I’d like to travel from San Luis Obispo, California to Indianapolis, Indiana.
Driving; with gasoline at $4 a gallon (plus motels and meals) and a drive time of over 40 hours (not including sleep and meals) elapsed time isn’t too attractve.
The Bus: At $209, taking the bus is certainly the most economical option, but with an elapsed travel time of 2days, 7hours, 35minutes it sounds uncomfortable at best (upright seating). Combined with over 40 stops (consuming over three hours (including the MCDONALDS in Mojave, Ca)), and station layovers of 8 hours, it could be suicidal.
Flying; American Airlines fare of $695 (plus $15 per bag (rather than just conceding that a fare increase is necessary) is onerous. Elasped time: 9 hours … can’t beat it.
The Train: at $235 … reasonable. But 70 hours in a “bus seat” ? True, there is the opportunity to get up and walk around, visit with other passengers, a lounge car, dining facilites, and alcohol service would help. Upgrade to a “bedroom suite” with private bathroom: $985. $300 more, and still 70 hours? Not worth it.
Why is it that Americans are not afforded Rapid Rail Service? Why is it that
corporate/media America has not realized the potential for rebuilding what was this nation’s original “high speed” transportation mode?
70 hours to Indianapolis is ridiculous; a train traveling at 200 mph would do the run in 12 hours. With an entertainment, dining, and lounge cars for distraction I could do 12 hours in a “bus seat”.
At roughly 3,000 miles coast to coast, this country is well suited to rail travel. Restoration of long decaying rights-of-way would initially provide thousands of jobs. Additionally, employment of thousands of train and maintenance crews and support staff, steel production, locomotive and coach construction, infrastructure … more jobs.
Created in April 1935 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidential order, the WPA (Works Projects Administration) provided jobs and income to the unemployed and built many public buildings, projects and roads during the Great Depression in the United States.
So why haven’t ANY of our presidential candiates considered this? “Big Oil”, “Motor Culture”, Federal investment in the “Airline System”? Maybe.
Myopia more likely.
I’ll save the discussion of a TransUS Canal System for another rant.