Passenger trains are inefficient.

On Sunday, June 24, 2012, The Des Moines Register published an opinion by John Whitty, a member of their Young Adult Contributor’s Board. Whitty wants taxpayers to fund high speed passenger rail across Iowa. He wrote, “It’s time for Iowa leaders to come to the same realization that Western Europe, Asia and select cities in Northeast United States came to years ago: Fast, efficient transportation at the regional level has proven to yield broader and stronger economies.” First, all of the geographic areas he referred to have much higher population densities than Des Moines or Iowa. Second, even in those areas with the higher population density, train systems most still have a much higher cost per mile traveled than for either car or bus. Third, cars usually get people from their origin to their destination faster. Fourth, highways are mostly paid for by users while trains are heavily subsidized. Finally, people prefer cars while government planners prefer trains.

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