New Departures Book Summary/Review:
North America faces a transportation crisis. Gas-guzzling SUVs clog the highways and air travelers face delays, cancellations, and uncertainty in the wake of unprecedented terrorist attacks. New Departures closely examines the options for improving intercity passenger trains' capacity to move North Americans where they want to go. While Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada face intense pressure to transform themselves into successful commercial enterprises, Anthony Perl demonstrates how public policy changes lie behind the triumphs of European and Japanese high-speed rail passenger innovations. Perl goes beyond merely describing these achievements, translating their implications into a North American institutional and political context and diagnosing the obstacles that have made renewing passenger trains so much more difficult in North America than elsewhere. New Departures links the lessons behind rail passenger revitalization abroad with the opportunity to recast the policies that constrain Amtrak and VIA Rail from providing efficient and effective intercity transportation.