Unfortunately for Mica, the evidence shows while that private investment can enhance passenger rail, it takes place only where public investment precedes it. In California, nominally Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, before leaving office, announced a $42 billion rail plan with $10 billion in private investment.
Transportation, in all modes, is capital intensive, with a slow return on investment. That's why, throughout the world, government builds the roads and bridges and furnishes most passenger rail service.
With global warming, shrinking fossil fuel supplies, aging populations and lengthening traffic jams, rail is poised for a revival, and the United States is the top market in the world. Not everyone sees it that way, however. Not everyone wants to.
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