Thursday, September 25, 2008

American Bullet Trains - On The Ballot in November

If you've been reading for a while you know that I support a train system. Why can Japan and France do it but we can't? We could wait until oil is even more scarce and it's *really* expensive to move the materials and build the line, or we could start now.

In November, Californians will vote on Prop 1A, which will fund a bullet train that will get you from San Francisco to L.A. in two and a half hours. Compare that to three and a half to fly when you count getting to and through the airport on both ends.

Of course, you might ask: why do I care if I don't live in California? Good question. 1 in 8 Americans is Californian, and we drive and fly a lot. A high speed rail line will decrease gas consumption for the US overall, further reducing U.S. dependence on oil-producing theocracies (and lowering all Americans' price at the pump). Second, a successful high-speed rail initiative here will show the rest of the country that rail works in the 21st century. As it is, we need better rail infrastructure to move American goods from the heartland to ports where they can be shipped out to international customers (agriculture is first on the list here - let's take advantage of rising food prices since we're still a net exporter of food).

Yes on 1A!


Michigander said...

After living in Europe for seven years I also wonder why we can not build and operate a train system that works. There are a number of factors that make it difficult here. 1) No one lives in or wants to go to most US city centers. 2) Flying is underpriced in the US. 3) An Interstate train system requires visionary and honest leadership, which we saddly lack.

Sorry to see that California, the land of Fruits, Nuts, and Flakes is taking the lead.

Thomas Paine Jr. said...

The Fruits, Nuts and Flakes are often alarmingly prescient. Not everything we doc works but we're happy to try things out.