Intercity Passenger and Freight Rail: Better Data and Communication of Uncertainties Can Help Decision Makers Understand Benefits and Trade-offs of Programs and Policies

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Concerns about the weak economy, congestion in the transportation system, and the potentially harmful effects of air emissions generated by the transportation sector have raised awareness of the potential benefits and costs of intercity passenger and freight rail relative to other transportation modes such as highways. GAO was asked to review (1) the extent to which transportation policy tools that provide incentives to shift passenger and freight traffic to rail may generate emissions, congestion, and economic development benefits and (2) how project benefits and costs are ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. February 24, 2011.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Concerns about the weak economy, congestion in the transportation system, and the potentially harmful effects of air emissions generated by the transportation sector have raised awareness of the potential benefits and costs of intercity passenger and freight rail relative to other transportation modes such as highways. GAO was asked to review (1) the extent to which transportation policy tools that provide incentives to shift passenger and freight traffic to rail may generate emissions, congestion, and economic development benefits and (2) how project benefits and costs are assessed for investment in intercity passenger and freight rail and how the strengths and limitations of these assessments impact federal decision making. GAO reviewed studies; interviewed federal, state, local, and other stakeholders regarding methods to assess benefit and cost information; assessed information on project benefits and costs included in rail grant applications; and conducted case studies of selected policies and programs in the United Kingdom and Germany to learn more about their policies designed to provide incentives to shift traffic to rail."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • February 24, 2011

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Intercity Passenger and Freight Rail: Better Data and Communication of Uncertainties Can Help Decision Makers Understand Benefits and Trade-offs of Programs and Policies, report, February 24, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302215/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.