The American transportation system is embedded with misleading myths, promulgated for decades by industry to keep everyone focused on more cars, bigger roads, and endless driving and flying for all. The myths continue (funded by tens of Billlions of dollars in an endless barrage of advertising), but the reality keeps getting worse - ever further from the myth.
Every car commercial shows empty streets and the car zooming along, totally free, everyone smiling... life is good... living the "American Dream"! (in some fantasy city somewhere). What the endless stream of ads really show is a complete lie, as everyone knows, yet this message is told to us millions of times, over and over, year after year on TV, over the radio, in newspapers, on billboards, and all over the web.
"That's why they call it the American Dream, because you have to
be asleep to believe it." -George Carlin
The reality is cars can't move large numbers of people, no matter how they are powered, or even if a human is driving. Its basic physics of space and motion, and how many objects can fit in a space and move independently and efficiently. There are limitations in the amount of mobility cars can provide, and we have far exceeded that limit, which results in massive congestion and back ups all the time.
Flying maintains the myth of fast, efficient travel, and endless adventure. While flying used to be fast and efficient years ago, it's very different today.
The reality is flying in America has become an unreliable nightmare! Airlines continue to cut corners (including staff and maintenance) and legroom, while security hassles, delays and lines keep getting worse. Flights are constantly canceled or delayed for no good reason, while the traveling public is regularly mistreated and abused by the airlines - making the entire experience miserable and unreliable.
Driverless cars - suddenly out of nowhere - are going to solve all our transportation problems! With promises to completely change our lives, our cities, and transform the very way we live, driverless cars have been held up as the greatest invention in history!
The reality is driverless cars could turn out to be the greatest boondoggle in history! They have numerous problems yet to be figured out, tested, or solved. There have been numerous crashes and complications, system failures, hacking, injuries and deaths. Car companies now admit Level 5 full autonomy is impossible. This means the entire premise this is being sold on ("driverless" = full autonomy) is a complete myth. All evidence so far points to a dangerous, expensive, complicated system that no one wants, and will never actually be driverless!
The very same groups hammering the previous myths into American's minds through relentless advertising, also promulgate myths and doubts about trains, including trains being "yesterday's technology", "no one rides trains anymore", "a train to nowhere", "fast trains in Europe and Asia are a failure", and many more myths.
The reality is trains outperform both flying and driving combined in every measure (capacity, mobility, convenience, speed, safety, efficiency, energy consumption, air pollution, cost, profitability, national security, carbon footprint, physical footprint, economic development, smart growth, etc).
China built more than 12,000 miles of state-of-the-art high speed rail in 9 years!
High speed rail's faster, easier service fosters rapid mode shifts as soon as new lines open