High Speed Ground Transportation:

Financing Issues

T-RCED-93-14: Published: Mar 4, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 1993.

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GAO commented on the introduction of high-speed ground transportation (HSGT) in the United States. GAO noted that: (1) the United States could pursue several levels of technological improvements to make HSGT a reality; (2) incremental approaches that build on the existing rail infrastructure would allow increased speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and would incur the lowest capital cost; (3) more than a dozen HSGT projects are proposed around the nation, but they have not obtained private funds to begin construction and federal support has been minimal; (4) if HSGT systems are built in the United States, increased federal leadership and financial commitment will be necessary; (5) the financial community believes that federal commitment is necessary to gain significant amounts of capital from the private sector and help establish public-private partnerships to develop additional HSGT systems; and (6) both private and public investors require realistic forecasts of potential ridership.

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