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High-speed Train - Essay Example

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This paper will examine the merits of having a high speed train service between Las Vegas and Los Angeles There has been talk of constructing a high speed train from Las Vegas to Los Angeles for almost 30 years now. Most people believe that the congestion on the I-15 between Las Vegas and Los Angeles can be avoided by the construction and use of high speed trains between both cities, thus the need for effective high speed rail…
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High-speed Train
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"High-speed Train"

Download file to see previous pages According to Secretary Ray LaHood, "8 billion dollars has been set aside for high speed rail. What jump starts our opportunity in America is the President's initiative that Congress passed to put $8 billion in the economic recovery" (Secretary Ray LaHood, D.O.T)
I believe that the construction and usage of high speed train transportation between these 2 metropolitan areas would effectively reduce pollution and congestion, as it will take many cars off the roads. It is estimated that about 170,000 vehicles travel the I-15 into Las Vegas. Woody Woodrow, who is a resident of Las Vegas and a native of Los Angeles, stated that "if the price was right and the timing was right and it took less than a flight to get here, I would absolutely take it. I think it's a great idea" (Woodward Woody, Las Vegas resident)
High speed rail can be said to be a proven technology, as decades of experience on the use of high speed rail in other parts of the world have shown. Thus, high speed rail provides a comfortable and convenient way for Americans to travel from one city to another. These 2 cities should endeavor to avail themselves of this technology in a comprehensive manner, as there has been heavy investment in this mode of mass transit. The population of both cities is expected to continue to rise significantly over the next few decades and although an inability to travel quickly by high speed rail between Los Angeles and Las Vegas might not currently look like a major deficiency, it probably would appear to be so in the next few decades. According to Wilton Woods (1989) "future intercity future intercity passenger mobility will be dependent on fully utilizing all of the available options. However, much of the criticism of high speed rail is based on concerns about its cost-effectiveness in the near to medium term. This is of particular concern since HSR is likely to rely more heavily than other modes (automobile, air, and intercity bus) on general tax revenues as opposed to user fees/taxes, although the user fees/taxes that support those other modes may not cover their so-called externality costs i.e. costs that those modes impose on other people, such as environmental pollution and deaths and injuries due to crashes" (Wilton Woods 1989)
Critics of high speed rail travel say that it is not very cost effective, but numerous benefits have been cited in support of the development of high speed rail, including the reduction of pollution and energy usage in the transportation sector, the potential to alleviate airport and highway congestion, improving transportation safety, promoting economic development, the provision of more options for travelers, and increasing the reliability of transport by increasing redundancy in the transportation system.

Alleviation of congestion in airports and highways
High speed rail has the capability of relieving air traffic and highway congestion in heavily traveled corridors. The use of high speed rail ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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