One of the recurring themes here at TFA concerns the woeful lack of a balanced transportation system and the failure of American political leaders, Many of us have suspected that this would give us an advantage on the “learning curve,” and Keith Dierkx makes that point in an excellent column for Forbes.com.
Dierkx is director of the Global IBM Rail Innovation Center in Beijing. He points to China’s expeiences, along with Russia and Taiwan.
In this mobile era, passengers expect to be able to use their cellphones to book train travel. Advanced data analytic systems can perform scheduling so that seats are effectively assigned as passengers get on and off at stations along a line. All of these advantages are available today, thanks in part to the experience of other nations, and federal stimulus funds will help pay for them.