Green Transportation

Gare du Nord - Paris

Transportation Alternatives

Smart transportation is green, and there are a number of beneficial forms of green transportation that support and enhance walkable urbanism.  These green transportation options make our lives easier, reduce congestion, reduce our dependence on cars & foreign oil, are safer & less costly, and help save the planet:

1. TRAINS - Modern High-Speed trains like the Eurostar (pictured above), the French TGV (right), & the Japanese Bullet train; Regional trains; Monorails; Light rail; Trams; Trolleys; & Peoplemovers. Clean electric trains are a major form of daily transportation all across Europe, and are the single most powerful transportation choice that can solve serious mobility, environmental, economic, health, and social problems on a global scale.    Video 

   Click on photos for live action...

2. BICYCLES - A major form of daily transportation in many countries.

Bicycles are the most sustainable form of transport, are the least expensive to use, are pollution-free, take up the smallest amount of space for riding and parking, and provide daily exercise for riders.

Towns and cities have to be made bicycle-friendly to encourage their wide use.

Video:  Bicycling in Cities

Video:  Paris City Bikes

Video:  Paris City Bikes 2

Video:  Lyon City Bikes

Bicycle Parking at a Train Station

Bicycling With Style

3. SCOOTERS - Electric and push types are heavily used in urban areas as daily transportation.

4. ROLLERBLADES - Used in urban areas by many as daily transportation.

5. WALKING - An often forgotten way to get around because so many places have been made hostle to pedestrians. Still the preferred choice in dense urban areas.

THE PHOTO at the top is the Gare du Nord train station in Paris with rows of state-of-the-art Eurostar and TGV trains coming and going every few minutes. These trains travel at speeds of up to 225 mph to and from cities across Europe. They are sleek, fast & comfortable, and make traveling and commuting a relaxing pleasure.

“The French railway system, which is the best in Europe, has been achieved only by very heavy government investment coupled with a complete faith in the value of rail travel.” –Nicholas Grimshaw, Modern Trains and Splendid Stations | Fast Train Video 1 | Fast Train Video 2

Modern Train Station - Lyon, France
New German Station

State-of-the-art fast trains are in operation around the world!

                             Rome                    Tokyo                              London                                  Paris

                                  France                                       Germany                                      Japan


State-of-the-art Fast Trains are in operation all around the world, except America. 

"America is addicted to oil" -George W. Bush, 2006

America is addicted to oil, because for many decades the political leaders have put all our money exclusively into roads and airports.  This has perpetuated and increased our car and oil addiction.  This left no money for building train systems, which are the green transportation choice that would reduce our car and oil addiction, help solve climate change, environmental problems, safety and mobility issues, and national defense.  

"The quicker we get about the business of reducing our reliance on oil, the better we're going to be." -Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State, 2006

"We gotta get off oil, America has got to change its habits" -George W. Bush, 2008

In Europe, they spend their transportation money building first-class train systems at all scales, from national high-speed networks down to streetcar trams on city streets.  They have been doing this for years, and now have state-of-the-art train networks reaching many thousands of miles.

This is a green and sustainable system that supports walkable urbanism

This is how people move around when transportation money is spent building great train systems
This is how people move around when transportation money is spent building only roads

American political leaders need our help to get America off oil.  We need to help them understand the need to build a national high speed rail system.

Here is our plan to help kick our oil and car addiction:

The New Train Plan

This is a plan for America to take a leadership role in building the world's greatest, state-of-the-art, high-speed train network. This will be a coast-to-coast system connecting every major city together with Eurostar level trains that travel at 200+ miles per hour. (These trains are already in regular daily use all across Europe and Japan).

Click to view HSR map

Investing in a nationwide, high-speed train network solves many problems all at once. A new train system provides the best solution for improving mobility, stimulating the economy, reducing dependence on foreign oil, saving lives, reversing global warming, and cleaning up the environment. A high-speed train network will free up huge bottlenecks in our transportation systems, encourage travel and commerce of all forms, and would create millions of jobs with one of the largest public works construction projects in American history.

A nationwide train system will solve the problems facing both the airline and automobile industries at the same time. Furthermore, it will cost a great deal less than fixing either industry. A new train network will significantly increase mobility in a safe, clean, fast, and efficient way. This will make it easy and pleasurable to travel nationwide in a seamless system of fast and sleek trains.

A new train system promotes many different goals for improving society. Trains are the most effective way to encourage smart growth, urban revitalization, and the creation of livable, walkable communities. They are a sustainable form of transportation that strengthens and stabilizes our economy, can help break our dependence on foreign oil, and stem the transfer of our countries’ wealth to the increasingly unstable Middle East. A high quality train system is a long-term, community-building investment that benefits many. It is the smart transportation solution for our society today, and well into the future. High-speed trains are a major form of daily transportation all across Europe, many of them making a profit for their operators, while providing safe, moderately priced transportation for the public.

3 Level System

The new train system would be planned to become the primary American transportation network for carrying passengers as well as light cargo. The train system’s customers would consist of the following:

-A large percentage of current and past airline customers looking for alternatives to flying
-A significant percent of automobile drivers seeking alternatives to congested roads
-Projected growth of both drivers and flyers encouraged by the affordability, safety, and convenience of trains.

The new train system would be made up of an extensive network of connecting train lines in a 3-tiered, seamless system as follows:

1.  The National System

This level of trains would serve as the national fast system now covered by airplanes. It would consist of super high-speed train lines connecting central cities together into a web of train lines across the nation. The trains operating at this level would be state-of-the-art Eurostar TGV type trains that regularly travel at 200 300 mph. These trains would offer a wide range of services making it convenient for business and leisure travelers. These would include the full range of seat configurations, lounge and dinning cars, sleeper cars, and business cars with internet connections, and various business and retail services.  Video

2.  The Regional System

This level of trains would serve as the medium-speed regional system linking the high-speed trains to the many regional destinations. They would connect to all the smaller cities and towns within each region. This system would be comparable to the Washington DC Metro system in speed, range, and level of service.  These trains would be top quality, medium speed trains capable of traveling at speeds of up to 125 mph.  Video

3.  The Local System

This level of trains would serve as the local collector system connecting to the regional trains. It would have stops in all neighborhoods and central gathering places, as well as employment centers, retail locations, and sports & recreation facilities within each community. These trains would be standard quality, light rail and modern streetcar-type trains, and would operate along the streets.  Video

"A single subway line can deliver 60,000 to 80,000 people per hour per track... By contrast, a superhighway can only deliver 2,400 cars per hour per lane." -Alex Marshall, Architectural Record, December, 2000.

"A well patronized light rail line can substitute for highways and parking that require 50 times as much space." Robert Cervero

To learn more about trains as a major form of daily transportation, and how they can solve our growing congestion nightmare on our highways and runways, visit  New Deal

Check out the US High Speed Rail Association

Read about Pedestrian Cities & Quality of Life

Read about the Benefits of Density

High Speed Rail

Read about Transit Oriented Development Advancing

Read about the new Center for Transit Oriented Development

Read about California's planned High-Speed Rail

Read about Transit Oriented Development

Read about Light Rail Success Stories

Check out these great transportation links

Principles of Urbanism

Urban Design

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