Obama’s Second Term: Will high speed rail finally prevail?

We have all heard the talk of possible high-speed rail being implemented across the US.  In his first term as president of the United States, Barack Obama called for plans to be made to have high speed rail available to 80% of Americans in the next 25 years.

However, no substantial plans have been made, and most ideas for projects in various places such as the Northeast, Chicago, and California have fizzled out.  One proposed plan would have connected an airport in Oakland, CA to a large transportation hub in nearby San Francisco.

Aside from the obvious high fixed costs that construction of high speed rail projects face, political barriers and lack of organization have held back implementation of these rail lines.  Plans in Wisconsin and Florida have been shot down due to partisan disagreements, which seem to be a common trend.

According to the article, Obama will most likely need to choose a new Secretary of Transportation with more experience in rail and more influence in order to work towards his goal of high speed rail.  He will also need to win over Republicans and show that high speed rail shouldn’t be thought of as a partisan issue, but as a necessity that will help all Americans in the future.

Anyone who has seen high-speed rail networks in other parts of the world can vouch that implementing any time of system would be a great way to clear up traffic and allow Americans to travel further, more easily, and could be a positive step towards a more sustainable future.

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-13/obama-s-new-cabinet-can-make-trains-run-on-time.html


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