Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Mica’s big plan

One must always give the benefit of the doubt, even to Republicans. TFA says that, if MIca is such a big fan of HSR, he might sponsor some bills and appropriate some money. Let’s actually build one!

The Jacksonville  Times-union has an opinion piece looking into the congressman’s ideas about transportation, some of which we like a lot, and some we like only a little. The editorial gets the “bottom line” part all wrong too. In one sense, the newspaper is worse than Mica. Here is what he proposes. He proposes:

– Fix bridges. Few would oppose that, in the aftermath of a recent bridge collapse that killed several people in Minnesota.

– Expand highways. Another good idea. There is far too much congestion.

Over two decades, in fact, Mica says, car travel has increased 50 percent – highway capacity, just 2 percent.

– Increase air traffic capacity. Another good idea. There are too many delays now, and he forecasts a 66 percent increase in 10 years.

– Encourage passenger rail, to alleviate pressure on both roads and airports.

Mica insists the private sector could offer better service than Amtrak. Maybe. But will the private sector do it without subsidies?

– Make better use of waterways to transport freight.

Highways are, in many cases overbuilt already, and there is no room to build more in the largest urban areas. Rail can be an alternative for commuters, with good planning and management.

High Speed Rail, especially directed to airports, is necessary to relieve airport congestion. Conventional trains also need to be in the mix and that seems to be glaringly absent from the Mica proposals. Perhaps we are wrong.

Airlines need to get back to using larger plans with fewer total flights. That would work wonders for airport congestion.

The Union-Times suggests we pay for all this needed infrastructure with cuts in spending. Great. Cut away. Widows and orphans? Why not, they don’t hire lobbyists. Transportation costs money and the USA is way behind on investment.


Filed under: Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

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