With President Obama having won re-election, does that mean
high-speed rail projects will come to fruition? One transit expert
doesn't see it happening.
Marc Scribner, fellow in land-use and transportation studies for
Enterprise Institute (CEI), says Congress does not seem too
intent on authorizing any more funds to be spent on high-speed
rail. "Essentially, all the funds are gone," he explains.
But as far as the relationship between the federal government
and the states goes, Scribner does think the Obama administration
will do what it can to support California's high-speed rail
"The big decision points are all going to be happening in
California, so that's really where we'd want to watch," Scribner
states. "Unfortunately, California residents voted to increase
their taxes, so the fiscal constraint that some of us had thought
that California's weak economy was going to put on the high-speed
rail development may not be as strong."
Still, a number of questions persist as to whether California's
rail project will actually be built, as lawsuits --
which Scribner says may be successful -- are pending.
The first section of California's rail project, which is to run
from Merced to Fresno, was approved by the Federal Railroad Administration