Sunday, August 02, 2015

Our national rail and port ferry mess: give Japan the contract ... By gimleteye

It's Sunday in August. I'm on a ferry between Bridgeport CT and Port Jefferson, Long Island, using 21st century technology to type this blog post. So why are our ports and ferries like third world infrastructure? Why do our rail stations look like down market, off-track betting parlors?

A big part of the reason is the willful denial by voters of the need to invest in the first world amenities and hard transportation assets like European and Asian allies have. What comes to mind, foremost, is Japan.
The ferry terminal is adjacent to a coal-fired power plant, the kind contributing to global warming

On a recent trip to Japan, the rail and port ferry infrastructure was astonishing. Why can't we have first-world infrastructure for trains and port ferries in the U.S.? After all, we helped Japan rebuild its infrastructure shattered in the Second World War.

The decline of US infrastructure to train and port infrastructure has been obvious for decades. Why not just give Japan the contract, to do the improvements to infrastructure we can't do?

What remains of a once vital waterfront: government patrol vessels
Of course, I ask the question tongue-in-cheek because there are a hundred reasons we would never cede our pride or admit that 'no, we can't'. No nation sets the bar higher for aspiration than America, but as the Bridgeport ferry shows, we are exceptional for blind spots, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was also recently thinking about the US lack of investment in rail passenger transport and such.
I figure that highways cost much more than laying rail. Trains to run on rail cost a fortune but when you add the cost of vehicles that each individual driver must purchase it surely must bring the total cost of transport in the US far above the cost of other countries. Indeed, I believe there are stats that show US consumers spend more on transport than any other country, just like health care. We must do better in reducing that share of of the family budget. Steve Hagen