Transportation headlines, Monday, Nov. 7

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog.

13 things to know about U.S. Senate’s transpo bill (Transportation Issues Daily)

From what I can gather, the bill doesn’t shrink funding, nor does it grow funding. The most interesting item to me is that it would streamline the approval process for transpo projects, something sorely needed — it takes way too long to study the impacts of transit projects built in urban areas. L.A. isn’t Yosemite, people.

High-speed rail on the right track (S.F. Chronicle)

This editorial — like the ones in the L.A. Times last week — praises the California High-Speed Rail Authority for finally releasing a “clear-eyed” business plan that fully accounts for a revised and much higher cost to build the system — $98.5 billion. In the Chronicle’s view, it’s worth the money to build a system that the state’s growing population will need.

Take this train, please (L.A. Times)

This opinion piece by Stanford history professor Richard White takes the opposing view of the Chronicle. In his view, the state’s high-speed rail project remains a costly boondoggle, albeit one with new financial assumptions that still don’t add up. He questions the ability of the state to raise money needed to build the project from private firms, saying they’ll likely need a lot of financial assurances from taxpayers before sinking their own money into the project.

High-speed rail still fits bill despite higher cost (L.A. Business Journal)

And here’s a counterpoint to the above counterpoint from David Murphy, president of Angelenos Against Gridlock. His points: building a bullet train will undoubtedly be a messy process, it will likely have long-term positive impacts economically and it has worked in many other parts of the world. “Boondoggle? The real boondoggle would be not building this system, and turning our back to future generations,” writes Murphy.