The latest American dream of building high-speed rail in the nation took a blow this week when Obama administration had to cut $1.5 billion from the budget.
Already there have been several Republican governors who have refused to accept federal money to build high-speed rail projects in their states. Florida Gov. Rick Scott turned down $2 billion alone, citing concerns that the state’s portion of the funds would go well beyond projections. That money was, in turn, sent to the Department of Transportation to be awarded to other interested states. Now it appears a good chunk of it will go towards deficit reduction.
The president had budgeted $1 billion himself in his 2012 budget proposal but as recently as mid-February 2011, Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood was encouraging Congress to authorize $53 billion over the next six years.
What does this mean for the travelers in US? Although U.S. has one of the best highway system in the world, one cannot drive from coast-to-coast and hence has to stick to the airline industry, which is already imposing additional fees on baggage citing reasons like high-fuel costs.
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