Will President-Elect Joe Biden Make All of America Pay for California’s Bullet Train?
Joe Biden’s election as president may be just what California’s financially strapped money pit of a high-speed rail plan needs to keep going, regardless of whether or not it’s a sound idea (it’s not).
Biden wants to spend $11 trillion on an assortment of policies. He is noted for his love of trains and, during the Democratic primary debates, promoted a national network of high-speed rail, which he said would get millions of cars off the road. That’s likely not true: in the event that America did have a national high-speed train network, it would probably draw customers mostly away from airlines, not personal cars.
Regardless, Biden made high-speed rail part of his campaign platform. However, there’s an interesting omission in the transit plans listed on his transition site. Here’s what he’s promising to do:
Provide every American city with 100,000 or more residents with high-quality, zero-emissions public transportation options through flexible federal investments with strong labor protections that create good, union jobs and meet the needs of these cities—ranging from light rail networks to improving existing transit and bus lines to installing infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Nothing there about high-speed rail or expansion of train systems beyond cities. But maybe it’s in his national infrastructure section? Nope. Here’s what that says:
Create millions of good, union jobs rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure—from roads and bridges to green spaces and water systems to electricity grids and universal broadband—to lay a new foundation for sustainable growth, compete in the globa
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