Program 13: Diverging Interests

    Opens by asking, what interest groups are most opposed to high-speed rail and wondering why the railroad industry has not done more to advertise and promote the concept. The answer to the first question is almost certainly rural constituencies and perhaps also the oil industry, which constitutes a powerful and vocal political lobby. When the issue is approached using systems analysis, the result is that relatively few “focal political actors” (such as the President and Congress) advocate in a decisive way on behalf of high-speed rail, making its development difficult. Even if such “actors” took the lead, an array of interest groups, as well as various agencies, would line up to oppose it.

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