Friday, April 24, 2009

Great Jim Lehrer story on CREATE, freight rail bottlenecks

PBS's the News Hour with Jim Lehrer put together a great 10 minute story on freight rail bottlenecks in Chicago and how CREATE can solve lots of them.

You can find it on the Association of American Railroad website here.

We fully support CREATE because passenger trains in the Midwest use freight rail tracks, and when there is freight delay or gridlock, there is passenger delay and gridlock as well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Governor Rendell: Let's end air travel under 500 miles

[Thanks to the Infrastructurist for the tip]

The future of transportation is high speed rail of trips under 600 miles that feed into airports, so the airports can handle international trips and the 1500 - 3000 mile trips (which are far more profitable than the little short haul trips for the airlines and thus the airports as well).

Obama understands the future which is why he's put $8B into high speed rail (and our very own Rick Harnish was at the press conference in D.C. on Thursday -- very cool!).

And Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell also understand the future of intercity transportation, and he was bold enough to say that we should end all air travel under 500 miles.

That would be great for airports and airlines.

And one federal law we ought to change, to hasten the integration between high speed rail and air travel, is the prohibition on using federal passenger facility fees on building rail stations at airports. The smart airports will build rail stations so they can keep the profitable long-haul flights and shift the short-haul flights to rail. Unfortunately, federal law prohibits that, and hopefully that will change.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

New HNTB Survey - Most Americans Prefer High Speed Rail Versus Other Long Distance Transport When Cost And Time Equal

[Hat tip]

The HNTB Corporation, an employee-owned infrastructure firm, has just released their latest national "America THINKS" survey that found "more than half of Americans (54 percent) would choose modern high-speed trains over automobile (33 percent) and air travel (13 percent) if fares and travel time were about the same." There's a lot that can be discussed just in that one conclusion - so comment away - but below are some other key findings.

Americans in the survey said that they placed the highest value on more convenient travel (71%), less expensive fares (69%) and faster trains (55%) with the introduction of high speed rail in their region.

The survey found substantial preferences for high speed rail among those who have already experienced it. Experienced riders had lower preferences for car travel to large, nearby cities (41%) compared to inexperienced riders (69%), and experienced riders had higher expectations of greater productivity while traveling high speed rail on business (51% versus 38%).

Peter Gertler, chair of the HNTB's high-speed rail practice, pointed out the importance of educating the public about high speed rail, including its environmental impact, since the survey found only 29% of Americans understand the environmental impact high-speed trains can have versus other forms of transportation, including other rail transportation,

"High-speed rail will benefit the country in a variety of ways, including improved mobility, job creation, reduced usage of fossil fuel and fewer annual greenhouse gas emissions.... High-speed trains use one-third as much energy as comparable air travel and consume less than one-fifth as much energy as driving."

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Springfield press conference with Senator Martin Sandoval on balanced transportation spending

Senator Martin Sandoval, Chairman of the Transportation Committee, called for a 1:1 ratio of transportation spending between roads and transit in this press conference attended by Dan Johnson-Weinberger (on behalf of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association's Transit Riders' Alliance) and Brian Imus of Illinois PIRG.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

WTTW Chicago Discusses High Speed Rail Debate

[Hat tip Progress Illinois]

I'll say a bit more about this later tonight.

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