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Fantasy Transit Planning: $250 Billion in US Public Transit Investment?

Reconnecting America updated its Transit Space Race for 2013.

Their main point seems to be there is $250 billion worth of unbuilt transit in the US, and we should build it, and at current federal spending rates, we won't get this done for 8 decades. I can think of a lot worse uses for the money, but also better. Of course the estimated cost is only the cost for the 497 projects, whose costs have already been estimated, and does not include the 224 projects without cost estimates.

They don't respond to why it is a federal responsibility to fund local serving transit.

They provide a map of the US, with a number of projects per CMSA. The Twin Cities comes in fourth (behind LA, Baltimore-Washington, and Chicago) in the number of proposed but unfunded projects. I am not sure whether to be proud or dismayed that we weren't first.

At any rate, it won't take long for the observant reader to identify some double (or I think triple) counting or alternatives under different guises, both of which would likely never be built (streetcar and rapid bus in the same corridor, for example). Nevertheless, as a first cut summary, this is useful for the fantasy transit planner in all of us.

They also have categories of BRT (bus rapid transit) and Rapid bus. This is confusing to professionals, much less the public. We need better terms of art for one or both of these things. There are lots of terms floating around, but I think the aim is to obfuscate as much as communicate.