Transportation Experts See Bright Future for Rail

Jeff McMahon explores the potential of passenger rail in coming years as automobiles and airplanes "become a little more obsolete."

Transportation officials from three major cities – Chicago, Denver, and Washington, D.C. – came together last week to discuss how to spruce up U.S. transit centers. At the center of that discussion was a consensus that Americans will soon look to the train station first when traveling from one city to another – or, as McMahon puts it, "that U.S. transit centers are about to become much more crowded."

Former Amtrak CEO Tom Downs offered the insight that "highways and aviation... are capacity constrained [and] capital starved, and there is not much in the way of optimism about either of them. Your capacity seems to be pretty much unlimited for rail."

Chicago's Department of Transportation, for example, anticipates its train traffic will increase 40 percent over the next thirty years; Denver's light rail system has exceeded its ridership projections since it opened in 1994.

"And railroads can accommodate dramatic increases in traffic more easily than highways or aviation."

Full Story: U.S. Poised For Passenger Rail Boom


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.

Get the "Green Bible" of educational planning books

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from five cities with red or blue trim.