Every once in a while I like to tweak my audience a tad and elicit some response. I did it yesterday and got it. I commented on high speed rail below and some intrepid correspondents commented. I thought I would give my response here:
To Keith (Reality Check) First , you are concerned that when folks fly, they eat up a lot of time at the airport and don’t arrive “downtown”. My response is that taking LA to SF – the train would be four hours assuming it averages 100 MPH. Flight is 1 hour. So it appears that flying wins. In LA, the train station is downtown, but you would have to get there somehow…drive? In either case, you still need transportation at the other end. As for your comment about future congestion…well if we have a generous program of market based pricing and carpooling (see the next comment) would that congestion not be reduced so that visitors would be able to use their private vehicles easily. Your comment about the auto industry not reacting to the market place is spurious. The industry supplies what people want to drive. If they want cars that use less gas, that’s what they get (note the upsurge of Japanese automakers with gas friendly vehicles.) It makes no sense that a company supplies a produce people don’t want to buy. As for the CAFÉ standards you refer to (government requirements) they have practically put US automakers out of business – two of them needing government bailouts. They are forcing a natural progression in a time frame that was not economically feasible. An example – consider telecommunications. It was the removal of government regulations that caused our telephone costs to be so low (or virtually free) compared to the cost we experience in, say, the 1950s. Another example is the current gasoline prices. They are high because the government wants them high. By preventing the exploration for more oil in the US, but promoting it overseas, the price of oil (and thus gasoline) has been kept artificially high. For more on high speed rail – check this out
RTA and your comments – right on
And to Chris I say “Huh?