[From Saturday Night Live]
Two economists have come to an interesting conclusion about the new body scans and aggressive pat-downs. If people forego travel by air because they don’t want to be seen naked or groped, and instead drive during the upcoming holiday seasons, then more Americans will die because driving is mile-for-mile much more dangerous than flying, especially during the winter. So the new TSA procedures will (again) make us less safe, not more, and will kill Americans.
Can we please start working on our high speed rail service then?
I agree with Jonah.
I would add that any of those potential driving deaths that would occur anywhere along the Northeastern corridor, say from Boston down to D.C., are entirely preventable. We have good train service here.
There is also train service between San Francisco and San Diego.
I have no sympathy for people who choose to drive when they could have taken the train instead.
And those of us stuck out in the sticks don’t have good train service. Where I am, we’re lucky to have the daily round trip to Chicago, and it’s easily an hour longer that way than driving.
I’ve lived in places with even less access to public transit.
Visiting the UK was great. Want to go anywhere? Take a train (maybe a bus) and walk the rest of it.
You can not just leave the airport if you do not like the way you are treated?
“Once a person submits to the screening process, they can not just decide to leave”
It seems to me that refusing to go through the screening process is not really submitting to it.
This is insane. It’s gone beyond frustrating and has stepped over into being infuriating.
Thought Dancer – One of the most frequent complaints about train service is that it takes longer than driving or flying. Which is often true and this should be improved. Service for people in rural areas also needs to be improved.
However, the overwhelming majority of Americans (~80%) live in urbanized areas. I have no sympathy for people who are willing to drive an hour or even two to an airport, but not to a train station. And we need to create access to train service for those who do not have it.
I live next to Boston’s airport. When I only have one bag, I literally walk to the shuttle busses. But even when I am driven, it actually takes about an equal amount of time to get to DC or NYC on the train as flying. Given the time it takes to check in, go through security, get on the plane, take off, land, and get out of the airport, I have rarely experienced a more expeditious trip.
However, even if it took an extra hour, I personally would take it. The train is so much more comfortable. I can read or talk with other people. I can prepare for presentations and meetings in a more relaxed manner than when I fly. I can bring my own food (including my own wine!). With all of the problems (and there are quite a few) with Amtrak, it is still a much more enjoyable trip than flying.
I would love to take the train more, but if you are not in the northeast it’s simply not a viable option. Taking the train combines the worst of both worlds – it takes as long as (or longer than) driving and costs as much as flying.
We actually have pretty good train service here in the Northwest (from Vancouver BC all the way down to Eugene Oregon). The main problem with taking the train rather than driving is that you don’t have ground transportation once you arrive. So I have to confess I normally drive.
Starluna. I only said that about the extra hour because I want high speed trains.
Unlike where I just moved from, where I am now I can walk to the entry of the apartment complex and get on a bus (that runs from 5 am to midnight). Ride it to the depot. Walk four blocks and get on a train. In 4 hours, I’ll be in downtown Chicago.
In two years, that 4 block walk is supposed to be changed to cross a street. (Looks like we are moving the train station, which is good.)
But, there’s no high-speed rail. I also can’t hop that train and head for any other major US city without first going to Chicago. That lack of flexibility is also a concern for me.
As I said, I liked traveling around the UK. With the exception of deep inside some parks and, or course, the out islands, everything was train/bus/two good feet away. Loved it. Want that here. (Yes, it’s not going to be feasible for a long time, but this is exactly the sort of depth of infrastructure improvement I deeply believe the country needs for long term success.)
*facepalms* Sorry for all the typos. Dealing with lack of sleep / holiday / funeral tomorrow. (If we had those high speed trains, I wouldn’t be looking at driving 12 hours to Peoria and back in one day.)
This just came out on 11/16 about high-speed bus service.
LOL @ the onion. Actually the chinese have an interesting idea using buses.
TJ – you are right that there is not enough service. But there is plenty of service in certain, highly populated, parts of the country. Yet the people in these places are screaming about the inconveniences of flying but won’t even consider the train. That is absurd.
For those who don’t have access to rail, we need to create it. And we need to improve the existing service, including making it high speed.
IK – you bring up another good point. We also need car sharing services at our train stations. If you are going to stay in a major city with decent public transit or taxi service, it is likely not necessary. But it’s impossible to get around many cities right now without a car.