Flygskam (Flight Shame)

Discussion in 'High Speed and Other Non-Amtrak Intercity Rail' started by Willbridge, Jun 10, 2019.

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  1. Jun 10, 2019 #1

    Willbridge

    Willbridge

    Willbridge

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  2. Jun 10, 2019 #2

    oregon pioneer

    oregon pioneer

    oregon pioneer

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    Been seeing stuff about this. It takes a powerful incentive to get me on a plane! Any time possible, I prefer a train or even a bus.
     
    cirdan and Bob Dylan like this.
  3. Jun 11, 2019 #3

    Matthew H Fish

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    Matthew H Fish

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    It would certainly be a nice change.
    I don't know if people need to feel "shame", but maybe a few moments of reflection about what the do is a good thing.
    Because in the United States, there is such an assumption, even cooked into popular culture, that flying or private vehicle is the "normal" way to travel. I mean, it is even the stereotypical comedy topic "What's the deal...with airline food".
    I wasn't raised middle class, really, and I didn't fly until I was 15. I have only flown twice after 9/11, and both of those were international trips that I couldn't do otherwise. It still seemed natural to me to take a bus for a trip under a day, rather than a plane. But for people who were raised flying, the just assume that even a day trip on a bus is a preposterous idea.
    So I guess rather than "shame", people should just think about their prejudices in regards to travel?
     
    oregon pioneer likes this.
  4. Jun 11, 2019 #4

    jebr

    jebr

    jebr

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    It certainly doesn't help that the US' public transportation infrastructure is rather poor. There's smaller towns where their only obvious non-private automobile link to the outside world is via EAS-funded flights (International Falls and Thief River Falls are two in Minnesota that have this; the only other links are via shuttle buses from the transit agency that aren't obvious to out-of-town travelers and aren't always timed well to connect to intercity transit.) Even if a town is served by bus or rail service, the connection may be poor. For example, Minneapolis to St. Louis is about a 9-hour drive, or an hour-and-a-half direct flight. However, there's no direct bus or rail service, and any option either requires a full overnight on the bus, or arrives/departs either Minneapolis or St. Louis in the middle of the night. All that for maybe a $20-each-way savings over flying direct.

    Without substantial investment in improving those links between cities, I don't see the equation changing anytime soon. It's still far easier/cheaper to drive a private automobile, especially if you own one already, and if time is important a flight will almost always win without costing all that much more than the ground transportation options.
     
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  5. Jun 11, 2019 #5

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

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    If this thread is about climate change then what rational reason was there to focus our nonexistent funds and long since expired timeline on tiny dwellings in the middle of nothing? If these people wanted better connections to the rest of society they wouldn't live in Bumblefork, MN.
     
  6. Jun 12, 2019 #6

    Matthew H Fish

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    Matthew H Fish

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    I think I have only been on this forum for two weeks, so I don't think I should get too far into my labyrinthine views about the demographics and settlement patterns of the United States, but I believe that there are two different issues being discussed here:

    First is rural and (this is the technical USDA term:) FAR, or frontier and remote America. These are areas where mass transit, either within a city, or between cities, is not always feasible because of low populations or population densities.

    The second is suburban and exurban America, and even big parts of what could reasonably be considered urban America, and the fact that there is just a cultural attitude there that transit, either intracity, or intercity, isn't present. These cultural attitudes either are caused by a lack of infrastructure, cause the lack of infrastructure, or both.

    So there is one question about why Butte, Montana or Bismarck, North Dakota or Amarillo, Texas don't have train service. Those are small places that are distant from other places. There are real logistical difficulties there.

    But it is another question as to why there isn't daily train service in Cincinnati or Indianapolis or Houston, or why there isn't any train service in Nashville, or why there isn't any train service between Little Rock and Memphis, or Indianapolis and St. Louis, or Cincinnati and Cleveland, or Atlanta and Memphis...all places where the population density and terrain would seem to be very easy to be connected by rail. (Or, for that matter, why isn't mass transit popular in most of those cities?)

    So to me those are two different questions: I am not going to wonder why someone in Pocatello, Idaho doesn't consider mass transit to be a viable option. But I do really wonder why people in suburban/exurban areas consider private vehicles and air travels the only "real" form of travel.

    I hope that didn't get too rambly there.
     
    Willbridge and oregon pioneer like this.
  7. Jun 16, 2019 at 8:39 PM #7

    Metra Electric Rider

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    Metra Electric Rider

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    I think we did have a discussion about the same article.
     

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