Friday, July 28, 2017

The Huge Importance Of Affordable, Regional, Mass Transit

Canada, of course, being so big, and physically remote for much of its colder climes, demonstrates quite well how the many smaller communities, strung out along these large, difficult distances, depend on regional mass transit as a socio-economic lifeline. And even though much of our continental borders aren't quite the cold, forbidding expanses that Canada offers, a significant part is, and even where it isn't, rural isolation, as far as dependably convenient regional mass transit goes, exists far more than most of us realize.

The traditional solution here, as it has been for our good neighbors to the North, has always been railroads. That being the case, and now that Amtrak is but a ghost of what it once was, or at least of what it was originally intended to be, we are left with a situation where moving yourself, and your things, as needed by economic necessity, has become a fairly significant burden. More to the point, however, is how that very lack of regional transportation (and I truly mean means tested affordable) makes economic survival almost impossible now for communities left out of the commercial hub and spoke systems of the commercial airlines; even as they make the travel experience itself ever more unbearable despite, as well as because of, the significant price competition between the various carriers; precisely because it has become a case of seeing just how many people you can stuff into an aluminum tube, as well as how badly you can treat them because any little hiccup in the traffic system as a whole (whether by weather, or equipment malfunctions), sends waves of disruption rippling out of their finely tuned scheduling to keep the big investments always generating revenue miles.

It really shouldn't take any genius of economics, or social cohesion, to figure out that this is not tenable for a nation in the long term; especially if you believe, as I do, that being able to vote with your feet, with it being available for those who can't afford it, as well as have it nearby in a practical sense, is an absolutely fundamental part of choice for a citizen. And so it should go without saying that a much better alternative ought to be available.

I am biased in this, of course. I have come up with a technological approach to having Air Trains that could meet this need. Air Trains made possible by a hybrid dirigible blimp design that would make connecting each dirigible blimp into a train possible; at which point most of the advantages of a train, but without the horrendous costs to establish new rights of way through already crowded country sides. A transportation system that would also have the added benefit of providing value as well for our military, as well as for our critical need to be able to transport a truly clean fuel (as with my approach to produce liquid hydrogen at sea). And with just two applications of a public works projects, our country could get this multi layered cake of value. All we need now is your voice to make the demand to your congressional delegation.

And since the idiots in the GOP may actually be ready to move on from making affordable health care even worse than it already is, maybe we can get them back, and focused on a couple of very important, and very impactful, projects. Projects that might actually make a difference for the rest of us working folks.


A LIFELINE TO THE NORTH


VIA Rail runs 1,700km across Manitoba, and for many remote communities, the train is the only way to connect to the rest of the world. Now the local people want to buy the tracks.