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Future Arteries of Commerce in the Finger Lakes

Lake Eire Near the Pennsylvania Line

What will the future arteries of commerce look like in the Finger Lakes? Will the Federal Government give New York State over $100 million dollars to help us implement high speed railroads? (As of this writing, that meant improving the tracks and increasing the speed to 87 mph on some 11 miles of track!)

Or will there be a totally new high speed road system where cars and trucks can travel at 150 mph following wires embedded in the road way which will not only supply the electric power to the vehicle but also control the position and spacing between the vehicles so you relax and take in the beauty of Upstate New York? My best guess for either of these two ideas is that there is little to be gained for the money invested.

Upgrading our existing arteries of commerce makes more sense to me. It’s less expensive to ship freight on a barge or on a train than it is on a tractor trailer. (Moving freight by rail costs about 25 cents per ton mile as opposed to $1.11 for trucks according to Sandi Saracen, VP and General Manager of Ontario Midland Railroad.) The old arteries of transportation were far greener in that they required less fossil fuel and made use of renewable resources like the rivers, lakes, and water falls which abound here in Upstate New York.

James R. Bupp

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