@Johnny, the difference is in 20 years from now when the cost of putting in a
rail system is prohibitive, your driving experience in China will be unbearable.
China is already the world largest car market, exploding at levels that dwarf
what is going on in the west. What the situation is today in no way is
representative of the future of Japan. When the US gets around to linking its
cities - down town to down town - our cost is going to be a multiple of what it
is now. The question is not will we need this, but when, and at what eventual
cost. But I love your perspective. I only visit China often, can't say I
live there. And yes, I usually get a hired car for the day to get me around
Shanghai and Hong Kong.@sky...to your question... yes. We
can't all live in suburbs. To your example, the peninsula in San Francisco
thrives because works have options to get to work - in an area where housing is
prohibitive. You can live in Gilroy, and work at Oracle without driving a car.
It provides options for those who can't afford million dollar houses.
I have spent the last 18 months living in China. I rode the fast train one time.
I live in a rural portion of the country, we see the new fast train construction
for an east-west line to open in the future but will probable never ride it.
Why, you might ask? The expressway is capable of doing a similar function.
That is what most of the outsiders fail to consider when comparing the US and
China; miles of Freeway/Expressway AND railway mileage. The challenge that the
US has with rail is our cars are way more convenient than a train.I can
drive to the airport (2 regional and one international within a 2 hour drive).
The fast train might get me to Beijing in the same amount of time as the trip to
the airport and flight time but it isn't any more convenient so why take it
and deal with the transfer.I will drive and fly because it is more
convenient and not much more expensive than rail. Yes, not much more expensive
than rail. Sure I can spend a lot less on hard seat passage on a slow train; it
isn't worth it.
HSR is good for Chinese even for a lot Asian country because of high-density
residence there. Do we Americans need that stuff? Do you want build a lot of
Apartments around the Railway Stations to chieve the transportation efficency?
When USA becomes poorer and poorer (OMG $16,000,000,000,000 debt), somewhere
like bankrupted California would be the place to build this kind of HSR system.
What happened to the idea of bullet train between LA to LV which has been talked
about? Good for China but in USA? Japan got theirs why didn't we do
Yet another place we have lost our dominance to the rest of the world. China
has passed us in production. They have us beat in economic growth and finance,
and now they are whooping us in investment in infrastructure. Compared to Asia
and Europe, or core infrastructure is 3rd world. You have to invest
to compete. The us is the Tampa Bay of baseball.... won't spend on being
competitive, and it is beginning to show. A train like this would connect Salt
Lake downtown to LA downtown in less than 4 hours. We have nothing that
compares, not even close.