If you could get to Chicago by train in less than four hours, would you do it — rather than drive or fly?
The Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act passed by Congress last week includes a plan to build 3,000 miles of high-speed track in nine states, and buy comfortable, fast (110 mph) trains to travel on them. The states affected, including Missouri, Illinois and Iowa, will need to match 20 percent of the estimated $7.7 billion cost.
Rising driving and flying costs are making train travel a more attractive choice for many people. In the past year, the Amtrak ridership between St. Louis and Chicago has increased by 15 percent. Nothing we are learning about the economy on TV today is likely to make cheap, fast travel less attractive.
Now would be a very good time to find out what your candidates for state representative and state senator think about increased funding for transportation.