Atlantic Central/Sheldon- Well Ok good points there, well stated. The live style you have is not the same as everyone else...there are teens, elderly, those that do not drive, those without a comfortable middle class lifestyle and those that may take transit sometimes to get a break. Actually I believe a more rural or suburban setting is the best scenario for this, not a big nasty city. An hour on the hour every hour service would provide convieniet and dependable transportation along with a scheduled drop off for parcels and deliveries.
I realize I'm out in a little rubber dinghy in the middle of the Pacific on this one and it's fairly easy to shoot a hole in my dinghy. It does not have to be an all or nothing scenario...if service were there it does not mean you cannot drive your nice work provided F250. Many people would find it a boon, including buisness's.
I still say the day will come when both are a necessity.
Again, I'm actually in favor of mass transit where it can be effective. In fact, I would even look at ways to make it free or lower cost than current urban systems.
I'm self employed, I am a historic restoration consultant, residential designer and old house master carpenter, I provide my own F250.....sometimes I'm on a job site, other times I work from home.
The biggest problem is that most human "settlements" (communities) are "circular" and trains are "linear". Trains work in cities by virture of east/west - north/south grids, or hub and spoke systems - that is how the old Baltimore trolley network was. Baltimore has a grid downtown, but it quickly transforms into a radial street plan "uptown" which provided an excellent trolley network - bringing people to/from downtown and the residential areas.
Building such a network in Bel Air near where I live would be near about impossible, just from a land aqusition standpoint alone. The people are spread out, and their destinations are spread out? A lot of us live here because we really like to "limit" our contact with people.........
I'm open to solutions, I just don't see any. As for nasty cities, well they really do need mass transit.
Not all Interurban service back in the day was slow. The Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis traveled from State Circle in Annapolis (walking distance to the State House and the Navel Academy) to B&O Camden Station in Baltimore in just over 1 hour - in the 1930's. You can't hardly do that in a car now or anytime in the last 50 years.....
Tell you what, you figure out how to get the tax system changed to the type of land tax proposed by Henry George, and I will be all in for free mass transit everywhere it is practical. Why, because the economic growth that tax system would allow could pay for such a transportation system. It would also end suburban sprawl and ubran decay.
Also, get the trucks off the highways and on to rail except for local/regional deliveries, and tear down all those fuel wasting, time wasting traffic jamming toll plazas.
Then make the airlines truely invest in their infrastructure like the railroads have to, or give the railroads the same public support the airlines get.
Then lets see who can compete with who.