The N&O reveals (yet again) that it failed Economics 101. Taking cues from a new study put out by the Brookings Institution, the editorial praises the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor as the obvious choice to lighten air travel. The study concluded that 1.1 million people flew last year between RDU airport and either Charlotte or Washington D.C.
The solution to this “large” amount of air traffic—the Southeast High-Speed Rail.
But, the editorial fails to consider how many North Carolina travels will actually jump on this high-speed train (which actually isn’t high-speed, by the way). Ridership numbers consistently show that the average North Carolinian will take a round trip train only once every 27 years.
So, why does the high-speed rail “make sense to lighten the load on airports” when no one is actually riding the train? It doesn’t. Nor does it make sense to spend more than $1.3 billion of taxpayer money to upgrade the 400 miles of North Carolina tracks needed to implement the high-speed rail. Before the N&O publishes nonsense like this, please consider actual ridership numbers. Let’s pay attention to what the market signals as the best transportation alternative for the traveler, like say, better roads for our Fords and Chevys.