David Cole (Twitter)
David Cole (Twitter)

On what can only be described as a destabilizing, contradictory night, Puget Sound said Yes to ST3 just as the country elected Donald Trump. At the subdued victory party at The Crocodile, Dow Constantine did his best to sieze the moment, successfully rallying the crowd and thanking them for a vote of visionary generational impact. Mayor Murray followed Dow, and he was clearly rattled by Trump’s apparent victory. Speaking to the crowd’s unease at the national results, Murray promised that “we will wake up the same city tomorrow” and that “Seattle will not turn its back on Muslims, immigrants, etc.”

Once the results for ST3 came in, there was little suspense. Pierce County rejected ST3 45%-55% in early returns, Snohomish County approved it 51.5%-48.5%, and King County (East, South, and North subareas combined) approved it 58%-42%. The aggregate tally for the first ballot drop was 55%-45, a lead of over 75,000 votes. ST3 will pass.

Other transit measures across the country did well too, with Los Angeles Measure M slightly leading in its supermajority-required vote, with 68% in favor. But Trump’s victory cast not only a psychological (existential?) shadow over the evening’s festivities, but also a fiscal one. With a Republican sweep in both houses of Congress accompanying a Trump Presidency, federal funding programs and formulas are likely to change over the next four years, and very likely in a way that favors rural roads over  urban transit.

But while the wind was taken out of many of our sails, ST3’s victory has enormous impact for Puget Sound. We now have the authority to build high-capacity transit region wide, and 20 years to fight every step of the way to make ST3 projects more urban, housing more abundant and affordable, and access less vehicular. We look forward to being there every step of the way.

70 Replies to “Puget Sound Votes Yes on ST3, Federal Funding Now Uncertain”

    1. Truncate and defer. That was always expected, as happened in ST2 with 272nd Station and earlier it was going to be 240th Station too. ST might extend the timeline as it did with Central Link but I don’t think it’s likely. The ST1 extension was about unanticipated costs, and it was the first light rail line so it was now or never (after the defeat of Forward Thrust and previous subways back to the 1910s). The ST2 truncation was about the economy; less revenue coming in than expected; that’s the parallel with your scenario. Also I suspect ST wants to stick to a hard project sunset to “keep faith” with voters and roll anything that doesn’t make it in into ST4.

    2. Projects will be delayed. I wouldn’t expect any projects to be truncated, except perhaps to deliver half of a project while waiting for enough funding to finish the rest of the project. ST3 Taxes are indefinite, so if there is a recession (which there certainly will be over the next 20+ years), then that simply means some projects will be delayed and/or some bonds will take longer to pay off.

    1. I’m not too worried about ST3. ST was very conservative in its cost and federal funding estimations, and the bulk of the projects can be funded locally, without any federal funds.

      Republican control of Washington might mean that no local money is available for any of the provisional projects, but I don’t see the main projects as likely to be threatened. Further, the timetable for ST 3 is long, and we may very well get federal funding after all in 8 years or 10 years from a future Democratic administration with more sympathy for areas of the country that vote for Democrats.

      And, with some of the ST3 money in the form of property taxes and MVET taxes, rather than all sales taxes, ST has at least some resilience against a Trump-induced recession pulling the rug out from under it.

      1. Yeah there are many congresses and multiple presidential administrations over the course of ST3. Plenty of opportunity for Federal funding over the next 20 years. It’s not like the big ST3 projects were going to be getting grants in this new Congress’s budget – the EISs won’t even be done yet!

      2. Eight years? Assuming we don’t all die in a Twitter-induced nuclear holocaust, Republicans will loose big in 2020–there is no way that Trump can deliver on his promises and bring back jobs that were lost to technology. Plus, that is a census year, so if Democrats get their shit together at the state level, they might be able to take back the house.

      3. @SeattleBeer — You never know. I remember when Reagan was first elected. A lot of folks on campus felt that Jimmy Carter wasn’t enough of a leftist and that if Reagan swung the pendulum far out to the right, it would swing back to the left. It didn’t work out that way. This country is as far right as its ever been. A far right fascist has just been elected. The House is controlled by Paul Ryan, a far right Republican. The Senate will be in (more moderate) Republican hands. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will soon be in the hands of right wingers, and the press is largely irrelevant now (people only read what they agree with already).

        So rather than swing things back to the left, they have cemented on the right. I would love to have someone like Gerald Ford be President, let alone Jimmy Carter.

        I’m not saying what your suggesting won’t happen, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we are half way through what historians might call the great right wing realignment. Eventually demographics will catch up, but that could take a while.

      4. There’s a chance that he may not be as bad as feared with transit (yes there is the GOP platform), hoping it might at least be on par with George W Bush era which wasn’t horrific, one ST3 has a local mandate and funding to match which cant hurt, two, he is obviously an urban developer from NYC and transit is a cash cow for NYC real estate.

        it all depends on the cabinet pick and how much influence the GOP platform has. However when Palin is a short listed name for Interior secretary, I don’t have a lot of hope.

      5. Trump’s call for increased infrastructure spending is interesting, as it’s something President Obama has proposed numerous times, which the Republican congress fought tooth and nail. The only way any increased infrastructure spending would get through a Republican Congress is if it’s 100% highways, zeroing out all existing federal subsidies for transit, and even then, only as part of a larger spending bill that does a whole host of Republican priorities, including the repeal of Obamacare. Trump’s not going to fight Congress on this, since transportation is completely unimportant to him compared to other issues (e.g. trade, immigration).

        Amtrak is another interesting issue. I guess the Cascades is safe, since it’s state funded and has already lost all federal support, but with the Republicans having free reign, routes like the Empire Builder and Coach Starlight could be on the chopping block.

      6. I’m not so sure about that, asdf2. Remember how the Heritage Foundation’s individual mandate, which was enacted as Romneycare, was suddenly verboten when Obama proposed it. The congressional Republicans could do a reverse flip-flop once Trump packages infrastructure spending in more appealing rhetoric. His unexpected victory could prompt a lot of things to change.

        Sure, your predictions are still the most likely – but we’ve already seen long odds beaten once this week.

      7. I hadn’t thought of that. Please, a reverse flip-flop! And watch them say it was no change at all, just mumble mumble illegitimate president mumble worst-in-history mumble black mumble.

        Also, not all Republicans believe the same things on transit and infrastructure, so it depends on how strong the various factions are, what larger deal they make, whether they’re all united in supporting it, etc. If they don’t care about transit, they may be mildly opposed to it as compared to things they want to destroy (abortion, Obamacare, etc). Some of them may quietly recognize transit is important for their region’s economy, and thus allow the existing policy to remain with only minor changes. And Trump has claimed to be the big deal maker. Well, part of making a deal means engaging all stakeholders (or recognizing all interests as Putin would say), and that includes, um, Democratic views.

  1. I predict that the CCC is now dead. The next transportation budget will remove all transit funding.

    We’ll have to scrounge for enought just to complete ST2 projects. ST3 projects will be cut back severely as well if the economy tanks as bad as it looks like it will.

    Of course, if the economy tanks as bad as folks are predicting, our transit needs may suddenly diminish…

    Its been a very bittersweet night.

    1. I personally hope the CCC and any future Seattle Streetcar expansion is dead. I do think a Trump Administration will be under some pressure from a urbanist President in Trump – I mean, think about it has Trump built things in the hinterlands – to fund transit! That is, until I legitimately fear Americans trade nuclear weapons…

      I think the priority should be on rewarding the supporters of Sound Transit 3 long before the ingrates. Have staff put the pots of money where the hard core fans are (hint: NOT Ballard, NOT Pierce).

      1. Joe, going into a really serious conflict, the last thing you want to do is praise the enemy for setbacks and defeats in your own program. And worst thing is to talk about divisive rewards an punishments within your own group.

        This is classic textbook self-defeat that every hostile occupier actively cultivates to keep the resistance divided. And doing the KGB’s work for them. Well, until we get an answer on this agency’s help with taking the 7-wire to Ellensburg, let’s just talk theoretically about dealing with hostile control.

        And also, who says there’ll be a bottle-cap full of money, let alone pots. You’re a badly-needed force for good, Joe. Don’t waste your effort on The War on Ballard and Pierce. There’ll be plenty of time.


      2. Mark;

        I’m just returning the favor to the people who picked on “my” subarea…. they had it coming and now that the sour grape grenade launcher business end is at their butts, hopefully it’s a cruel but necessary warning that fighting amongst transit advocates… begets more fighting amongst transit advocates.


      3. “the priority should be on rewarding the supporters of Sound Transit 3 long before the ingrates.”

        Political favoritism by agencies is probably illegal. Everyone’s paying the tax whether they voted for it or not, so they have a right to expect results. ST can maybe do some minor discretionary reordering but it couldn’t go far without the appearance of favoritism. Also, it’s constrained by the timeline in ST3, the revenue flow, and the dependencies between projects. Full revenue flow won’t start until 2023 when ST2 spending finishes. The “early results” (RapidRide C and D) are useful precisely because they’re early, and they’re inexpensive so they fit into the 1/3 revenue flow now.

        “Have staff put the pots of money where the hard core fans are (hint: NOT Ballard, NOT Pierce).”

        What? Did Ballard vote against ST3? That’s highly unlikely, because Ballard was the catalyst to get it going, and to make it sooner and larger and grade-separated. Seattle Subway spearheaded those things, but Ballard/45th’s early support was the other half of it. Do we even have precinct results yet?

      4. I haven’t looked at precinct results yet, but I’d be willing to bet that the areas of Pierce that actually get something out of ST3 (downtown Tacoma, central Tacoma, Puyallup, and Sumner) voted for it. Graham voted against it because they don’t get anything.

        The reason ST3 did better in Snohomish than in Pierce is that the district is bigger in Pierce than Snohomish.

      5. Snohomish includes an awful lot of space that is essentially a continuation of north Seattle. There’s a fair number of decent corridors through there. Not great ones, but decent.

        The Pierce district includes a lot of sparse areas such as Gig Harbor and University Place and Lakewood. The sparse nature of those places means there is less money coming into Pierce relative to Snohomish, but it also means it is much harder to develop good transit improvement projects.

      6. GIg Harbor is not part of the taxing district. It has a sweetheart deal, like Olympia, for commuter transit buses subsidized heavily by ST. I predict that the Olympia deal will not be renewed when it is up, and the Gig Harbor deal will go away when some key politicians are changed out (I’m not sure who they are.).

      7. Actually the state pays for the Olympia extension and gig harbor service is paid by pierce transit under agreement with sound transit.

      8. My basic point still holds though: Snohomish has a lot more dense suburban areas while Pierce has a lot of scattered and sparse suburban areas by comparison.

        Throw in the fact that a fairly large chunk of the Pierce district in terms of land isn’t actually in the district in terms of property taxing (JBLM), that particular sub area doesn’t wind up with especially great finances to build their projects.

      9. Pierce Transit and Intercity Transit (via a state grant) are paying the direct costs of the ST Express extensions outside the district. The argument that they’re “heavily subsidized by ST” revolves around whether ST would run the same routes within the district (i.e., to Tacoma Community College and Lakewood) if the extensions didn’t exist, or would it reallocate the hours to other routes or lower the budget. In Gig Harbor’s case I don’t know, but in Olympia’s case they’re 592 runs that ST had for years before that, and the Olympia residents are filling empty seats on those buses. So that in itself is not an excess subsidy. There may be a subsidy in that a bus can do a 2-hour route fewer times a day than a 1.5-hour route, and I’m not sure whether IT’s contribution fully covers that cost. You’d think it would because having and maintaining a bus is an intrinsic part of a bus route service.

      10. Quite frankly I just wanted to give some people a dosage of their own medicine… I mean hearing all this trash talk that oh Snohomish County doesn’t deserve light rail, no light rail to Paine Field, wait for those that voted for it, et al… I just wanted and want to return the favor.

        Those whom support Sound Transit should get priority.

        I am all for trying to help Pierce County transit advocates any way we can otherwise. Perhaps having them forfeit their ST3 projects in return for a tax rate reduction to maintenance & operating might help their Pierce Transit – just a wild suggestion I’m making.

      11. Joe, it isn’t that “Snohomish County doesn’t deserve Light Rail”; nobody, not even Ross or d.p. has said that. What they have said is that Lynnwood is far enough; that deeper into the hinterland should wait for genuine demand to be created by dense development.

        Others have criticized the choices that the elected representatives in the county made, specifically the wandering alignment which sticks close to I-5 — swinging east — until 128th and then makes a sharp dogeg to the west for Paine Field. It could have gone up SR 525 to SR 99 saving a mile or so and had a couple of stations along that route for actual, you know, development. But that would have irritated some of their Chamber of Commerce Buddies.who have car lots along SR99,

        While it’s certainly true that elected officials should oversee transit development and operations, they should keep their pats off alignment decisions, because they don’t know jack about transit design.

      12. “What they have said is that Lynnwood is far enough; that deeper into the hinterland should wait for genuine demand to be created by dense development.”

        Not quite. They say thirty miles is too far to be practical for a 55 mph subway with stops every 1-2 miles, even if the outer half is dense. Thus, the outer part needs a different kind of transit solution. Not no transit solution, but a different kind.

      13. Also there’s some leeway on how far it could be extended before diminishing returns overtakes it. That could be Lynnwood TC or Ash Way. And ST itself is planning to terminate the second line at 128th, for effectively the same reason.

  2. Tuck, transit planning faced same question in 1972. Approach of starting regional rail transit with buses shows it’s possible to keep moving. Leaving us with enough experience we won’t have to wait 11 years to get started. And which also means we’ll already be in motion if things suddenly break in our favor.

    The 2010 election let current President still live in the White House one and a half terms after his Presidency ended. And office changed parties when he got his notice to vacate. That’s what 2018 and 2020 are for.

    But also, Ron, considering quality of communications on the part of the winning candidate and this year’s information delivery on the part of the Media, what do we gain by listening to what either of them says, or reports? Probably best to concentrate on what we need, and can do with what we can get, from wherever.

    Though those long distance trolleybus drivers in Crimea might pass along some useful advice about how Vladimir Putin handles transit. Which may be our best source of info on electric transit under stressed conditions. So maybe our new Administration has already got a valuable contact for us.

    Remember. Trolleybuses don’t count as rail for purpose of not being mentioned. And DSTT actually did prove we can make trolley-powered progress toward future rail in the face of slowdowns and setbacks. But ’til we find out more, might be a good idea to finally get joint-use into top condition.

    Mark Dublin

  3. The fact ST3 depends on so little federal funding and has a massive contingency margin both work in our favour. That said, if Patty Murray’s reelection and CEO Peter Rogoff are worth what some want me to think, get Sound Transit our fair share of pig/pork/bacon!

  4. I’m just happy to see ST3 passing in my county (King) and am sure the same “taxes already too high” folks will be surprised like they were for Move Seattle.

  5. I wouldn’t call this a contradictory night. The ST electorate is very different than the national electorate.

    1. More to the point, voters nationwide with the incomes and prospects of the ST service area vote very differently than people in, say, Aberdeen, where the last factory went the way of the rest of the timber industry several years ago.

      Maybe it’s from being entitled to tell last night’s candidates everything young people of 68 and 70 like them don’t realize. But good chance that liberal Democrats went extinct with the loss of the last job that would let a sixteen year old walk across the street out of high school, and be able to start a family with first paycheck from the mill.

      As a platform plank (those kids really did make a lot of boards in Hoquiam) the return of that situation could really start to make the Washington State Legislature a little more public-funding friendly. And also take ‘way down all the “THE” problems. “THE” gang problem. “THE” drug problem. “THE” (write in your own favorite self-inflicted civic misery.

      Since “THE” pillars on I-5 through Seattle won’t take a ‘quake. and “THE” State of Washington has dozens of gravity-challenged highway bridges, not a dime of make-work “Stimulus” (ick, what an Anthony Wiener word!).

      Bet President Obama could kick off the program on his own authority, whether he technically has any or not. What are they gonna do, impeach him? And then let the Republicans campaign to take those jobs away all the way to 2018. But [ON T] for transit, a lot of young workers will be old enough to drive buses by then.

      Excellent example of the Trillion-Dollar-Degree-Debt-Unnecessary decent work that used to give both the the Democratic Party and Republican Parties a solid Angry-Vindictive-Weirdo-Free base. And also render driverless motoring as hard to implement as it deserves to be.

      Find out date and location of your party’s next district meeting, run them off a copy, and say they can blame me if they lose in 2018 anyhow.

      Mark Dublin

      1. I really think Obama missed an opportunity in that first couple of years. The type of jobs you describe are going the way of the Dodo, so there is only so much you can do. But when we really needed to spend billions (if not trillions) we spent too little. Making matters worse, there was no attempt to actually reach out to those sorts of communities. This was common in the New Deal. Rural electrification is a big deal. But there was little of that, in this Great Recession. I would have focused on the “pay me now, or pay me later projects”. We have a huge amount of work that needs to be done, and it will cost a lot more when it is done later. For example, hire kids out of school to get rid of invasive species that cost farmers billions. Fix the bridges, roads and sewer systems now, instead of later. I know, this is easy to say — but Obama isn’t being viewed as FDR (and Hillary as Truman) because life for those who work with their hands hasn’t been really great. They stopped the bleeding, but it wasn’t enough. Now we have to deal with a guy that makes Wendell Willkie seem overqualified (as if lack of qualification was his worst problem).

      2. Who prevented Obama from launching a larger stimulus? And if he created jobs by his own authority, how would he pay their salaries?

  6. First priority right now is to start pushing for the 130th Street station.

    TriMet requested and was approved by the FTA to make changes in the Orange Line while it was being built. It was a sensible change and there were no issues at the federal level with those changes.

    130th is funded by ST3. The FTA doens’t need to provide additional federal money for it, but the process for Lynnwood Link is going on right now.

    There’s no time to waste if you want to get 130th Street included when the line opens. There are procedures in place for making this type of change, and at this point it looks like 130th Street Station isn’t going to get federal funds anyway, no matter if it is built now or later.

    Funding the station 100% locally may also be used as a credit for future projects. One of the reasons MAX yellow line got 70% federal funding (rather than 50% that is closer than normal) is that the extension to the airport was built with no federal funding. That was viewed by the feds (during a Republican administration!!!) as a credit towards a future project.

    So, push for 130th Street Station to be included now. There are huge (or is the official spelling of that these days yuge?) benefits to including it in the opening of Lynnwood Link, and the worst that could happen is the feds will say “no” and you’ll have a station already designed for when it is possible to build later.

      1. Despair is appropriate come January.
        Now is the opportunity to get everything you can out of the last years of the Obama administration.

      2. @Bruce — My feelings exactly. I’ve been crying for a while now. I weep for my country.

        But yeah, Glenn is right. There are things that can happen, and should happen, right away (like pushing for a NE 130th station).

      3. Didn’t the Republicans overcome their despair enough to render their Democratic opponent, who came in strong and popular in 2008, a half-term President in 2010? Just a suggestion.


      4. Yes, Mark, and you can bet your ass the Dems are planning the same. But not now. Now we mourn. Nothing is going to get done this week. Even working seems fruitless. I guess it is the combination of things. The shock (everyone expected Hillary to win); the fear (Trump could be really bad) and the disappointment in the country. I mean I saw the Reagan landslide coming a mile away. Folks weren’t happy with Carter, and here comes this guy from the west (California, no less, the land of opportunity) riding up on his great white horse. America was willing to accept a guy that was considered way too far to the right, for that reason.

        Bush wasn’t too crazy either. He might not have been the sharpest crayon in the box, but he was charming. Unlike his dad, he knew how to relate to people. Plus he was well qualified, having been a governor as well as son of a president.

        But this? This? Holy cow, where to begin. Well, Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and Senator, so she is well qualified to be President, even if she wasn’t married to the commander and chief. Trump, meanwhile, has never worked for the government. He has no record of success at anything but making himself wealthy — and even there it is questionable. Not to mention he is xenophobic, racist, misogynistic and an accused sexual molester. Not by one or two, but a half dozen women. Oh, and he was caught on tape bragging about the groping! Holy Cow, America, you went from almost electing a woman for the first time ever to electing a guy like that! Shocking, disgusting, but ultimately really, really sad. I thought this country I loved was smarter than that. Nope.

        So, yeah, the Democrats will definitely overcome their despair. But for now, we mourn.

      5. “you can bet your ass the Dems are planning the same.”

        The Dems believe in responsible governance. Knee-jerk blockading is irresponsible. And if both sides do it forever, we can say good-bye to the country. They can’t roll over and let the R’s have everything they want (when they’ll get nothing when they’re in power), but it has to be less than a scorched-earth blockdade. This means they’ll have to decide what their biggest priorities are.

      6. They’re talking of Sarah Palin as Sec. of the Interior. NOW you can start the despair.

        But push for 130th Street Station anyway.

  7. It would have been nice if we had gone bigger so as to not be reliant on the feds to make this higher quality.

    1. We also have a governmental body that convenes in Olympia. We’ll call it a state legislature. State legislatures around the country have traditionally helped fund transit. Perhaps we could pitch the idea to them, now that we have a third mandate.

      1. 15 year = big. 25 year = bigger. We need biggest. On its face, ST3 doesn’t do enough for Seattle and we really need those federal dollars.

  8. Calm the heck down about ST3 being hobbled out of the gate by a tanking economy. The revenues are extraordinarily robust. The financial plan underwent multiple sensitivity tests prior to adoption. Things are going to happen. If the national economy falters, we will still be putting people to work in this state no matter what. Washington and North Carolina were the last two states to fall into recession in 2008, and among the first to re-emerge. Because we have a highly diversified economy and a highly skilled workforce. These fundamentals are not changed at all by a Trump presidency. They are a bulwark.

      1. and the pragmatist realizes the winds will be blowing for the next 25 years, so panic is hardly warranted at this point (in terms of transit projects anyway).

    1. They’re not either-or. Both the person expecting the winds to change and the person adjusting the sails may be optimists, believing they have a greater than 50% chance of success.

      In any case, premature pessimism is premature. The grants haven’t evaporated yet. There are several players who can cause actions and reactions on all these issues, and where it will settle out is unpredictable. The most we can say is there’s a greater than 50% chance the grants will be cut or eliminated. Predicting the exact outcome is like predicting a football score before the game. If you’re so sure of the score, why play the game? But people do play the game because they care about what actually happens. Most people predicted yesterday inaccurately. Who knows how accurate they’ll be about what happens in the next year or two? Did you accurately predict what would happen in 2016 on January 1, 2016? Did you predict what would happen in 2015 on January 1, 2015? What about 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003?

  9. The good thing about the long timeline for ST3, is that trump will be out of office before construction even starts.

    The next step is to support a democratic congress in 2018 and a democratic president in 2020.

    Don’t get discouraged. Nothing is ever over.

  10. Trump’s made a YUGE number of promises which are very vague in their implementation details. Given that, and his reputation for lying, it’s a good bet that many of them won’t be implemented. The few that will be, will generally be proven to be failures.

    In other words, expect a backlash. Four or even two years down the road things could very easily look very different. A couple years’ delay in getting funds for projects that won’t be starting right away anyhow isn’t going to much matter in the big picture.

  11. Ditto on the Dynasties.

    Last politically credible one went out when JR Ewing started driving light rail in Dallas, and his relative, I forget which one, finally developed the guts to tell his wife’s boyfriend he could still live in the mansion, but, like the richest most powerful tycoon in Texas deserved, at least leave some hot water and toilet paper for somebody else!

    Also, still have PTSD from discovering that my plastic tyrannosaurus and brontosaurus were not in fact, Dynasties. The thecodonts, scientists still aren’t sure.


    1. Last politically credible one went out when JR Ewing started driving light rail in Dallas,

      There’s still a few of the Kennedy family around. One of them is on Ring of Fire Radio once in a while. The Roosevelt family is still around too.

      None seem especially interested in holding office anywhere.

    2. Caroline Kennedy was drafted for Congress a few years ago. She did badly and didn’t make the primary. Reports are that she didn’t really want to do it anyway.

  12. Um, guys, like, all we have to do is call it the Trump Link and promise it’ll be YUGE!

    We can change the name 4 years from now.

    1. You could let him know there is an island in the San Juans named Trump.

      Also, this Washington State thing doesn’t seem to be working out so well since the District of Columbia decided they would use that name. So, why not rename the entire state?

      The Trump family has ties to Seattle. The family fortune was made when Grandpa Trump started a chain of brothels during the Yukon Gold Rush. (See Democracy Now from August 10) Considering those ties to the state, maybe it would be worthwhile to appeal to the family history.

  13. How much is Trump-induced trade wars going to increase the costs to Sound Transit for buying train tracks, rail cars, tunnel boring machines, and buses? If every imported part is suddenly subject to huge tariffs, this could cause ST3 to become a lot more expensive.

    This could be the real way that Trump screws over Sound Transit, and could end up mattering far more than a loss of federal money.

    1. Most of that damage has already been done under the “Buy America” act. And given Trump’s priority on American manufacturing jobs, don’t expect that to change. Really the only way ahead is for the cities to get together and convince some companies that building world-class state-of-the-art trains is worth their while. And as for cutting regulation, there’s some railroad regulations that could be cut, to allow passenger trains more access to existing tracks. Could we maybe get down to the international standard in railroad regulations?

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