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Buffalo a main stop on proposed high-speed rail system

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

As we progress deeper into the 21st century, we find ourselves making this statement quite often: “What the heck! It’s 2013 and we still can’t…”

Whether the conclusions to that sentence are short-sighted in nature—like always-functional wireless internet, mobile service, clear highways and snow plow service—or larger-scale like curing cancer, ending human trafficking or solving world hunger, the passage of time only heightens the knowledge of what we haven’t done.

With safety and efficiency as admirable motives, there’s at least one area that seems to be making headway: transportation. A summit in Washington, D.C. from Feb. 11 to 13 will discuss the possibility and potential of a high-speed rail system powered by electricity, and a not-for-profit company—the U.S. High Speed Rail Association—has already laid out a tiered map for what will be a nationwide circuit by 2030.

Why is this relevant to Buffalo? Well, the Queen City is included in the high-speed line that could be completed as soon as 2020. According to this interactive map, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse will be linked—meaning you could travel from Buffalo to Rochester in less than a half hour and from Buffalo to Syracuse in around 45 minutes. That’s absurdly efficient considering the current travel times.

Discussions have already taken place at the state level—most notably California, where a bill has already been signed, and Florida—and the map in the header could be the future of American transportation.

The hassles of flying (airports, flight delays, security, early arrivals, etc) and driving (price of gas, wear on the car, extended time, traffic, etc) are well-documented, and while there are cheap travel options through Amtrak and bus services, these pale in comparison to the 220-mph high-speed rail system that will be discussed next week.

While impressive, this nationwide high-speed rail system is still a ways from being approved and implemented, but signs of progress that include Buffalo shouldn’t be overlooked.

TAGGED: high-speed rail system, trains, transportation, travel, travel summit, ushsra

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