"Congress has approved $8 billion for high-speed-rail lines that, according to advocates, will make traveling by train faster than driving. But for high-speed trains to live up to their potential, planners also have to consider how long it takes to get to your destination after you get off the train.
"What you really need is a door-to-door trip," says Susan Zielinski, managing director of the Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation project at the University of Michigan, a center that promotes sustainable transportation. "You should be able to combine your modes of transportation."
Planners such as Zielinski refer to the concept as "multimodal design," and they say without it, the whole idea of high-speed transportation begins to break down. "