Wednesday, October 7, 2009

High Speed Rail Grants 712% Oversubscribed

Out of the $787 billion in economic stimulus appropriations included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $8 billion was set aside for grants to develop high speed rail transportation projects around the nation. Yesterday the Federal Railroad Administration announced that it has received a total of 259 applications for grants, from 34 different states, requesting a total of $57 billion. Among the proposals are 45 projects requesting $50 billion for advancement of intercity rail corridors on which trains could travel faster than 100 m.p.h. The other 214 applications from 34 states ask for $7 billion to upgrade rail travel at speeds less than 100 m.p.h.
Of course, this oversubscription represents another cause of the incessant delays in injection of federal stimulus cash into the nation's economy. While the FRA deliberates over deciding which states and which projects will be winners and losers in this race, the gandy dancers of America remain firmly seated on the sidelines, hammers between their knees.
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