Monday, October 9, 2006

Light rail to the future

Public transportation is a must for any city with forward thinking. Cities that think even further into the future have to consider their connectivity with other urban areas. How does Iowa City fit into a network including other cities?

Football weekends give an obscure but worthwhile view into Iowa City's transportation system. The highlight of this view, for me, is the train that runs from the Coralville area to a stop close to the stadium. While it is a novel and symbolic fixture of the past, it could be a prediction of what is coming in the future. With gas prices rising even higher and the average citizen not wanting to drop $30,000 on a hybrid, different ways of getting from A to B are needed.

Iowa City's public transportation system consists predominately of the public bus system alongside the university's own lines. Iowa City should continue on this trend by including train lines from other cities during heavy traffic times like game days. This option would be practical and lucrative for those who commute to and from cities like Cedar Rapids. Rather than continuing to build roads and increase the level of infrastructure, it is best we get a jump-start on promoting future forms of transportation. I'm not suggesting we go off and buy a monorail but I'm predicting a light rail from the downtown area to an area like Coralville would be immensely popular.

John LaRue
DI columnist

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