High-Speed Rail Will Be a Big Success in California. And Here’s Why.

A Conversation:

How come you travel by train when it’s so much faster to fly?
You mean, like from your office in Philly to your client’s office in DC?
The train is faster, dude.
Not! The flight is 55 minutes, and Amtrak takes an hour-and-a-half.
How long does it take you to get from your office out to the airport by taxi?
Uh … 20 minutes maybe.
And you gotta be there 90 minutes ahead of time?
Yeah …
And there’s the flight, then another cab ride into the Longworth Office Building, right?
Well, yeah.
So, lemme see … that’s 20 minutes, plus 90 minutes, plus 55 minutes, plus maybe five minutes for deplaning, and another 15 minutes for the second taxi …
Uh …
… making the total time, from your office to his office, 185 minutes if you fly. That’s 3 hours and 5 minutes.
Uh …
Now, Amtrak’s schedule from Philly to DC is an hour and 35 minutes. It takes you five minutes to get from your office to 30thStreet Station. You only have to wait five minutes for the train and it’s maybe a 10-minute walk to Longworth from the station in Washington.
Uh …
So, office to office, the train takes an hour-and-55-minutes. But, by plane, it takes three hours plus.
Well, OK, you have a point, but …
For business class on the Acela — Philly to DC — I paid $131. Let me ask: what’d it cost you to fly?
Last week my airfare for that flight was $280.
Yeah, but don’t forget to add the cab fares.

(Expletives deleted)