April 28, 2016 10:02 AM EDT
Bernie wants to invest in infrastructure, and that makes good sense. The road network arguably has the highest value and ROI of all the public works. It is also stressed beyond capacity in every major metro area. There are intelligent ways to invest in transportation infrastructure and not so smart ways. Bernie has stated that he supports High Speed Rail, and many people are motivated by the example of extensive HSR networks in Europe, China, and Japan. Population centers in the US are much more widely separated with much more of their populations disbursed into suburbs. A national high speed rail network makes no sense here, and there's really only one corridor, DC - NYC, where the length and the trip demand are a good fit for HSR.
April 28, 2016 10:03 AM EDT
There are however excellent opportunities to develop the road and rail network. The initial stages won't even require very much public investment as we can use smartphones to encourage people to share rides and decrease the vehicle count. Governments merely need to encourage this by deploying High Occupancy and Toll lanes on all of the congested arterials, surface streets as well as highways, and with smart timing for traffic lights to create green waves for high occupancy and other vehicles by paying tolls set dynamically at the point that fills any unused capacity.Once HOT priority lanes with green wave signaling are in place, the gov't could begin investment in a new kind of high performance bus-train. By providing non-stop service and on-board transfers, these would be able to approach and often exceed the trip time performance of driving personal cars. Here is an excellent short video depicting this concept: http://www.next-future-mobility.com/
April 28, 2016 10:24 AM EDT
By the way, the tag line is different from the one I suggested. That was, "What would you like to tell Bernie that he does not know?"