Guest opinion: High-speed rail takes dollars from real transit
Original post made on Nov 18, 2008
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 12:00 AM
on Nov 18, 2008 at 5:06 pm
Martin Engel seeks urban mass transit in lieu of the high speed rail system. While it nice to imagine getting to suburbs on mass transit he's likely aware that any transit requires higher densities than suburbs were built for. I would much prefer to go from SF to LA by high speed rail than by car or plane; I expect much less dead time (compare the hours I currently spend waiting to go through to check my bag(s), security screens, then to taxi / takeoff).
Furthermore, since I won't be operating the vehicle, I expect to enjoy walking around, using wi-fi, books, or any variety of board or card game on the way.
While I do not recall the current LA terminus, it would be fantastic to then take my bike I brought on board and ride to my final destination.
So while everyone realizes that modalites are different, HSR is very compelling for distances like SF to LA (Paris to Marseilles)- particularly as they are from city center to city center. This train will also suffer less network effect (storms a thousand miles away can leave airline passengers stranded for days).
Besides, the last times I've been driving to LA the traffic on I5 has been horrendous.
While local mass transit is admirable, it requires higher density housing to drive enough use to justify costs.