Common sense on high-speed rail

this Tribune op-ed


column. McCarron asks why we are spending billions of dollars (yet to be borrowed, I assume) on studying and building high-speed rail service when so much more needs to be done for local mass transit.

Compare the needs of CTA, Metra and Pace riders with those who want to get to Detroit, St. Louis, the Twin Cities and elsewhere and there's no doubt where the money should be spent.

As McCarron said:

The purpose of high-speed rail, near as I can tell, is not to ease the
daily commute of millions of Chicagoans -- we'll still clank along on
what is, in many places, a century-old system -- but to rocket a much
smaller group of occasional travelers to places like St. Louis, Detroit
and Minneapolis at speeds approaching 220 m.p.h. Two hours to St.
Louis! All we'll need is a reason to go there.

McCarron's column should be read to these pols, whose reason has been overcome with  visions of dancing federal dollars coming to their cities and states.

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    Dennis Byrne

    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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