On August 10, 2005, President George W. Bush signed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). SAFETEA-LU authorizes the Federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for the 5-year period 2005-2009
Not surprisingly, passenger trains are mentioned nowhere. Fuck US Transportation policy.
For further information, see the Transportation Research, Development and Technology Strategic Plan for 2006 - 2010. I'll highlight the following from the framework :
To support DOT goals and RD&T strategies, the RD&T Planning Council has also identified six emerging research priority areas to guide the Department ’s RD&T investments. These priorities represent areas where the Department would make greater investments over the next five years and beyond should it have greater flexibility in RD&T program funding. In addition, these six research areas meet the following criteria: (1) they support identified Departmental goals and priorities; (2) they offer the greatest potential return on investment; and (3) they are areas where Federal RD&T is most appropriate and not likely to be duplicated by other efforts. The Department ’s emerging research priorities are:
* Human–Automation Interaction. Conduct and support research leading to an increased understanding of human-machine interactions related to safety performance.
* Application of Enhanced Transportation Safety Data and Knowledge. Conduct and support efforts to convert the large quantities of data produced by applications of digital technology into useful knowledge that can improve transportation safety.
* Congestion Reduction Policy Research and Technologies. Strengthen policy research and analysis on congestion reduction, congestion pricing, and innovative financing, and conduct RD&T to evaluate the effectiveness and market acceptance of traveler and traffic information technologies, products, and services.
* System Resilience and Global Logistics. Conduct and support RD&T to identify freight bottlenecks and changing transportation patterns and to develop and implement technologies to enhance the efficiency of cargo flows.
* Next Generation Air Transportation System. Provide the knowledge base to achieve greater aviation throughput and capacity; reduce user and service costs, including congestion; increase service productivity; and ensure a safe, secure, and environmentally compatible aviation system.
* Energy Efficiency and Alternative Fuels. Conduct and support research to understand the impact of fuel prices and fuel efficiency on mobility, opportunities to improve fuel efficiency, transportation requirements associated with alternative fuel infrastructures, and safety impacts of alternative fuel vehicles.
Still no trains. But they would like to increase Air travel throughput and capacity WHILE reducing costs. Good fucking luck on that one.
Finally, from the DOT's overall strategic plan thru 2011 :
DOT National Strategy
1. National Strategy to Reduce Congestion (Supports all outcomes)
a. Relieve urban congestion in model cities by implementing a broad congestion pricing or variable toll demonstration; creating or expanding express bus service; securing agreements from major area employers to establish or expand telecommuting and flex scheduling programs; and expediting completion of the most significant highway capacity programs that hold the greatest potential for reducing congestion and bottlenecks.
I'll paraphrase : "BUILD MORE ROADS! PUT FANCY TECHMOLOGY ON THEM TO TELL YOU WHEN THEY'RE AT CAPACITY! Oh, maybe put some buses on there too, but only buses without any useful intermodal options."
US Transportation Policy can Straight Suck It