Critics correctly point out that the rail lines will never make back in passenger fees what they cost to build. Yet neither was the interstate highway system a for-profit venture. It did, however, open the landscape to increased movement of people, goods and ideas. Train advocates hope that high-speed rail will do the same.
The Crowded Skies
Alleviating air traffic congestion is one of the major goals of the new push into high-speed rail. According to a study by the Federal Aviation Administration, without a major overhaul of the air traffic control system, 27 of the 56 largest airports in the country will push past excess capacity by 2025. Even with an overhaul, 14 of them will be over capacity.
Note: This article was originally printed with the title, "The Third Way."