Literature Review

Background literature perused focused on monographs and scholarly journals of the transportation industry from both the business and government perspective. From the literature reviewed, the problems of the U.S. transit infrastructure compared with the nations of France, Germany, and Japan are apparent. The United States has struggled to maintain a competitive edge in high-speed rail and other modern transit technologies. According to some experts in the field, America’s decline in transportation infrastructure has placed it on par with some Third World countries.

Therefore, to fully explore this research topic, the literature review focuses on those nations that have surpassed the United States with high-tech and modernized transportation infrastructures. France, Germany, and Japan are the world leaders in the development and use of high-speed railways. They also operate the safest mass transportation systems in the world.

Finally, the literature focuses on infrastructure financing. For instance, the Federal Transit Administration reports that the United States has spent billions of dollars on transportation infrastructure over the past several decades. Why then are the subway systems in Washington, D.C. and New York City still in such poor condition? Moreover, there is much debate in the literature regarding how best to finance a mass transportation infrastructure upgrade. Who should pay for it? The debate has both political and racial implications; possibly pitting Democrats against Republicans, Blacks and Hispanics against Whites. For instance, Republicans have traditionally voted against large public transit spending because most of their political base is suburban, rural, and White. Furthermore, Democrats will demand that… “[President] Trump drop the idea his advisers floated in December [2016] for $85 billion in new tax credits for infrastructure investors. The private sector must be involved in America’s infrastructure build-out, but tax credits are a very expensive way of making that happen. Tax credits attract private investors and corporations needing high rates of return to offset their tax liabilities” (Leinberger, C.B., 2017).

 

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