Re: California Approves High-Speed Rail Project
If it goes from San Fran to LA, and then later to Las Vegas and San Diego from LA... It could work if it takes you to the airport in each of these cities (to the strip in Vegas, stupid taxi lobby preventing a monorail from the airport to the strip...). All flights would be switched to train rides, and people could come and just take the train as well.
The issue is the price and convenience. It is a 4-6 hour drive and it only costs *"$40" because you aren't counting the price of your car. You can take a few people for that rate too. Adding an extra passenger to your car doesn't cost another "$40". And you leave when you leave. You don't have a clock to check and you can't be late. And you can go whereever once you get there. Vegas has taxis, but they will cost you quite a bit instead of parking for free and driving someplace else. In LA you will have to wait for a taxi and everything is spread out a long distance.
Train pricing has to factor in a bunch of stuff if they want to remain profitable and be better than airlines or driving your regular car. Now, if they allowed cars to get transported quickly, cheaply, and easily on the train. It isn't just the speed. I would rather go slow and pay $20 for my car and myself to go to Las Vegas or SF from LA, and if I had some friends, they would have to pay $12. And that is the hard part to solve. They will raise the rates to match supply and demand instead of being a great deal even if automobile gas prices shoot up.
*$40 is a made up number, but it is the price it costs in fuel to get there and back.