March 14, 2004

Mass Transit Anyone?

Philip Carter, over at Intel Dump covers some of the difficulties of securing mass transit systems. Mass transit has always been a poor fit for the US since it has so few people per square mile in comparison with Europe. It makes sense in a few places, significantly the Boston-Washington coastal corridor and the similar megalopoli on the west coast and the Great Lakes region but relatively little sense elsewhere.

With the US' 9/11 tragedy being airborne, and Europe's major tragedy being focused on trians, it looks like the security professionals are going to be battling out transportation security for a long time with US experts twitching about airplanes and their European counterparts worried about trains. I don't envy the Europeans their end of the job as the difficulties are formidable.

The classic response when you have a concentrated set of targets that are difficult to defend is dispersal. But what would be dispersal in a transport context? It would mean increased reliance on cars and other autonomous systems to get around. This creates huge issues since everybody has been pushing for people to go the other way and have been engaged in city planning to implement those elite preferences.

Posted by TMLutas at March 14, 2004 09:40 AM