High-Speed Rail a Fast Way to Waste Money

The Michigan House recently passed House Bills 5211 and 5212 which mandate that local government officials consider public transportation agencies and systems in their local land use planning process. The proposed legislation defines a public transportation agency as a governmental entity that operates or is authorized to operate intercity or local commuter passenger rail service in the state or a public transit authority created under existing state law.

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Randal O'Toole, an adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, has addressed why such a pursuit does not make sense for Michigan, both in this radio interview and this commentary.

Even with extensive evidence that high-speed rail projects are very expensive to build and operate, the Michigan Legislature seems intent on expanding this form of inefficient mass transit in the state. Apparently many Michigan legislators are either ignorant about the economics of high-speed rail or they choose to ignore them. In either case Michigan taxpayers will be on the hook to pay for this expensive form of mass transit if lawmakers continue to push for it in the state.