Campaign Promises

Cabinet/Departments -> Transportation -> Rail Service


ItemTransportation
Rail ServiceGrade
TR-9
The Promise: "Will "support development of high-speed rail networks across the country"."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) defines "high speed" as the ability for a train to travel 90 mph or faster.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law 02/17/09, provides an initial $8 billion, to be spent over two years, and an addition $1 billion per year over the next five years toward the accomplishment of this campaign promise.

The FY2010 transporation budget appropriation passed on 07/17/09 saw a surprising increase for high-speed rail from the planned $1B to $4B, despite Senate attempts to peel back $3B and transfer that amount to the Highway Trust Fund.

For FY2011, the FRA requested $1B for President Obama's high speed rail initiative. As of 02/11, that request has not been approved by Congress. For FY2012, President Obama's budget proposal includes $53B over six years for "high-speed rail and other passenger rail programs as part of an integrated national strategy."

President Obama showcased this promise fulfillment in Tampa on 01/28/10, launching the building of a high-speed rail link between Tampa and Orlando. However, the Governor of Florida (as well as those from Ohio and Wisconsin) has adopted the position that Florida will not accept federal funding for any high-speed rail projects.

The California high speed rail project between Anaheim and San Francisco via Los Angeles and San Jose appears to be on track to start construction in early-CY2013 with a $4.7B investment by the state, supplemented by $3.3B from the U.S. taxpayer.

The promise to "support development of high-speed rail networks across the country" has been fulfilled.
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TR-10
The Promise: "...will continue to fight for Amtrak funding and reform so that individuals, families and businesses throughout the country have safe and reliable transportation options."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Source: http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/factsheettransportation.pdf
Status:The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) of 2008 authorized Amtrak through FY2013. This Act authorized the appropriation of about $3B in operating funds and $5.3B in capital funding not including debt service.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided an additional $1.3B to supplement Amtrak's capital program through 02/11 as part of a $9.5B investment in passenger trains.

Under the PRIIA funding plan, Amtrak's total funding was to go up incrementally from $1.8B in FY2010 to $1.9B in FY2011, $2.1B in FY2012 and $2.2B in FY2013. In reality, FY2010 funding for Amtrak was $1.565M. For FY2011, Amtrak received $1.484B against a $2.649B requirement. And in FY2012, Amtrak received $1.418B against a requirement of $2.212B.

The PRIIA also requires Amtrak to address "reform iniatives" in each of its five-year plans, to be submitted by the first day of the fiscal year or 60 days after the enactment of an appropriations Act, whichever is later.

Clearly, Amtrak funding under the Obama Administration has not kept pace with requirements and was considerably less than the funding levels authorized under the PRIIA.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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