Red Herrings

Red Herrings
  • A modern rail system is more expensive than a freeway.
  • Actually, it isn’t. You may be thinking about bullet or “maglev” trains, which are expensive (though not more than a freeway). Appropriate passenger rail solutions are much less expensive than the high-profile, high-tech trains, and a downright bargain compared to the endless expansion of our highway systems.
  • Rail is not self-supporting.
  • You have us there. Rail is not “self-supporting”. No mode of transportation in America is, especially not automobiles.
  • Mass transportation is for the “transit dependent” only.
  • This is not only snobbish and offensive, it is also simply not true. All economic classes will ride a well run inter-modal transportation system anchored by rail.
  • You’ll never get people out of their cars.
  • Of course not. You can’t put tracks everywhere. Seriously, ridership has soared beyond all expectations everywhere rail has been introduced, including in some pretty car-dependent states such as Texas.
  • More and better buses will solve the problem.
  • Although large, small and express buses are an important part of the transit picture, the fact is that nothing beats a train in most larger transportation corridors. And many thousands of people will ride a train who won’t ride a bus. Also, commuter and light-rail systems have been shown to increase bus, bicycle, and pedestrian use.
  • There are too many scheduling and liability problems with Amtrak and the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe freight railroad.
  • These problems have been and are being worked out all over the West through good-faith negotiations.
  • Our population is too dispersed for an efficient rail system.
  • Not around Albuquerque and Santa Fe and points south.
  • Everyone has the right to choose how they get around.
  • You’re preaching to the choir. That’s why we’re promoting more choice, not less.

Need more convincing? Chew on these bullets.