Virginia officials defended their failure to apply for federal high-speed rail funds by noting a 2017 completion deadline and the need for state matching dollars [“High-speed rail isn’t a fast track in Virginia,” Metro, June 5].

This is wrong. While projects south of Richmond need full environmental impact statements, much work between Richmond and Washington could easily have met the deadline.

 Moreover, the majority of the recently distributed dollars were American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds not requiring a state match.

Nationally, The Post correctly noted, a few Republican governors conspicuously rejected federal high-speed rail funds.

However, 11 states in the latest round of applications had Republican governors — including Wisconsin, albeit for a smaller amount than the state earlier rejected.

Ross B. Capon, Washington

The writer is president and chief executive of the National Association of Railroad Passengers.


The article on high-speed rail in Virginia focused on the long trips that Tom Herbert and “dozens” of other commuters in Richmond have to travel to jobs in the District and Northern Virginia.

Nowhere did the article question the logic of subsidizing people who choose to live so far from their jobs (or choose to work so far from their homes). Mr. Herbert and other federal workers are already getting $230 monthly in taxpayer money to subsidize their commutes, in addition to benefiting from the millions in subsidies that go to Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express.

Does it make sense to spend billions more dollars to improve railroads to benefit a few people who make such choices?

Robert Arias, Crownsville