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Old 11-08-2011, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Chicago
1,312 posts, read 1,486,489 times
Reputation: 1485

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Should the United States spend three trillion ($3,000,000,000,000) to build a high speed rail system across the country? And not high speed like, "88 miles per hour", but high speed like "300-400 mph".

But what if it was going to cost 3 times as much as originally anticipated? What if it was going to cost 10 trillion ($10,000,000,000,000)? Would you still have the same feeling towards it?

I bring this up because I have been thinking about the Interstates. In 1956 when the Interstate system was put into motion by President Eisenhower it was given $33 Billion for 41,000 miles of highway. I have a hard time thinking everyone in America thought that was a great way to spend their tax dollars. I would venture to guess that a sizable portion (half??) of the population was against the idea for either: fiscal, political, practical, and/or ideological reasons. Add to that the fact that when it was finally completed, it cost three times as much as originally planned.

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/faq.htm#question6

I think you would be hard pressed to find 10% of the population that thinks the Interstate system is/was a waste of money after having used it, seen it's benefits, and understanding the importance of the efficient transportation it provides. Without a doubt the Interstates propelled America's economy to the next level.

Essentially, do we think America will ever do a project like this again? Or is sticker shock always going to keep America advancing in baby steps, not the leaps and bounds we were once known for?

Is America's political divide and/or urban/nonurban divide giving Americans the option of buying a Porsche or a Hugo when it comes to public programs like mass transportation?


Last edited by A2DAC1985; 11-08-2011 at 05:33 AM.. Reason: Added link
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
353 posts, read 731,307 times
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88 miles / hr is enough to travel through time. No need for faster speed rail. Just need plutonium and a flux capacitor.

----

On the serious side, I for one, travel on the Amtrak rail from Vancouver, British Columbia to Portland, Oregon on a monthly basis which is an 8-9 hr ride; I would definitely welcome a high speed rail connecting the mega-regions of the United States and Canada. A rail connecting these regions would be beneficial.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...egaregions.png
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Wichita, KS
70 posts, read 115,565 times
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I don't think we need something like that. It's called AIR travel. Besides, that's a ton of money, especially when we are in debt already.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:41 AM
 
20,979 posts, read 15,047,888 times
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No way.

It would cause way too much environmental damage....cutting off migration patterns and such.

What about the endangered species!
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:02 AM
 
3,458 posts, read 2,881,544 times
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i wouldn't support it.

all the cities i frequent are worthless without a car. what would i do when i arrived at my destination?
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:10 AM
 
Location: NC
4,112 posts, read 3,578,953 times
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In the future, yeah. But we need to fundamentally change (uh oh I sound like Obama) the entire transit culture in the US first. If you take the HSR to a place, how do you get around without a car in that place? There are only a few cities in the country you can feasibly survive without a car. We need to think locally & regionally before nationally...
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Denver
13,676 posts, read 17,891,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus View Post
i wouldn't support it.

all the cities i frequent are worthless without a car. what would i do when i arrived at my destination?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNEwx_46 View Post
In the future, yeah. But we need to fundamentally change (uh oh I sound like Obama) the entire transit culture in the US first. If you take the HSR to a place, how do you get around without a car in that place? There are only a few cities in the country you can feasibly survive without a car. We need to think locally & regionally before nationally...
The same way as if you flew there. It's not a new concept.

I'd like it, but I don't know.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:18 AM
 
3,458 posts, read 2,881,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
The same way as if you flew there.
If I fly somewhere, it is a destination with mass transit options available, or where I have the option of using a car at little cost to me. Typically that's not anywhere in the United States.

So yes, being stranded in some city, without mass transit, and without a car, would be new to me. I would not enjoy it.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Midtown Omaha
1,219 posts, read 1,704,278 times
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The interstate system still cost less than 500 billion after inflation. Getting support for a multiple trillion dollar project is about as close to impossible as it gets.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Out in the Badlands
10,299 posts, read 7,955,452 times
Reputation: 7504
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegolfer86 View Post
I don't think we need something like that. It's called AIR travel. Besides, that's a ton of money, especially when we are in debt already.
Three trillion here, three trillion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money.
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