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Old 05-23-2009, 02:26 PM
 
2,682 posts, read 3,578,414 times
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People like the freedom cars provide. I am a rail junkie, hate cars, but the truth is the truth. However, some of that is overrated. In most european countries as well as India/Japan, you can go alot of places very frequently by rail. In HS, I never owned a car, and still traveled more than my classmates.

The other, far more emotional and powerful reason is classism with a hint of racism as well. Like a few others have said, it's all about not mixing with "Others", especally those (you presume) beneath you. Transit and public life in general is about being around others, and frankly, America never really truly scrubbed away it's economic and racial hang-ups that explain alot of modern day pathologies. And as another person pointed out, Europe is mostly white and middle class, and as that changes, watch them become more like us (segregated, sprawled and more inward than outward facing psychologically) than the other way around......
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Old 05-23-2009, 02:31 PM
 
3,088 posts, read 7,639,002 times
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Many Americans have not had the liberty to experience the London Tube, the Japanese shinkansen, or any other public transport expect the sh*tty system that exists or lack there of in this country.So people are clinging to their cars because they don't know any better.

I spent maybe what would have cost me two weeks worth of gas for a pass that took me all over Japan the main island for 3 months. It will take me over an hour to get from tampa to orlando. It took me that much time to get from England to France by train.
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
4,750 posts, read 7,546,009 times
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I hope this isn't the truth, but I was told we don't have more train travel because the airline industrys' lobbyists are trying to keep it that way. Think of how many people would probably opt for a train over a flight if we truly had a great, expansive and efficient passenger rail system? I know I would. The train travel I have done, I absolutely loved it. I would take it all the time, if it were more available, and more reliable time-wise.
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:34 PM
 
665 posts, read 646,146 times
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You would never be able to have enough trains that go everywhere in this country. Outside of the big populated cities, rail will not work. Amtrak is a joke. It takes two days to travel by train from Ohio to Texas. Why in the world would anyone want to spend more and take so long when you can fly in less than 3 hours?
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,625,428 times
Reputation: 35875
My wife uses the train, and loves it. Of course, she has all the time in the world to get where she is going. When she goes by train, I drop her off at an intermediate stop, in a small town where there is no traffic. Which is a lot better than dropping her off at the airport in Houston. And there is even free long-term parking at the Amtrak station in San Marcos. And much more liberal baggage allowances, and nobody even wands her getting on the train. The train stops, the doors open, a conductor picks up her baggage, she gets on, the train pulls away. I get in my car and in two minutes, I'm on a relaxing rural highway home. Compared to an airport, it is enough to make you think you just woke up in some beautiful fantasy-land.
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Old 05-23-2009, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,520 posts, read 11,980,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mn311601 View Post
You would never be able to have enough trains that go everywhere in this country. Outside of the big populated cities, rail will not work. Amtrak is a joke. It takes two days to travel by train from Ohio to Texas. Why in the world would anyone want to spend more and take so long when you can fly in less than 3 hours?
Obviously trains won't replace LA to NY flights. The sweet spot for trains is about 300-400 miles. Less than that distance, and most people will drive. Greater than that, and flying is the best option. Luckily, there are many, many city-pairs which are about that distance apart. In the Midwest, pretty much every city is about that distance from Chicago, which is why the Midwest HSR will be a hub and spoke system with Chicago as the Hub.

Furthermore, even though few would ride a train from NY to LA, many people would ride it from NY to Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, to Indianapolis, Indianapolis to St. Louis, St. Louis to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City to Albuquerque, Albuquerque to Phoenix, and Phoenix to LA. People forget that, unlike a plane, trains make intermediate stops along the way between the two termini.
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Old 05-23-2009, 04:02 PM
 
3,088 posts, read 7,639,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mn311601 View Post
You would never be able to have enough trains that go everywhere in this country. Outside of the big populated cities, rail will not work. Amtrak is a joke. It takes two days to travel by train from Ohio to Texas. Why in the world would anyone want to spend more and take so long when you can fly in less than 3 hours?
Yes, Amtrak is a joke it is so outdated reminiscent of the 1800s. Hence why we need a better system in America

Won't work? Works everywhere else in the world why not here?

Why do people take the train to go from country to country in Europe? For the experience, the ease of not having to go through the airport, it's more comfortable, etc.
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:02 PM
 
3,628 posts, read 9,030,291 times
Reputation: 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
How many people's private cars "pay for themselves"? Most Americans are paying around $600 a month for car payments, gas, insurance, maintenance, etc, and at least half have two cars, so double that. That's $20 a day per driver.. Could you and your spouse get where you need to go on public transportation, supplemented by taxis when necessary, and an occasional rental, for $40 a day?
yes but you are NOT FULLY PAYING FOR THE ROAD YOU ARE DRIVING ON in that scenario. if everyone had to pay the FULL cost for the roads, it would be way too expensive to drive.

and I get around for $2.87 a day (30 day transit pass for $86, divided by $30).

and don't start with the "but but but not everyone has transit access," you all chose where to live just like I did.
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Midwestern Dystopia
2,342 posts, read 2,966,993 times
Reputation: 2893
Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
We are having enough trouble keeping roadways maintained and really don't need another rmassive unprofitable transit system IMO to pay for.Any rail system needs to pay for itself. If you look our highways are paid thru taxes on users such as gasoline tax. The amtrac system is not paid the same way.I thnik that in many areas light rail that pays for itself would work.Airlinhes and airplanes is what put teh death nail in railway passenger travel because price got to be reasonable in aitline travel especailly considering the time saved.
you haven't been paying attention. Have you?
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,625,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supernerdgirl View Post
yes but you are NOT FULLY PAYING FOR THE ROAD YOU ARE DRIVING ON in that scenario. if everyone had to pay the FULL cost for the roads, it would be way too expensive to drive.
.
Two things to take into account, though.

1. In most states, the direct taxes paid by motorists are about half the total cost of the roads. Which means if drivers paid for it all, their $150 a year in fuel taxes would only increase by another $150. Make it $250 if you include the typical annual license fee. That would hardly make it "way too expensive" to drive.

2. Non-motorists should shoulder part of the cost of the roads, because the entire community realizes the benefit of the road system. Non-drivers benefit because there is road access for emergency and law enforcement vehicles, school busses, public transportion, and the movement of goods to their marketplace.
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