One way to kill the ICC

Posted May 1st, 2008 by Sylvia S Tognetti and filed in Grounds for optimism

On second thought, suspending eliminating the gas tax is one way to stop the construction of the InterCounty Connector (ICC)!  But it still won’t reduce gas prices. One way to do both of those things would be to get more of the Transportation Trust Fund dedicated to funding mass transit so that more people would have options other than driving. So far, we haven’t heard much on this from the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination. But, buried in a pool report from an Obama press event, David Roberts just found this:

The irony is with the gas prices what they are, we should be expanding rail service. One of the things I have been talking bout for awhile is high speed rail connecting all of these Midwest cities — Indianapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, St. Louis. They are not that far away from each other. Because of how big of a hassle airlines are now. There are a lot of people if they had the choice, it takes you just about as much time if you had high speed rail to go the airport, park, take your shoes off.

This is something that we should be talking about a lot more. We are going to be having a lot of conversations this summer about gas prices. And it is a perfect time to start talk about why we don’t have better rail service. We are the only advanced country in the world that doesn’t have high speed rail. We just don’t have it. And it works on the Northeast corridor. They would rather go from New York to Washington by train than they would by plane. It is a lot more reliable and it is a good way for us to start reducing how much gas we are using. It is a good story to tell.

More kudos for Obama if he can seize the opportunity inherent in the uproar over gas prices to put forth a bold proposal that would actually accomplish something useful.


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