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08/18/2010 03:39 PM ID: 85119 Permalink   

US on the Fastrack to New Transportation

 

A new, and long overdue solution for the everyday citizens commute may be coming to America. A high speed rail service has just been approved by the Department of Transportation.

The DoT has invested 8 billion dollars into this new project. The money being spread over 31 states, is intended to help spark some moves in the economy as well.

In addition to convenience for commuters, supporters state that reducing US dependency on foreign oil, cutting pollution, and triggering economic development is just as large of a reason to move forward with the development of the rails.

 
  Source: www.cnn.com  
    WebReporter: Pyronius Show Calling Card      
  Recommendation:  
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  11 Comments
  
  But the truth about this high speed rail project  
 
is that commuters aren´t yelling and screaming for it, as proponents would have you believe. Also, its endpoints will be in downtown areas where a tiny percentage of jobs exist, so ridership will be far below projections. Further, it will not save energy or money, even over the long haul, nor will it lessen our dependence on foreign oil. And lastly, the economic benefits are merely perceived because the profit in building comes out of taxpayers pockets and into the companies who build them.... with no return on investment to the taxpayer. Therefore, the actual economic benefit of this project is hugely offset by its cost.

http://www.cato.org/...
 
  by: silencedmajority   08/19/2010 05:00 AM     
  One problem with progress  
 
Is ROI is usually a very long term thing.

I´m all for putting more of transportation on the power grid, because even if it still uses power produced by coal right now, future power sources can still power it as cleaner and more effective alternatives come into fruition. This is not true of your everyday work car and truck.

Also..You have to start somewhere. It might not stop at your front door yet, but building an nation wide train infrastructure isn´t exactly a small undertaking.

It´s not like we have an endless supply of immigrant Chinese laborers this time around.
 
  by: Pyronius     08/19/2010 04:10 PM     
  @Pyronius  
 
Of course we do. They are called Mexicans now though. LOL!
 
  by: slavefortheman     08/19/2010 04:35 PM     
  @article  
 
I thought it would decrease flight traffic, but planned track distances seem too short for this.

And about "high speed", 110 mph on most tracks scheduled for 2013 is not really fast. 200 mph is scheduled for 2020. Current TGV/ICE trains already reach this kind of speed. And we´re talking conventional trains here. Quite unambitious. Too bad Maglev is not chosen, would have cost a LOT more of course.
 
  by: fonzo   08/19/2010 09:35 PM     
  .  
 
I would love a high speed rail link to work. If they made the buses more friendly it´d help get people on public transportation. Nobody is going to take a train to within a couple miles of their job, then pay $4.50 for a 45 minute bus ride next to a drunk stinky bum in the middle of summer on a bus with no A/C if they have the choice of driving for like $1 more and saving 30 minutes.
 
  by: PeddlerOfFlesh   08/19/2010 09:59 PM     
  True, Pyronius.....  
 
but there has to actually be a point when return on the investment begins. With passenger rail systems as they will have to be built in the US, there will never be a point when the investment comes into the black.

It´s really very simple to understand... if there was a real potential for financial gain, private industry would already be doing it.

Not to mention.. none of these proposed rail projects can even begin to forecast any appreciable net gain from an energy/environment standpoint.
 
  by: silencedmajority   08/20/2010 02:11 AM     
  nationwide rail system is the future  
 
not everything has to be profitable. that´s why people pay taxes...so we can have nice things, even if the owners of those nice things don´t live in big houses.

and once the railway system is in, they can always upgrade sections of the rail for faster trains
 
  by: sceptre_of_fertility   08/20/2010 08:31 AM     
  With the money spend on the wars  
 
(Over 1 Trillion Dollars!) a highspeed maglev train line could go between all major citys in the USA. Would have been a far better investment if you ask me! USA is so far behind in Infrastructure, when you come from Europe or China to the US its like going back in time.
 
  by: evilrat   08/20/2010 01:06 PM     
  @Evilrat  
 
Yeah, I know when I came back to America from Europe it was like "Wow, did I jump back 20 years, look how cheap gas is!"
 
  by: Pyronius     08/24/2010 08:23 PM     
  As Rachel Maddow put it  
 
... recently Chinese businessmen riding 200-mph commuter trains read over their commute that in the United States, some states are turning paved roads back into gravel roads to save money on upkeep.

That´s just flat embarrassing. Bring on progress!
 
  by: Ben_Reilly     08/24/2010 09:04 PM     
  @Ben_Reilly  
 
Welcome to 21st century Amerika. Working together for a brighter yesteryear.

Now we need to burn you at the stake for your heresy about such blasphemous talk about "trains" and whatever yuh call em´! Earth revolving around the sun indeed... HE´S A WITCH!
 
  by: slavefortheman     08/24/2010 09:21 PM     
 
 
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