Bikernet Blog Search Bikernet
Ride Forever -
Sunday Edition


It's Moving and Startling...

By Bandit, Wayfarer, Bob T., Sam, Berry Green, Rogue, the Redhead, Gearhead, Laura, Jeremiah and the rest of the crew

Share this story:


Things are opening up.
There’s hope for the future. Fandango is happening now in Texas. My list is getting more manageable regarding the move to South Dakota.

I tried to unload a couple of bikes, my ’46 Indian and a ’58 Triumph TR6. I offered them to only one guy, the owner of Century Cycles. Hell, he had the Indian sold at a sizeable profit before he bought it, but then he wanted to haggle. I made a reasonable counteroffer and he turned it down.

Old friend, Mick, hauling off some equipment.
Old friend, Mick, hauling off some equipment.

I was okay with it. I had already planned, with Haul Bike to ship the remainder of my bikes and the Salt Torpedo to Sturgis. Then I spoke to Dr. Hamster. He decided he had to have the Indian. Done deal. He will pick it up on Saturday. Haul Bikes is due to pick up any day now. My collection is small potatoes compared to the bikes listed below, hang on.

My grandson, Frankie, is taking over the 5-Ball leather line. He’s coming with his chopper buddy Charlie Monday or Tuesday. I need to get my ex, Nyla to pick up some of her memories. And finally, my cousin Bev is coming to pick up my mother’s family archives back to the civil war. That’s on the Warner side of the family, from Kansas City, Missouri.

My dad’s family blasted out of England after WWI. You’re going to stumble into more interesting facts about life and the human benefits to our planet and our species in the news. We are rapidly discovering that man’s use of fossil fuels may have saved life on earth. Hang on for the full report on Bikernet in the next couple of days.

So, when someone speaks of exhaust and doom, you will know the facts. We’re living in the best of times as soon as Covid is behind us. Read On!

The Bikernet Weekly News is sponsored in part by companies who also dig Freedom including: Cycle Source Magazine, the MRF, Las Vegas Bikefest, Iron Trader News, ChopperTown, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum.

Click for all the info...
Click for all the info...


BIKES FOR SALE AT FANDANGO--These bikes are currently on display in Texas at the Fandango antique motorcycle event with races and a swap meet.

1912 Flying Merkel. All real, born at the factory.
Restored exquisitely. One minutiae paint flaw that is extremely hard to even find. Seattle Concours winner. Invited to Pebble & Lake Cuomo Concours (I declined both). Handled with jeweler’s gloves.

1911 Reading Standard. All original, unmolested. Original rear tire. Runs beautifully. Considered the nicest unmolested R/S Single in existence.

1942 Crocker #310 . Last Crocker that left the factory. Steve Huntzinger Restoration. All real born at the factory, except obvious items like floorboard rivets and new brake cable, etc.
14.9 miles by Huntzinger.

1912 Hedstrum Indian Single. Of only 150 belt bikes built there are believed to be 12 remaining. Best original paint finish I have seen in decades. Great patina. New tubes in tires. Everything lubricated.

The 1912 Bookend- Twin cylinder Hendee Indian. Terrific patina. Best original acetylene tank I’ve seen.

1912 Pierce Big Head, Twin Cam. From the Otis Chandler Collection. Older restoration. I removed the motor and lightly polished it to remove burnt oil. Hand buffed the paint to freshen. New Coker tires and tubes. Carb is cleaned and rebuilt. Rides faster than anyone should ride it! Beautiful sounding motor with a cocky little Twin Cam Lope.

1914 Pope OHV Twin
Purchased by Bud Ekins for Steve McQueen. Otis Chandler (Los Angeles Times owner) owned for the rest of his life. Older restoration with a handful of chips and skuffs. McQueen rode it often. Steve Huntzinger refreshed the motor recently. Just a beautiful example of a rare motorcycle.

1904 ER Thomas Auto -Bi
Restored by Brad Willmarth from an all-real complete motorcycle. Rims are original willow wood. Original seat leather was missing and hand tooled recreated from photos. Three or four minutia skuffs on sides of rims from shipping. Can be air brushed and blended.
The first production motorcycle available in America in 1900.

I have a lot of detail photos of all these machines on my computer. I would be glad to forward as many as necessary.

For The Love of The Sport;
--Steve Klein
Sierra Madre Motorcycle Company

If you are interested in any or all of these machines feel free to drop me an email:

LATS & ATTS Spring Issue Now on Sale!
Get the current issue for free here!
(or sign up for the free online subscription here!)

Due to the loss of our warehouse in the Bear Fire last September, all of our back issues burned. BUT (I love that word!) some of our readers sent in their back issues, so we do have a limited supply of older back issues, and we have the issues we've printed since the fire, (#33 Winter 2020-and #34 Spring 2021!).

Subscribe to the print here!!!
& keep Latitudes & Attitudes going for another 20 years!
The Summer Issue goes on sale June 1st!
In subscriber homes around May 18th!

BRAND New Bikernet Reader Comment!--
Cantina Episode 93: 1VEGAS

I'm glad that Bandit is on his way to the Redhead. It's a great way to end the episode and makes everything okay.

He's been through a lot lately.

I remember a time, years ago, I had my Mercedes up to 180 mph on the freeway. That car ran like a top. I like the way Bandit flew past Vegas. Pretty colorful.

-- Hal2
Long Beach, CA

Quick, Join Bandit's Cantina and support Bikernet Content.
Quick, Join Bandit's Cantina and support Bikernet Content.

Spain wants mandatory airbags.
Spain wants mandatory airbags.

Motorcyclists Deserve A Full Role In Road Safety Policies-- FEMA wants motorcycles and other powered two-wheelers to be included in Europe’s road safety plans.

FEMA studied the European Commission’s latest road safety plans and wrote an extensive response, stating that the plans focus on cars only and do not sufficiently take motorcyclists into account. FEMA can and will not support an approach that is not safe for all road users, including motorcyclists.

Steps towards Vision Zero’. The Commission sets new intermediate targets to halve the number of fatalities and serious injuries on European roads by 2030. According to Mrs Adina-Ioana Valean, EU Commissioner for Transport: “The Framework provides a comprehensive set of measures for priority areas such as improving the cross-border enforcement of traffic offences, modernizing driving licenses and preparing the safe transition to higher levels of automation), and links them with financing solutions. It also includes monitoring based on key performance indicators to assess progress. And it addresses the EU’s role in improving road safety on a global scale.”

FEMA calls upon the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Council to include motorcyclists and other users of L-category vehicles in the road safety policy in a way that is not restrictive for these road users.

The EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030 has a large impact on all road users. As an organization that represents the motorcyclists in Europe, FEMA considers this policy insufficiently tailored to motorcyclists and other users of L-category vehicles. Assumptions, plans and key performance indicators are very much focused on cars and do not sufficiently take other road users into account. In this view we follow the four pillars of the EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030. Only KPIs (key performance indicators) that are relevant for motorcyclists are mentioned here.

1. Infrastructure – safe roads and roadsides
Motorcyclists need smooth roads, obstacle free roadsides and safety barriers that are fitted in a safe way. The KPI (key performance indicator) for infrastructure – Percentage of distance driven over roads with a safety rating above an agreed threshold – must include motorcycles.

2. Safe vehicles
In the plans for vehicle safety as formulated by the Commission, we miss powered two-wheelers. The KPI for vehicle safety – Percentage of new passenger cars with a Euro NCAP safety rating equal or above a predefined threshold (e.g. 4-star) – to be specified further -ignores vehicle safety for powered two-wheelers. We invite the European Commission to also develop a KPI for vehicle safety that is focussed on powered two-wheelers and other L-category vehicles.

3. Safe road use
We support the intention to update the UNECE regulation concerning safety belt reminders, a more effective cross-border enforcement on traffic offences, stricter limits on blood alcohol content for professional drivers and/or novice drivers. We are of the opinion that the Commission with the possible revision of the present European driving licence directive should abolish the stepped entry to the A-licence or at least set it up in such a way that it does not form an additional threshold and the focus must be on higher level skills.

The KPI for speed: Percentage of vehicles travelling within the speed limit. Speed limits have several functions and road safety is one of them. Other reasons to introduce a speed limit can be noise annoyance, air pollution, traffic flow, etcetera. Furthermore, different member states have very different speed limits on comparable roads. Finally, there is a difference between speed limits and safe speeds. The latter can be much lower, depending on the local situation, traffic situation, weather, vehicle.

To connect speed limit to safe speed and base a KPI on that is not logical for us.

The KPI for sober driving: Percentage of drivers driving within the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC). Although this seems a logical KPI, again legal limits differ per member state and per driver category.

The KPI for protective equipment: Percentage of riders of powered two-wheelers and of cyclists wearing a protective helmet. Although we have no problem with this KPI, we are of the opinion that the latter may not be the most logical KPI. Especially the combination of the (in most cases) mandatory crash helmet usage for riders of powered two-wheelers and the (in most cases) voluntary use of helmets for cyclists will give a distorted picture.

4. Emergency response

About the key performance indicator for post-crash care: Time elapsed in minutes and seconds between the emergency call following a collision resulting in personal injury, and the arrival at the scene of the emergency services, we would like to see this KPI to be used for crashes with all vehicles, not only for cars.

Written by Dolf Willigers

NEW FROM KLOCKWERKS--BMW Flare Windshield by Klock Werks provides Style and Function

The Klock Werks Krew does it again! The Flare™ Windshield for BMW doesn’t just add maximum style with those sexy hips and the flip, it improves the ride and makes it more stable in a variety of road conditions. In fact, function dominated the production and process of creating the Flare™ Windshield. Keeping function and performance at the forefront of the production process ensured a highly desirable piece.

“BMW motorcycles took my stepdaughters to 197 mph on a stock bike with only a gearing modification, at Bonneville,” said Brian Klock, President of Klock Werks. “I know they are great motorcycles. When the 1600 Series Riders reached out for a solution, we dove in. This is our first BMW accessory offering with the hopes of many more in the future.”

Hear from one of our customers on why you need a BMW Flare™ for your 1600 Series.

THE BELL BRAWL STUNT CONTEST--Bell Powersports is excited to announce the first stop of the 2021 Bell Brawl, a first-of-its-kind V-Twin specific motorcycle stunt contest, in sunny southern California on Saturday, April 17th, 2021 at San Diego Harley-Davidson.

Now in its fourth season the “Brawl” stunt competitions continue to be the benchmark platform for professional V-Twin stunt riders to showcase what is possible on 600-plus pound motorcycles. The “Brawl” is invite-only, giving 20 highly talented stunt riders the opportunity to display their abilities, rewarding the top five riders of the day with a share of the $4,800.00 cash purse.

“We are beyond hyped for this one!” Brett Conley Brand Marketing manager for Bell Helmets says. “This is not only the start to another exciting season for the Brawl series, but it is also the first time we have held the event in California, the original heart of the V-twin stunt scene.”

The event will take place Saturday April 17th @ 1:00pm at San Diego Harley-Davidson located at 4645 Morena Blvd. San Diego CA. Preliminary rounds for all invited riders will occur, then the field will be narrowed down to a final round of five, where the top honors will be determined by a panel of judges consisting of FMX Legends Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg and Lance Coury. Rounding out the team is a past Brawl champion Philip Hayes.

“In just four short years, the Bell Brawl has become a foundation for the V-Twin stunt scene and its riders,” stated Max Kuszaj of Ride & Destroy. “After a long event hiatus in 2020, the riders and everyone involved in the Bell Brawl are eager to see what 2021 has in store. To kick the season off in Southern California is just an added bonus.”

Highlights from the competition will be uploaded to all social media outlets. (@Bell_Powersports and @Ride_and_destroy_com)

The 2021 “Bell Brawl” at San Diego Harley-Davidson is supported by: Bell Powersports, Ride and Destroy, Legend Suspensions, Feuling Parts, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, and Lexin Moto.

All event information and competition rules are available at:

RawHyde Adventures Opens--
Zakar Overland Terrain Park and Event Center

RawHyde Adventures, the nation’s premier adventure motorcycle training & tour organization, is thrilled to announce the opening of its new Zakar Overland Terrain Park and Event Center. Located in the heart of the Mojave Desert, Zakar will serve the Powersports, Overlanding, and 4x4 industries as a venue for off-road oriented companies to host media events, product launches, corporate retreats, meetings, and more.

RawHyde founder Jim Hyde explains: “RawHyde’s mission is to provide meaningful and memorable experiences for our customers, whether it be in our adventure motorcycle training courses or on one of our guided tours in the backcountry of North and South America. With the opening of our Zakar Event Center, we can now help other companies in our industry create world-class experiences of their own.

Ideally situated just two hours north of Los Angeles in the magical Mojave Desert, RawHyde’s Zakar facility was designed to host off-road-themed events. From the professionally built terrain park to the full-service commercial kitchen and private guest accommodations, Zakar has everything needed to welcome a range of group sizes.

On-site accommodations (up to 32 people) *additional lodging hotels close by.

Zakar is near a major freeway with a dedicated offramp to our facility for easy drayage, shipping of equipment, and trucking services.
Full-service commercial kitchen with a team of chefs with food service for up to 400 people, plus a 60-person indoor dining hall, bar and lounge.
100-acre professionally built terrain park for product demos without need for permits or licenses.

Rentals available for motorcycles, ATV’s or Side X Sides.

To learn more about RawHyde’s new Zakar Event Center, visit For additional questions or to get a quote for your event, call (702) 209-8503.

RawHyde also organizes an annual adventure motorcycling rally called Adventure Days, with riders and companies coming together for a weekend of education, riding, and camaraderie. Learn more at

ALERT, Is This the Beginning of the End?—
Are we ready for the end of gas-powered cars? Internal combustion engines (ICEs) have been around for over 100 years. Are consumers ready to trust a battery solely to keep their vehicle's engine running for the distances they want to travel?

In March, many automakers announced they would by a certain year no longer sell vehicles with ICEs. These companies are staking their future on the expectation that electric vehicles (EVs) will dominate sales in the coming years.

For that to happen, though, consumers need to get on board. Currently, EVs make up less than two percent of all new US vehicle sales and only three percent worldwide. China accounts for about 40 percent of all global EV sales, which have accelerated because ICEs have limited registration in six major Chinese cities. EVs are half of Norway's new car sales. Tighter regulations on vehicle emissions have also accelerated EV sales in Europe as well.

In recent US opinion polls, a majority of respondents indicated they have an interest in EVs. Still, the costs for ownership need to come down, more charging stations with faster charging times are needed, and the vehicles themselves need to have a better battery range. In one poll, 29 percent of respondents indicated they had no interest in buying an EV at all. According to the US Department of Energy, there are only 1.5 million EVs registered out of 278 million passenger vehicles in the US. Currently, the US has 41,400 EV charging stations across the country, with fewer than 5,000 fast chargers.

All of this uncertainty has not deterred automakers. According to the industry trade group, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, automakers plan to invest $250 billion in vehicle electromobility over the next three years. In March 2021, automakers seemed to outperform each other with announcements.

Volvo announced first in early March that it would only sell electric vehicles by 2030. Its parent company, China's Geely, plans to roll out EVs under a new marquee, with branding and sales strategies to rival Tesla.

Audi CEO Marcus Duesman announced to the German-language Automobilwoche, "We will no longer develop a new internal combustion engine, but will adapt our existing internal combustion engines to new emission guidelines." Audi plans to offer 20 EV models in the next five years to become fully electric by 2030. This plan is in line with its parent company, Volkswagen, which plans to go all-electric and rival Tesla in the bargain. VW expects half of its US sales to be electric vehicles by 2030.

VW stocks soared when the company also announced that it plans to launch by 2023 a unified cell technology, which will cut battery prices in half for entry-level electric vehicles.

BMW also expects at least half of its sales to be electric vehicles by 2030. The company announced that by 2023, around 90 percent of its market categories would include fully electric models. BMW also announced it would move the vast majority of its battery and gas-powered vehicles to the same platform in the 2020s.

The world's fourth-largest automaker, Stellantis, plans to have fully electric or hybrid versions of all vehicles available in Europe by 2025. Jeep is center stage in the plan to go electric. Jeep CEO Christian Meunier said in an interview, "Our vision is to be the greenest SUV brand in the world. We have a very strong plan to deliver that through a lot of exciting product in the pipeline." Jeep also announced that over the next 12 months, it would install level 2 charging stations at trailheads across the US. Electrify America, which Volkswagen runs, will administer the stations.

Building electric vehicles certainly gives cache to automakers, but the bigger question has to be, will consumers buy them even if that is the only new vehicle engine design available?

Automakers and elected officials continue to exert pressure on the Biden administration to support the notion of US roadways dominated by electric vehicles in the next decade or two.

Major automakers and auto parts manufacturers in a coalition with the United Auto Workers union urged President Biden to support a comprehensive electric vehicle plan. They asked for government tax credits and numerous other financial incentives for manufacturing and buying EVs, including federal government fleet EV purchases.

The CHARGE Coalition called on the feds to use grants to expand public EV charging infrastructure to focus on traditionally underserved communities and to invest in electrifying public transit.

Both of California's Senators sent a letter to President Biden, asking him to set a firm date to phase out gas-powered passenger vehicles. Car and Driver asked this question at the end of the article in a short poll: How do you feel about a ban on new gas-powered cars? Twenty-eight percent answered—Sure, someday, and seventy-two percent answered—No, Never.

Maybe this is not the beginning of the end after all.

However, on March 31st, President Joe Biden announced that building capacity for electric vehicles would be a priority in his $2 trillion infrastructure plan. He wants $174 billion to incentivize building electric charging stations nationwide (500,000 by 2030), retool factories, source domestic materials, and provide tax credits for buyers of American-made EVs.

Let us know what you think about these announcements and the future of ICE vs. EV vehicles by writing us at

Click to join.
Click to join.

You have to do some reading of bad prose to discover that she also had throat, brain, and lung cancer.

--J.J. Solari

QUICK AMA ALERT--The American Motorcyclist Association is transitioning to a new advocacy platform, VoterVoice, which empowers AMA members and other motorcycling advocates to make their voices heard in the halls of governments across the nation. As we transition to VoterVoice, the AMA would like to ensure that we are engaging our members with the issues that are important to you.

As part of that effort, we are asking motorcyclists to complete this two-question survey to indicate what areas of motorcycling advocacy are most important to them. Please take a moment and click the link below if you would like to receive VoterVoice updates on street riding issues, dirt riding issues, or both. As this is platform is developed, we will seek information on specific issues you may be interested in advocating on to continue to deliver the most relevant advocacy content to you.

Take the survey here.

Once you complete the survey, you can explore the AMA's new advocacy tools through the Action Center and Bill Tracking tool. Here you will find multiple options for communicating with legislators and administrative officials on the issues that matter most to the motorcycling community. Please note that if you select the “send me text alerts” option, you will receive a confirmation text message.

American Motorcyclist Association

13515 Yarmouth Dr
Pickerington, OH 43147

Phone: (800) AMA-JOIN
(800) 262-5646
(614) 856-1900


Regular price $209.00 Sale price $139.00 Save $70.00

 ECE , E Tag sewn on to chin strap
 DOT approved
 Best Closest fitting Helmet You Can Find No More Mushroom Head
 Free Shipping, World Wide Delivery, 14 Days to 21 Days
 Very strong Comfortable Helmet
 Genuine Leather Trim, Beautifully made with Pride
 Helmet is lightweight, and easy to disassemble and clean
 Stylish and lightweight design for reduced wind noise, lightweight
 Fiberglass shell with EPS impact foam
 Lightweight, perfectly comfortable, incredibly breathable, ensuring
you stay cool and comfortable while riding

Do You Need you a Low Profile Helmet? Hi I'm Keith from bikerlid See Customer
Comments: Shane Last name not released : "Best helmet by far! Comfy and no pull from

Frank Zappia says
"Best helmet money can buy"

Buying a Motorbike Helmet?
Best Lowest Low Profile Helmet

1)The TT & Co TX 500
ECE , E Tag sewn on to chin strap
DOT approved
Matte Black available with no studs

 Small fitting Helmet
M-57 - 58, 22 3/8" - 22 3/4" = hat 7-1/8 to hat 7-1/4
L-59 cm 23" - = hat 7 3/8
XL-60, cm 23 1/2" - = hat 7 1/2
XXL-61cm , 24 = hat 7 ?

 For small heads only
Best Closest fitting Helmet You Can Find No More Mushroom Head
Free Shipping, World Wide Delivery, 14 Days to 21 Days

click for action!
click for action!


Patients are in need, but donation spots are still empty. Can you help?

Schedule Now

Donors needed on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at:

The American Red Cross is testing all blood product donations for COVID-19 antibodies. Plasma from antibody-positive blood donations may be used to help current coronavirus patients in need. Only those feeling healthy should present to donate and appointments are strongly encouraged. Learn more.

You can help make this blood drive a success by filling one of the vacant spots. Make your appointment today! Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or download the Blood Donor App or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

If you receive a COVID-19 vaccine, knowing the name of the manufacturer is critical in determining your blood donation eligibility. In most cases, there's no deferral time if you receive a vaccine.

The American Red Cross is testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. These results may provide valuable insight into a donor's potential past exposure to this coronavirus or an antibody response developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Only those feeling healthy and well should present to donate and appointments are strongly encouraged. Test results will be available to donors via the American Red Cross Blood Donor App or at within one to two weeks.

The Red Cross follows the highest standards of safety and infection control. In accordance with CDC guidelines, all donors are required to wear a face mask. Valve face masks are not permitted. Face shields can be worn in addition to face masks but not as a substitute.

QUICK, New Bikernet Reader Comment!--
'Scout 42' 2015 indian Custom Scout By Dirty Bird Concepts

Beautiful motorcycle how much did all changes cost? I'm surprised you never see a full chrome scout engine! Indian scouts are colored with too much blacked. Yes, it looks cool but need some color

-- Kevin burns
Scottville, MI

John Shoppe knows his style and what to do to a motorcycle to bring out the best. Reach out to his shop for more info.--Bandit

2017 Harley-Davidson® FLTRXS - Road Glide® Special for $25.995.00
see it here:

This bike is set up amazing with no detail spared. ONLY 10389.00 Miles !!!!!

2017 Vivid Black Harley-Davidson ROADGLIDE SPECIAL FLTRXS. Some of the features/Add-on's on this bike: 107c.i. (RS468-cams,S&S-cam plate/oil pump/lifter cuffs/adjustable push rods,Vented Screaming Eagle air cleaner,A1-crank case vent), Matching covers (Clutch,cam,gas lid,console,gauge bezels,shifter linkage,windshield trim,headlight bezel)),
Power vision tuner and target tuned 6-Speed Trans (Greg Williams clutch rod), true dual Rinehart exhaustn* Blacked out (wheels,motor), Color matched (4inch extended bags,Razer trunk,CVO chin spoiler,CVO rear fender), Custom Dynamics lights (Tail,bags,front turn signals, Boom stage 2 fairing speakers and amp, CVO style tank badgesn* Memphis shades windshield.

This bike has passed Lifestyle Cycles rigorous 101 point safety and mechanical inspection. Whether your looking to commute to work, ride the coast or take that dream vacation, this bike is ready to go!!!nnEZ FINANCING-SHIPPING AVAILABLE!!! nnFill out an online application and ride today!!!

**Open 7 days a week**

Just $25,995.00 at Lifestyle Cycles (714) 490-0155


INFRASTRUCTURE BILL DOOMED--Biden Wants You Out of Your Car and on the Train

The president's $2 trillion infrastructure proposal boosts funding for buses and rail. It even envisions actually tearing down some freeways.

Its 4.1-million-mile road network is the world’s most expansive. It has more motor vehicles per person than any other major nation. Eighty-six percent of Americans drive to work (or did during the Normal Times), compared with 63 percent of English workers and 71 percent of Australian commuters. A pop song called “Driver’s License,” about the freedom and heartbreak that comes with a rite of young adulthood, has spent 11 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Only in America.

So, President Biden’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure program is most notable for one fact: It allocates more money to transit and rail than to highways. Budgets may make for boring reading, but they’re also signaling documents, telling the public about their leaders’ priorities. The infrastructure proposal seems to say: Consider getting your butt out of your car.

“The plan seems to take seriously the idea that we need to be investing more in our transit and intercity rail system than we do in our highway system,” says Yonah Freemark, a senior research associate at the economic policy think tank the Urban Institute who studies land use and transportation. He says the proposal would double typical federal spending on transit and quadruple the government’s investment in rail.

The justification is climate change. Biden said on Wednesday that the plan would “lead to a transformational progress in our effort to tackle climate change with American jobs and American ingenuity.” If the plan makes it into law—which won’t be easy; more on that later—it would count among the federal government’s largest pushes ever to combat greenhouse gas emissions. The president has promised to put the country on a path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Achieving that goal would mean lots of changes, starting with revamping the country’s transportation system. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have concluded that, sure, shifting to electric vehicles from ones powered by internal combustion engines would help a lot. So would convincing people to share electric robotaxis. But that will take decades.

In the meantime, they say, Americans will need to reduce the number of miles they drive, too. That means, in part, finding alternatives to the car: walking, biking, and public transit. The US Department of Transportation estimates that the typical city bus emits one-third fewer greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile than the average single-occupancy vehicle, even though buses are usually only a quarter full.

“The plan seems to take seriously the idea that we need to be investing more in our transit and intercity rail system than we do in our highway system.”


Biden’s proposal would direct $85 billion over eight years to public transit for expansions and repairs. It would move $80 billion to intercity rail, both to fix today’s Amtrak and to connect new cities. It would direct $174 billion to electric-vehicle-related investments, including funding to replace 50,000 diesel transit buses with electric ones. Those would probably cost about $38 billion, says Jeff Davis, a senior fellow at the Eno Center for Transportation, a think tank.

By contrast, the proposal directs $115 billion to the “modernization” of bridges, highways, and roads. That would still raise the federal investment compared with previous plans, but only by 46 percent, according to Davis.

For transit agencies, the additional money would be significant. The US spends about $60 billion a year on public transit, with the feds covering 20 percent, states 20 percent, and local government about a third. (The other quarter comes from fares.) Doubling the federal contribution will allow many agencies to do things that make transit a more viable option, like fixing shoddy and outdated technology and equipment and running more frequent buses and trains. But even the billions promised would not be enough to fundamentally shift the country's transportation system. New York’s four-year capital plan, for example, pledges $51.5 billion for maintenance, repair, and new projects—and that’s just one system.

Intercity rail, meanwhile, stands to get a serious shot in the arm, an appropriate proposal from Amtrak Joe. Amtrak responded to the proposal Wednesday by releasing a map of more than 30 potential new routes, including connections cities such as Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

--from the Climate Depot

Page 1 of 2

Share this story:

Back to Bikernet News

Your thoughts on this article

Your Name
Anti-Spam Question:
Please enter the words you see in the box, in order and separated by a space. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this service.