You'd think $10 billion extra for transit would have people cheering. Not so. The draft stimulus package details, released today, has three times as much money for roads and bridges as for non-automobile transport. And only a puny $1 billion for inter-city rail and an equally puny $1 billion for New Starts, which won't go far around the country.
The TransportPolitic blog here has a link to the pdf of the bill. This link takes you to a version of today's release, courtesy of Talking Points Memo.
Will the $30 billion for roads and bridges go for new construction or repairs? Hasn't been decided yet, apparently.
This TwinCities Streets for People blog notes that another chunk of stimulus money $31 billion, would go to modernize infrastructure with an eye to long-term energy savings, which might well include some transit projects.
Also note that a big chunk of the stimulus ($79 billion) is aimed to help states avoid service cuts, with the majority of that money aimed at education.
LaHood in trouble?
TransportPolitic also had this nifty tidbit about Transportation Secretary-designee Ray LaHood's background. "Today’s [Wednesday's] Washington Post broke the devastating news that just last year, Mr. LaHood sponsored $60 million of earmarks, at least $9 million of which went directly to campaign donors. $7.8 million of that money went to Caterpillar, a company from his district. "
(For Charlotte old-timers, the Post's story was written by former Charlotte-Observerite Carol D. Leonnig, who used to cover Mecklenburg county commissioners before moving to DC to cover, among other things, the Scooter Libby trial.)