Essay about The Effect of Highspeed Trains on Society

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The Effect of Highspeed Trains on Society

A major reason in favor of the construction of high-speed trains in America is to relieve airways and traffic congestion. First, delays at airports are costly. Larry Johnson, director of the Center for transportation Research at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, calculates that passengers lose more that twelve million hours each year in delays at O'Hare airport alone. In 1986, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airlines, delays cost five billion dollars, including two billion in extra fuel and labor cost, for the ailing airline industry. According to the FAA, relieving airport congestion will cost one hundred and seventeen billion over the next decade (Mobey 14).
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In the next twenty years, this insidious tax is projected to nearly double (Mallinckarodt p1). Bill Fay said," Cars stuck in traffic waste more fuel and emit more pollutants than cars that are moving"(Dahl 4). High occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes are one of the primary tools used to reduce traffic congestion on the state highway system and improve air quality ("HOV Lanes in California …" p1). The usual goal of HOV lane restrictions is to provide overall congestion, and emissions reduction (Mallinckdet. p 1). However, in recent years, HOV lanes effectiveness in achieving these goals has come in to question ("HOV Lanes in California …" p1). When drivers use a highway, they do not pay the cost that they may be imposing on other drivers. Ideally, traffic should flow smoothly at the speed limit. However, as traffic increases, eventually the addition of one more vehicle will slow the flow and increase the travel time of other vehicles. At this point congestion (the negative externality) begins (Dahl p4). Sen Daniel Patrick Moynihan said," The train technology, offers great opportunities to reduce congestion in our surface and air transportation system" (Clough 9). Thus building high-speed trains would aid the problem of increasing congestion at America's airports and on the highways.

Those who argue against high-speed trains cite their