Thursday, August 27, 2009

More choo choo stories

Another mass transit post (see my previous one), but this one focuses on trains rather than buses - specifically, high-speed rail in the United States.

My back-of-envelope calculations suggest that a high speed rail system in the United States might have a tough time of it, compared to more densely populated areas such as Europe and Japan. Yonah Freemark disagrees:

...a well-designed high speed intercity rail project between the two largest cities in Lone Star State (Houston and Dallas) would likely produce a net economic benefit–not at all the white elephant Glaeser suggests. In this more comprehensive model that takes into account trivialities like regional population growth and a reality-based route, the annual benefits total $840 million compared with construction and maintenance costs of $810 million. Which is to say, our numbers show that HSR pays for itself rather handily.

True, but I wouldn't built that high speed rail line between Calexico and Baker just yet.
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