First, David Lazarus questions whether transit will work in the United States. He talked to some "experts":
He said investments in transit projects need to be accompanied by policies designed to make driving costlier and thus make public transportation more attractive. These policies include significantly higher charges for parking virtually wherever you go and the increased use of toll roads.I don't like this frame. You mean we need to charge what they really cost. It's not like we would inflate the cost just for the heck of it to some arbitrary number. I guess we could, but really if people just realized how much that garage spot cost or how much the roads really cost things would be much different. Lazarus concludes:
I hate to be cynical, but I simply can't imagine political leaders at the local, state or federal level telling voters that they support a big increase in gas taxes, sky-high parking fees and high-density neighborhoods.There's a lack of supply of those types of neighborhoods. I really wish people would realize this. It's not that some people don't want to live in these types of environments. It's that for the most part it's illegal. That we need to change.
But a question I had coming out of it is whether HSR can really be called "transit". We don't call air travel transit do we? It seems to me like a kind of grey area. How do you define what transit is and what it isn't. Lazarus was also on NPR's Marketplace.
The head of Ryanair is obviously going to jump up and down and hold his breath if the UK government states that all short haul flights should be by train. Obviously not all trips can be by train but England really shouldn't be hop skipping inside the country when there is a faster alternative.
Rob talks Intercity buses. They are cheap and becoming more plentiful. I don't see them being an alternative to rail as some believe. Rob also talks Bent Flyvbjerg. Many people use his work to say we shouldn't do megaprojects. Rob must be back to posting more. Free time?
That China place is rocking along with their HSR lines. Many places that were super far apart have halfed their travel time between the two. In such a large country, HSR will bring them closer.