The relative necessity of funding newly-established railway lines or public transport in service is a frequent topic of discussion when people try to evaluate how public money should be spent in terms of improving the urban transport system. To my mind, it is imperative for government to finance both, the result of which benefits the cities economically and culturally.
There are good grounds for arguing that it is of great value to invest substantial money in railway line construction. One of these is largely based around the idea that building railway lines creates a huge market for the local business. This is particularly true for the distinct features of railways: delivering more goods and commuting with fast-pace, both of which allow for a more frequent and efficient commercial intercourse. A further point is that providing intercity railway lines contributes to an increase of richness and diversity in culture. This is because railways are available to transport people to remote areas, which facilitates mutual communication. Better understanding and less culture shock, therefore, can be the consequence of more communication.
There are also, however, equally strong arguments for maintaining public transport in existence. One significant counter-argument is that, compared with allocating a large amount of money for railway lines establishment, it is a relatively more economical way to improve the overall transport system. The main philosophy behind this policy is that money saved could be funded in other fields that are in urgent need of investment. This, for example, can explain the fact that increasingly cities would spend more money in massive maintenance rather than in wide construction. Another related argument is that improving existing transport could prevent further environmental destruction and resources consumption. At its simplest, the remained resources are possible to support the cities to go further and more funds would be saved to solve the prospective environmental pollution.
My own view is that there are merits for both ways to in guarantee a well-established transport system. A city should invest money in constructing new railway lines for the sake of boosting economy and enriching cultural diversity. Meanwhile, maintaining availability of the public transport should be advocated, attributing to the advantage of money saving and less environmental pollution.