Public transportation in CA

Cruise Automation sl1msh4dy
May 7 8 Comments

Why is CA (and America in general) so bad at public transportation? Bart is a mess. Caltrain is a slow hunk of metal (although better than bart). All asian countries would be laughed out of the room if they didnt have bullet trains. Imagine a bullet train (a real one) instead of Caltrain. We could give hours of productivity back to the people. Whats the deal here? Is it labor wages, politics, or ...??? Why is America not the forefront of science and innovation infrastructure wise anymore? Dwight D Eisenhower laid out a plan to build highways all over America and we got that shit done, but that seems like the only thing we have now...

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TOP 8 Comments
  • Microsoft not-a-dev
    Lots of reasons:
    1. Culture that prefers cars
    2. Many cities tend to be spread out and with lower density. This makes them worse candidates for trains. Commuter trains work best in cities similar to the European metropolis (Paris, London, Milan...) where there’s a focal center and then people live in areas that are radiant from it, and there’s a higher density.
    3. Very high cost of infrastructure projects in the US
    4. Smaller existing infrastructure. European cities built their railroads decades or hundreds of years ago. American cities didn’t, or even destroyed their old railroads when cars became popular. Also, culturally railroads are privately-owned in the US unlike in most of the rest of the world.

    And other reasons!

    This might be interesting: https://youtu.be/-cjfTG8DbwA (same channel has other videos related to trains)
    May 7 3
    • Cruise Automation sl1msh4dy
      OP
      I generally agree with you, but to address some points. For example China is super spread out but they still have high speed rail between cities. Im not just talking commuter trains like bart. Caltrain is a commuter train in purpose but distance wise it shouldnt be. It travels the entire length of the bay. Also, i thought the whole idea with capitalism was that private can do it better :( :( :(
      May 7
    • Yahoo Crdp53
      The point on being spread out— Why would you want to take a train, to say Las Vegas from SF, when you can fly there in a hour for under $100. Airfare is cheap here and you can pretty much fly anywhere.

      It is also worth noting that we have a federal system — which is good for localizing power, preventing the gov from doing stupid things, policy experiments, etc. It is bad for building infrastructure. The federal government can’t force states or localities to build things, they give states money and then that money must pass through a whole new set of special interests and bureaucracy on the state and local level before anything gets built.
      May 7
    • Microsoft not-a-dev
      @Cruise like i said, that video channel has lots of content on this topic: https://youtu.be/0JDoll8OEFE

      Investing in train transportation is usually what’s called a “market failure” and that’s when a purely capitalist society won’t invest. Very few train routes are actually profitable (worldwide). Governments still invest in them for other reasons, mostly externalities (less pollution for example) and the possibility to develop certain regions further.
      May 7
  • New timber
    NIMBY to some extent
    May 7 0
  • Facebook bsgsb3638
    There are 1001 problems, but money ain’t one of them. They take too much from my TC😭
    May 7 0
  • Indeed mrsatoshi
    Initially, car companies and now stupid zoning laws
    May 7 0
  • Indeed 87hj87
    Do you know how expensive it is to build rail lines?

    Do you know _why_ its so expensive?

    Do you know how hard it is to manage and operate rail lines?

    Do you know _why_ its so hard?

    Solve those mysteries and you'll find the answers you seek

    (Note: I am not opposed to transit and this comment should be taken as a problem solving discussion, not a criticism)
    May 7 0