Shocker huh? Yea well we are. And no one seems to care or they do and make statements, but don’t DO anything. We have hybrid and flex fuel vehicles that only 10% of the population can afford. The rest of us are throwing money in to a tank and sending it straight to the middle east. Something is wrong with that.
Government is touting Ethanol, which for Iowa and farmers, is good. But the cost to produce it isn’t really a savings, at least right now. The politicians do this for one reason, the Iowa Caucuses. Kiss up to the farmers to get their vote. So we have that, or we have the way to expensive hybrids vehicles.
What needs to be done? A couple things. If we are going to continue with the automobile, the hybrid and flex fuel vehicles need to be dropped in price, get more of them out on the highways. The hydrogen car too. You can’t just have the “rich” be able to afford these, because there are more middle class families that can’t afford it and will still be dependent on oil.
Mass Transit needs to become something again in our society. Larger cities such as New York and Chicago have the subway and L, but towns like Des Moines and Minneapolis and Kansas City need it too. I’m going to have my examples be for Des Moines since I’m here.
If I didn’t have to take kids and I had an option to go park someplace close to my home and then hop on some mass transit to work, I’d do it. I’m sure it would save me gas money rather than driving every day 30 mins each way. My car would have less wear and tear on it. I hope that others would be willing to use it too. Maybe Des Moines is too small for that, but I think it would work.
Then there is mass transit other than air lines to other cities. I know there are all these proposed railway systems and 36 billion just got cut from the federal budget for it, but I think this would be something that would work.
There are networks or proposed networks more so in the East and south and west, but nothing for the Midwest really outside of the Chicago Hub Network. That is proposed to connect Chicago to Iowa City. But I’m here to say stretch it a little further.
Des Moines is a central city that is a key connector to a lot of great cities. Minneapolis to Kansas City or St. Louis. Denver to Chicago. Along those rails are Omaha, Lincoln, Iowa City, and could extend to Madison and Milwaukee or up to South Dakota maybe.
Here in Des Moines it takes me about 2 hours to drive to Iowa City, 5 to Chicago and 4 to Minneapolis. If they could cut those in half and make it very affordable like 20-30 bucks or so, how easy would it be on a Saturday morning to hop on a train, an hour later you’re in Iowa City and at Kinnick for a football.
Trips to Chicago or KC or Minneapolis would be easier for me and my family. But the key is to making it affordable and safe and reliable. You need to make the users feel like they aren’t going to get mugged like on a subway in New York. Your also going to have to make the cars with bathrooms for obvious reasons. And make it a better option for a family to jump on the train than to hop in the car. Make it AFFORDABLE. I also think they would need to make cars and seats child and young child accessible. Child Seats or something.
Now I’m going to throw in my sports view. Looking at the above map, how many Big Ten fans are connected now for this railway system I proposed? Nebraska, Minneapolis, Iowa City, Madison, Chicago and Champaign are all connected, along with Indianapolis, home of the Big Ten Championship games. Hello, Big Ten, support this too!
So that’s my idea, political pitch for the moment.