In the latest victory to justify and allow their continued existance, a $28 million grant was awarded to MAGLEV, Inc. yesterday. Check out the article here in the Post Gazette.
My feelings on MAGLEV are pretty clear. I don't have a problem with the technology, and would love the idea of getting on a MAGLEV train and getting to Philadelphia in an hour or Chicago in a few. I just think this application as a commuter route to a nearly empty airport is absolutely ridiculous. All at a cost of $3.75 BILLION. By the way, that's in 2003 money. It's a safe bet that a more updated estimate would put the cost over $4 billion for 54 miles of MAGLEV track. Transportation in Pittsburgh already has enough black sheep, we don't need another. For the record the NSC at least allows Pittsburgh to expand its light rail network in the future to the north and west of the city. I don't envision a rapid transit system in Pittsburgh of interconnected MAGLEV lines.
I guess the bright side is that apparently this money was earmarked specifically for MAGLEV and does not come out of any sort of HSR funding.
While the MAGLEV funding wouldn't come out of a pot that Pittsburgh could use for transit, it's tempting to think about what you could get if you managed to get $3.75 billion for transit in Pittsburgh! Imagine the LRT or subway system you could have! Bottom line, there are so many better uses for the $28 million, let alone the $3.75 billion.
I feel like a broken record.
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