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Barack & McCain: Rail Transit What?

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Via Streetsblog, we find a report from the Brookings Institution (.pdf) that outlines each candidate's positions on transportation. It goes over twelve issues such as transportation earmarks, the gas tax holiday, telecommuting and smart growth. However, what caught our eye was "View on Amtrak / Intercity Passenger Rail." The results show two extremely different points of view, which is a given, but nevertheless a fresh eye opener.

“Obama has been a strong supporter of federal financial support for Amtrak. Obama believes we need to reform Amtrak to improve accountability," his website says. "Obama supports development of high-speed rail networks across the country. Providing passengers with safe high-speed rail will have significant environmental and metropolitan planning advantages and help diversify our nation’s transportation infrastructure.”

Does that remind anyone of Proposition 1a that will be on this November's ballot asking voters to approve a $9 billion bond for a high speed train that will whisk passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in around 2 hours, 40 minutes?

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And what about McCain?

McCain referred to Amtrak as a symbol of government waste, claiming, "There's only two parts of the country that can support a viable rail system - the Northeast and the far West," he said to Boston.com. And in Nation's Cities, he said that "Amtrak should be restructured to eliminate its reliance on the American taxpayers and to allow for its privatization."