Saturday, November 15, 2008


Here's an idea that i've been pondering. If we are going to bailout the auto industry, which I'm not sure is a great idea, we should do it on conditions. First is that they have to stop fighting California and other states emissions standards. I can't tell you how much I abhor breathing in exhaust when I'm walking around the city. The electric wires might be unsightly, but I'm not breathing them in.

Another should be looking into the possibility of building bus, light rail, and passenger train cars(including HSR). Now this might or might not be such a good idea seeing as the last time Boeing tried this the vehicles they created were lemons. But its worth exploring. If we want to think seriously about expanding transit capacity, we need to do something to speed up production. I have a feeling that siemens and other makers aren't going to be able to keep up with the demand that is coming.
But Mr. Udall recognized that the country could not afford the economic consequences of losing all of the automobile industry’s jobs and profits. He proposed that the auto companies branch out into “exciting new variants of ground transportation” to produce minibuses, “people movers,” urban mass transit and high-speed intercity trains. Instead of expanding the Interstate highway system, he suggested that the road construction industry take on “huge new programs to construct mass transit systems.” And he called for building “more compact, sensitively planned communities” rather than continuing urban sprawl.
Glad he's thinking not just about the transport system but the land use that feeds it.


Anonymous said...

What profits?

They wouldn't have to ask for money if they were profitable.

Also these jerks caused this economic mess with the whole highway/auto/sprawl welfare system!

Alon Levy said...

In the comments to a previous post, I explained how trains cost one fifth as much as cars and last five times as long. This is good from the perspective of the people who have to ride them, but not from the perspective of the people who make them. Bombardier Transportation has 30,000 employees, Toyota 300,000.

Anonymous said...

About the overhead wires, check out to see information on Catenary-Free Technology.

Rhywun said...

This is insane. Why are we even thinking of rewarding these failing companies? What's next? The airline industry (again)?

Anonymous said...

The reason why we have to give money to transit now is because the government failed.

The reason why big auto has failed is because, the governmnet gave them money.

Count Z said...

The Boeing streetcars were total lemons, but that was because they were full of stupid compromises to satisfy both the T and Muni, not because Boeing necessarily made poor railway cars. The elevated cars that Boeing made for the Chicago El worked out just fine.