16 May 2014

Can we get a bullet train?

The UTPA and UTB community had its first chance to meet the presumptive first president of UTRGV, Guy Bailey, today.

He was at Brownsville in the morning and Edinburg in the afternoon, and had three meetings, with faculty, staff, and students at each.

I pointed out that he had a bit of a drive from Brownsville to Edinburg, and asked how he envisioned UTRGV working with the distances between all the various facilities. Interestingly, he didn’t just fall back on the “technology” answer that has been the usual one from administrators talking about UTRGV. He said, “There has to be transportation.”

When he said that, I asked, “Can we get a bullet train?” I hadn’t thought of it before that moment, but I’m glad I did.

If you’re talking about effective transportation to unify campus facilities and maximize productivity, a lot of person vehicles or buses won’t cut it. When I go out to the Coastal Studies Lab, it’s about a three hour round trip. That pretty much chews up a whole day.

There are several trains in service that do 200 miles an hour and more.

Google Maps tells me that the distance from UTPA to UTB is about 65 miles. That would be a mere 20 for a 200 mile an hour bullet train. That’s a reasonable commute between campuses. Heck, you could even add in 10-15 minutes for stopping along the way.

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