A LOT of people would MUCH rather have large amounts of public dollars spent to improve transit than to, for instance, fund wars, bail out bankers, etc.
The HSR is CA was funded in 2008. It looks like the first leg through Fresno might happen in a year or two. China went from no subway to the biggest subway system in the world in 15 years. They have 5000 miles of HSR. We have zero.
If you really want to get people off the highways, mass transit needs to be made more convenient, not the lesser of two undesirable choices.
Prague: 1,2 million passengers using 60 km of subway, 550 km of tramway and 1815 km of 150 lines buses.
Too many buses, obviously.