Short Lines, not as long but just as wide: Election Results!
Not the results you already know about, but other important results. It was a big day for many Rail Commuter and Transit Agencies last Tuesday. For the most part, voters strongly supported tax and bond issues to fund construction and expansion of Commuter Rail and Light Rail projects. The NRC reviews many outcomes. A blog at Progressive Railroading comments as well.
APTA makes a sweeping comment about the vast number of projects awaiting funding, projects already approved and ready to go.
The old voting patterns remain: Areas that have rail transit know the benefits and support these projects; areas that do not (ie. Kansas City) reject them. Many have wondered if recent lower gasoline prices gave some voters a short memory concerning our undesireable dependence on foreign oil.
An example of a city that has embraced Light Rail Transit is Portland, Oregon. Congrats are in order for the area, as the new Westside Rail Commuter Line is about to be opened. There is no doubt in my mind that cities like Portland will thrive in the future while cities like Kansas City will not, simply due to the investment made in rail transit infrastructure.
Another issue: When will the economy pick up? I have no better idea than anyone else, but I do know an excellent indicator. When centerbeam flatcars such as these are no longer seen stored along lonely desert sidings, the recovery will be underway!