My Bio and This Blog's Purpose

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

2018 Midterms and Rail

Here are my rapid fire responses to the midterms and their impact on passenger rail.

West Coast
CA: The incoming governor may shift which segments of CAHSR get built next. When it comes to the main opponents of the project, two out of the three are gone—Valadao and Denham lost their House races but McCarthy will become the new House Minority Leader.

NM: Here’s to hoping that Michelle Lujan Grisham is vastly more pro-rail than her predecessor.

MN: Maybe the second Chicago-Twin Cities frequency will accelerate now.
WI: Governor No Train is finally ousted and he lost based on a rule that he created that prevented a recount by a certain margin. Serves him right.
IA: Kim Reynolds holding onto the governor’s mansion and soon to be serving a full term means that a Quad Cities-Omaha extension will be off the table for at least another four years.
IL: Once the Quad Cities route gets up and running, the question is which route will be next on the agenda. The Black Hawk revival? Rockford service? Something else?
OH: Oh dear, Mike DeWine had the most ambiguous position out of the four gubernatorial candidates in regards to transit needs, which may mean the status quo in Columbus.

AL: Earlier this year, Kay Ivey passed on providing money to reviving the Mobile-New Orleans Gulf Coast Limited route. That seemed to conclude a spat between the governor and the Southern Rail Commission but a couple of weeks later, advocates pressed forward with building a new station in Mobile. Ivey got elected to a full term but is less inclined to even support any type of passenger rail than her predecessor, who at least explored the possibility of a PPP before an impeachment threat forced him to step down.
GA: As to what the new governor will do in advancing passenger rail, your guess is as good as mine. If anything, Georgians may be better off hoping that Sir Richard’s venture serves the Atlanta-Charlotte market in the interim.
FL: It will be up to the public to push Ron DeSantis to implement a statewide rail system to connect Floridians. Over the past six or so years, region after region has expressed its interest in reviving rail service in some capacity. Now is the time to not only provide a system but to also prove that a state can develop on without Amtrak. Don’t just leave everything to Brightline/Virgin.
NC: Roy Cooper can now veto rail-unfriendly legislation, which would be a sigh of relief for mass transit.

CT: We shall see if the new governor is more open to funding the Housatonic and New England Central routes now that the Hartford Line is finally up and running. 
MA: Conversely, we’ll also see if Charlie Baker and the legislature are able to produce any new routes in the Bay State.
ME: Hopefully, the Pine Tree State will move out of its neutral position and develop more routes.