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  #1    
Old December 29th, 2013 (03:16 PM).
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I decided to start a thread on public transportation because other threads kind of got out of hand.

Anyways, the United States is one of the few developed nations with a poor public transportation system. Almost everything is privatized through bus, train or airplane services. What is your opinion on this? Do you think that the US should invest in public transportation for, say, bullet trains across the United States?

I for one would think that high speed trains would help businesses expand greatly as well as reduce shipping costs for smaller items at least. However, implementation is difficult, so I think it would be hard to pull off without some serious pulling together.
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Old December 29th, 2013 (03:22 PM).
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Yeah, high speed bullet trains would open jobs for people within the United States. It would help those without a high level of education to, I would think.

As for using transportation, I don't use it that often. I've been on the VTA like once. So... ;D
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  #3    
Old December 29th, 2013 (04:39 PM).
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The US is too busy spending almost $1 trillion a year on the military, they can't really afford anything else what with how important global hegemony is and all.
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  #4    
Old December 29th, 2013 (07:14 PM).
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I have nothing against Public Transportation, but it does come with its restrictions, mainly timing issues for catching the bus at the proper time. The fee you pay to use the service helps to pay for the fuel and maintenance and such.
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Old December 30th, 2013 (01:26 PM).
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It's a shame because a well-developed public transportation system would be beneficial on a number of fronts - it's much more economical than driving everywhere, so you save money on gas, and less cars on the road is better environmentally. It's good infrastructure and worth an investment, if you ask me.
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  #6    
Old December 31st, 2013 (08:28 AM).
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I rely heavily on public transportation, it takes me about an hour to get to school. I got my license over the summer but it'll be a while before I get a car. I live in Alberta, Canada and I don't really know how the transportation system here compares to the states but I imagine it's more or less the same. I don't have much to complain about though, even this winter, the busses haven't been so bad.
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Old December 31st, 2013 (12:50 PM).
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In the United States, everything is about monetary gain. If the car companies feel as if public transportation would hurt their sales, they would do anything they possibly could to prevent public transportation from becoming a part of United States infrastructure, whether by bribes, blackmail or other forms of untrustworthy behavior. Of course it would be beneficial—and, as a result, would n ever be implemented. That's how politics and money work in our country.
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  #8    
Old December 31st, 2013 (04:35 PM).
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^ Exactly all those big car companies have a huge lobby, making it tough for public transportation to get any better. As the TC said it would take a lot of pulling together, but theres just too much blocking the way for something like a bullet train across the US to ever happen.

The US is way behind on public transportation. I use to wish it would get better than I finally just gave in and got a car. Its a money sink but at least now I can get places in a decent amount of time. I think most car owners in the US came to that realization as well.
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Old January 1st, 2014 (03:59 AM).
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Living in Europe, I do think the US needs to get its act together in getting the public transportation system up to date. It doesn't have to do with how underdeveloped the current infrastructure is, nor does it have to do with the population, but the ecological side of it. There are far too many cars in the states, and while its balanced by having the masses live on the coasts mainly, the damage done by the ever growing number of vehicles will show very soon. Having everyone reliant on public transportation not only reduces the carbon emissions, but it also allows for congestion issues to die down.
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  #10    
Old January 2nd, 2014 (08:33 AM).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagakkan View Post
The US is too busy spending almost $1 trillion a year on the military, they can't really afford anything else what with how important global hegemony is and all.
Haha, on point.

Really, though, our public transportation system is so poorly developed because our focus is clearly elsewhere. What else could it be? Corporations drive the direction of our country and less personal car usage = less profits for a lot of different businesses. I don't usually like to simplify things but I think it really is as straightforward as that.

Just another case of money triumphs over all.
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  #11    
Old January 2nd, 2014 (07:17 PM).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daigonite View Post
I decided to start a thread on public transportation because other threads kind of got out of hand.

Anyways, the United States is one of the few developed nations with a poor public transportation system. Almost everything is privatized through bus, train or airplane services. What is your opinion on this? Do you think that the US should invest in public transportation for, say, bullet trains across the United States?

I for one would think that high speed trains would help businesses expand greatly as well as reduce shipping costs for smaller items at least. However, implementation is difficult, so I think it would be hard to pull off without some serious pulling together.
There was a plan to have high-speed rail across the US, its falling apart due to the realities of how American cities are set up:

1) Distance. Most American cities outside of the Northeast are too far apart to justify traveling on a 250 MPH train vs a 550 MPH plane.

2) Car-oriented urban development. Assuming you could take a bullet train from one car-oriented city to another, you would have to rent a car or take a taxi to get around from there. Most people that use public transportation can't or don't want to get around by car in the first place.
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  #12    
Old January 2nd, 2014 (07:27 PM).
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Even with America's urban realities, its road system isn't doing so well to begin with. The highways are deteriorating, and it'll require a larger budget to maintain them, let alone build new roads. Increasing public transportation obviously won't relieve the congestion problem quickly. People already have cars and would like to continue using them. Shouldn't there be investment in more and higher quality roads?
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  #13    
Old January 2nd, 2014 (09:36 PM).
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I personally would love to see public transportation expanded and used by more people. Sadly, that is a pipe dream here in the U.S. America's car culture is extremely important to many people here and if you got a car, you can go anywhere your little heart desires. So I doubt public transportation will get bigger in my lifetime.
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  #14    
Old January 3rd, 2014 (12:09 PM).
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It's quite clearly more difficult to engineer and organize a PT system of the massive scale wished for by many a citizen. Unfortunately, given the very scale of our nation, a little bit larger than those nations famed for their PT systems "here's to Japan and various European nations I'm to lazy to name", undertaking any sort of PT project, given the current state of the nation, is naught but an unachievable dream.

Best to leave it to neighboring state governments to construct smaller modular PT circuits.
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Old January 7th, 2014 (08:38 PM).
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A lot of train-related news this week...

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...-rail/4303177/
Quote:
The biggest public works project in the country- high-speed rail between Los Angeles and San Francisco - is still on track despite several recent setbacks, California officials say. Other observers are increasingly concerned.

The $68 billion venture is the first of its kind in the United States, and its success or failure could shape American transportation policy for decades to come. As a result, the project is under intense scrutiny from Congress, taxpayers and transportation experts around the world.

It would be a major engineering feat to whisk passengers between the two cities in less than three hours, which is the goal. To succeed, California leaders must find their way through a maze of deadlines, lawsuits and regulations that threaten the project.

A Sacramento trial judge recently raised serious questions about two fundamental aspects of the project: its business plan and a major funding source. The rulings did not stop work, but they bolstered opponents who argue the whole scheme is unworkable. Some outside observers also raised doubts.

"The rulings raise so many questions about whether this project still makes financial sense," Joe Nation, a public policy professor at Stanford University, told the San Jose Mercury News. "This could turn into a real nightmare."

The project is now unpopular with California voters, too, even though they were the ones who got the project off the ground in 2008 when they approved a $10 billion bond measure to help pay for it.

Despite the setbacks, Dan Richard, chair of the California High Speed Rail Authority, said the project will go forward.
http://www.businessinsider.com/japan...beddd836e61169
Quote:
The Japanese government has promised to lend the United States half of the cost of building the first "Super-Maglev" train, reducing travel time between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to just 15 minutes.

Tokyo is so keen to show off its technology that it will provide loans for half the estimated $8 billion (£5bn) cost of installing the tracks, Japan's Asahi newspaper said on Tuesday.

Masahiro Nakayama, a general manager at Central Japan Railway Co, told The Daily Telegraph that the American federal government was keen, and that the state authorities were especially enthusiastic about the project.

"The national government has shown interest," he said. "But a number of the states in the north-east corridor – such as Maryland – are particularly keen for faster rail links and more advanced technology."

The 37-mile journey between Washington DC and Baltimore presently takes one hour by conventional rail link, and the Japanese government and Central Japan Railway Co. hope to use the project to showcase what it believes will be the transportation technology of the future.

Eventually, a 453-mile track linking the US capital with Boston will be constructed.

The proposal for the Maglev route was first put forward by Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, during talks with President Barack Obama in February and interest is increasing among states in the north-east of the US, according to Central Japan Railway Co.

"I want to propose that (the United States) introduce the Maglev train system to represent Japan-US cooperation," said Mr Abe at the meeting.
http://www.wtop.com/41/3537098/NC-to...-to-meet-in-Va
Quote:
Virginia and North Carolina representatives are scheduled to meet on the development of high-speed rail service from Charlotte, N.C., to Washington, D.C.

Members of the Virginia-North Carolina Interstate High Speed Rail Compact are to meet Tuesday in Richmond. The panel is made up of members from each state's legislature.

The compact was created by both states to develop the high-speed rail corridor. A primary goal is obtaining federal funding.
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Old January 8th, 2014 (01:44 AM).
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Public Transportation can be really bad at the most important times but it's highly relied on here in Montreal. Thousands of people, especially car owners, travel by bus, metro and train in the morning to get to work. It's because it's ultimately faster, easier and way more cheaper than having to spend $60 on gas weekly. However, there is still a ****load of traffic in the morning but honestly, that's how it is.

Public Transportation might not be perfect but it's much needed in every high populated state or city. Given the recent success of the STM, it's starting to expand through the whole city (metro and train-wise). But I'm not saying the STM is perfect, it's far from that.
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Old January 8th, 2014 (03:25 AM).
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I don't know about other US cities, but here in Seattle, public transportation is getting worst. The system is loosing too much money, and with city growth (lots of parking spaces going away replaced with bicycle lanes) - Public Transport (King County Metro) is cutting services, especially now that people need it the most. With all the cuts overcrowding will be a problem.

I haven't got on board a bus in about 4 years, and Light Rail since July - even driving is tough at times. In a way not relying on Public Transport too much anymore.
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Old January 8th, 2014 (04:43 AM).
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In Madrid, having a car is more trouble than it's worth. The bus, metro and train system is good enough for anybody (and sometimes faster, since traffic can get very bad) and you can use it all you want for just under €60 a month (which is much cheaper than owning a car). To travel around most of Europe, you are adviced to use the public train system and take buses to move around whichever city you end up.

It feels so weird thinking of the US as a place where a car is as necessary to live as clothes.
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