Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Investigators Rush to Find Cause of Fatal Train Derailment | TakePart

We are the laughingstock of the developed world in terms of public transportation, particularly in terms of intercity rail. Amtrak sucks, most of our intracity rail systems, unless built very recently, like LA or DC, suck, our bus systems suck. Part of the intercity rail problem is an issue of sheer geographic size. Even allowing for travel time to and from the airport, checking in/security, and the inevitable delay in taking off, it's faster in most cases to fly than take the train. But part of that problem is that we're decades or more behind the rest of the country in upgrading and modernizing our rail system. If California ever finishes its high speed rail line, it will be faster to take the train from LA to SF than to fly. If we built the systems, it would be faster to take the train from, say, Chicago to St Louis or KC, from Dallas to Houston, from jacksonville to Miami, and on and on. We could completely revolutionize our rail system for a cost that would be, given the enormity of the federal budget, almost unnoticeable. It's a twofer: we get a modern, safe (assuming we budget for maintenance- not a sure bet), and convenient transportation net. And Belgium will stop laughing at us :)
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