This weekend only, get a Marketplace zip–up hoodie when you donate $8/month. Don’t wait — this offer ends at midnight Sunday!
JEREMY HOBSON: Federal officials are expected to announce $2.5 billion in high speed rail grants today. California’s set to get the most money,
with Florida close behind.
But as Sarah Gardner reports from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, not everybody in the railway biz is celebrating.
Sarah Gardner: President Obama has touted high speed rail as a greener, faster alternative to cars. California’s got the most ambitious plan: an 800-mile rail network running from San Diego to Sacramento, with trains traveling 220 miles per hour.
John Robert Smith co-chairs the advocacy group Transportation for America.
John Robert Smith: We believe for the future, the people of the United States need choices for transportation and high speed rail is certainly one of those choices and an important choice for the future.
But many of these new trains will run at only 110 miles per hour and on the same tracks as freight rail, and freight rail companies aren’t thrilled about sharing. Mark Reutter at the Progressive Policy Institute says they have a legitimate gripe.
Mark Reutter: There’s a congestion problem, there’s huge liability problems. Essentially staying on existing freight lines is what the current system is today, which is Amtrak.
But building new designated tracks for all high speed rail would cost billions more in public funding.
I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.