Tweet by Brookings on 2015-06-30 https://twitter.com/BrookingsInst/status/615712614341935104
Michael Ahn and Malcolm L. Russell-Einhorn | June 29, 2015
A vision of high-speed rail in America: Time for a national conversation?
“High-speed rail can harness the intellect, technology and ideas of Boston, the capital, financial resources and entrepreneurial spirits of New York, and the political power and energy of Washington DC.”
Imagine a world where you could hop on a train at Boston's South Station, arrive at New York City's Penn Station in less than one hour and travel from there to Washington DC's Union Station in another hour and half.
No need to travel to the airport, encounter traffic jams and security checkpoints, or put up with delays or cancellations due to weather conditions.
In some parts of the world, this is not a distant or imaginary vision but already part of everyday life: people hop on a train, travel significant distances, and tend to their business conveniently, all within the same day.
The vision is compelling because high-speed rail can help merge key urban hubs in America, creating the possibility of a new type of megalopolis that other modes of transportation are unable to support – and will serve as a new foundation for growth in the future. In the Northeast region, it can enable one-day commutes in key hubs such as Boston, New York City, and Washington DC. High-speed rail can harness the intellect, technology and ideas of Boston, the capital, financial resources and entrepreneurial spirits of New York, and the political power and energy of Washington DC.
Linking key intellectual, economic, and political centers has already led to new interactions, collaborations, products and services that have fueled our knowledge and information economy.
Imagine America with a couple of megalopolis, starting with the northeastern region of Boston, New York, and DC while in the west San Jose, LA, and San Francisco are merged into one economic zone.
There is great pessimism in America about railroad travel (...). However, the environment has now changed with significantly congested highways and airways.
Why is it that the only American train that can hit a maximum speed of at least 150 miles per hour* (the Acela)—the conventional definition of high speed rail—can do so only on a tiny 10 minute stretch of track in Rhode Island? And why hasn’t the most basic feature of smart technology—the Positive Train Control system that would have prevented the recent Amtrak train crash outside Philadelphia—still not been installed? How did the country that pioneered the universally admired Interstate highway system end up lagging so far behind so many countries? Especially when, in a 2010 poll, nearly 60 percent of Americans favored a major overhaul of the rail system and high-speed rail was favored over air travel among Democrats and Republicans alike?
Retweet by Brookings on 2015-06-30
A tale of two states: Comparing Public-Private Partneships in North Carolina and Ohio
"Charlotte* has outpaced the nation in job creation and is one of the top 20 metros for post-recession economic growth. Concurrently, traffic along I-77, a key regional arterial, increased by 20 percent over the last five years. To alleviate traffic along this corridor, the state requested proposals to add a new high-occupancy toll lane (HOT lane) that will give drivers the option to pay to use a congestion-free route."
"The marginal cost to move goods internationally can determine whether firms conduct trade at all".
(link points to pdf below)
The Metropolitan America « Global Cities » Initiative
Link Launched in Los Angeles in March 2012, the Global Cities Initiative is a $10 million, five-year project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase aimed at helping the leaders of metropolitan America strengthen their regional economies by becoming more competitive in the global marketplace.
Metropolitan Policy> Metropolitan Freight Research Series
The great port mismatch: U.S. goods trade and international
Adie Tomer and Joseph Kane, June 2015
Source: Brookings analysis of EDR Data
Image from publication: The great port mismatch: U.S. goods trade and international transportation (PDF)
Adie Tomer and Joseph Kane, June 2015
"The United States traded over $4 trillion worth of international goods in 2014, ranging from raw agriculture to advanced precision instruments. The enormous variety of exports and imports powers American industries, allowing industrial and household consumers to enjoy cost-effective products and exporting producers to access global markets."
"The United States has long been one of the world’s preeminent traders, currently ranking second to China in the exchange of physical goods.""
America’s international ports—the water, air, and surface transportation facilities that handle global goods—are either the first or last place a good touches domestic soil, and therefore they are vital components in trade networks."
"Ocean vessels and airplanes move over 70 percent of all internationally traded goods into and out of the U.S."
"The country relies on 25 port complexes—a group of ports within one place—to move 85 percent of all internationally traded goods."
"The average international good travels over 1,000 miles within the U.S. to get from a port to its market,"
These high levels of international trade benefit the U.S. economy in several ways. Exporting firms not only pay higher wages, but they also play an outsized role in the ongoing economic recovery (3). Similarly, by importing foreign products, American producers and consumers can enjoy lower costs for many goods, and producers can inject additional value into domestic supply chains (4). Ultimately, exports and imports help regions across the U.S. create, manage, and participate in the global value chains that define modern production practices (5). For example, while many computer products are now assembled in Asia and imported to the U.S., high-value design, manufacturing, and management still takes place in metro areas like San Jose, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; and Austin, Texas.
"The marginal cost to move goods internationally can determine whether firms conduct trade at all (6). That means high-functioning infrastructure is more than just a luxury—it’s a requirement to maintain competitive exports and low-cost imports (7)."
“In response, federal policies must do a better job recognizing the outsized role of the busiest ports and the benefits the entire country receives from efficient connections to those key assets. Likewise, local leaders must reconsider their ports’ role within the local economy and possibilities for logistics growth.”
"This paper aims to address this information vacuum by demonstrating the role of metropolitan port complexes within the national economy. It begins by summarizing how the country moves goods by specific modes, and then analyzes the specific port complexes doing the majority of the work."