Joe Biden is best known for his experience in foreign policy issues, but I’ve long been most excited by the possibility that his strong pro-rail views may have influence in an administration certain to be dominated (like all administrations) by people who don’t care about transportation policy. This morning at the National Governor’s Association, Biden took the opportunity to talk a bit about the virtues of investing in rail:
There’s a reason when you turned on the olympics to watch them this past summer, you saw mag-lev trains going over 200 miles an hour in supposedly a third world country [i.e., China] in terms of its economy, blowing into town, dealing with environmental problems they have as well as transporting people in a way that we don’t even come close to being able to do. And as Barack has pointed out, and John Corzine knows, I may have a bit of a pro-rail bias. I think think of the jobs we can create in both construction and innovation if we make similarly bold investments here in the United States as well as the environmental payoff that flows from that kind of investment.
Of course it’s not just a question of jobs we create directly through rail construction, it’s also the prospects of greater long-term growth through more efficient use of space and energy resources that should get us excited. But good for Biden — hopefully he’ll have some influence as the key transportation policy jobs get filled.