$1.2 billion of Wisconsin, Ohio high-speed rail funding to go to other states

Friday, December 10, 2010

Two Republican governors were recently elected in Wisconsin and Ohio who have chosen to cancel high-speed rail projects in their states, which means that the $1.2 billion is going to go to others. An article here on the subject goes over the news in general and a page here from the government gives us the exact numbers, which are:

  • California: up to $624 million
  • Florida: up to $342.3 million
  • Washington State: up to $161.5 million
  • Illinois: up to $42.3 million
  • New York: up to $7.3 million
  • Maine: up to $3.3 million
  • Massachusetts: up to $2.8 million
  • Vermont: up to $2.7 million
  • Missouri up to $2.2 million
  • Wisconsin: up to $2 million for the Hiawatha line
  • Oregon: up to $1.6 million
  • North Carolina: up to $1.5 million
  • Iowa: up to $309,080
  • Indiana: up to $364,980

Putting it together in a chart, it ends up looking like this.

No surprise that California is given the largest share considering its size and population. However, if we break down the numbers per capita it's actually not California that was given the most. Here's what it looks like when we look at the numbers in terms of dollars per person.

Washington State leaps well ahead here, and as a Canadian that's particularly exciting since the proposed line there could end up linking Vancouver as well. This is also why I consider this to be good news: though it's too bad that Wisconsin and Ohio won't be getting the funding originally allotted to them, the high-speed rail funding has also been (in my opinion) too little over too large an area, and what the US (actually North America) needs is a clear example or two of high-speed rail in action in order to demonstrate its potential in the urban areas that need it. It would be nice for example if a line were to be constructed between Vancouver and Seattle-Portland, leading people in Alberta (where I'm from) to begin seriously thinking about the Calgary-Edmonton line, which has been talked about for as long as I can remember. The terrain in between those two cities is particularly ideal as it is just 300 km, entirely flat, and right in the middle of the two is the city of Red Deer, a rapidly growing city of over 82,000 people that would become in effect a suburb of the two cities as far as commuting is concerned if a high-speed line were to be set up.

Here, see for yourself just how flat and featureless the terrain is between the two. A large number of the people I know back home make the trip to Edmonton and back by car all the time. Nothing would be easier than a high-speed line between the two.

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