Friday, April 11, 2008

FAA and the airlines

American Airlines canceled 1,000 flights on Wednesday, 900 yesterday and now 595 today stranding thousands of passengers throughout the country. Aircraft replace trains as the primary means of cross-country transportation decades ago. Rising fuel costs, non-existent perks in coach class, increased security screenings, and now the FAA attempts at redemption grounding more aircraft it may help drive a push to find a better alternative. Air travel is becoming less pleasant than a trip to your dentist for a root canal. Legacy carriers such as Delta are teetering on the brink of failure. Some of the lower cost airlines are closing as well.

Rather than lament the "good old days" of air travel, we should look to trains as a means of reducing congestion in the skies and airports. Unfortunately, we've allowed our railroads to become second class to the rest of world when it comes to cross-country travel. Getting passenger service re-established between major cities (with connections to light rail systems within those cities) seems worthy of a push similar to getting the first man on the moon.

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