Transit kool aid

San Jose Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold rides transit and his old Nishiki to get around.

He’s also bought into the idea that density is a pre-requisite for successful high speed rail. This also seems to be the conclusion in this Freso Bee story on Spain’s high speed rail system, which makes me wonder if Southwest Airlines is once again distributing anti-rail talking points to kill HSR with Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt before it even gets off of the ground. People like to point out that Spain’s high speed rail system cannot be profitable, but they never mention that publicly funded highways are also revenue sinks for the public.

But I digress. Cap’n Transit addresses the density argument here.


  1. As a spaniard, I can tell you that the article on Spanish AVE is just plain BS. The reason for its failure does not lie in that it is not a good method of transportation, but that it has been deployed and managed in what is possibly the worst way possible. What shold have been the priority line in the system (Madrid-Barcelona-France), is currently (20 years after the inaguration of the first AVE) only halfway operational. However, several lines connecting small provincial cities have long been in operation and, predictably, do not have enough passengers to justify the cost. The reasons for this situation are manyfold, but mainly relate to the political relationship of central Spain with (as they call us) “periferic secessionist regions”. 

    I am not very informed, but I can only imagine that a well thought-out high speed rail in California could be fantastic. 

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