Originally Posted by AustinChief
This is all true except that in the end, it better make SOME profit(or at least come close to break even) or it isn't sustainable. I think the idea that it needs to make a profit is less about the profit itself and more a PROOF that it is a project that the market wants and needs.
I'm a huge fan of HSR but I think it needs to be done with private funds so that we don't end up with countless "trains to nowhere." I have no problem with government subsidies for massive infrastructure ventures like this done primarily with private funds.
I agree that much of this would need to be funded by private funding. The problem is that in many cases, the private funding is best suited on a state level (e.g. Florida having a rail with funding help from Disney), but the rail only works best when you have multi-state involvement. It will have to be a mix between private and public funding, because there's just no way you can get enough private funding for a federal project to make it go.
The reason why I don't like the profit/loss argument is that it doesn't factor all the intangible benefits that you can't put a dollar toward. This transportation system is a SIGNIFICANT positive enabler for businesses. The government may not make profit from that enablement, but it certainly makes the cost much more justifiable.