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Home / Business / How to fix the chaos of vacation travel in the United States, and why doing so would ruin the United States

How to fix the chaos of vacation travel in the United States, and why doing so would ruin the United States


Vacation trips stink, and probably since a group of shepherds, sages and angels converged on a barn in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. Every November, every December, every year, the roads and airports of the United States are overturned, and not in a good way.

So, one question: what would it take to convert to EE? UU In a transcontinental Whoville, where the only strongest roar of efficient travel is the constant carol? And would it be worth the price?

The Fix

"Well, to begin with, I would design a system in which the power would not shut off at the busiest airport in the world for 50 hours," says Sean Young, a civil engineer at the Center for Energy Studies. Aviation of the University of Ohio. (It was 1

1 hours, but still, in Atlanta.)

More seriously, Young says that the problems with vacation travel begin because most people move through major airline distribution centers. The best ways to relieve that tension? Build more tracks at smaller regional airports and target more flights through them. This would free up the larger centers to handle most of the long-distance vacation trip, all those people who choose Florida and Mexico during the winter and the extended family.

For those large airports in the city, Young recommends investing in frequent and reliable public transport links. "People are going to the airport much earlier than necessary, which creates additional volumes of traffic," says Young. If they know they can make their flight with time to spare, they are less likely to appear early and spend six hours taking up space.

Regarding travel by land, adding roads and highways seems the direct solution, unless you have completed your Associate Degree of Chair in Transportation Theory. "In any situation where you expand the infrastructure, it will encourage travel on that infrastructure," says Megan Ryerson, a transportation engineer at the University of Pennsylvania. This is the rule of induced demand: if you build it, it will crowd. The real answer, then, is more investment in things like Amtrak, the high-speed train or, as we all fantasize, hyperloop. Basically, anything that propagates demand in multiple ways.

Of course, no transportation landscape would be complete without autonomous vehicles. Instead of a shared lane, think of an exclusive road for robocars, transportation of people to the airport in an orderly and automated way, no long-term parking fees are required.

Finally, infrastructure dollars could be greatly extended when applied to small technological solutions, such as simply providing people with accurate and real-time information about their trip. Think of Waze, but for everything: traffic, train schedules, if the TSA security checkpoint has only one lane open (seriously, why do they do it?). The more information people have, the more rational their travel decisions will be, and the less likely they are to trigger a blockade.

Reversed Crisis

Let's say we did it all: enough clues, planes and lanes to handle mankind in His Most of the roaming and silent are the ones that snarl. Now we have another question: what happens to all that infrastructure during the 50 weeks of the year when Americans do not exchange gifts or political opinions with their strangest blood relationships? Our best guess: disaster.

"If you force Delta to buy 300 additional aircraft to meet the demand for Thanksgiving and Christmas, then you would have to cover the cost of those additional aircraft," says (Paul Lewis) [https://www.enotrans.org/profiles/paul-lewis/]the vice president of finance and policy at the Eno Center for Transportation. "They would do it by raising prices on all the flyers for the rest of the year."

Then there is the cost of keeping all the additional tracks. Airports, which are generally owned by their host cities, earn money by charging airlines a landing fee to use their facilities.

Think of this as a fraction, where the numerator of each aerodrome is the cost of maintaining those facilities. This remains quite static. The denominator is the number of flights that use those facilities. "When an airport has relatively robust service levels, it can offer airlines more competitive landing fees," says Ryerson. Less traffic means higher fares and, in turn, more expensive flights.

That's why, if you're going from Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Los Angeles, it may be cheaper to go to the Philadelphia airport and go direct than to make a connecting flight from the Allentown Regional Airport. (Factor in the scales, and the Uber could be faster too.)

Even if urban regionalized airports functioned well during the holiday crush, they would probably become prohibitively expensive for the rest of the year. And the cost of maintaining aerodromes would probably be passed on to local taxpayers.

In the last month of travel
the airport gave you:
the boarding doors change,
delayed ice storms,
power cut-praying,
there are no rental cars,
sleep on the floor,
flights too early,
and a merger in the baggage claim.

Then, once again, air travel would be consolidated in the big airports, which would cause congestion. In a recent study, Ryerson and some co-authors observed car traffic within a 300-mile radius of large airports in cities such as Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix. On roads that lead from smaller cities nearby (think Oklahoma City for Dallas or Tucson for Phoenix), between 1 and 3 percent of traffic could be attributed to the people driving to access these larger airports. "Rural roads have an even larger amount, between 5 and 10 percent of traffic, of people driving to or from the airport," he says.

Which brings us to the other problems that surface transportation would face in this vacation travel utopia. Do you remember our demand induced by our old friends? Well, if historical trends and hard data still mean something to anyone, those larger roads would lure people away from urban centers, where land is cheaper. A greater expansion generates more traffic and takes you back to the search for meaning in a world where your trip never stops sucking.

Meanwhile, taxpayers would be caught with a huge bill for maintaining all that additional capacity. The US infrastructure has already exceeded $ 4 billion, and the federal gasoline tax has not moved since 1993. More ways to keep it from worsening the problem even more.

"The way I explain this to undergraduate students is that you would not." Buy six refrigerators for your bedroom just because you have a big party a year, "says Ryerson.

Learn from experience [19659004] We never had a wonderland of transport, but we have tried it in pieces.At the end of the 1990s, the economy was so decayed that WIRED published a 42,000-word article on fiber optic submarine cables printed – good reading material for all the people who travel like crazy, airports across the country paved dozens of new tracks, and airlines reinforced their fleets to meet the demand, then the dot-com bubble burst. contracted, the airlines went bankrupt or were absorbed by their competitors, less than a decade later, the same thing happened: more planes, more tracks, more jetsetting, until the crisis s hit financially, and the industry consolidated again. "The four major airlines now control 75 percent of passenger traffic," says Lewis.

Therefore, this utopia of transport is still a dream, and not the kind that really wants to come true. In that case, the best advice may come from Mary and Joseph: Organize the party and have everyone come to you.

Travel Dreams

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