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    Aging Transit Systems Face Budget Crunch

    More riders, aging mass transit systems and inadequate money for maintenance and upgrades — a familiar story line for commuters and those faced with the task of keeping the trains running. What is new this summer is that the problems are making headlines again, in part because of an extended heat wave that has smothered so much of the country.

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    The Humble Bus Takes Off

    HIGH-SPEED rail may be getting lots of attention — and money — from the Obama administration, but it turns out the transportation success story of the last few years is the bus.

    At a time when flights have been cut and ridership on trains has been relatively flat, traveling by bus has been on the rise. Last year, bus service increased 5 percent, and it rose nearly 10 percent in 2008, according to Joseph Schwieterman, a DePaul University professor who has studied the decline and comeback of bus travel. In fact, in 2007, when he and his team of transportation researchers began studying why travelers shunned buses, they found themselves in the midst of a turnaround.

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    High-Speed Rail Will Spur Growth in Hub Cities, Says Mayors Report

    A Los Angeles high-speed rail system that connects the city to San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and other cities would create $7.6 billion per year in new business, the report says. It would also increase gross regional product by $4.3 billion and create 55,000 jobs.

    A Chicago high-speed rail network connecting to Minneapolis, St. Louis and other areas would create $6.1 billion per year in new business, according to the report. This includes a $3.6-billion-per-year increase in gross regional product and 42,000 new jobs.

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    4 Plans Compete To Provide La-Vegas Train Service

    Competition to provide passenger train service between Southern California and Las Vegas is heating up, even though the last such effort to carry fun-seekers across the Mojave Desert was derailed by a lack of customers.

    For years, backers of a proposed magnetically levitating train running from Disneyland to Las Vegas have traded barbs with a rival project that would take tourists from the California desert town of Victorville to the Strip on a high-speed train dubbed DesertXpress.

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    Japan Seeks To Export High-Speed Rail Expertise To U.S.  

    Japan seeks to export its expertise in high-speed rail to the United States, according to a new report.

    On Tuesday, the Central Japan Railway Company took U.S. transportation secretary Ray LaHood on a 312-mile-per-hour test run on its experimental MLX01 maglev, the world’s fastest train, which can top out at 361 m.p.h.

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