The Benefits

The Organization

High-Speed Rail: Experience the Benefits

Increased Energy Efficiency and Independence

Alternative transportation modes can reduce exposure to foreign source supply disruption and improve fuel efficiency. Expanding our options by building more energy efficient modes of public transportation makes sense from an energy stewardship perspective, from a supply disruption risk perspective, and from a transportation cost-containment perspective.

Petroleum Dependence.

The U.S. imports 57% of its petroleum; 71% of total petroleum usage in the U.S. is for transportation. This heavy dependence on oil, much of it from foreign sources, could place our nation and our economy in a precarious position. [1]

Transportation Efficiency.

In a comparative study of mass transit, rail is shown to use the least energy, measured in BTUs, per passenger mile. [2]

Economic Cost.

Rising oil prices adversely affect nearly everyone in America, taking up a greater share of household and national budgets. With increasing oil demand from other developed and developing nations, the cost is likely to rise even faster in coming years. As a commuter society, the U.S. will need transportation alternatives to keep individuals and the economy on the move. [3]

Long-Term Perspective.

Petroleum is a finite resource. Over the next 50 to 100 years, energy prices are likely to rise significantly. The public tends to focus only on short term energy price movements, and continues to seek ways to sidestep rising costs primarily by looking for ways to do more driving with less fuel. This short term focus distracts us from consideration of long term risks. The INHSRA is working to create transportation options that reduce our national dependence on petroleum and provide ways to reduce congestion and improve travel safety in the long run.

[1] Data from Page 7 of the National Rail Plan Progress Report.
[2] Data from Page 8 of the National Rail Plan Progress Report.
[3] Read more on this topic in the March 2011 edition of Yale's Environment 360 publication.