A Dec. 2 news story, “Despite the ads, railroads benefit from federal funds,” distorted how the federal government finances critical transportation infrastructure projects, including those involving railroads.
State and local governments — not railroads — are the recipients of the federal grant funding for projects that must meet federal criteria and are carefully evaluated by regulators.
These projects are true public-private partnerships: private freight railroads and governmental entities each contribute resources to jointly solve critical transportation problems. Each party provides funds and each party benefits.
State and local governments derive great advantages from partnering on freight rail-related projects. These improvements ease roadway congestion, lower greenhouse gas emissions and provide greater commuter rail capacity. As well, there are pedestrian and driver safety improvements and enhanced community livability.
The article correctly noted that, unlike most other modes of transportation, freight railroads own, maintain and continuously upgrade America’s nationwide freight rail network. Since 2009, freight railroads have spent $115 billion of their own funds to build, maintain and upgrade the nationwide freight rail network.
The freight rail industry is proud of the investments we make in our nation’s rail system and everything we do to deliver for our nation’s economy.
— Edward R. Hamberger, president and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington
Bad police policy
The Dallas police have announced a new policy for officers involved in shootings. (See Nov. 29 news story, “Shooting leads to new policy for police.”)
Officers are given 72 hours before making an official statement and record of what happened. The story said the “change also will give officers time to review video or other material relating to a shooting.”
So, instead of the truth, they will learn what evidence is found and then make their story align with the evidence.
Does that mean anyone involved in a shooting is also allowed 72 hours before they make a legal statement? This is a very bad policy.
— Brent Beal, Keller
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