The Great Train Con, Part 2

Cato’s Randal O’Toole on the high-tech rail boondoggle for The Michigan View. O’Toole details how Midwest states cooked the books in order to attract millions in federal subsidies discarded by Florida to build “high-speed rail.” Part 2 of 2:

When the Michigan Department of Transportation first applied for federal high-speed rail funds, it justified its application using a 2006 economic analysis that claimed the benefits would be 1.8 times greater than the costs. A close scrutiny of that analysis, however, shows that Michigan cooked the books.

The state wildly exaggerated the benefits while underestimating the costs of high-speed rail.

The report was written by a consulting firm called Transportation Economics and Management Systems, which specializes in analyses of passenger rail projects. From the reports it has written, its staff never met a train they didn’t want someone else to subsidize. Rail advocates like to hire consultants like this because they know they will come up with the answer they want – no matter how much the proposed train project will cost.

Read more at The Michigan View here.

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