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GAO report on high speed rail

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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 04:14 AM
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GAO report on high speed rail
The GAO report is at

Some articles about it:
Given the challenges, how do Asian and European countries pay for their high-speed trains? The GAO found that fast rail systems in France, Spain and Japan are generating sufficient passenger revenue to cover ongoing expenses but not the cost of building the systems in the first place an expense officials in those countries justify for environmental or other societal reasons. In the countries we visited, the central government generally funds the majority of up-front costs . . . without the expectation that their investment will be recouped through ticket revenues, the agencys report said.

Susan Fleming, GAOs director of physical infrastructure issues, summarized the reports findings succinctly in her prepared testimony for an April 1 House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on high-speed rail. In summary, she wrote, high speed rail does not offer a quick or simple solution to relieving congestion on our nations highways and airways. High speed rail projects are costly, risky, take years to develop and build, and require substantial up-front public investment as well as potentially long-term operating subsidies. Yet the potential benefits of high speed rail both to riders and nonriders are many.

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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 04:46 AM
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1. not the cost of building
sounds about right but then the same could be said of the price of electricity etc. It's called utility pricing - isn't it ?
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:47 AM
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2. Well, community after community across the country is willing to pony up
big bucks for sports arenas and stadiums without any real guarantee that the "investment" will be repaid so why shouldn't the various governments pay for assets that have much more practical use for the whole community.
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