Why no government focus on improving commuter rail?

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Re: Why no government focus on improving commuter rail?

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:56 am

wigwagfan: wasn't that a Czech design anyway?
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Re: Why no government focus on improving commuter rail?

Postby wigwagfan » Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:58 pm

mtuandrew wrote:wigwagfan: wasn't that a Czech design anyway?


Basically yes, but United Railcar had to engineer its own mechanical systems so there are substantial differences between the "Made in U.S.A." streetcar and the Skoda built cars. The shells are the same, that's about it.
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Re: Why no government focus on improving commuter rail?

Postby John_Perkowski » Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:20 pm

Money talks. There was an initial push of money in 9-10, and then...

As I've said often in Amtrak, 218+51+1. In case you've not noticed, the 218 hasn't been there since Jan 3, 2011.
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Re: Why no government focus on improving commuter rail?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:28 am

wigwagfan wrote:Commuter rail = local. High speed rail = interstate.

Frankly, the feds shouldn't be involved in anything that is local, or for that matter contained within a state, and they don't necessarily have to be involved if it involves two states that are closely working together (for example, Washington and Oregon). I wish the Federal Transit Administration would be abolished, because here in Portland, Oregon FTA requirements have been disasterous for local transit (priority is on building new light rail, commuter rail and streetcar lines, at the expense of the regional bus network which has been cut significantly.)

When the UMTA (U.S. Mass Transit Administration) was established in 1964, the primary mission was to fund development of new projects and pilot programs by state and local agencies (modeled after a 1961 Kennedy program in the FHA - Federal Housing Act). Only with the 1974 Transit Act did UMTA expand into "capital construction" and planning.

And some recent projects were non-Federal. NYCT's 7 Extension was 100% MTA and City funded, no FTA funds. Many NJT projects are fully state funded via the NJDOT's Transportation Fund. Although PANYNJ does use a significant amount of federal funding, odd given its "fully self funding" structure.

If you browse the agency reports in the USDOT's NTD Database, you'll see which agencies received federal funds and how much percent of operation and capital budget is local/state/federal or other sources.
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