PBS’s “Now” program is doing a series on America’s infrastructure, and last Friday they kicked it off with a piece about America’s transportation woes. It’s a short and sweet piece that ties together long automobile commutes, lagging funding for public transit, high gasoline prices, and our current financial and housing turmoil.
In relation to HSR, they highlight Obama’s support for HSR and McCain’s dismissal of anything that doesn’t have rubber tires. They bring up California’s promising vote this November, although they follow it up with an interview with James Elliot Moore, who informs us that in his professional opinion, the bonds for CAHSR would be better spent on airport infrastructure upgrades. Clearly, this is a man with his finger to the pulse of fuel prices, climate change, and land use. He then informs us that city buses should be privatized too. Because, you know, that worked out so well for the British in the 80’s. One might also look at his University of Southern California faculty profile and see that at least half of the publications listed have to do with freeways and none of them relate to rail transportation or mass transit. Was this guy really the best pick?
This gripe aside, I’d encourage you all to give the video a watch. It’s only about 25 minutes long, and it’s a well done piece.