Yesterday I traveled from Nashville, TN to Madison, WI. It took 11 hours, 2 planes, 1 train, and 4 automobiles and a lot more money and patience.
This is a miraculous feat of human technology and infrastructure. It used to take people weeks or months to travel that distance, and here I am making the same trek in less than a day. The ease (and relative cheapness) with which Americans can travel around our country is one of the things that makes me happy to live here. It promotes the spread of ideas and the transportation of goods, without which we would all live relatively stagnant lives.
On the other hand, the US is way behind other countries in terms of ease and speed of domestic travel. This is partly because the North America is, well, enormous. It is also partly because our dependence on oil and the automobile (more Americans have cars and more of our goods are transported by trucks than most of the world) makes advancement difficult.
What about a national high-speed rail system?
This map was made by Alfred Twu by collecting information from various companies and transportation agencies and imagining what America would look like with a highly efficient high-speed rail system. I believe that this sort of system would change our society and economy enormously, mostly for the better. But I believe that this country is a veeeery long way away from making such a huge step.
If you were in charge of things, how would you improve transportation in your country?