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Old 03-26-2010, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Southwest Missouri
1,921 posts, read 5,560,218 times
Reputation: 910

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
And when did the geography of america change in such a way that it's that different? Same town, villages, cities exist today...no?
Are you serious? No, the geography is nowhere near the same. Today, people live all over the country and the vast majority commute to work. That's quite a bit different from life in the 1800s and there's no viable way to put in a rail system that will service the needs of most people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
I am convinced that some change will take place to put the car and the vast sums of oil it consumes in it's place in history. As to other fuel sources....what says those resources will be used for gluttonous cars? Everyone owning their own transport is basically insane.
And there we have it. You've got an agenda and simply want to continue pushing it, no matter how illogical your stance is. There's really no point in going on when you don't have any interest in an intelligent discussion.

 
Old 03-26-2010, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,655,897 times
Reputation: 2819
I agree that in theory, everyone owning their own transport is insanse when it is as inefficient as current cars are, however, progress means making personal transportation better, not regressing to horses and steam trains.

High speed inter-coastal trains, at reasonable rates (which would need a lot of government backing at first) that could compete with planes both financially and time wise, would do far more for pollution and energy waste than much other things would. Building out good solutions for commuter trains, with ample free parking space at the stations away from city cores (much like what you'll see with the DART rail) is also a good solution, but both of these suggestions have to co-exist with what we currently have, and the development of that.

And that's the real trick, how do we severely reduce energy spendings while still maintaining or staying very close to our current living standard, while simultaneously aiding other nations and successively markets to gain the same standard.

Simply outlawing cars, or tax them to be too expensive won't contribute there.
 
Old 03-26-2010, 10:43 AM
 
3,698 posts, read 10,000,127 times
Reputation: 2593
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
At some point in the not to distant future the private car/truck will be come to expensive for all but the rich to own/use. At that point IMO America had better have one heck offa rail system again or our economy really will collapse.

So why is American mindset still locked into "cars","cars","cars","cars"???
Cars are more efficient at moving people from their origin to destination. Rail is more efficient only in moving people along its designated route from station to station.

Cars disperse the cost of transportation widely, while passenger rail requires direct heavy government subsidies to operate.

Passenger rail becomes more effective with dense development, which is the exception rather than the case in the United States. Rail works very well in the dense northeast, but not as well in the widely-dispersed, medium-sized cities that make up most of the country.
 
Old 03-26-2010, 10:52 AM
 
1,309 posts, read 2,894,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
At some point in the not to distant future the private car/truck will be come to expensive for all but the rich to own/use. At that point IMO America had better have one heck offa rail system again or our economy really will collapse.
At root, the electricity used to power modern trains is mainly generated from other sources, whether these sources are nuclear or fossil fuels. If crude oil goes up in price, other fuels will follow in lockstep, as the substitution effect kicks in, and demand outstrips supply.

Europeans have somewhat significant rail systems, but these rail systems complement rather than replace their mostly car-based transportation systems. While Americans drive for 86 percent of their travel, Europeans drive for 79 percent, which isn't significantly different, and their rates of per capita driving are growing faster than ours. 2009 US and EU car sales were roughly 10m each. China's were 13m.

The problem is that most of the world's population doesn't (and doesn't want to) live in New York City style multi-story apartment buildings. And real estate in central city locations is prohibitively expensive, as any New Yorker can tell you. New York City-like places tend to have building codes and regulations concerning air rights, landmark protection, etc that prevent the construction of significant amounts of new housing. Bottom line is that there is no room for high-density housing, and what housing is available will be unaffordable because of city regulations.
 
Old 03-26-2010, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,680 posts, read 4,470,118 times
Reputation: 3622
The US is developed completely different than Europe or Japan. We are so big, so spread out, it would never work to depend fully on rail. How could trains be set up to go in/between every single neighborhood of every single city, neighborhood, and small town in the country? For example here in the Seattle metro area, which is already more compact than many other cities- how could there ever be a train that would go from my neighbohood in my suburb of Lynnwood to another suburb of Redmond- where I work- 20 miles away- to get me to work? There wouldn't be a demand for that direct route, because there is no way they could fill a train, especially making trips every hour to accomodate workers who work different hours. So what's the option- making connections in major terminals? Then a quick trip turns into a couple/several hour ordeal, when driving only takes about a half hour! And I can leave whenever I want, make side trips along the way, etc. And that's just in a major metro- what about people living in the tiny town of say Ceresco (population of only a few hundred), Nebraska, working in Lincoln, Nebraska. There is no way a train line would be viable between those two towns- even though most people in Ceresco work in Lincoln, they work different hours, and are just too small of a group- it wouldn't make sense to have a train going every hour only holding a couple/few people on each trip. Cars make the most sense in this huge, spread out nation of ours.
 
Old 03-26-2010, 02:16 PM
 
1,739 posts, read 4,834,352 times
Reputation: 705
A lot of the places that do have better public transportation do tend to be more expensive places to live
 
Old 03-26-2010, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 17,044,991 times
Reputation: 7193
Car have a place in the transport system but.....
" Amtrak has yet to succeed in convincing enough people ride to keep the prices noticeably low, but what can we expect? As a country we have not succeeded in building our communities around alternative transport—we have not really tried."

Alternative Transit is more than High Speed Rail Intercon
 
Old 03-26-2010, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,655,897 times
Reputation: 2819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Car have a place in the transport system but.....
" Amtrak has yet to succeed in convincing enough people ride to keep the prices noticeably low, but what can we expect? As a country we have not succeeded in building our communities around alternative transport—we have not really tried."

Alternative Transit is more than High Speed Rail Intercon
Your link mentions pretty much word for word what I said in my previous post.

Quote:
Although I am a proponent for getting people to change, at a certain point the request becomes unreasonable if the extra effort is less convenient with no time saving and a higher cost. Critics of new rail systems point to existing infrastructure like Amtrak and its failed attempt to remain a profitable source of travel. The costs in construction and maintenance of railroads are extremely high and in a recession no one wants to sign onto a plan that will create black holes of tax dollars.
And there in is the challenge

You can't expect people to ride their bike to the bus station and take a bus to the transit, as seems is the idea of that article.

At least not in any big masses, this is neither how it works in most European cities. What does work, if implemented correctly is Park and ride systems. Drive to a parking lot, a hub, use public transport from there. BUT, it's important to realize that it's hard to get people out of their car, because public transportation by nature is seen as far less convenient, and rightfully so. If public transport is to have any success, it'll need not only what he speaks of, but it has to be a far better economical option, and it needs to be extremely well built out, and as some have pointed out, not even your cities, in many cases, are.
 
Old 03-26-2010, 10:05 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
6,067 posts, read 6,103,583 times
Reputation: 4771
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Continental View Post
There is still plenty of oil left in the world
Haha, that one's akin to asking, "what could possibly go wrong?!"

everything.
 
Old 03-26-2010, 10:20 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
6,067 posts, read 6,103,583 times
Reputation: 4771
I agree cars are not going anywhere soon though. What I do think is going somewhere relatively soon is the internal combustion engine. It's been scrubbed about as clean as it can be (as a technology), yet it still emits noxious fumes and relies on a non-renewable source of energy. The oil companies and car enthusiasts hate this but, you can't stop progress with political agendas forever. It started with the early gasoline-electric hybrids, now we see a car that can go 40 miles on electric power only (the Volt). Next we'll see one that can go 100 miles on no gas, then 200, then one day we'll start seeing them with no gas tank at all, and hardly anyone will notice or thinks it's unusual.
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