It is important to realize that neither the federal government nor private industry have the wherewithal to construct HSR alone. The total cost of development along the 11 key corridors designated by the FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) will be in the vicinity of $500 billion to three quarters of a trillion dollars, or $25 to $30 billion a year for 25 plus years. With this fund, the government and private sector can work together in Private-Public-Partnerships (P3’s). With the additional revenue streams from the commercial and residential TOD construction, along with the anticipated rail fares, HSR will make money, covering not only operating and maintenance costs, but also capital costs. The added benefit is that the HSPT Fund is a user fee and will not require allocations from general federal tax revenues.
The benefits accruing from the HSPT Fund are numerous. America benefits because there is now another way to transport the additional 100 million inhabitants that will be here by 2050. Airlines benefit because they will have a new ATC system that will make their operations more efficient. And since many Americans will chose to travel by rail between key city pairs 200 to 600 miles apart, airlines will be able to concentrate on more profitable, longer haul flights. Americans benefit because they will have a viable, cost-effective, time-competitive alternative to airline travel. No more long lines at airports or intrusive TSA searches. Even travelers who cannot use HSR benefit because there will be less congestion at airports, and better on time performance when they have to fly.
Proposed HSPT Act V4.0