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THE AMERICAN IDEAS INSTITUTE

The American Ideas Institute announced on August 16, 2010 that it has established The American Conservative Center for Public Transportation. The Center’s primary purpose is to build support for public transportation, especially urban and intercity rail, as a non-partisan, non-ideological infrastructure issue.

This action was made possible by a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation.

The Center will champion a balanced transportation system in which rail and highway travel complement each other. We recognize that some journeys will always be more convenient by car. However, Americans should have the choice to travel to and from any point in the country without relying on an automobile. By restoring this flexibility, which existed as recently as the 1950′s, we can lay the foundation for an America less dependent on oil and secure from threats from the Middle East and other oil-producing areas.

The new Center’s Director is William S. Lind, who co-authored Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation with the late Paul M. Weyrich, a well-known conservative supporter of rail transportation. The Executive Director is Glen D. Bottoms, who recently retired from a 25-year career with the Federal Transit Administration and who has written on a variety of rail transit topics.

Mr. Lind and the late Mr. Weyrich co-authored another book, The Next Conservatism, which embraces rail transportation as a central component in the new conservative agenda. The Moving Minds book compiles all of the previous Weyrich/Lind transit studies into one volume.

Mr. Lind notes that, “The American Ideas Institute’s American Conservative Center for Public Transportation will be a strong and effective advocate for a robust public transportation system. The Center will work to establish a conservative voice for enhanced public transit, including both urban and intercity rail. Conservatives have traditionally supported a strong national defense, and nothing is more essential to America’s security than reducing our dependence on automobiles powered largely with imported oil. Improved public transportation can be an effective partner in this process, with technologies, especially electric railways, that have been tested and proven in more than a century of service.”

THE AMERICAN IDEAS INSTITUTE
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