OK, so I was hasty after all. Seems that my last post did not give enough credit to the Bush Administration’s attempts to help improve intercity passenger rail. I suspect its efforts have more to do with Transportation Secretary Mary Peters’ pragmatic approach to funding, i.e., we can do more with less if we channel more into public transportation.
Today I got another note from the Federal Rail Administration, which falls under USDoT’s umbrella:
I saw your blog entry. I am glad my message was of use to you. Your main point seems to be that $30 million is not enough. We agree. As I wrote in my email cover message to you, the Bush Administration had requested $100 million for this grant program for the current FY08 budget, but Congress cut that back to only $30 million. In his proposed budget for FY2009, the President has again asked for $100 million for this grant program.
Yes, $100 million would have been better than $30 million, but the state’s own efforts of late have far eclipsed that. As Gene Skoropowski of the Capitol Corridor said, however, getting the intercity program started was a big step in the right direction.