Federal Funding for RailRunner?

Right now, New Mexico is looking for $75 million in federal money for the RailRunner commuter train. The Albuquerque Tribune editorialized that the project was worthy of federal support and that Senator Domenici should use all of his political wiles to get the funding.
While it may seem simple to New Mexicans who think governments have an unlimited amount of money to throw around, even the federal government must (or at least should) prioritize. The problem is, as I point out in my subsequent letter to the editor, when government provides a particular service or several services, it becomes far more difficult to prioritize.
Although I don’t think we’ll see full-blown capitalism in transportation anytime soon, I do think that the first step is to return transportation policymaking to the states. That way, at least states will be able to try innovative solutions and compete with each other to find the transportation systems that work and that their citizens and businesses will use and can pay for.
If you want to see what an innovative, free market transportation system might look like, check out the work of Bob Poole and the Reason Foundation.