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Old 01-29-2012, 10:32 AM
Location: BC Canada
831 posts, read 819,014 times
Reputation: 1106


I don't think most people are against High Speed Rail per se and many probably think it's a good idea in the busy Atlantic Seaboard, it's just that they think there are better uses for such massive sums of money. I think another valid concern is that many are concerned that this has become the flavour of the month. China and Europe have them so we have to too. That kind of reasoning is why you get such little bang for your rail dollar in the US.
The US is the most auto-dependent nation in the world and it's development reflects this and why comparisons against Europe and Asia are a ludicrous affront to precious tax dollars. This is the exact same mentality that has led to a huge surge in LRT in the US. Many seem to be building them for no other reason than "everyone else has one" and the result has been expensive systems with very low ridership. Many of the cities that have recently built such lines could have gotten far superior results building true Ottawa style BRT but BRT just doesn't "look" good enough and isn't near as appealing at ribbon cutting ceremonies. Now many US cities have systems that they can't afford to run and are draininng resources from other vital routes.
This is what people are concerned about with HSR.........huge expense with relatively very little dent in overall movement of people. They may serve a purpose but the huge amounts of money they will consume means far less money for the average Joe taking transit to work who wants to get an actual seat, Jane wanting to commute with a friend but there is no HOV lane, and safety inspectors who are warning that many of the bridges people rely on are about to fall apart.
With very tight budgets Americans want the most bang for their transportation buck and for many HSR won't make a hoot of difference to them but putting the money into local transit and roads will.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:41 AM
8,319 posts, read 13,648,725 times
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It's not so much "flavor of the month" as "flavor of the last 50 years." Japan has had high-speed passenger rail since the 1960s, and it has only continued to expand, so it's difficult to argue that it is somehow a passing fad. And it's not just China and Europe. Morocco is building a high-speed rail line. So is Turkey. So is Uzbekistan! It's a pretty sad state of affairs when Uzbekistan can build a high-speed rail line and the United States of America is left behind because, according to people who call themselves patriots, we're too poor and incompetent to build railroad lines anymore.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:21 PM
42,770 posts, read 41,200,348 times
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I say HSR should have been all over the place. I don't like the current system. This is why I am willing to fight to make sure things get better.
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