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MAGLEV CONSEQUENCESMagnetically levitated ground transportation or maglev is an advanced mode ofsurface high speed transportation whereby a vehicle gliding above a guide track issuspended guided and propelled by magnetic forces Because they never touch the guidetrack causing friction maglev vehicles can be designed to travel at extremely high speeds500 kilometers per hour 300 miles per hour or more Americans traveled 32 trillion passenger kilometers 2 trillion passenger miles bycar truck bus and public transit and 98 billion passenger kilometers 61 billionpassenger miles on Amtrak As populations have grown the traditional systems havebecome stressed Congestion on highways and at airports not only wastes time and fueland increases pollution but constrains mobility to the extent that economic growth andproductivity are adversely affected Increased demand Between 1980 and 1990 with deregulation and consumerdemand for fast inner-city travel leading to lower airline fares commercial air traffic hasincreased by 56 percent Adding to the congestion and delay is increased commuter andregional air traffic Those short distance flights take valuable landing slots that could beused for larger planes on more profitable longer flights With the maglev vehicles theshorter trips excluding access time can be cut a lot With a study of 16 major corridors oftravel less than 300 miles in length they studied how well the maglev vehicles could helpand in 10 out of the 16 the time could be cut at least slightly Also the cost of a maglevtrip will be less so that even with the longer trips where the maglev vehicles dont have thetime advantage they will have the cost advantageBecause land is costly and scarce adding more highway lanes and building newairports in or near our larger cities is becoming increasingly difficult For example addingnew highway capacity in urban areas typically costs more than 15 million per land mileand a new Denver airport is estimated to cost 3 to 4 billion Current transportation technologies are petroleum dependent accounting for 64percent of total petroleum use Without transportation
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