Letters to the Editor – Weekly Issue of March 8, 2010
Readers write in about high-speed rail, illegal aliens, and guest workers.
A big thank-you for your article "High-speed rail: How far will $8 billion go?" and your editorial titled "All aboard for speedy trains."Skip to next paragraph
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It is important for the general public to be aware of the importance of the expansion of high-speed rail and, in fact, about the needs of all types of rail transportation for all of America.
During these tough financial times and into the future, monies need to be available to maintain and expand the existing rail systems, which are being used at record levels.
Francis W. Warren
Member of The National Association of Railroad Passengers,
The idea of high-speed trains between metropolitan centers is a good one, but without a car, what does one do after stepping off the train at the destination? Here in Wisconsin, which is a proposed location for a "bullet train" between our largest city, Milwaukee, and our capital, Madison, even as the idea is finally becoming a possibility, bus service in Milwaukee is being cut back because of lack of ridership and budgetary considerations.
In the days of high rail ridership, industrial and business destinations were clustered in a relatively small geographical area within a city and riders often walked from the train station to their ultimate destination. Now the business and commercial enterprises are more likely to be spread out in the suburbs and farther away from the city centers and train stations.
John G. Byrne
At a time when state and federal budget deficits threaten the jobs of hundreds of thousands of existing employees, President Obama plans to spend billions on high-speed rail to expand its reach. But as the map in your article shows, $8 billion will not give Americans the comprehensive national transportation grid to rival President Eisenhower's Interstate Highway System – not even close! But even better systems for moving people, made here in the United States, are poised to leave bullet trains in their dust. Case in point: Unimodal Systems, Inc. of Westlake Village, Calif.
Critics correctly cite that the newer technologies are experimental, compared with the decades of proven safe service by high-speed rail. But the scalability of the newer technology means that smaller pilot projects, once proven, could be expanded into state-wide or regional networks in a relatively short period of time.
Unless the advanced, 21st-century transportation technologies are given a chance to compete, Americans will soon realize that they spent way too much money on older, inferior systems that crowded out innovation.
Office of Renewable Energy and Environmental Exports,
Long Beach, Calif.