Here's the thing about trains and public mass-transit options:

They are good, actually.

When billionaire doofuses introduce a new transportation solution, it's usually a bait-and-switch for something we don't need that will make everyone's life worse.
Trains are good. They move people and cargo for energy costs that diminish at scale. That rips because it also lowers dollar cost at scale.

But trains have three big things pitted against them:
1. Most people think trains are for boring nerds.

We already have trains, why bother!?

2. They don't go fast in the US.

We *can* make trains go fast here, the technology is already available and in use around the world. But we'd have to invest in infrastructure to do that.
3. Trains famously kick people in the taint.

Trains work *so well* and are so integrated into everyday life that we depend on them. Which means they can fail us.
Many people use trains every day, but they really only become aware of them when the train is inconvenient.

It's late, it smells, the air conditioning is broken, an underpaid worker was rude, it costs $3, ect.
Trains actually exist and that means they are steeped in the disadvantages of everyday life. The only time we really see them is when they are kicking us in the taint.

I grew up in Denver, which really started to beef up their lightrail after I left.
When I came to Chicago and experienced the CTA Elevated trains, I was blown the fuck away. They go so many places, they are affordable, and RELIABLE.

When I talk to native Chicagoans, they grumble because this is the miracle they have lived with their whole lives.
They can only think of the handful of times it has kicked them in the taint instead of the countless times it made life a thousand times easier.

It's all understandable.
But Billionaire doofuses aren't trying to sell you a real solution. They are trying to stroke their egos and line their pockets.

They don't want to do boring shit that works, they want to do exciting shit that MIGHT work but probably won't. Also they don't want to lose money.
The hyperloop is a perfect example. It started as a somewhat public option for transportation. It was essentially a train, or at worst, a bus.

Sure it needed a giant vacuum tube, special passenger compartments, and huge tunnels everywhere but it was a fucking train.
The real distinct advantage it wanted to sell you on was that it would go fast. In the US, trains don't go fast, so this was somehow an okay deal.
To go fast, it needed billions in engineering development to make fucking vacuum tubes and pressurized (train) cars.

Eventually, it would need billions of publically subsidized infrastructure investment to dig these crazy vacuum tunnels-- but that never really seemed to come up.
There were other big drawbacks too like" "what happens when this system inevitably fails? A pressurized tunnels sounds really fucking dangerous"

The answer to those problems was "naw that won't happen, shut up."
So this was really all the little matter of building a train for hundreds of billions (perhaps a trillion) of dollars more than it costs to build a boring train.

To us? Not a big deal if someone could provide us all the advantages of a train but make it cool somehow.
(the other big drawback is it is privately owned and therefore objectively worse for society. but none cares about that.)

At this point, the hyperloop bothered me, but I didn't hate it. Because:

Turns out, it's actually really fucking hard and expensive to build a hyperloop.
Digging tunnels is hard. Making them vacuum tunnels or whatever is SUPER hard. Also when a thing is a *thing* and not a *pitch,* it actually has to *work* and people expect you to do that *before* they give you hundreds of millions of dollars.
The billionaire doofus in charge would have to wait too long before the public started subsidizing his wealth.

So the hyperloop changed.

Now, it's a shitty tunnel for cars.
Seriously. It is currently a tunnel so narrow no human can really drive through it. By. Design. It's *single-lane* tunnels too. Which means the capacity is absolute dogshit.
In this transition, the hyperloop lost all the advantages of being a train.

Suddenly it depended on individual ownership of private vehicles. With that, it adopted the average carrying capacity, physical speed limitations, and cost of individual passenger cars.
Still wildly expensive to develop. The R&D cost really dropped for the billionaire doofus and he can probably still swindle a boatload of public money. So at least for now, he is sticking with it.

That makes sense for him.
For some reason though, people still talk about this like it's something we want to do.

Which doesn't make sense for us.

We lost the only good things about the initial pitch which was, to remind everyone:

Please believe me when I tell you specifically that a train is objectively better than a private road for rich people.

That should be an easy pitch. It didn't take much brainpower to get there.
The only advantage to continuing to discuss the hyperloop is that it will make someone you would absolutely hate if you met him, vastly richer.

Which is bad, actually.
If you for some reason read this, please try to appreciate the trains in your life.

Also, call your reps and yell at them.
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