Callahan on the Future of High-Speed Rail

Colleen Callahan, deputy director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, spoke to the Washington Post about federal funding for new infrastructure projects and the future of rail transit in the United States. President Biden has signed a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill into law, and $65 billion is earmarked for rail projects. However, Callahan expressed doubt that the new package will go toward high-speed rail. “This package is not the silver bullet for the bullet,” Callahan said. “We won’t see much of it go to high-speed rail.” Bullet trains are popular around the globe and can unite cities hundreds of miles apart without excessive carbon emissions. However, the federal funding for rail projects is expected to go largely to the federally owned Amtrak. Many transportation experts predict that Amtrak will use the funding to address problems on its traditional lines instead of investing in new high-speed rail projects.

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