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US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:26 pm
by VG_Addict
I hear the US lags behind a lot of developed countries in infrastructure For those of you who have been to other countries, how was the infrastructure there?

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:46 pm
by I am nobody
The bigger infrastructure problems aren't really the kinds of things you can assess as a tourist. We have thousands of at-risk bridges and dams, for instance, but you wouldn't necessarily know that from being near them. Same for utilities and waste disposal infrastructure.

The only thing you can really compare is transport infrastructure. In my experience (Japan, UK, Ireland, Spain, and the Frankfurt airport for developed countries) there's nothing remarkably off about our infrastructure. Spain and (especially) Japan have much better trains. Some places definitely have cleaner airports than your usual American fare, but the difference has never been significant in my experience. Roads around major cities seemed comparable.

But again, that's all from a tourist perspective. I certainly wouldn't have noticed if, hypothetically, the British highway system or Japanese power grid were 5% more efficient than ours, but that's a massive difference when you're looking at it on a national scale. Lots of groups put out world and national infrastructure reports if you want to read about those gaps.

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:08 pm
by Booyakasha
Never noticed much difference between our trains and Germany's.

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:34 am
by Marilincarnation
One of the reasons that US has infrastructure problems right now is the sheer volume of our country and the mass of infrastructure that necessitates. Maintenance on so many pieces is hard, and it’s starting to show.

I don’t really think it’s that our infrastructure is automatically worse, it’s that we as a country had a harder time keeping it in good shape in some/many places.

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:54 pm
by Christmas PDN
Booyakasha wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:08 pm
Never noticed much difference between our trains and Germany's.
Our trains are generally worse for transportation than Europe's since our railroads are owned all by freight companies, save for a small strip of rail owned by Amtrak between DC and New York City. This means that freight trains have precedence over passenger trains so oftentimes you'll end up being super late to wherever you're going.

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:23 pm
by Booyakasha
DON'T BULLY ME, DANIEL

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:47 pm
by Shane
Never mind as a tourist. I can't say I notice much in the way of infrastructure issues on a daily basis as a resident.

Europe has the luxury of having destroyed itself at least twice in a century. In doing so, they were forced to rebuild, whereas the US just waits for everything to fall apart before fixing it.

I haven't taken a train in probably 7 years and don't remember the last time I used any other mass transit. Most suburban Americans would just as soon not. Everybody seems to have at least one vehicle, preferably a gas guzzler because it's cool to drive those until the price of gas goes over $4. Other countries have punitive taxation on both fuel and automobiles, pushing people toward other methods of transportation, which they have in turn beefed up with extensive networks to get you wherever you want to go. So I would think you are not looking at an apples to apples comparison.

Size being part of the equation is also a fair answer. It's a lot easier to cover a place the size of Ohio with roads, high speed Internet, healthcare, whatever than it is to cover one of the largest land masses in the world with 325 million people and many wide open spaces where it is not economically viable to go. I have town run electricity. When my power goes out, I don't have to notify them. They're in front of my house in a few minutes. Meanwhile, two towns over, they have on multiple recent occasions had powerless residents for almost a week at a time.

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:41 am
by Booyakasha
^ Man speaks the truth.

Couple two-three times a year I go out Dakota way to visit Sis and her family. Train's pretty good, except when it isn't. Internet's pretty good, except when it isn't.

Welcome to the Midwest. It's pretty good, except when it isn't.

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:07 am
by Turrican
Shane pointed out that history plays a big part in this : in France the « régions » (= counties) are tightly bound to the state, it’s highly centralized and the railroad was a national property and really efficient (I think Japan even bought some of this technology) until recently. So people were used to travel by train a lot though now they use shared cars more and more. Also remember that gas is way cheaper in the USA.

Prices of train tickets used to be affordable for most of the population, the comfort was ok. Now it’s different: the company has been separated into three entities, the prices rose like hell and so did the debt… Privatization is coming and the new owners will prefer profit over transportation quality, as usual (a big problem in the UK, I’ve tried it, ugh).

Also another problem for the USA: it’s half a continent! And I think that France is 17 times smaller…

About the highways: the French state built it with tax money. They added tolls and as soon as it began to generate profit… it was given to a private company (that will give it back when it needs some maintenance.)

Besides I pay my Internet box ( fiber-optic 100mbps + international illimited phone) 10€=12.23$ but I don’t have a hotline for troubleshooting…I guess it’s kinda cheap, how much does it cost you guys ?

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:22 pm
by Shane
I pay $30 for 25mbps. That is one of the slower tiers they offer, but I wouldn't use anywhere near even that anyway. It is only a 1 year deal, however. After that, it goes to $75, and either they give me a better deal or I go with a competitor. Fortunately, I have options. Many people don't, and they just have to live with the ridiculous annual price increases. They drove me away from cable TV with their pricing structures for something I wouldn't watch very much regardless. ESPN accounts for something like $8 of the average person's cable bill. Company Man did any interesting video on them, and their business model sustainability seems suspect.

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:17 pm
by Sim Kid
Booyakasha wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:08 pm
Never noticed much difference between our trains and Germany's.


I've noticed a big difference between our trains and Germany's.

...Germany has trains. :P

Out where I live, you pretty much need a car unless you're willing to spend an extra 1-3 hours commuting. This town just wasn't built with public transportation in mind - because city-planners in the 19th century didn't know buses were going to become a thing, or that the town was going to sprawl as far as it did.

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:32 am
by Validecember
Portland's public transit is pretty decent compared to most other cities in the U.S. It's extensive, cheap, and (usually) reliable. You'll need a car if you're heading outside the metro area, but if you're going into the city you may as well take a bus or train because parking is ****.

My internet's $40 for 25mbps. Again, pretty good compared to what some people have to pay.

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:17 am
by I am nobody
I pay $40 for 200mbps, but that's only because I have an option other than Comcast. I didn't in my last apartment, and the same speed was $75 for the first year and $85+ thereafter. And that's not bundled with anything.

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:37 am
by ScottyMcGee
I think the massive size of the US pushes us to be more focused on personal travel rather than mass transportation. Also capitalism and the idea of rugged individualism.

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:50 pm
by Marilincarnation
I’m amazed that you guys are paying so little for Internet. Our cheapest option here was $80. That’s mostly because of Cox’s monopoly on our apartment building, but it’s still outrageous.

Re: US's infrastructure compared to other countries.

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:29 am
by Sim Kid
^ I'm amazed how little YOU are paying for internet.

then again we had to pay for a business plan to even break double digit download speeds.