Losers as winners

Bush just revealed who would get federal funds for rail transit and who wouldn’t be so “lucky.” Those who get the most goodies are cast as the winners, while those who don’t are the losers. But since rail is good at draining local budgets, but not so good at relieving congestion or, say, improving air quality, it’s hard to stick with the news reports’ typical definition of winners and losers. Seattle rail backers got what they wanted. Charlotte rail fans got some, but less than they were hoping for. With zero funding, Denver joined the list of the biggest losers/winners: Federal Transit Administration chief Jennifer Dorn said 17 transit projects around the country are in her agency’s “recommended” category, seven are designated as “not recommended,” and five – including the RTD west corridor line – are listed as “not rated.”