77-Year Backlog of Mass Transit Projects

amtrakTransit ridership is soaring amid concerns about gas prices, an aging population, and greater preference for city living. But public investments just haven't kept pace, and with state and local budgets hurting from the recession, cutbacks are on the table across the country, from New York and DC to Reno, Nevada  and Kings County, Washington. Since 1982, federal transportation funding has broken down 80% for roads, 20% for mass transit.

But as In These Times reports, the T4 coalition for transit reform has gained surprising new allies in the business world, like the National Association of Realtors, which likes the positive effects on property values around a transit hub, and the national Truck Safety Coalition, which wants to keep the highways clear for truckers. 

The stimulus package includes $17 billion for new projects, including $8 billion for high-speed rail, which is a great start, but trains will keep getting overcrowded without a long-term commitment at all levels of government, shifting incentives and subsidies from cars to rails. 

[via In These Times]

Image: Amtrak

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