From the World Resources Institute:
April 16, 2009
Location: WASHINGTON, D.C.
President Barack Obama announced plans today to pump $8 billion of stimulus funds into building a network of high-speed and intercity rail.
Nancy Kete“The President is on the right track,” said Nancy Kete, the director of EMBARQ - The World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport, a non-profit organization that develops transport solutions for cities around the world. “The new plan to integrate high-speed rail with urban transit will help reduce congestion and make cities better places to live.”
In addition to $8 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the plan calls for at least another $5 billion to fund intercity rail projects over the next five years.
“But there’s a missing mode in the plan,” Kete added. “To complement rail, we also need to help cities build high-quality, high-capacity bus rapid transit systems, which can offer good high-speed service, but at a fraction of the cost of rail.”
Since 2002, EMBARQ has helped cities implement bus rapid transit (BRT) systems that have transformed the way people move around. Mexico City’s Metrobús, for example, now serves 450,000 passengers per day, more than half the number of passengers who ride Washington, D.C.’s entire Metro system - the second-largest urban rail network in the United States. And Metrobús is estimated to reduce 80,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
“The Obama administration should also consider new pricing policies, like raising fuel taxes and charging car commuters for entering downtown streets during rush hour,” Kete said. “This will not only cut traffic and clear air pollution, but it will also raise much-needed revenue for better transportation services, including mass transit expansion and highway maintenance.”
Read the original press release here.