Don’t pull the plug on high-speed rail (Sacramento Bee)
The editorial prods Gov. Jerry Brown to fix the parts of the state’s bullet train program that need fixing — political oversight, to name one — but to keep the project moving along. Although naysayers can point to problems, the Bee says that the good news has outweighed the bad on high-speed rail and leadership will be needed to keep federal funds flowing and not frighten away the potential private investors that will be needed later.
Federal transportation bill may have to wait until 2012 (Streetsblog DC)
The multiyear transpo spending bill that Congress should have passed two years ago may still have to wait longer. The problem: Some members of Congress want to greatly expand spending on things like transit and others — specifically Republicans — want to slash government spending. In the meantime, the last bill passed, in 2005, may get another short-term expansion. Metro is hoping the next multiyear bill includes America Fast Forward, the program to use government loans and financing to accelerate the building of transit projects.
Supply is expanding, gas prices fell 16 percent last month and Americans drove 2.3 percent less than they did a year ago at this time. How much gas prices may fall remains to be seen – the average in California was still $4.21 as of last Monday, according to the Energy Information Administration. And while I know that no one likes to pay high gas prices, including yours truly, it’s fair to wonder if national goals such as putting more efficient cars on the road, easing smog and importing less foreign oil will suffer if prices shrink too much. The Metro Board of Directors is scheduled on Thursday to vote whether to reduce the cost of a day pass from $6 to $5 to help spur ridership and help customers grapple with a tough economy and high fuel prices.