I love robots and all things technology, so this article on how a Ground-Effect Robot Could Be Key To Future High-Speed Trains caught my attention. Growing up in Europe, trains and subways are a way of life and convenient transportation, but not always the fastest. However, living in Texas now, I appreciate the convenience of good, reliable public transportation because here (at least in the Dallas / Fort Worth area) it is virtually non-existent. Everyone here has to have a car, because even if you wanted to take public transportation, you would most likely be able to only get almost where you wanted to go, but not all the way there.
I tried to see if I could take public transportation to work a while back, but living on the outskirts of the DFW Metroplex, there was no way to get from my house to work without a private vehicle. I have to drive 15 minutes just to get to the closest park and ride, to start an adventure that would take me two hours and still wouldn’t get me all the way to work.
The lack of public transportation around here is usually attributed to the prohibitive cost when compared to the usage it actually gets, but I think usage would improve if it was ubiquitous. The crazy thing is that you can’t even take a train from Dallas to Austin or San Antonio for the same reasons. If you took the train, you would be stuck once you got there and would need to rent a car.
The idea of a high-speed train through central Texas is appealing, but the times that it has been proposed it has always been rejected. Increasing the level of public transportation so that it is actually a viable option will help us all in the long run, more than another HOV laneor more lanes on the highways. However, it has to be a concerted effort across the State, involving all municipalities to create a system that is efficient, cost-effective and reliable method to get from one place to the other that will not only help to reduce the amount of pollution we create, but also remove the stigma in this part of the country around using public transportation.
- Robotic High Speed Train that Looks like a Plane (neatorama.com)
- Public transport needs imporving, say city dwellers (confused.com)
- Public Transport (retrorambling.wordpress.com)