Rahm and reinvesting in the states December 3, 2008Posted by deepblueillinois in Uncategorized.
Tags: passenger and freight rail, Rahm Emanuel, school construction, transportation
Today’s Huff Post provides a transcript of the interview that future White House COS gave on the press plane following yesterday’s meeting in Philly between the nation’s governors and President-Elect Obama.
What is becoming increasingly clear is that in the run-up to January 20th, states will need to be preparing to prioritize their respective infrastructure needs so as to be ready to receive whatever additional federal funding will coming heading their way. It also means that on the transportation side, there is an opening to realign their thinking on investment in passenger and freight rail.
All too often, passenger and freight rail are crowded out by highways in allocating scarce public transportation dollars. What needs to happen now in Illinois is for us to establish a system of scoring and prioritizing transportation projects very much the same way that the state uses a set formula to evaluate school construction projects. The highly regarded School Construction Bond Program is jointly administered by the State Board of Education and the Capital Development Board and uses a rigorous evaluation process to vet and rank projects for school districts across the state.
There’s no doubt that a similar template could be developed for evaluating transportation projects. Starting to do so now would position the state well for maximizing the value of every federal transportation dollar.