High-Speed Rail Projects in the United States: Identifying the Elements for Success-Part 1

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High-Speed Rail Projects in the United States: Identifying the Elements for Success-Part 1


For almost half a century, high-speed ground transportation (HSGT) has held the promise of fast, convenient, and environmentally sound travel for distances between 40 and 600 miles. While a number of HSGT systems have been developed and deployed in Asia and Europe, none has come close to being implemented in the United States. Yet this is not for lack of trying. There have been several efforts around the country, most of which have failed, some of which are still in the early stages, and a few of which might come to pass.

The goal of this study was to identify lessons learned for successfully developing and implementing high-speed rail (HSR) in the United States. Through a broad literature review, interviews, and three specific case studies—Florida, California, and the Pacific Northwest—this study articulates those lessons and presents themes for future consideration.



Allison L.C. de Cerreño is Co-Director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at the New York University Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. She also serves as Executive Director of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). Prior to joining the Rudin Center, Dr. C. de Cerreño was Director of Science & Technology Policy at the New York Academy of Sciences (1998-2002). Prior to that, she was Associate Director (1996-1998) of Studies and Research Associate for Latin America (1991-1996) at the Council on Foreign Relations.

October 2005
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