Time For Rail In New England

The region's transportation network is beginning to buckle under the strain of auto-dependence, write Neal Peirce and Curtis Johnson.

"On the transportation front, New England seems frozen in time and space, unaware of how seriously isolated and inefficient it's becoming with its overburdened interstates, poorly maintained bridges and local roads, shrunken and imperiled rail service, and lack of a modern deepwater cargo port.

The pain's felt region-wide. Saddled with decaying road systems, Massachusetts motorists are spending $2.3 billion a year on extra vehicle repairs and operating costs. Without efficient coastline rail, Maine sees its Route 1 turn into a traffic horror each summer. Urban interstates across the region -- I-93 from Massachusetts into New Hampshire, for example -- suffer mega-jams. The region has some quality -- but many insufficient or nonexistent -- bus lines."

"Indeed, even as some 14 nations around the world invest robustly in new or expanded high-speed rail, taking advantage of dramatic technology breakthroughs in safety, handling, and speeds of up to 210 miles per hour, Northeast U.S. leaders sit on their hands, paralyzed by prospective pricetags."

Full Story: Road, Rail, Air, Water: Separate Worlds or One System?

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