September 24, 2022 - TRA Newswire / Megan Kimble -

Appearing on a transportation panel at the Texas Tribune Festival this week (#tribfest22), the Chairs of both the Texas House and Senate Transportation Committee were not optimistic about the future of high-speed rail for the state.

Journalist Megan Kimble posted tweets (@megankimble) from the online newspaper's yearly event on a panel discussion with moderator Brandon Formby and Texas Senate Transportation Chair Robert Nichols, House Transportation Chair Terry Canales and TxDOT executive Brian Barth. 

no one on the panel is optimistic Texans will get a long-promised high-speed bullet trail between Dallas and Houston, which supposedly was going to be 100% privately funded

High-speed rail only works in places where the government is willing to subsidize it, says Nichols, who chairs the Texas Senate's transportation committee

Canales, who chairs the Texas house transportation committee: There is no high-speed rail on the planet that is not government-subsidized. Would high speed rail be nice? Yes, but it would have to be government subsidized, and heavily so

Additional tweets from Kimble:

"There’s no question that public transportation and mass transit are important," Canales says. "They work in some areas but not other areas. The reality is, where we are in Texas, highway growth and road building is our most cost effective way to get Texans where they're going."

re: funding for mass transit. The people driving on the roads paid to build the roads and they paid to maintain the roads, Nichols says. When you get in mass transit, it is a heavily subsidized form of transportation (This is false, roads are heavily subsidized by general funds)

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Photo credit: Megan Kimble on twitter. Kimble is former editor of the Texas Observer and her stories have appeared in Texas Monthly, Citylab and the new York Times. She is writing a book on highways for Crown Publishing