Anyone who ever lived in Los Angeles, or who saw the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit knows about the program (or as some refer to it, conspiracy) from the 1930s to the 1950s by General Motors and other companies to purchase and dismantle street car systems across the nation. More about that tragically successful effort can be learned from Wikipedia, Great American Street Car Scandal. Are these dirty (as in pollutants or as in tactics?) industries at it again?
That is the view of Roger Christensen, a former chairman of the Metro Citizen Advisory Council in Los Angeles, in an article published in the SFGate.com. He notes that some of the most vocal and published critics of high speed rail in the U.S. are members of Reason Foundation. He contends that Reason Foundation HSR critics, like Joseph Vranich, often invent facts in their criticism, e.g., claiming that California’s HSR assertion that it will travel from the Bay Area to Los Angeles in three hours was impossible despite the fact that the TGV goes the same distance from Paris to Avignon in nearly 30 minutes less time. Mr. Christensen contends that the Reason Foundation is supported by several of the major oil companies and airline companies. His article, a refreshing rebuttal to the incessant criticism of various HSR efforts across the country, is worth a read: The great high-speed rail lie (SFGate.com, August 03, 2011, by Roger Christensen)
(Photo courtesy of Jon Curnow, Flickr CC)