The front page of the Washington Post today reports that the current US Transportation Secretary, Susan Peters, has thrown up impossible barriers to allowing the US government to provide $900 million out of an estimated $5 billion to extend a metro line from Washington through now-unserved Tyson's Corner to the area's main airport, Dulles International, far west of town. This project has been in the planning for 40 years, is supported by local politicians in all jurisdictions of both parties, plus local business people, would help the environment, reduce congestion, and end the absurdity of Washington being the only major capital city in the world from which an international traveler cannot get to downtown from its main airport by public transport. As it is, there is a monopoly on transport for the Washington Flyer, and one hears announcements over the loudspeakers asking people to report to the police anybody daring to offer one a cab or other kind of ride out of Dulles not from Washington Flyer, the only "approved" transport from the airport.
This decision is totally and utterly ideological, with Peters being an advocate of paid toll roads, automobile uber alles. Those involved in the negotiations have complained of "goal posts constantly being moved" with the various local governments having jumped through endless hoops to satisfy the DOT. This is one more sign of how much damage Bush can still do to US society and economy in the year he still has to remain in office as president, and given his appointments to the Supreme Court, for decades to come. (I am not against congestion tolls as are in place in London and Singapore, but those places provide good metro transport from their airports as well)