eight billion well spent dollars.

April 17, 2009

it’s hard to believe, but the american government has taken a bold step to reduce america’s dependence on fossil fuels. as part of the economic stimulus package, $8 billion is being earmarked to improve regional and intercity rail transportation. he is doing something that, for over forty years, has been allowed to rot and decay.

the part of the president’s speech that is the most interesting (around the 2:30 mark) is where he describes stations in city centres…and a traveller being able to take convenient public transit to their final destination.

this isn’t just about rail. this is about using the free market to change the face of american cities for the better…and to thus start to wean people off the gas pump.

to be frank, for all the square kilometres of national parks and transit fare subsidies that governments can offer, these $8 billion dollars will probabaly work harder for the environment over the long term than any other initiative the american government has likely ever proposed.

there is no question that the fabled railroads of past eras are gone forever. most of the transcontinental trains – such as the fabled california zephyr, running from chicago to san francisco – that have since been replaced by air travel will remain vestiges of a bygone time. however, that is not the issue. what is needed is to replace the car and the airplane for those short- to medium-distances.

i thought that it was amazing that president obama thanked queers in his acceptance speech. i was taken aback when he acknowledged atheists in his inaugural speech. at this point, i’m simply floored.

this man is proving that he is the one who will give americans a reason to be truly proud of themselves. such is the difference between pride and hubris.

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4 Responses to “eight billion well spent dollars.”

  1. Milan Says:

    It is certainly very encouraging. Hopefully, it will embolden people pushing for a high speed rail corridor in Canada, as well as better coordination between our trains and those in the US.

  2. jocelyn Says:

    if anyone could get a boner from the idea of rapid transit… it would be you.

  3. Danny O Says:

    Monorail…monorail…monorail!

    Where’s Leonard Nimoy when you need him to put the hard sell on this thing?


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