I’m starting to dig into the differences between House transportation panel chairman Jim Oberstar’s $85 billion proposal for infrastructure funding in the stimulus bill (available for download on the right-hand side of the committee page) and the actual final product, released yesterday.
When the perennially cash-poor train system got a $15 billion authorization signed by George Bush last fall, it represented a big win for Acela-loving Vice President-elect Biden. Now, however, it would seem that Biden’s administration has given mass transit the short end of the stick.
Oberstar’s proposed spending on intercity passenger rail was $3.4 billion, in addition to $1.5 billion for Amtrak. The stimulus bill released yesterday included $1.1 billion for both combined.
All those who think the stimulus should put mass transit and highways on a more equal footing — represent, Northeast Corridor riders! — should check out Transportation for America’s petition on the issue. Their in-depth analysis of the gaps between Oberstar’s ideas and yesterday’s reality can be found here.