Many people who understand the flows of transportation and are watching the gridlock, as well as the overcrowded infrastructure are now calling for more light commuter rail to ease traffic. Normally this would be very good call and an excellent way to alleviate the working families gasoline budget woes. The average SUV now costs over $100 to fill the tank.
If these vehicles need to be filled up weekly and that means another $200 in costs to the average family's budget. Light rail to work makes sense.But there is a big snag in that is that light rail takes time to build. We know this from history in cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston, Columbus, Dallas, San Jose, Albuquerque, Denver, Portland, Seattle, Miami, D.C. and many other large cities.
So there's only one solution in that would be to build commuter trains like we see with CalTrain in the Bay Area or the Metrorail in Los Angeles.Unfortunately for fortunately depending on how you look at it; our economy is kicking butt and that means our rail lines are almost max'ed out. They are busy moving products to market, manufacturing materials to industry and raw materials to energy production.
Additionally the ports are very busy importing products in cargo containers, which are then shipped by rail, along with piggyback 18 Wheeler trailers on top of the flat rail cars or in Tub rail cars.Commuter trains need free tracks and must maintain their schedules. That is nearly impossible to do. There have been many proposals in many states to put in commuter trains using existing rail tracks for instance connecting Los Angeles to the desert communities of Palm Springs, Indio and palm Desert to help alleviate traffic.
But even to do just this using existing rail could not be accomplished before 2010, even if the economies of scale of 100,000 passengers per quarter could be guaranteed. So for now you can expect more traffic, more long lines the gas pump, higher gasoline prices and no new light rail for some time to come. If you are expecting light rail to alleviate traffic and help with your fuel bill for your family, it ain't gonna happen anytime soon. Consider this in 2006..
"Lance Winslow" - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; http://www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs/.
By: Lance Winslow