Friday, February 20, 2009

As my nephew would say, want more Choo-Choo

The newly passed stimulus plan does an awful lot of things, but most of them are not done particularly well, not through lack of desire but more through lack of funds ... for instance, the package includes 8$ billion for high-speed rail. This is great, except that it is important to keep in mind that it will apparently cost a ton more than that to actually have high-speed rail service that actually works .. I mean last year California passed a high speed rail bond last year appropriating 9$ billion (looking at that now it does not seem like such a smart thing to have done) for high speed rail in just California. So the upshot is, more money for trains!!! We need more choo-choo!!!!

Still, this is a good start and I am thrilled to have something going in terms of high-speed rail. Hopefully we will see political agitating for more money in this direction. Creating a new rail system is a massive and expensive project true, but it would also provide a lot of jobs, do a lot for cleaning up the environment and could massively stimulate interstate commerce. Huh, its funny how all of those things are things we need to do to get out of this economic downturn.

Plus, it is ridiculous and embarrassing that such a technologically advanced country with so many problems stemming from fossil fuel use doesn't have a good rail system. Maybe, with the massive crisis and forced reorienting of priorities we can change that ... And maybe, if Obama continues to get his way, this package will be just the down payment on a new era and within our lives this map may be jsut the beginning of a new way to get around our country.

1 comment:

*Carlo said...

I'm going to hold my enthusiasm until I see it with my own eyes. Sort of like the Eagles winning a Super Bowl - they tease you merely to leave hanging.

I've been waiting for the U.S. to make a serious effort to catch up with Asia's rail technology since I was a geeky 6th grader. You might also appreciate this article from GOOD magazine.