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.