"In the main, the proposed high-speed rail routes map pretty well to U.S. mega-regions. Given the fact that megas are dense and interconnected centers of population and economic activity, it makes sense to develop high-speed rail connections within mega-regions first, and later develop connections between contiguous ones, say for example down the east and west coasts or across the Great Lakes region."
"Better high-speed rail connections promise considerable economic efficiency gains. And they also promise to relieve the psychological burdens of commuting by car. Research by behavioral economists like Nobel prize-winner Daniel Kahneman finds that long car commutes are among the things that most adversely affect our happiness.
But there is an even bigger and more fundamental reason to connect our mega-regions through high-speed rail. As I recently argued in The Atlantic, our current economic crisis promises to powerfully reshape America's geography. There will be winners and losers, and a new economic geography will emerge in time."