Transportation in the Multi-City Regions
High-speed rail is needed to reinforce the downtowns and edge cities in the multi-city regions and make them major business destinations. High-speed rail linked to airports will be even more effective as a transportation system if there are good connections between high-speed rail stations and local rail-transit systems at each stop. A travel port system, by integrating rail service with airports, would allow some of the spokes of each airport's hub-and-spoke system to consist of trains instead of planes, a concept that could dramatically reduce air traffic congestion across the United States. The Midwest Regional Rail Initiative is a cooperative effort among Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration, and nine states to develop an improved and expanded passenger rail system. A high-speed rail connection between Los Angeles and New York, or even Chicago and New York, will never be faster than flying. Distances between major cities in Japan, Taiwan, or Western Europe are much shorter.