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Friday Fun: Michigan Light Rail and Mad Fast Trains

“It’s time for Detroit to reclaim the mantle of transportation innovation,” says Transport Michigan, a blog that posted a new video about light rail on its  YouTube channel, TrainsDownTheMiddle. Set to the tune of Eminem’s “I’m Not Afraid,” the latest music video argues that a light rail running down the middle of Detroit’s famous Woodward Avenue will be “faster, safer and more reliable” than the side-running alternative. The video was featured on Let’s Save Michigan and Transportation Riders United. Whatever side of the tracks you’re on, there’s no denying that Detroit—the once-king of U.S. auto-manufacturing—could benefit from some more rapid transit.

In another creative example of advocating for sustainable transportation, two actors from television’s hit show, “Mad Men,” Vincent Kartheiser and Rich Sommer, make their best pitch for high-speed rail in this new video, “Mad Fast Trains,” produced by U.S. PIRG, a public interest advocacy organization. It’s also featured on comedy website Funny or Die. The spoof scene is set at a fictitious advertising agency in 1965. “America always makes the right investments,” one of the ad guys says. “Trains are the most efficient, most economical, best investment.” (Sure, but only if they are complemented by “high-quality, high-capacity bus rapid transit systems,” as we’ve said before, “which can offer good high-speed service, but at a fraction of the cost of rail.”) The video links to an online campaign where U.S. citizens can ask their senators to support fast trains: MadFastTrains.com.

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  • John Haskin

    We spent some time in Cleveland recently where the busses run down the middle. While it took a little getting used to, we really liked it and found it very user friendly and, it seemed to us, considerably safer than busses on the side as we usually see.