Forget High Speed Rail, Let’s Have High Speed Buses

Obama Replaces Costly High-Speed Rail Plan With High-Speed Bus Plan

I would put this up there with China’s proposal for huge buses that allow cars to drive under them, but it’s still worth a good laugh. Who needs shoulders on highways anyway?!

  • Seth Andrzejewski

    Love this! Probably the most visionary transportation idea I’ve seen since the back to back tandem bike.

  • Hilarious. I love how they show it zipping through traffic.

    Also: “Option to tell up to two economy class passengers to stop doing what they’re doing.”

  • Clarence Eckerson

    This is a riot. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Still laughing over that graphic of the bus zigging and zagging.

  • This is genius! My favorite part is how in the opening shot of the buses you can see the wheels bouncing up and down. Just that little touch tells you all you need to know about “rapid buses.”

  • Anon

    Ok, so I couldn’t stop laughing watching this.

    But then I was overcome the realization that this isn’t that much different then BRT…

    A high speed bus route connecting NYC and Philadelphia isn’t that weird. They are already widening the NJ turnpike. If you could solve the problem of getting in and out of the cities quickly, I don’t see why you couldn’t achieve a 45 minute travel time.

    Am I insane?

  • Gary Kavanagh

    Hilarious. I also see they were inspired by the visualization videos for the CA HSR system, the color scheme and nose slapped onto front of bus looks like it was straight out of the CA-HSR videos.

  • la rider

    Great joke but I think we should think about this seriously. I’ve ridden the silver line from El Monte to downtown and it is pretty awesome. We should have unobstructed dedicated busways. It seems like it’s more cost effective and much faster to market.

  • It’s really funnnnnny to see the zigging and zagging! Hard to stop laughing on this…

    Sadly, a huge federal investment in improving bus speed and reliability (bus only lanes, off-bus fare payment infrastructure, etc.) would be great. Though it seems comical, it shouldn’t be.

  • marcotico

    BRT in and of itself is not a problem, it is BRT done on the cheap. For example the Orange line is a great design, it is just flawed in not having gates, signal priority, and in that they cheaped out on the roadway and had to redo it.

  • Gary Kavanagh

    More BRT planning in this country would be great, but it fills a very different role than HSR, which competes with short haul air travel as much as it competes with driving. Seeing a bus try to fill same role as a bullet train is comical, but I think more priority bus service, bus only lanes and buses using freeways are all good ideas, but makes the most sense for movement between cities in a region, and true HSR is really suited for movement between different regions.

  • kit

    I think I rode this bus in Costa Rica.

  • Alexander the Great

    That’s funny. “High-speed bus”?? Ha-ha. Yeah, right.
    It’s actually an oxymoron, because there’s no such a thing as a “high-speed bus”, period. Buses cannot go high speeds (unless they want to get into accidents). Even the Acela train (on the Amtrak’s NEC) goes up to 150 mph. Think a “high-speed bus” can go that fast? Think again.

  • Alexander the Great

    LOL. The video is amazing, though!
    Great job!!


Today’s Headlines

Listen to this In-Depth Crosscurrents Report on High Speed Rail (KALW) Newsom Conducts 5th Doyle Drive/Presidio Parkway Groundbreaking (SF Gate, Marin IJ, Examiner) Target Could Come to Geary and Masonic and to Metreon (Examiner, ABC) CPMC Long-Range Development Plans Released (SocketSite) More on BART Vote for Fare Reduction Riders Don’t Want (CoCo Times) AC Transit […]

Today’s Headlines

Governor Schwarzenegger a “Formidable Weapon” in Fight Against Prop. 23 (Merc) More Bicyclists on the Streets Means Safety in Numbers (Grist) Roadshow: Drivers Attempt to Get Around Cell Phone Law by Using Speaker Redwood City Likely to Welcome High-Speed Rail Station (Merc) Sacramento Regional Transit GM Rides Light-Rail, Buses to Get Rider Feedback (Sac Bee) […]

SPUR Forum: An Update on High-Speed Rail

Photo Courtesy of Flickr user Ciccio Pizzettaro From SPUR: Higher projected ridership, lower total costs and a greater than 300 percent return in GDP are just a few of the headlines of the new business plan for California’s high-speed rail project. Come get insight from the inside on what’s happening with the project and what the […]
The Part-Dieu high-speed rail station and surrounding district in Lyon, France. Photo: Jacques Leone/German Marshall Fund

Talking Headways Podcast: How France Makes High-Speed Rail Meld With Cities

As France develops its high-speed rail network, the areas around stations are treated not just as transportation initiatives but as city-building projects. This discussion centers on how public agencies plan high-speed rail station areas in France, integration of the stations into districts as a whole, and the importance of a comprehensive vision for integrating transportation and land use in the station district.

Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley: SPUR’s Plan for High-Speed Rail

From SPUR: Image Credit: Flickr user California High-Speed Rail Authority California’s diverse economy includes two iconic and historically distinct economic districts: Silicon Valley and Hollywood. A recent SPUR paper makes the case that the increasing integration of both economies is further argument for high-speed rail and a demonstration that California might be able to pay for […]