During the state of the union address Obama proselytized for more light rail. Modern rail projects are a proven economic failure and Amtrak wouldn’t exist for 10 minutes if the government wasn’t subsidizing every single ticket. Some rail posts from the past:
- Everything You Need to Know About Mass Transit – “There are just two problems with mass transit. Nobody uses it, and it costs like hell.”
- U.S. utilizies rail for freight more than Europe – Light rail advocates love tsk-tsking Americans for not riding trains as often as the Europeans. They seem to be unaware that we ship more freight by rail than Europe.
- Another fine example of a modern rail project – Whenever someone suggests building a new passenger rail line the immediate response should be “why not just use buses?”
- California attempts to build world’s most *optimistic* commuter rail – Modern commuter rail projects seem to be triumphs of hope over experience, and this is a crowning example.
- Local Rail Revisited in Light of High Gas Prices? – I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone say it, so I will. Trains are similar to circuit-switched phone systems, where only one caller can use a line at a time. Buses are more like packet-switched phone systems (or the Internet), where multiple calls or data packets are interspersed for more efficient use of the system.