Last week, Amtrak unveiled a master plan for the future Union Station. Most press coverage immediately focused on the dollar figure in the plan — $7 billion — and even many transit advocates fretted that this cost sounded unrealistic. But we should not criticize Amtrak for suggesting a $7 billion plan. Instead, we need even more big plans to go along with this one.
That’s because this plan isn’t just for today, and isn’t just for Amtrak. It’s about what it will take to update a 100-year-old commuter and intercity rail bottleneck that we haven’t invested in for generations. It even goes far beyond Union Station, and there need to be plans for all of it.
Plus, transportation planning is not about what we need today. States put things on the plan that have no money at all, but decades later, they get done. If we want a commuter and intercity rail system that can grow for the next 100 years, we need to plan investments 30 years hence, today.
[Continue reading David Alpert’s post at Greater Greater Washington.]
David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.