LA to San Francisco in 160 minutes—GREAT! But ironically, as the size of cities and the speed in which we are able to travel great distances increases, we are increasingly more sedentary. In fact, we are sitting down more than ever before—9.3 hours per day, which is more time than we spend sleeping. And the amount of time we spend sitting today increases the risks of death up to 40 percent. Instead of sitting for 160 minutes, why not create a high-speed rail that allows us to choreograph a set of experiences that make us productive, healthy and social individuals. Exercise, dance, shop, tan, eat, do laundry, play, take art classes and even sleep (ok, sometimes we need a break too!).
As we push into the 21th century, let us not fall into the traps and preconceptions of the 20th century that generated technology that supplanted our active minds and bodies. Today, obesity and diabetes are among the nation’s most pressing health issues, and they are directly related to our sedentary lifestyles. We also have no time to make selective choices about food, or even have time to do laundry because average Americans are chained to a computer working for 46 hours per week and spend more than 100 hours a year behind the wheel of a car sitting in traffic. We propose that advanced transportation infrastructure and a spirited engagement of our senses can be one. As we travel up to speeds of 220 mph, we do not need to be in park. 160 minutes—what will you do?