The USA has inadvertently positioned itself as an outlier among industrialized rich nations – particularly in the last few decades – because it has disproportionately subsidized commercial air travel, rather than fast, efficient trains, for more than half a century.
On Friday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg schooled Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy over why investing in high-speed rail – an essential component of President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan – is a critical step in modernizing and revitalizing the United States’s antiquated, crumbling infrastructure.
“President Biden says he wants $80 billion for rail. The other day, he was talking about having trains that can go across the country as fast as a plane. I’m curious, as the transportation secretary, do you see a big demand for that, for a high-speed, cross-country train?” Doocy asked.
Buttigieg explained that the American people deserve to have access to the same technologies that the citizens of other western nations “enjoy” every day.
“Like the president, I don’t think Americans should settle for less than citizens in other countries enjoy as a matter of course. Now the truth is we have a backlog to deal with in addition to making sure that we can create new routes and new capacity. And what’s great about the scale of the American Jobs Plan is, it’s going to support both of those things: Maintenance that we’ve needed all along and a chance to build new routes and expand what Americans can access,” Buttigieg said.
Twitter observer @Acyn posted the video to the platform.
“Do you see a big demand for that? A high-speed cross country train?” pic.twitter.com/VrPtc3YAn5
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 9, 2021
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.