) to secure these federal funds and build high speed rail through Ohio's three largest cities, and onward to Toledo and Chicago?
This could be huge project for Ohio. To design it, build it, maintain it -- and not the least of all, to RIDE it. Will we do it? If not, why not? There are lots of other high speed rail corridors -- we can build this, or sit back and watch others build theirs and then kick ourselves for missing the