Activist and artist Alfred Twu began working on the map in 2009, in response to President Obama’s plan for high-speed rail. The map has gone viral on Facebook, and a petition Twu created to ask the White House to fund a system like the one he proposed has already received 52,389 signatures.
In designing the map’s routes, Twu relied on studies from government agencies and advocacy groups. He said such a system could be built out like the Interstate Highway System.
“Some artistic license was applied to make it more elegant and have it be a series of distinct lines like a subway map,” he said. “Colors were selected to convey the idea of the U.S. being made up of several interwoven regional cultures that come together at major cities — like an internal melting pot.”
According to Twu, a rail system like the one he’s designed would cost $1 – $2 trillion to build. “Sounds like a lot,” he said, “but divided over four decades, that is around $25-$50 billion a year or 80-160 dollars a year per person. That’s one tank’s worth of gas money.”
Readers, should the U.S. be investing in high-speed rail? Or, considering the country’s persistent economic hardships, is this an unnecessary diversion that would distract us from more important issues?
View a larger version of the map here.