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(Some Guy)   CA highspeed rail, which would help the environment by reducing vehicles on the road, may be derailed by environmentalists   (bizjournals.com) divider line 235
    More: Ironic, environmental impacts, Bay Area, right-of-way, Southern California, federal funds, PR Newswire, board members, concentrate  
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9976 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Aug 2009 at 2:27 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



235 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread
 
2009-08-27 01:09:33 PM
Actually, it sounds more like Union Pacific is pretending to give a shiat about environmental concerns as a beard to protect its real interest, which is protecting its existing right-of-way.
 
2009-08-27 01:14:43 PM
Pocket Ninja: Actually, it sounds more like Union Pacific is pretending to give a shiat about environmental concerns as a beard to protect its real interest, which is protecting its existing right-of-way.

There's that plus the fact that any construction project requires an environmental impact assessment before it can go forward.
 
2009-08-27 01:19:28 PM
But, if there's a high-speed rail system, who will be left on I-5 for me to honk at, speed around, and flip off? Won't someone please think of people like me?!
 
2009-08-27 01:21:34 PM
Umm... yeah. This doesn't look like environmental activists trying to stop it.

It's not nearly as good as the "oops" factor when windmills were being built like crazy in CA in the early '80s. We Americanized the old, slow windmill design by making windmills bigger and more importantly, faster spinning, then put them on a ridgeline in an area with threatened golden eagles among other birds. The windmills became bird cuisinarts. As the golden eagle carcasses piled up, environmentalists found themselves protesting against windmills.

/great story, bro?
 
2009-08-27 01:28:17 PM
They're not blocking it so much as pushing for an alternative route is what I get from reading the article. What's wrong with that?

If the high speed rail is going to impact Union Pacific's freight operations they deserve to be heard. Freight rail can be incredibly successful and reduces roadway traffic/pollution. So high speed rail needs to learn how to play well with others.
 
2009-08-27 01:35:59 PM
Sigh. That high speed rail was first proposed over 10 years ago, and will take over 10 years just to build the first segment.

I'll be 6 feet under by the time that thing ever runs.
 
2009-08-27 01:48:37 PM
Ah, California.

It's like Florida, but on the left side.
 
2009-08-27 02:03:44 PM
A costly bureaucratic farkup? Something more sinister?
 
2009-08-27 02:07:39 PM
Okay, I'll start it then..

Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
Bona fide,
Electrified,
Six-car
Monorail!
 
2009-08-27 02:13:19 PM
eddie van heinous: Sigh. That high speed rail was first proposed over 10 years ago, and will take over 10 years just to build the first segment.

I'll be 6 feet under by the time that thing ever runs.


In New Jersey, we have had a study going on for over 20 years for a rail line (MOM line) that's to be built on an existing old freight line. Oh, how the wheels of government turn.
 
2009-08-27 02:28:49 PM
Dr.Knockboots: Okay, I'll start it then..

Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
Bona fide,
Electrified,
Six-car
Monorail!


I call the big one Bitey!
 
2009-08-27 02:28:53 PM
Every age has its luddites.

Wheel bad!
 
2009-08-27 02:29:26 PM
eddie van heinous: I'll be 6 feet under by the time that thing ever runs.

Well, California will have broken off and floated out to sea by then, so it's really academic at this point.
 
2009-08-27 02:30:24 PM
I am Attorney General Jerry Brown
My aura smiles
And never frowns...
 
2009-08-27 02:30:30 PM
SherKhan: Every age has its luddites.

Wheel bad!


Fire Bad.

Money Good.
 
2009-08-27 02:30:48 PM
eddie van heinous: Sigh. That high speed rail was first proposed over 10 years ago, and will take over 10 years just to build the first segment.

I'll be 6 feet under by the time that thing ever runs.


The alternative is you can build it on shoddy rock so that the track shifts and requires a multi-billion dollar repair job, after a train derails at 300 MPH and destroys a small town.
 
2009-08-27 02:31:00 PM
remind me again why we're building this thing at the tune of a couple billion dollars again...?

I voted against the prop, and I will keep voting against every prop (unless it benefits veterans) on the principle that the prop system is retarded. We don't need this and we certainly don't have the money for it.
 
2009-08-27 02:31:55 PM
This isn't Europe or Japan, they know trains, America does not
 
2009-08-27 02:31:55 PM
Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.
 
2009-08-27 02:32:51 PM
patrick767: Umm... yeah. This doesn't look like environmental activists trying to stop it.

It's not nearly as good as the "oops" factor when windmills were being built like crazy in CA in the early '80s. We Americanized the old, slow windmill design by making windmills bigger and more importantly, faster spinning, then put them on a ridgeline in an area with threatened golden eagles among other birds. The windmills became bird cuisinarts. As the golden eagle carcasses piled up, environmentalists found themselves protesting against windmills.

/great story, bro?



IIRC, they're next to the 580 freeway.
 
2009-08-27 02:32:51 PM
High-speed rail opponents say Judge Kenny's ruling means the rail authority will have to reconsider connecting the Bay Area to the system through Pacheco Pass.

Not to be confused with Pachuco Pass.
web.rollins.edu
 
2009-08-27 02:34:25 PM
I don't know what's worse -- that a years-old EIS is being questioned at this late date, that it will be 2030 before anyone rides this thing (if ever), or that there's something called the High Speed Rail Litigation Coalition.

This is why America can't have nice things anymore.
 
2009-08-27 02:34:51 PM
Aaahhh. lawsuits... rulings... environmentalists...
that's why we can't have nice things.

What about that Orange County to Vegas proposal?
 
2009-08-27 02:34:54 PM
dittybopper: Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.


This. If you need to go from San Fran/Sacto to LA/San Diego, you take a plane.
 
2009-08-27 02:35:04 PM
Just get the Japs to come over and build the goddamn thing.
 
2009-08-27 02:35:15 PM
Roger Arseways: remind me again why we're building this thing at the tune of a couple billion dollars again...?

I voted against the prop, and I will keep voting against every prop (unless it benefits veterans) on the principle that the prop system is retarded. We don't need this and we certainly don't have the money for it.


Um, why the exception for veterans benefits? If the prop system is retarded (which it is), why not vote against all of them?
 
2009-08-27 02:36:12 PM
Environmental impact studies aren't for environmentalists.

Oh, and railroads are bastards.
 
2009-08-27 02:36:52 PM
PlusCestLaMeme: Um, why the exception for veterans benefits? If the prop system is retarded (which it is), why not vote against all of them?

Because I don't want to deny funding to veterans because of dumb politics.
 
2009-08-27 02:36:59 PM
lunchinlewis: They're not blocking it so much as pushing for an alternative route is what I get from reading the article. What's wrong with that?

If the high speed rail is going to impact Union Pacific's freight operations they deserve to be heard. Freight rail can be incredibly successful and reduces roadway traffic/pollution. So high speed rail needs to learn how to play well with others.


More or less this. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the busiest in the nation, and a whole lot of that shiat moves via rail all around the country.

Disfunction: But, if there's a high-speed rail system, who will be left on I-5 for me to honk at, speed around, and flip off? Won't someone please think of people like me?!

Noone, because there is no I-5 in CA. We drive on THE 5.
 
2009-08-27 02:37:00 PM
These bastards are running over all the Axolotls.
 
2009-08-27 02:37:08 PM
Tweekers like high speed rails.
 
2009-08-27 02:37:14 PM
AssCobra77: Just get the Japs to come over and build the goddamn thing.

What's the Chinese unemployment rate in CA anyway....
 
2009-08-27 02:37:20 PM
www.lardlad.com

I guess it's more of a Shelbyville idea.
 
2009-08-27 02:37:42 PM
No Vegas route? Well then, who gives f*ck?
 
2009-08-27 02:38:03 PM
Dr.Knockboots: Okay, I'll start it then..

Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
Bona fide,
Electrified,
Six-car
Monorail!


QFT
 
2009-08-27 02:38:28 PM
Tentacle: I am Attorney General Jerry Brown
My aura smiles
And never frowns...


You're coming for my uncool niece, aren't you?
 
2009-08-27 02:38:33 PM
Pinner: AssCobra77: Just get the Japs to come over and build the goddamn thing.

What's the Chinese unemployment rate in CA anyway....


Hard to tell, even when they don't have jobs they're always opening up a new drycleaner around the corner
 
2009-08-27 02:39:09 PM
patrick767: The windmills became bird cuisinarts.


I prefer bird slap chops

i652.photobucket.com
 
2009-08-27 02:39:40 PM
These the same environmentalists who fight the installation of transmission cables from the solar plants in the desert to LA to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?
 
2009-08-27 02:39:46 PM
lunchinlewis: If the high speed rail is going to impact Union Pacific's freight operations they deserve to be heard. Freight rail can be incredibly successful and reduces roadway traffic/pollution. So high speed rail needs to learn how to play well with others.


Union Pacific has done all it can to make Amtrak a nightmare on the Pacific Coast. So hardly a surprise that they are trying to ply their usual trade in farkery with the rail initiative. This time they have some help from NIMBY's so that should help.

In any case, the VAST majority of UP freight traffic in that area stems from activities around the Port of Oakland. IIRC Union Pacific runs something like 1 train every day or 2 up towards San Francisco.
 
2009-08-27 02:40:22 PM
vernonFL: dittybopper: Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.


This. If you need to go from San Fran/Sacto to LA/San Diego, you take a plane.


Yeah, you take a plane because there isn't a wonderful high-speed rail system.
 
2009-08-27 02:40:35 PM
Check the probate.

Cloverleaf Industries.
 
2009-08-27 02:41:08 PM
BunkoSquad: eddie van heinous: I'll be 6 feet under by the time that thing ever runs.

Well, California will have broken off and floated out to sea by then, so it's really academic at this point.


metropolisplus.com

Not amused
 
2009-08-27 02:41:09 PM
Let's run it right up the middle of the 5. Giant tunnel thru the "grapevine"

I once took an Amtrak from L.A. to Portland OR. Most entertaining 24 Hrs of life! Oh, and arrived 6 hrs behind schedule. 12 hours late on the way back...
 
2009-08-27 02:42:07 PM
bhcompy: Noone, because there is no I-5 in CA. We drive on THE 5.

Up here in the part of California where we don't need gills to breath, we refer to our highways by name. INTERSTATE 5 or HIGHWAY 12. It's not a band, so stop referring to it as such.
 
2009-08-27 02:42:26 PM
It's not environmentalists. It's douchebags in rich areas near San Jose who are trying to find some way to stop this because it will RUN THROUGH THEIR TOWN OH GOD WAAAH WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE RICH DOUCHEBAGS. This despite the fact that CalTrain already runs through there.
 
2009-08-27 02:42:43 PM
DeadZone: These the same environmentalists who fight the installation of transmission cables from the solar plants in the desert to LA to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?

No, it's the kind that works for Union Pacific. Meh. Why don't companies innovate anymore? GM sucks at building cars, why not move to solar-panel manufacture or something? Union Pacific doesn't want to lose right-of-way...build electric freakin trains then! How many thousands of miles of track are already laid? Explain again why they can't refit the existing lines to run cleaner and more efficiently? Business in America makes my head hurt...
 
2009-08-27 02:43:35 PM
Wow, comprehension fail much, submittard?
 
2009-08-27 02:43:37 PM
Dr.Knockboots: Okay, I'll start it then..

Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
Bona fide,
Electrified,
Six-car
Monorail!


What about us braindead slobs?
 
2009-08-27 02:43:55 PM
FarkinFarker: vernonFL: dittybopper: Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.


This. If you need to go from San Fran/Sacto to LA/San Diego, you take a plane.

Yeah, you take a plane because there isn't a wonderful high-speed rail system.


THIS

Not to mention that trains can run on electricity while airplanes are still stuck on oil.
 
2009-08-27 02:44:55 PM
DeadZone: These the same environmentalists who fight the installation of transmission cables from the solar plants in the desert to LA to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?

Could be related to the evirons that blocked the widening of 101 south of Santa Rosa due to a couple of newts living in the median.
stupid newts.

Can't get much done in CA. Propose a few lines through parts of Dumdfarkistan and it would be built within three years.
 
2009-08-27 02:44:59 PM
ne2d: What about us braindead slobs?

You'll be given cushy jobs
 
2009-08-27 02:45:45 PM
And still no California tag...
 
2009-08-27 02:45:50 PM
People who live in Menlo Park and Atheron are too rich to use high speed rail - they are worried about the lovely trees on their several-acre parcels. Not sure this is really "environmentalists" at work.
 
2009-08-27 02:46:06 PM
Since there are like 20 stops along the way, it'll only take SIX HOURS to get from SF to LA via high-speed rail!
 
2009-08-27 02:47:29 PM
Dr.Knockboots: You'll be given cushy jobs

Were you sent here by the Devil?
 
2009-08-27 02:47:59 PM
Yes, every environmentalist in the world is behind this.
 
2009-08-27 02:48:37 PM
Yeah, you take a plane because there isn't a wonderful high-speed rail system.

I've taken the regular train from San Diego to LA. Its nice, and really cheap, compared to the East Coast.

A train from LA to the Bay Area would have to be really high speed, and cheap. That is a long trip.
 
2009-08-27 02:48:45 PM
E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: This isn't Europe or Japan, they know trains, America does not

BS. America "knew trains" perfectly well for many, many years, until our system was systematically dismantled and destroyed by corporate-backed government favoritism for roads and interstates. The ONLY thing lacking here is the political will.
 
2009-08-27 02:49:40 PM
BunkoSquad: Were you sent here by the Devil?

The Kwik-E-Mart is really...D'oh!
 
2009-08-27 02:49:55 PM
Mono...doh!
 
2009-08-27 02:50:29 PM
I like the Chicago plan:

Under Obama's "vision" for high speed rail, Chicago is in the running to be the center of a hub network linking Chicago, Milwaukee, Twin Cities, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Louisville.Link (new window)

Because I really want to go to those crapass towns.
 
2009-08-27 02:50:55 PM
The ring came off my pudding can!
 
2009-08-27 02:51:07 PM
Mnemia: E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: This isn't Europe or Japan, they know trains, America does not

BS. America "knew trains" perfectly well for many, many years, until our system was systematically dismantled and destroyed by corporate-backed government favoritism for roads and interstates. The ONLY thing lacking here is the political will.


Made sense when most of the oil in the world was drilled here.

Cheap coal electricity will look this stupid in 50 years as well.
 
2009-08-27 02:51:12 PM
vernonFL: A train from LA to the Bay Area would have to be really high speed, and cheap. That is a long trip.

One of the big advantages of high-speed trains compared to airports is that they can go right into the city center instead of somewhere far out from the downtown. So even if the train trip itself took a bit longer than the flight itself, the train could still, in theory, be faster if the logistics of it were more reasonable as far as ground transportation, lack of delays/waiting on the ground, etc.
 
2009-08-27 02:51:37 PM
Build it ONLY if it can run profitably. Otherwise its a waste of economic resources.
 
2009-08-27 02:51:39 PM
Brainsick: DeadZone: These the same environmentalists who fight the installation of transmission cables from the solar plants in the desert to LA to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?

No, it's the kind that works for Union Pacific. Meh. Why don't companies innovate anymore? GM sucks at building cars, why not move to solar-panel manufacture or something? Union Pacific doesn't want to lose right-of-way...build electric freakin trains then! How many thousands of miles of track are already laid? Explain again why they can't refit the existing lines to run cleaner and more efficiently? Business in America makes my head hurt...


Electrifying line is expensive, so is yielding right of way to passenger rail.
 
2009-08-27 02:52:28 PM
good. The reason does not matter - the rail needs to die.

/CA resident
 
2009-08-27 02:52:43 PM
Wouldn't it be great if the government bought all our cars and installed high speed rail all over the country.

Think of the savings.
 
2009-08-27 02:52:53 PM
ne2d: The Kwik-E-Mart is really...D'oh!

With legalized casino gambling, I could tighten my stranglehold on this dismal town!
 
2009-08-27 02:54:00 PM
FarkinFarker: vernonFL: dittybopper: Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.


This. If you need to go from San Fran/Sacto to LA/San Diego, you take a plane.

Yeah, you take a plane because there isn't a wonderful high-speed rail system.


High speed rail in the US isn't like some Japanese Commuter version of "Field of Dreams". You build it, and guess what, people will largely ignore it.

High speed rail works in countries that don't have as large a base of automobile ownership as the United States. About the only way to ween people off of hopping in the car is to tax the living dogpiss out of gasoline, up to European levels, in order to discourage car usage, and to subsidize the rail system.

Otherwise, it's like standing behind a fan and asking Gonzo to build a jacuzzi: Expensive, and irrelevant.
 
2009-08-27 02:54:34 PM
rodeofrog: Check the probate.

Cloverleaf Industries.


Only a toon would think up this cockamie idea!
 
2009-08-27 02:55:58 PM
forresttriax: Let's run it right up the middle of the 5. Giant tunnel thru the "grapevine" hill

passin' cars like they were standin' still
 
2009-08-27 02:56:01 PM
DarnoKonrad: Made sense when most of the oil in the world was drilled here.

Cheap coal electricity will look this stupid in 50 years as well.


America's big problem is that we are so capitalist that we only care about results/efficiency/sustainability/effectiveness in the very short term (nothing wrong with capitalism, but it does create a bias towards short-term-thinking). I personally think we need to temper that a bit. Short-term results are good, but not at the expense of larger long-term costs. I would argue that the best way to ensure long-term sustainability in energy or transportation infrastructure is to invest in deploying a diverse mix of different technologies. That way, we aren't stuck with ridiculously high costs to replace EVERYTHING should one or another technology become unsustainable for whatever reason in the future.
 
2009-08-27 02:57:24 PM
So glad you all voted us an additional TWENTY BILLION dollars in bond debt for this thing. Way to not read the voters' guide.
 
2009-08-27 02:58:10 PM
dittybopper: FarkinFarker: vernonFL: dittybopper: Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.


This. If you need to go from San Fran/Sacto to LA/San Diego, you take a plane.

Yeah, you take a plane because there isn't a wonderful high-speed rail system.

High speed rail in the US isn't like some Japanese Commuter version of "Field of Dreams". You build it, and guess what, people will largely ignore it.

High speed rail works in countries that don't have as large a base of automobile ownership as the United States. About the only way to ween people off of hopping in the car is to tax the living dogpiss out of gasoline, up to European levels, in order to discourage car usage, and to subsidize the rail system.

Otherwise, it's like standing behind a fan and asking Gonzo to build a jacuzzi: Expensive, and irrelevant.


You mean like taxing smokes for cancer research?
Or sodas for Diabeetus?
Or Fark memberships for Special Ed?

Thats crazy talk!
 
2009-08-27 02:58:58 PM
rodeofrog: Check the probate.

Cloverleaf Industries.


Yeah. Check the probate. Why, my Uncle Thumper had a problem with HIS probate, and he had to take these big pills, and drink lots of water.
 
2009-08-27 02:59:54 PM
The_Sponge: patrick767: Umm... yeah. This doesn't look like environmental activists trying to stop it.

It's not nearly as good as the "oops" factor when windmills were being built like crazy in CA in the early '80s. We Americanized the old, slow windmill design by making windmills bigger and more importantly, faster spinning, then put them on a ridgeline in an area with threatened golden eagles among other birds. The windmills became bird cuisinarts. As the golden eagle carcasses piled up, environmentalists found themselves protesting against windmills.

/great story, bro?


IIRC, they're next to the 580 freeway.


Yes, you'll see them when going through Altamount Pass.
 
2009-08-27 03:00:10 PM
The Capitol Corridor between Sacto and SF is great, it's just too slow.
 
2009-08-27 03:00:14 PM
Environmentalist are anti human. somehow humans are not natural.
 
2009-08-27 03:01:43 PM
Mnemia: E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: This isn't Europe or Japan, they know trains, America does not

BS. America "knew trains" perfectly well for many, many years, until our system was systematically dismantled and destroyed by corporate-backed government favoritism for roads and interstates. The ONLY thing lacking here is the political will.


I blame the successor to this guy:

weblogs3.nrc.nl
 
2009-08-27 03:02:22 PM
Trains have to be profitable? What a double standard.

Interstate 35 has never sent me a check in the mail, representing its profitz. Not even once.

/never writes, nor calls, either
//starting to think it doesn't care
 
2009-08-27 03:03:53 PM
Disfunction: bhcompy: Noone, because there is no I-5 in CA. We drive on THE 5.

Up here in the part of California where we don't need gills to breath, we refer to our highways by name. INTERSTATE 5 or HIGHWAY 12. It's not a band, so stop referring to it as such.


Gills to breathe? Funny Band in the San Jose area played at our Junior HS dances and they were called Interstate 5.

I still don't recall hearing traffic reports in Tahoe, Sac, SF or here in San Diego ever calling freeways with "interstate" in front of them. Highway? Maybe once in awhile but, unless you are in some back country place where few interstate highways pass why bother being so verbose?
 
2009-08-27 03:03:54 PM
dittybopper: High speed rail works in countries that don't have as large a base of automobile ownership as the United States. About the only way to ween people off of hopping in the car is to tax the living dogpiss out of gasoline, up to European levels, in order to discourage car usage, and to subsidize the rail system.

Cars and roads don't last forever. It's a set of deliberate government choices for us to continue investing in making them cheaper and more practical (by building more roads, etc) rather than investing in alternatives like high-speed-rail. So I pretty much totally disagree with this part of your argument (though I agree that increased gasoline taxes or costs would greatly improve the economic case for high-speed rail). I think that we use cars so heavily because the government invested in infrastructure for cars. We don't use passenger rail heavily because the government hasn't invested nearly as much in infrastructure to make it practical.
 
2009-08-27 03:04:17 PM
As far as considerations of populations and distance, a north-south route in CA is probably one of two places in the country where HSR makes sense. And the other already has Acela.

In Europe, and to a lesser extent even in the Bos-Wash corridor, all those cities have strong centralized local public transportation... you can realistically get to where you want to go without a car. Southern CA does not at all. So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.
 
2009-08-27 03:05:19 PM
Pinner: dittybopper:
Otherwise, it's like standing behind a fan and asking Gonzo to build a jacuzzi: Expensive, and irrelevant.

You mean like taxing smokes for cancer research?
Or sodas for Diabeetus?
Or Fark memberships for Special Ed?

Thats crazy talk!


img74.imageshack.us

You tell him, and I will smack you. I will smack you like a bad, bad donkey, okay!
 
2009-08-27 03:06:00 PM
Brainsick: Business in America makes my head hurt...

I've long been under the impression that business in america (at least Big Business) is only about the economic subjugation of the lower classes. Their chosen method of doing so is to place roadblocks to making necessary infrastructure improvements that would lower living costs, and/or producing greatly inefficient products of poor quality that constantly need replacement or repair.
 
2009-08-27 03:08:48 PM
tuna hp: So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.

Yeah, probably the reason an airport will never get built in LA, either.

/wait, what?
 
2009-08-27 03:08:59 PM
dittybopper: Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.

Agreed. The entire concept is a boondoggle from beginning to end. There simply is NO evidence that a high speed rail system would carry even enough passengers to break even. More likely, it will cost tens of billions more than the heavily fudged projections already floated, never operate at anything close to capacity and end up draining enormous sums of money needed elsewhere until it finally gets abandoned.

Also, rail systems do NOT reduce traffic. Studies done for the proposed light rail system in Seattle showed that even if the most rosy projections were correct, it would have very close to ZERO impact on traffic. In fact, even the best Sound Transit projections show that the cost for the project is so high that no realistic ticket price covers even a fraction of the actual operating cost per passenger. In other words, no matter what ticket price a rider pays, the government (meaning your taxes) must subsidize each ticket by hundreds of dollars. Sound Transit's own numbers were so dismal that they could have abandoned the rail system and bought a new car for every rider and still spent less money.

The San Francisco Bay Area already has BART and a passenger train system on the Peninsula, but traffic continues to grow. The problem is that the vast majority of commuters live and work too far from the rail lines and so their commute would be just as long, or longer, to use a rail system.

Unlike Japan, which has such a dense network of rail and subway systems that you can get almost anywhere in Tokyo by rail, California completely lacks the infrastructure needed to get a passenger from the rail station itself to his destination easily. Just like flying, a high speed rail passenger still has few options for getting himself from his transit terminus to his final destination. You still have to rent a car unless you want to pay hundreds of dollars in cab fare or schlep your luggage onto a bus.

And who is going to use this boondoggle? Airlines already have to discount their fares to keep their planes full. For example, Southwest has had a $78 round trip (yeah - round trip) from SFO to San Diego all year long so obviously they don't have mobs busting down the doors to go there, otherwise they would be able to charge a higher fare. How stupid does anyone have to be to see that high speed rail would be duplicating a service that not only already exists, the current system is running below capacity, is cheaper, faster and already exists with infrastructure in place.

California needs to abandon this white elephant before any more tax dollars get flushed down its infinitely hungry maw.
 
2009-08-27 03:09:04 PM
dittybopper: High speed rail in the US isn't like some Japanese Commuter version of "Field of Dreams". You build it, and guess what, people will largely ignore it.

High speed rail works in countries that don't have as large a base of automobile ownership as the United States. About the only way to ween people off of hopping in the car is to tax the living dogpiss out of gasoline, up to European levels, in order to discourage car usage, and to subsidize the rail system.


Don't forget that there needs to be a critical mass of commuter/traveler rail systems in place for that to work.

Gas can be $10/gallon, but people still won't go on the rail if it doesn't go where they want.
 
2009-08-27 03:09:30 PM
tuna hp: And the other already has Acela

Acela sucks. Its too expensive for what it is.

When I go to NYC, I take one of those Chinese busses.

$40 round trip, biatches.
 
2009-08-27 03:09:49 PM
Shostie: Pocket Ninja: Actually, it sounds more like Union Pacific is pretending to give a shiat about environmental concerns as a beard to protect its real interest, which is protecting its existing right-of-way.

There's that plus the fact that any construction project requires an environmental impact assessment before it can go forward.


It's neither. Or possibly both. The lawsuit is arguing about whether or not the environmental impact report was WRITTEN PROPERLY, which is why environmental groups drive me insane.

FTA: The ruling grew out of a lawsuit filed by the cities of Menlo Park and Atherton that challenged the adequacy of an environmental impact report...A Sacramento County Superior Court judge said Wednesday that portions of an environmental review of high-speed rail service will have to be rewritten,

Whenever you see one side or the other filing a suit saying the reports weren't "adequate" or weren't "written properly", it usually means the environmental impact has nothing to do with it. They're just trying to hang the issue up in court, knowing it will take another 18 months to iron out the details, and hopefully kill the project.
 
2009-08-27 03:11:14 PM
japlemon: patrick767: The windmills became bird cuisinarts.


I prefer bird slap chops


I always have to turn the channel when that commercial comes on. The "You're going to love my nuts" line is just too much.
 
2009-08-27 03:11:28 PM
tuna hp: As far as considerations of populations and distance, a north-south route in CA is probably one of two places in the country where HSR makes sense. And the other already has Acela.

Acela is not really true high-speed-rail, so it just goes to show that we have a problem with government not properly investing in infrastructure and not solving the underlying structural problems even in places where HSR could be quite feasible.

In Europe, and to a lesser extent even in the Bos-Wash corridor, all those cities have strong centralized local public transportation... you can realistically get to where you want to go without a car. Southern CA does not at all. So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.

Yes, HSR really should not be thought of as a stand-alone transportation system, but rather as the long-distance component of a broader regional rail or other transportation network. It works a lot better when it has a lot of slower feeder lines to deliver passengers to and from it in the cities it serves. Of course, maybe the HSR project might actually spur the creation of those feeder lines, since they would have somewhere to go...it's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem. But the same thing is true of roads...interstates wouldn't be very useful if there weren't a bunch of surface roads connecting onto them. It's just a matter of proper investment.

My big question is how come we can manage to get projects to build new freeways planned and built in this country without taking decades, but rail is seemingly impossible nearly everywhere?
 
2009-08-27 03:11:37 PM
tuna hp: As far as considerations of populations and distance, a north-south route in CA is probably one of two places in the country where HSR makes sense. And the other already has Acela.


Never taken acela, have you?

tuna hp: In Europe, and to a lesser extent even in the Bos-Wash corridor, all those cities have strong centralized local public transportation... you can realistically get to where you want to go without a car if it is a city. Southern CA does not at all. So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.
 
2009-08-27 03:12:16 PM
FTA: Judge Michael P. Kenny ruled that the California High-Speed Rail Authority had failed to address concerns by Union Pacific Railroad about sharing its right-of-way in a stretch of the system further south, between San Jose and Gilroy, in its environmental review.

subby is pretending he/she lacks reading comprehension to use a good trolling headline, yes?

/worked on me ;-P
 
2009-08-27 03:12:25 PM
Roger Arseways: PlusCestLaMeme: Um, why the exception for veterans benefits? If the prop system is retarded (which it is), why not vote against all of them?

Because I don't want to deny funding to veterans because of dumb politics.


That's how I feel about education, environmental projects, aid to the poor. Slippery slope, that.
 
2009-08-27 03:13:16 PM
Brainsick: Explain again why they can't refit the existing lines to run cleaner and more efficiently? Business in America makes my head hurt...

Because why would any business spend millions to run a cleaner system that doesn't make a dime more profit than what already exists?
 
2009-08-27 03:14:39 PM
vernonFL:
When I go to NYC, I take one of those Chinese busses.

"Me drove you rong time."
 
2009-08-27 03:15:23 PM
ambercricket: There simply is NO evidence that a high speed rail system would carry even enough passengers to break even.

Do we demand that interstate highways "break even"? Where are they producing revenue (and don't say the gas tax, because the highways cost far more than that takes in)?

Things like HSR are about the future, not the present. I will agree that there's no point in building it unless you want to revolutionize your whole transportation system, but that's kind of the point, isn't it?
 
2009-08-27 03:15:23 PM
Roger Arseways: I voted against the prop, and I will keep voting against every prop (unless it benefits veterans) on the principle that the prop system is retarded.

I agree with you. Our prop system is a joke. That's why I vote against any and all propositions. If you vote in favor of even one of them, then you are still part of the problem.
 
2009-08-27 03:17:00 PM
Let me guess, it's the same NIMBYs who have been derailing wind power projects by screaming "THINK OF THE BIRDS!", right?

/DRTFA
 
2009-08-27 03:18:01 PM
offacue: forresttriax: Let's run it right up the middle of the 5. Giant tunnel thru the "grapevine" hill

passin' cars like they were standin' still


Just thinkin' bout it gives a chill
 
2009-08-27 03:18:31 PM
HeartBurnKid: Let me guess, it's the same NIMBYs who have been derailing wind power projects by screaming "THINK OF THE BIRDS!", right?

/DRTFA


OK, now RTFA, and it's even worse; it's a big corporation (Union Pacific) feigning environmental concerns to get out of sharing "their" tracks. Joy.
 
2009-08-27 03:19:16 PM
Mnemia:
My big question is how come we can manage to get projects to build new freeways planned and built in this country without taking decades, but rail is seemingly impossible nearly everywhere?


1. Powerful central government with political will to get things done.

2. Successful in convincing most citizens that they were stakeholders

3a. Land ownership patterns were hardly the patchwork of 1/4-acre lots dotted with McHouses that exist today

3b. Eminent domain was no problem when property values are shiat

4. Added effect of displacing "attractive and successful" people (no, really)

5. Interstates have added purpose of "promoting defense." (nevermind that the two largest wars in world history occurred just fine without them)
 
2009-08-27 03:19:35 PM
emersonbiggins: Trains have to be profitable? What a double standard.

Interstate 35 has never sent me a check in the mail, representing its profitz. Not even once.

/never writes, nor calls, either
//starting to think it doesn't care


They're funded by use tax(fuel tax). Trains in the US have proven that they cannot be wholly supported by tickets(ie: use tax for the train).
 
2009-08-27 03:19:41 PM
12349876: FarkinFarker: vernonFL: dittybopper: Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.


This. If you need to go from San Fran/Sacto to LA/San Diego, you take a plane.

Yeah, you take a plane because there isn't a wonderful high-speed rail system.

THIS

Not to mention that trains can run on electricity while airplanes are still stuck on oil.


And where do you think the electricity comes from? Magic pixies? Coal or oil burning power plants perhaps?

California HAD an extensive rail system that was used prior to WW2 and just afterwards. As the price of air travel declined, so did the use of rail. Why take two days to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles by rail when you can fly there in two hours? Right now, you can fly from SFO to San Diego for $78 round trip. I challenge anyone to show me that a massive government rail system can possibly charge the same fare for a trip that takes 5 times as long and still stay in business.
 
2009-08-27 03:19:43 PM
Mnemia: dittybopper: High speed rail works in countries that don't have as large a base of automobile ownership as the United States. About the only way to ween people off of hopping in the car is to tax the living dogpiss out of gasoline, up to European levels, in order to discourage car usage, and to subsidize the rail system.

Cars and roads don't last forever. It's a set of deliberate government choices for us to continue investing in making them cheaper and more practical (by building more roads, etc) rather than investing in alternatives like high-speed-rail. So I pretty much totally disagree with this part of your argument (though I agree that increased gasoline taxes or costs would greatly improve the economic case for high-speed rail). I think that we use cars so heavily because the government invested in infrastructure for cars. We don't use passenger rail heavily because the government hasn't invested nearly as much in infrastructure to make it practical.


Consider this: Railroads preceded automobiles by 50 to 100 years. They had already built up an immense, profitable, and well-funded infrastructure by the time the first Model T rolled out of Detroit.

Yet in America, they were relegated to second rate passenger service, and they mostly make do with freight hauling.

The railroad continued to do well in countries where the cost of buying and owning an automobile put it out of reach of a large segment of the population. The UK, Continental Europe, Asia.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily against rail. When I was stationed at Fort Devens, MA, I'd often take the train from Ayer into Boston. I just don't think that very feasible, given the obstacles it would have to overcome.
 
Ral
2009-08-27 03:19:55 PM
You would THINK that the people responsible for this idiotic ballot measure would have gotten all these kinks worked out ahead of time. Silly me for assuming there was logic involved here, as opposed to stupid green-movement bullshiat politics.

/Californian
//voted against it
 
2009-08-27 03:21:14 PM
bhcompy: They're funded by use tax(fuel tax).


That only makes up about 50% of their funding. Guess where the rest comes from...
 
2009-08-27 03:21:24 PM
emersonbiggins: 1. Powerful central government with political will to get things done.

2. Successful in convincing most citizens that they were stakeholders

3a. Land ownership patterns were hardly the patchwork of 1/4-acre lots dotted with McHouses that exist today

3b. Eminent domain was no problem when property values are shiat

4. Added effect of displacing "attractive and successful" people (no, really)

5. Interstates have added purpose of "promoting defense." (nevermind that the two largest wars in world history occurred just fine without them)


So, like I said...lack of political will. Not any inherent infeasibility.
 
2009-08-27 03:21:58 PM
vernonFL: Yeah, you take a plane because there isn't a wonderful high-speed rail system.

I've taken the regular train from San Diego to LA. Its nice, and really cheap, compared to the East Coast.

A train from LA to the Bay Area would have to be really high speed, and cheap. That is a long trip.


I think the Surfliner is okay, not cheap at $27 each way.

When I managed offices in LA, OC, Ventura and Ontario I had a 2005 Tdi Beetle getting 55+ mpg and could go SD to Ventura and back 2x on one 10 gal tank. Sold it because new beetles are chick or teh ghey cars.

BMW and VW have developed a 1.8 liter turbo diesel that gets 75+ mpg and surpasses CA 2012 emission standards and it can't be imported due to the big 3 pulling out a snuff out er...lobbyist er...concerns over environmental issues
 
2009-08-27 03:22:31 PM
bhcompy: emersonbiggins: Trains have to be profitable? What a double standard.

Interstate 35 has never sent me a check in the mail, representing its profitz. Not even once.

/never writes, nor calls, either
//starting to think it doesn't care

They're funded by use tax(fuel tax). Trains in the US have proven that they cannot be wholly supported by tickets(ie: use tax for the train).


This proves that oil is valuable, and probably historically underpriced for its utility, and portability.

And nothing more.
 
2009-08-27 03:22:41 PM
ambercricket: Why take two days to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles by rail when you can fly there in two hours? Right now, you can fly from SFO to San Diego for $78 round trip. I challenge anyone to show me that a massive government rail system can possibly charge the same fare for a trip that takes 5 times as long and still stay in business.

If you had real HSR, it would NOT take "5 times as long" for a distance like that, especially counting the ground transportation and logistics.
 
2009-08-27 03:22:46 PM
liam76: tuna hp: As far as considerations of populations and distance, a north-south route in CA is probably one of two places in the country where HSR makes sense. And the other already has Acela.


Never taken acela, have you?

tuna hp: In Europe, and to a lesser extent even in the Bos-Wash corridor, all those cities have strong centralized local public transportation... you can realistically get to where you want to go without a car if it is a city. Southern CA does not at all. So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.

L.A. has a great Public transpportation system. The subway system runs right to Union Station where you can catch the gold line to Pasadena, the Redline to Hollywood, and the San Fernando Valley the Blueline to Long Beach, The Greenline will get you to within 2 miles of LAX. You can even jump on the Metrolink to points outside LA such as Ventura County
 
2009-08-27 03:23:40 PM
Another thing: If you haven't driven up the coast from Malibu to Santa Cruz on 1/101, you really should.
 
2009-08-27 03:23:47 PM
dittybopper: FarkinFarker: vernonFL: dittybopper: Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.


This. If you need to go from San Fran/Sacto to LA/San Diego, you take a plane.

Yeah, you take a plane because there isn't a wonderful high-speed rail system.

High speed rail in the US isn't like some Japanese Commuter version of "Field of Dreams". You build it, and guess what, people will largely ignore it.

High speed rail works in countries that don't have as large a base of automobile ownership as the United States. About the only way to ween people off of hopping in the car is to tax the living dogpiss out of gasoline, up to European levels, in order to discourage car usage, and to subsidize the rail system.

Otherwise, it's like standing behind a fan and asking Gonzo to build a jacuzzi: Expensive, and irrelevant.


Did you ignore the post you just quoted? People FLY from the bay area to LA. Some drive, but only if they can't afford to fly. Guess what, people hate flying. If there was a train, people would take it. Every day tons of commuters take the Bay Area's CalTrain between SF and San Jose. Many prefer it to driving.
 
2009-08-27 03:24:06 PM
Brainsick: Tentacle: I am Attorney General Jerry Brown
My aura smiles
And never frowns...

You're coming for my uncool niece, aren't you?


Knock-knock at your front door
 
2009-08-27 03:24:43 PM
Shostie: There's that plus the fact that any construction project requires an environmental impact assessment before it can go forward.

I know, cause if we just trusted the great corporations we know for a fact they would never cut corners or sacrifice the environment for profits. /s
 
2009-08-27 03:26:06 PM
Carnegie ruined the railroads for me
 
2009-08-27 03:26:32 PM
dittybopper: The railroad continued to do well in countries where the cost of buying and owning an automobile put it out of reach of a large segment of the population. The UK, Continental Europe, Asia.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily against rail. When I was stationed at Fort Devens, MA, I'd often take the train from Ayer into Boston. I just don't think that very feasible, given the obstacles it would have to overcome.


The thing is, we may well be headed towards a future where constant use of automobiles isn't really as affordable anymore for many Americans. This country is build on global economic hegemony that may well be coming to an end. I'd just like us to have some alternative infrastructure in place before that happens. I'm not against cars and planes for some appropriate purposes, as each definitely has some serious advantages. But we're doing a lot of things very stupidly in this country, and I think more diversity of transportation would hedge our bets for the future a lot more.
 
2009-08-27 03:26:43 PM
GT_bike: I think the Surfliner is okay, not cheap at $27 each way.

On the east coast to go the same distance would be twice or 3 times as much.
 
2009-08-27 03:26:51 PM
Gyrfalcon: Shostie: Pocket Ninja: Actually, it sounds more like Union Pacific is pretending to give a shiat about environmental concerns as a beard to protect its real interest, which is protecting its existing right-of-way.

There's that plus the fact that any construction project requires an environmental impact assessment before it can go forward.

It's neither. Or possibly both. The lawsuit is arguing about whether or not the environmental impact report was WRITTEN PROPERLY, which is why environmental groups drive me insane.

FTA: The ruling grew out of a lawsuit filed by the cities of Menlo Park and Atherton that challenged the adequacy of an environmental impact report...A Sacramento County Superior Court judge said Wednesday that portions of an environmental review of high-speed rail service will have to be rewritten,

Whenever you see one side or the other filing a suit saying the reports weren't "adequate" or weren't "written properly", it usually means the environmental impact has nothing to do with it. They're just trying to hang the issue up in court, knowing it will take another 18 months to iron out the details, and hopefully kill the project.


I bolded some important parts for you. This wasn't a filing by an environmental NGO, it was a city. Allocate your hatred and disdain accordingly.
 
2009-08-27 03:27:10 PM
vernonFL: tuna hp: And the other already has Acela

Acela sucks. Its too expensive for what it is.

When I go to NYC, I take one of those Chinese busses.

$40 round trip, biatches.


Yeah Acela is faster, not susceptible to traffic, and more comfortable. It has conference tables in all classes and power jacks at every seat. When businesspeople need to get to and from those cities on a schedule, they pay the expensive Acela fares. But I think thats what it costs. I don't think that they're making outrageous money on the service or anything.
 
2009-08-27 03:27:29 PM
Mnemia: My big question is how come we can manage to get projects to build new freeways planned and built in this country without taking decades, but rail is seemingly impossible nearly everywhere?

See the Century Freeway. It's called that because it took a Century to build. Coincidentally, it also has light rail going down the middle of it from start to finish.
 
2009-08-27 03:27:30 PM
ambercricket: 12349876: FarkinFarker: vernonFL: dittybopper: Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.


This. If you need to go from San Fran/Sacto to LA/San Diego, you take a plane.

Yeah, you take a plane because there isn't a wonderful high-speed rail system.

THIS

Not to mention that trains can run on electricity while airplanes are still stuck on oil.

And where do you think the electricity comes from? Magic pixies? Coal or oil burning power plants perhaps?

California HAD an extensive rail system that was used prior to WW2 and just afterwards. As the price of air travel declined, so did the use of rail. Why take two days to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles by rail when you can fly there in two hours? Right now, you can fly from SFO to San Diego for $78 round trip. I challenge anyone to show me that a massive government rail system can possibly charge the same fare for a trip that takes 5 times as long and still stay in business.


Coal is on American soil. Oil is not. Plus electricity can be generated from all sorts of renewable sources. Oil cannot.

If you think a flight in California is going to be anywhere near 78 bucks 20 years from now, I want what some of what you're smoking.
 
2009-08-27 03:28:12 PM
E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: This isn't Europe or Japan, they know trains, America does not

We know trains. 1/3 of all US freight is carried by train. Toyota won't set up a US plant unless there are at least 2 competing train lines nearby.

We just suck at the kind that carry people.
 
2009-08-27 03:28:42 PM
beer4breakfast: Mnemia: E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: This isn't Europe or Japan, they know trains, America does not

BS. America "knew trains" perfectly well for many, many years, until our system was systematically dismantled and destroyed by corporate-backed government favoritism for roads and interstates. The ONLY thing lacking here is the political will.

I blame the successor to this guy:
weblogs3.nrc.nl



Of course that guy also did turn a car into a time machine so maybe that had something to do with it. Although later on he did turn a train into a time machine, although he did make it fly.
 
2009-08-27 03:30:36 PM
tuna hp: When businesspeople need to get to and from those cities on a schedule, they pay the expensive Acela fares. But I think thats what it costs.

That is true.

I go to Manhattan to go to nightclubs. The bus drops me off in Chinatown at midnight and then we leave Chinatown for DC again at 6am.
 
2009-08-27 03:30:48 PM
patrick767: Umm... yeah. This doesn't look like environmental activists trying to stop it.

It's not nearly as good as the "oops" factor when windmills were being built like crazy in CA in the early '80s. We Americanized the old, slow windmill design by making windmills bigger and more importantly, faster spinning, then put them on a ridgeline in an area with threatened golden eagles among other birds. The windmills became bird cuisinarts. As the golden eagle carcasses piled up, environmentalists found themselves protesting against windmills.


pics.livejournal.com

WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!
 
2009-08-27 03:33:29 PM
emersonbiggins: tuna hp: So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.

Yeah, probably the reason an airport will never get built in LA, either.

/wait, what?


You didn't understand the point. Most people flying in and out of LAX live farther than a 5 hour drive away, as SF is from LA. If its 5 hours to drive, and you're going to need a car when you get there anyway, thats added benefit to driving.
 
2009-08-27 03:34:27 PM
AlwaysRightBoy: eddie van heinous: Sigh. That high speed rail was first proposed over 10 years ago, and will take over 10 years just to build the first segment.

I'll be 6 feet under by the time that thing ever runs.

In New Jersey, we have had a study going on for over 20 years for a rail line (MOM line) that's to be built on an existing old freight line. Oh, how the wheels of government turn.


The Ocean County Library has the original proposal on file in the historic area. It discusses returning passenger traffic to the Central Railroad of New Jersey. You know, the one that dissolved when the government made Conrail in 1976?
 
2009-08-27 03:35:40 PM
bhcompy: lunchinlewis: They're not blocking it so much as pushing for an alternative route is what I get from reading the article. What's wrong with that?

If the high speed rail is going to impact Union Pacific's freight operations they deserve to be heard. Freight rail can be incredibly successful and reduces roadway traffic/pollution. So high speed rail needs to learn how to play well with others.

More or less this. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the busiest in the nation, and a whole lot of that shiat moves via rail all around the country.

Disfunction: But, if there's a high-speed rail system, who will be left on I-5 for me to honk at, speed around, and flip off? Won't someone please think of people like me?!

Noone, because there is no I-5 in CA. We drive on THE 5.


Only in SoCal are there "the" freeways.

SoCal has The 101
Norcal just 101
 
2009-08-27 03:35:54 PM
forresttriax: L.A. has a great Public transpportation system. The subway system runs right to Union Station where you can catch the gold line to Pasadena, the Redline to Hollywood, and the San Fernando Valley the Blueline to Long Beach, The Greenline will get you to within 2 miles of LAX. You can even jump on the Metrolink to points outside LA such as Ventura County

For a huge sprawling metropolis it does, but in reality many parts of the area are not adequately serviced. The reason isn't because of a lack of trying though. The geography of LA kills it. There is no centralized job center and housing is everywhere.

Denver has a very nice public transport system, but the reason that it works is that they have major job centers(Denver Tech Center and Downtown) and those job centers are along the same route and in line with major housing centers that appeal to the people working there(Douglas County, SE/S/SW Denver area suburbs around the 470 more or less). If you live in Highlands Ranch, there's a fairly good chance you're going to be able to take the rail to your job if you're a regular working stiff.

The LA Basin doesn't have that luxury, since I can live in Long Beach and work in Irvine. The guy living in Irvine can work in Anaheim. The guy living in Anaheim can work in Corona. The guy living in Corona can work in Industry/Walnut. The guy living in Walnut can work in Downtown LA. etc etc etc. They've designed a decent enough system, but it's still far from optimal, and operating times make it worse(Metrolink especially, with some shiatty schedules, especially if you're a reverse commuter).
 
2009-08-27 03:35:59 PM
ambercricket: California HAD an extensive rail system that was used prior to WW2 and just afterwards. As the price of air travel declined, so did the use of rail. Why take two days to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles by rail when you can fly there in two hours? Right now, you can fly from SFO to San Diego for $78 round trip. I challenge anyone to show me that a massive government rail system can possibly charge the same fare for a trip that takes 5 times as long and still stay in business.


SFO has an on-time arrival rate of 76% and departure rate of 80%.
SAN has an on-time arrival rate of 85% and departure rate of 87%.

And this is after carriers slashed routes / flights in a year with falling passenger volume.

Additionally, given general airport congestion, transportation to the airport, from the airport, baggage claim, and associated time wasting efforts you're looking at something like 4 hours spent to make a 90 minute trip.
 
2009-08-27 03:37:02 PM
tuna hp: emersonbiggins: tuna hp: So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.

Yeah, probably the reason an airport will never get built in LA, either.

/wait, what?

You didn't understand the point. Most people flying in and out of LAX live farther than a 5 hour drive away, as SF is from LA. If its 5 hours to drive, and you're going to need a car when you get there anyway, thats added benefit to driving.


So there's no point in having flights between LA and San Fransisco? No one ever flies between those places?
 
2009-08-27 03:37:45 PM
louiedog:

Did you ignore the post you just quoted?


I'm sorry, you must be new to Fark.

Yes, I did. It helps to make the conversations go faster if we don't actually engage each other. It's kind of like an electronic kabuki dance.
 
2009-08-27 03:38:11 PM
BunkoSquad: Well, California will have broken off and floated out to sea by then, so it's really academic at this point.

And then I can go back to Annandale.

patrick767: As the golden eagle carcasses piled up, environmentalists found themselves protesting against windmills.

This was Altamont Pass; by coincidence, that was mentioned in the article. Newer taller windmills with the blades higher above the ground and not in bird travel lanes have much less effect on birds and bats.
 
2009-08-27 03:38:27 PM
Devin172: Additionally, given general airport congestion, transportation to the airport, from the airport, baggage claim, and associated time wasting efforts you're looking at something like 4 hours spent to make a 90 minute trip.

Pick better airports. At Long Beach, I'm in the airport, through security, and on my plane in 10 minutes. Baggage takes maybe 20-30min if I'm arriving. John Wayne is about 20min to your plane and 30-40min for baggage arriving.
 
2009-08-27 03:39:23 PM
Mnemia

mentalfloss.cachefly.net
Doot-doo-da-doo-doot.
 
2009-08-27 03:42:31 PM
bhcompy: Pick better airports. At Long Beach, I'm in the airport, through security, and on my plane in 10 minutes. Baggage takes maybe 20-30min if I'm arriving. John Wayne is about 20min to your plane and 30-40min for baggage arriving.


Is Long Beach the main airport for air travel from Los Angeles to other points in California?
 
2009-08-27 03:43:29 PM
forresttriax: liam76:
L.A. has a great Public transpportation system. The subway system runs right to Union Station where you can catch the gold line to Pasadena, the Redline to Hollywood, and the San Fernando Valley the Blueline to Long Beach, The Greenline will get you to within 2 miles of LAX. You can even jump on the Metrolink to points outside LA such as Ventura County


Thats simply a lie.
 
2009-08-27 03:45:57 PM
tuna hp: emersonbiggins: tuna hp: So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.

Yeah, probably the reason an airport will never get built in LA, either.

/wait, what?

You didn't understand the point. Most people flying in and out of LAX live farther than a 5 hour drive away, as SF is from LA. If its 5 hours to drive, and you're going to need a car when you get there anyway, thats added benefit to driving.


Getting to LA two to three hours later than [well-planned] HSR, irate from bad drivers, horrible traffic and general road fatigue are somehow preferable to hopping off a train (or airplane, if you prefer) and going across the street to a rental car facility?

I guess I don't understand your point.
 
2009-08-27 03:46:06 PM
tuna hp: In Europe, and to a lesser extent even in the Bos-Wash corridor, all those cities have strong centralized local public transportation... you can realistically get to where you want to go without a car. Southern CA does not at all. So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.


Do you know what the checked baggage fee is for your car? I'd like to know since I don't want to be stuck at the airport since the city lacks mass transit options and I'll be forced to take a taxi or rent a car.
 
2009-08-27 03:46:24 PM
Ok Ok so we don't build any new mass transit or highspeed rail. Then what? We slowly let all of our major cities turn into the hell that is Atlanta or Phoenix. This idea that we can either do nothing or just add another slab of concrete onto already stressed roads is ludicrous. We as a nation have to get over this disdain for mass transit. We need more buses trains and urban planning. We need to make it where one can live in suburbia and still utilize the metro. D.C. Boston and NYC have all done this. What is really going to bite us in the arse is when places like Raleigh, Columbus, Albuquerque, Omaha and Nashville double in size with no mass transit laid out. We are going to have a nation where everyones commute is an hour each way.

/rant
 
2009-08-27 03:47:33 PM
eddie van heinous: Sigh. That high speed rail was first proposed over 10 years ago, and will take over 10 years just to build the first segment.

I'll be 6 feet under by the time that thing ever runs.


Why dont they just build a monorail. You don't have to worry about getting wailed on by a freight train and you can just pass a law that peeps cant biatch about the rail over their propery.
plus you can employ lots of people and get people off the highway. Limit the number of stops, and you dont get so many jerkoffs using it to get to the next pawn shop.
 
2009-08-27 03:48:39 PM
tuna hp: forresttriax: liam76:
L.A. has a great Public transpportation system. The subway system runs right to Union Station where you can catch the gold line to Pasadena, the Redline to Hollywood, and the San Fernando Valley the Blueline to Long Beach, The Greenline will get you to within 2 miles of LAX. You can even jump on the Metrolink to points outside LA such as Ventura County

Thats simply a lie.


Which part of that is not true?
 
2009-08-27 03:48:41 PM
and this is just an example of whats going to happen when america realizes it has to have decent fast rail transportation from city center to city center and across the whole damn country. it has to happen, but the track lines it could have been built on were and are still being sold off, so it will be a nightmare to get them back and/or get new ones. and if they aren't more or less in some kind of straight line you will never be able to achieve the high speeds needed to make it useful. even in france, say from geneva to paris, the thing rarely makes it up to top speed and stays there for more than an hour.
 
2009-08-27 03:48:54 PM
emersonbiggins: Getting to LA two to three hours later than [well-planned] HSR, irate from bad drivers, horrible traffic and general road fatigue are somehow preferable to hopping off a train (or airplane, if you prefer) and going across the street to a rental car facility?

I guess I don't understand your point.


I have never taken a train even the "Accela" without a huge delay. In the past (10 yrs ago) there were a few times I was on 7 hour train rides that were standing only (not sure if that is still allowed).

If trains were on time, not absurdly expensive I would be all over them, but I haven't seen that yet in the North East.
 
2009-08-27 03:49:07 PM
Everyone's familiar with NIMBY
Not
in
My
Back
Yard

Ecowackos are Bananas
Build
Absolutely
Nothing
Anywhere
Near
Anyone
 
2009-08-27 03:49:38 PM
Devin172: bhcompy: Pick better airports. At Long Beach, I'm in the airport, through security, and on my plane in 10 minutes. Baggage takes maybe 20-30min if I'm arriving. John Wayne is about 20min to your plane and 30-40min for baggage arriving.


Is Long Beach the main airport for air travel from Los Angeles to other points in California?


Local travellers avoid LAX at all cost. Better/cheaper/faster to fly from Long Beach, John Wayne, Ontario, or Burbank depending on your location. Those airports offer many routes across CA and the Western US and very fast in-airport times(meaning waiting for baggage, going through security, etc). John Wayne is the largest of the bunch and thus has the longest in-airport times.
 
2009-08-27 03:50:41 PM
farm4.static.flickr.com
 
2009-08-27 03:51:56 PM
Radio Boy: AlwaysRightBoy: eddie van heinous: Sigh. That high speed rail was first proposed over 10 years ago, and will take over 10 years just to build the first segment.

I'll be 6 feet under by the time that thing ever runs.

In New Jersey, we have had a study going on for over 20 years for a rail line (MOM line) that's to be built on an existing old freight line. Oh, how the wheels of government turn.

The Ocean County Library has the original proposal on file in the historic area. It discusses returning passenger traffic to the Central Railroad of New Jersey. You know, the one that dissolved when the government made Conrail in 1976?


I'm all for the line, I just don't want it hooking up in Red Bank. The North Jersey Coast line is already to busy as it is.
/been taking it for 17 years
 
2009-08-27 03:52:00 PM
bhcompy: Devin172: bhcompy: Pick better airports. At Long Beach, I'm in the airport, through security, and on my plane in 10 minutes. Baggage takes maybe 20-30min if I'm arriving. John Wayne is about 20min to your plane and 30-40min for baggage arriving.


Is Long Beach the main airport for air travel from Los Angeles to other points in California?

Local travellers avoid LAX at all cost. Better/cheaper/faster to fly from Long Beach, John Wayne, Ontario, or Burbank depending on your location. Those airports offer many routes across CA and the Western US and very fast in-airport times(meaning waiting for baggage, going through security, etc). John Wayne is the largest of the bunch and thus has the longest in-airport times.


At burbank you can walk across the street and catch the metrolink and be in either downtown LA or go north to Ventura county in 25 minutes for $11.00

Nothing even close to that at LAX
 
2009-08-27 03:52:34 PM
bigvicproton: and this is just an example of whats going to happen when america realizes it has to have decent fast rail transportation from city center to city center and across the whole damn country. it has to happen, but the track lines it could have been built on were and are still being sold off, so it will be a nightmare to get them back and/or get new ones. and if they aren't more or less in some kind of straight line you will never be able to achieve the high speeds needed to make it useful. even in france, say from geneva to paris, the thing rarely makes it up to top speed and stays there for more than an hour.

I may be a little lost here, but who do we have to buy them back from?

I assumed the govt owned them, am I wrong on that? If not I think it would be a great case for eminent domain.
 
2009-08-27 03:53:17 PM
bhcompy: emersonbiggins: Trains have to be profitable? What a double standard.

Interstate 35 has never sent me a check in the mail, representing its profitz. Not even once.

/never writes, nor calls, either
//starting to think it doesn't care

They're funded by use tax(fuel tax). Trains in the US have proven that they cannot be wholly supported by tickets(ie: use tax for the train).


Competition would make them more cost effective and more people would use them if the cost were reasonable.

We are going to Disneyland Monday for my wife and daughters' birthdays (free on b-day). 6 of us total with friend.

I can pay $19 each way per person on the Surfliner to get from SD to Anaheim then pay $1.50 per person each way to hop a stinky city bus from Union Station to Disneyland for $132 and lose at least 1 hour in bus transit and at least 45 minutes parking and train travel each way.

Or I can fill my 25 gallon tank at $3 per gallon ($75) and pay $10 parking, $85 door to door.

Why torture ourselves and the kids trying to go green by paying more and wasting time? Equal cost? Maybe. Cheaper? Done.
 
2009-08-27 03:55:10 PM
louiedog: People FLY from the bay area to LA. Some drive, but only if they can't afford to fly. Guess what, people hate flying. If there was a train, people would take it. Every day tons of commuters take the Bay Area's CalTrain between SF and San Jose. Many prefer it to driving.

Bingo. The Los Angeles - San Fran trip is in that awkward zone: it's too far to be an easy drive, but too close to make the hassle of flying worthwhile. If I could take the train, I'd go to the Bay Area much more often.
 
2009-08-27 03:57:32 PM
GT_bike: bhcompy: emersonbiggins: Trains have to be profitable? What a double standard.

Interstate 35 has never sent me a check in the mail, representing its profitz. Not even once.

/never writes, nor calls, either
//starting to think it doesn't care

They're funded by use tax(fuel tax). Trains in the US have proven that they cannot be wholly supported by tickets(ie: use tax for the train).

Competition would make them more cost effective and more people would use them if the cost were reasonable.

We are going to Disneyland Monday for my wife and daughters' birthdays (free on b-day). 6 of us total with friend.

I can pay $19 each way per person on the Surfliner to get from SD to Anaheim then pay $1.50 per person each way to hop a stinky city bus from Union Station to Disneyland for $132 and lose at least 1 hour in bus transit and at least 45 minutes parking and train travel each way.

Or I can fill my 25 gallon tank at $3 per gallon ($75) and pay $10 parking, $85 door to door.

Why torture ourselves and the kids trying to go green by paying more and wasting time? Equal cost? Maybe. Cheaper? Done.


Competition won't improve that, since it's the infrastructure that costs so damn much.
 
2009-08-27 04:00:54 PM
liam76:
I have never taken a train even the "Accela" without a huge delay. In the past (10 yrs ago) there were a few times I was on 7 hour train rides that were standing only (not sure if that is still allowed).

If trains were on time, not absurdly expensive I would be all over them, but I haven't seen that yet in the North East.


And you likely won't, at least not anytime soon. A couple of points:

1. Acela looks the part, but is not HSR. It weighs twice as much as equivalent Euro HSR trains, thanks to onerous FRA regulations dating back to the early 1900s, when it was thought that half-million pound trains should not deform at all when run into other half-million pound trains. Imagine what passenger jets would look like under these regulations...

2. Acela operates on a hodgepodge of tracks, most dating back to the 1800s, with very sinuous curves throughout the route (read: slow).

As of yet, there has not been a true test of HSR in the US, at least until the government steps in, as been done with highways, and builds a dual-track passenger-rail-only infrastructure between two or more major cities. Any other analysis of HSR's viability or chance of success in the US, with respect to existing programs, is conjecture.
 
2009-08-27 04:00:56 PM
Mnemia: ambercricket: Why take two days to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles by rail when you can fly there in two hours? Right now, you can fly from SFO to San Diego for $78 round trip. I challenge anyone to show me that a massive government rail system can possibly charge the same fare for a trip that takes 5 times as long and still stay in business.

If you had real HSR, it would NOT take "5 times as long" for a distance like that, especially counting the ground transportation and logistics.


Really? The current plans show as many as 30 or more stops along the way. These trains won't be running at a bazillion miles per hours and they won't even be running at full speed in urban areas at all. How many stops does a plane make between SFO and LAX or the other regional airports?
 
2009-08-27 04:01:35 PM
Ug. Menlo Park. farking CITY OF OLD PEOPLE. Menlo Park holds up everything, I think Caltrain had a hard time getting through that city too.
 
2009-08-27 04:01:53 PM
Devin172: bhcompy: Pick better airports. At Long Beach, I'm in the airport, through security, and on my plane in 10 minutes. Baggage takes maybe 20-30min if I'm arriving. John Wayne is about 20min to your plane and 30-40min for baggage arriving.


Is Long Beach the main airport for air travel from Los Angeles to other points in California?


Why does it have to be the main one to be effective?
 
2009-08-27 04:03:48 PM
DeadZone: These the same environmentalists who fight the installation of transmission cables from the solar plants in the desert to LA to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?

My thought exactly.
 
2009-08-27 04:06:58 PM
TheOtherMisterP: Bingo. The Los Angeles - San Fran trip is in that awkward zone: it's too far to be an easy drive, but too close to make the hassle of flying worthwhile. If I could take the train, I'd go to the Bay Area much more often.

They're talking about high speed rail between the DC area and Virginia Beach, going through Richmond. I would say that's a good idea from where I sit. Definitely to Richmond. All the way to Norfolk I'm not as sure about. Part of the reason is that AMTRAK service south of Alexandria just falls off a cliff as far as reliability and frequency. I-95 is a tough drive, and linking the Hampton Roads and Richmond area to DC with better rail would make sense.

I also think the SoCal to Bay Area route is one of the few cases where better rail service would make some sense. But I would like to see one of the requirements be that it fund portions of the maintenance of the feeder systems, both deferred maintenance that exists now, and going forward.

Also, in the bigger picture I think we should move away from encouraging frequent travel in general, whether it's 400 miles or 40. Better community planning around smaller existing mass transit systems will do far more good than high technology long range travel options. Transit Oriented Development is far more beneficial to society as a whole than any high speed rail system ever will be. And it doesn't take billions in development costs. The urban development is going to happen anyway, it's just a matter of managing it smarter.
 
2009-08-27 04:07:37 PM
Devin172: Additionally, given general airport congestion, transportation to the airport, from the airport, baggage claim, and associated time wasting efforts you're looking at something like 4 hours spent to make a 90 minute trip.

And, naturally, the HSR will have none of these issues.
 
2009-08-27 04:08:39 PM
vernonFL: This. If you need to go from San Fran/Sacto to LA/San Diego, you take a plane.

The entire point is so you can make the trip without the plane. LAX is almost at capacity, SAN is almost at capacity, SFO is nearing capacity, and OAK is nearing capacity. None of them have land left for expansion, so HSR is a realistic option to alleviate stress on those airports.
 
2009-08-27 04:09:59 PM
GT_bike:
I can pay $19 each way per person on the Surfliner to get from SD to Anaheim then pay $1.50 per person each way to hop a stinky city bus from Union Station to Disneyland for $132 and lose at least 1 hour in bus transit and at least 45 minutes parking and train travel each way.

Or I can fill my 25 gallon tank at $3 per gallon ($75) and pay $10 parking, $85 door to door.


So, your point is that it costs you less to drive and is less onerous than taking transit? In my America? My, what a flag you've planted.

This obviously must mean that, despite 60 years of government interference in the transportation industry in favor of private automobiles and commercial aviation, that all programs of mass transit are a farce, based on their performance in the US alone.
 
2009-08-27 04:11:16 PM
liam76: bigvicproton: and this is just an example of whats going to happen when america realizes it has to have decent fast rail transportation from city center to city center and across the whole damn country. it has to happen, but the track lines it could have been built on were and are still being sold off, so it will be a nightmare to get them back and/or get new ones. and if they aren't more or less in some kind of straight line you will never be able to achieve the high speeds needed to make it useful. even in france, say from geneva to paris, the thing rarely makes it up to top speed and stays there for more than an hour.

I may be a little lost here, but who do we have to buy them back from?

I assumed the govt owned them, am I wrong on that? If not I think it would be a great case for eminent domain.


You assume incorrectly. The vast majority of all rail lines are owned by the railroads that operate on them. In fact, the reason is that the government GAVE them that land as an incentive to build the railroads in the first place. Not only that, but the railroads were given huge additional chunks of land as part of this same deal. Do you know who the single biggest owner of agricultural land in California is?.....


....Southern Pacific Railroad
 
2009-08-27 04:13:34 PM
mark12A: Build it ONLY if it can run profitably. Otherwise its a waste of economic resources.

Just like building airports is a waste of economic resources, right? How profitable is I-5 by the way?
 
2009-08-27 04:19:19 PM
lunchinlewis: TheOtherMisterP: Bingo. The Los Angeles - San Fran trip is in that awkward zone: it's too far to be an easy drive, but too close to make the hassle of flying worthwhile. If I could take the train, I'd go to the Bay Area much more often.

They're talking about high speed rail between the DC area and Virginia Beach, going through Richmond. I would say that's a good idea from where I sit. Definitely to Richmond. All the way to Norfolk I'm not as sure about. Part of the reason is that AMTRAK service south of Alexandria just falls off a cliff as far as reliability and frequency. I-95 is a tough drive, and linking the Hampton Roads and Richmond area to DC with better rail would make sense.

I also think the SoCal to Bay Area route is one of the few cases where better rail service would make some sense. But I would like to see one of the requirements be that it fund portions of the maintenance of the feeder systems, both deferred maintenance that exists now, and going forward.

Also, in the bigger picture I think we should move away from encouraging frequent travel in general, whether it's 400 miles or 40. Better community planning around smaller existing mass transit systems will do far more good than high technology long range travel options. Transit Oriented Development is far more beneficial to society as a whole than any high speed rail system ever will be. And it doesn't take billions in development costs. The urban development is going to happen anyway, it's just a matter of managing it smarter.


It could go into that most beautiful Train Station in Richmond.
I passed it on Monday and love it every time I pass it.
 
2009-08-27 04:20:58 PM
It's like how this one time I was going to stab a guy and he was like, "noooo!," so instead I went to shoot him and he complained about that too. He just couldn't make up his mind!

Ironic, huh?
 
2009-08-27 04:22:46 PM
Dances-With-Lobster: It's like how this one time I was going to stab a guy and he was like, "noooo!," so instead I went to shoot him and he complained about that too. He just couldn't make up his mind!

Ironic, huh?


farm3.static.flickr.com

Just like your post...
 
2009-08-27 04:23:31 PM
emersonbiggins: Trains have to be profitable? What a double standard.

Interstate 35 has never sent me a check in the mail, representing its profitz. Not even once.

/never writes, nor calls, either
//starting to think it doesn't care


You like to eat right? lot of food travels by truck.

Governments traditionally built roads to encourage commerce so they can tax that commerce. I'm sure the state has pull more revenue from taxes on that commerce than the cost to build said road.

Also the Interstates were built in large part to reduce our dependence on rail. When rail barons and rail unions got into a spat over divvying up what they charged to move goods it tended to fark with the economy something fierce.
 
2009-08-27 04:25:06 PM
I wouldn't call this an epiphany, but it might be the closest thing you'll see all day, so I'll put it in bold:

The business of moving people around costs money.

The only ones profitable at doing it have a friend in government (hello DOT, FAA) that absorbs the cost of their infrastructure, have a monopoly on a certain market, or are the most effective at using resources that have historically been priced without regard to their scarcity.

Freight is, and always will be more profitable than hauling around 350-lb lardasses who expect, nay demand 4-6 square feet to themselves at all times. Packages don't need snacks, trips to the bathroom, or "personal time" - they're just fine being stacked two pallets high and twenty deep. Try this with even the tiniest of Asian refugees.

Expecting transportation to turn a profit itself is ridiculous. Transportation and infrastructure in general is the medium that allows actual profits to happen.
 
2009-08-27 04:33:12 PM
emersonbiggins: I wouldn't call this an epiphany, but it might be the closest thing you'll see all day, so I'll put it in bold:

The business of moving people around costs money.

The only ones profitable at doing it have a friend in government (hello DOT, FAA) that absorbs the cost of their infrastructure, have a monopoly on a certain market, or are the most effective at using resources that have historically been priced without regard to their scarcity.

Freight is, and always will be more profitable than hauling around 350-lb lardasses who expect, nay demand 4-6 square feet to themselves at all times. Packages don't need snacks, trips to the bathroom, or "personal time" - they're just fine being stacked two pallets high and twenty deep. Try this with even the tiniest of Asian refugees.

Expecting transportation to turn a profit itself is ridiculous. Transportation and infrastructure in general is the medium that allows actual profits to happen.


THIS

And if the 350 lbs lard asses are traveling on their own dime they want to be there for free or at the most rock bottom fare.

Freight often has a time value to it (faster I get it there the faster I make money) or a deadline to meet. So companies pay a premium to get it there quick or by the deadline.
 
2009-08-27 04:33:32 PM
forresttriax: At burbank you can walk across the street and catch the metrolink and be in either downtown LA or go north to Ventura county in 25 minutes for $11.00

Nothing even close to that at LAX


yeah but good luck flying out of Burbank at an affordable price to anywhere worth flying. Unless you're on Southwest or like JetBlue (which, eh, they're not so much of a "discount" airline any more) Burbank really isn't a viable option.

//subway to the sea NOW. then I wouldn't have to drive to work any more.
 
2009-08-27 04:37:23 PM
emersonbiggins: Expecting transportation to turn a profit itself is ridiculous. Transportation and infrastructure in general is the medium that allows actual profits to happen.

Yeah, which is why I think any rail trip over 90 minutes becomes too long for people to consider using it as a business tool. I mean, if I can go DC to Richmond, VA in 45 minutes with trains on the hour, that gives my company an opportunity to compete in Richmond. I don't know how long the SoCal to Bay area trip would be, but I think they would have to expect some other niche user to incorporate it into their business plan.
 
2009-08-27 04:39:30 PM
crazytrpr:
THIS


I figured that last post would redeem my first one.

Transportation - one thing government, when properly committed, does well.
 
2009-08-27 04:49:54 PM
lunchinlewis:
Yeah, which is why I think any rail trip over 90 minutes becomes too long for people to consider using it as a business tool. I mean, if I can go DC to Richmond, VA in 45 minutes with trains on the hour, that gives my company an opportunity to compete in Richmond. I don't know how long the SoCal to Bay area trip would be, but I think they would have to expect some other niche user to incorporate it into their business plan.


I can't really speak for LA-SF (obviously, that hasn't stopped me), but Dallas-Houston has about 5,000 passengers moving back-and-forth daily during the week on short-haul flights. It's safely assumed that most of this is business travel for intrastate and interregional commerce, and provides a good proxy for how successful HSR might be within a region. It has the added benefit of freeing up airport capacity for more profitable long-haul flights as well.

FYI - 80% of flights between Madrid and Barcelona were diverted to HSR within two years of completion.
 
2009-08-27 04:50:36 PM
crazytrpr: You like to eat right? lot of food travels by truck.

Governments traditionally built roads to encourage commerce so they can tax that commerce. I'm sure the state has pull more revenue from taxes on that commerce than the cost to build said road.

Also the Interstates were built in large part to reduce our dependence on rail. When rail barons and rail unions got into a spat over divvying up what they charged to move goods it tended to fark with the economy something fierce.


While the points you make are partially true, we (as a nation) fund a lot of improvement projects that are completely unneeded from a freight point of view; they're needed due to rush-hour congestion. Freight can move at night, during the day, in other words, outside rush hour. So why do we keep funding highway improvement projects that only serve to make it easier for commuters to get there?

Oh, that's right, moving people helps the economy. It's the same justification that's used to allocate FAA funding to build airports so that private airlines can turn a profit.

Why is it that rail is different than either of those two? The only reason I can see is that people don't want to admit that passenger rail falls into the same category of infrastructure.
 
2009-08-27 04:54:11 PM
Costa Del Lex.

Luthorville.

Marina del Lex.

Otisburg...

Otisburg?
 
2009-08-27 04:57:04 PM
davidphogan: Oh, that's right, moving people helps the economy. It's the same justification that's used to allocate FAA funding to build airports so that private airlines can turn a profit.

Why is it that rail is different than either of those two? The only reason I can see is that people don't want to admit that passenger rail falls into the same category of infrastructure.


Not quite the same category. You have to add the caveat that rail is almost always part of a multi-modal solution. It's not quite the same as an Interstate, that feeds into highways and then side streets and then your destination, without transfers.
 
2009-08-27 04:59:22 PM
emersonbiggins: GT_bike:
I can pay $19 each way per person on the Surfliner to get from SD to Anaheim then pay $1.50 per person each way to hop a stinky city bus from Union Station to Disneyland for $132 and lose at least 1 hour in bus transit and at least 45 minutes parking and train travel each way.

Or I can fill my 25 gallon tank at $3 per gallon ($75) and pay $10 parking, $85 door to door.

So, your point is that it costs you less to drive and is less onerous than taking transit? In my America? My, what a flag you've planted.

This obviously must mean that, despite 60 years of government interference in the transportation industry in favor of private automobiles and commercial aviation, that all programs of mass transit are a farce, based on their performance in the US alone.


The wording of your response has me scratching my head on what you mean.

Mass transit at least here in USA should have competition to check the bloated bureaucracy of Amtrak. Freight traffic is cheap because of competition.

In Europe the cost is decent in spite of near total governmental control.

I say it's unions and no competition keeping us in the dark ages of effective mass transit.
 
2009-08-27 05:02:13 PM
Mnemia: BS. America "knew trains" perfectly well for many, many years, until our system was systematically dismantled and destroyed by corporate-backed government favoritism for roads and interstates. The ONLY thing lacking here is the political will.

My grandparents and great grandparents knew trains quite well. They sucked, hard. My grandma told me stories of how wonderful it was to have a car, even on the sh*tty roads of the day.

Trains are not the Mecca of transportation you think they are. They are not as versatile as roads, they cannot go as many places as roads, they are more expensive than roads.
 
2009-08-27 05:02:26 PM
lunchinlewis: Not quite the same category. You have to add the caveat that rail is almost always part of a multi-modal solution. It's not quite the same as an Interstate, that feeds into highways and then side streets and then your destination, without transfers.

And airplanes drop you off right at your destination as well?
 
2009-08-27 05:06:59 PM
davidphogan: And airplanes drop you off right at your destination as well?

What were you referring to when you said "Why is it that rail is different than either of those two?" I thought you meant road and airports. I was pointing out that roads are different cases, that's all.
 
2009-08-27 05:15:23 PM
SeamusFerrell: I like the Chicago plan:

Under Obama's "vision" for high speed rail, Chicago is in the running to be the center of a hub network linking Chicago, Milwaukee, Twin Cities, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Louisville.Link (new window)

Because I really want to go to those crapass towns.


They want to come here
 
2009-08-27 05:20:50 PM
Crosshair: Mnemia: BS. America "knew trains" perfectly well for many, many years, until our system was systematically dismantled and destroyed by corporate-backed government favoritism for roads and interstates. The ONLY thing lacking here is the political will.

My grandparents and great grandparents knew trains quite well. They sucked, hard. My grandma told me stories of how wonderful it was to have a car, even on the sh*tty roads of the day.

Trains are not the Mecca of transportation you think they are. They are not as versatile as roads, they cannot go as many places as roads, they are more expensive than roads.


A rail line in each direction is more expensive to build and maintain than 4 lanes wide 8" deep concrete over road bead in each direction?
 
2009-08-27 05:27:37 PM
I think I can I think I can I think I can... eventually
 
2009-08-27 05:29:26 PM
GT_bike:
The wording of your response has me scratching my head on what you mean.

Mass transit at least here in USA should have competition to check the bloated bureaucracy of Amtrak. Freight traffic is cheap because of competition.

In Europe the cost is decent in spite of near total governmental control.

I say it's unions and no competition keeping us in the dark ages of effective mass transit.


I would generally agree. The problem with Amtrak is not that it's a government-run agency, as you've ascertained re: the success of other countries' transit agencies, but that it is charged with a ridiculous mission - to turn a profit, while it's forced to use other companies' freight rights-of-way, limiting its application, speed and potential for growing ridership.

It's like a bus company that's forced to use nothing but toll roads - a bankrupt company, in other words.

As you've pointed out, unions obviously present their own problems.
 
2009-08-27 05:38:29 PM
forresttriax: Crosshair: Mnemia: BS. America "knew trains" perfectly well for many, many years, until our system was systematically dismantled and destroyed by corporate-backed government favoritism for roads and interstates. The ONLY thing lacking here is the political will.

My grandparents and great grandparents knew trains quite well. They sucked, hard. My grandma told me stories of how wonderful it was to have a car, even on the sh*tty roads of the day.

Trains are not the Mecca of transportation you think they are. They are not as versatile as roads, they cannot go as many places as roads, they are more expensive than roads.

A rail line in each direction is more expensive to build and maintain than 4 lanes wide 8" deep concrete over road bead in each direction?


It might not be expensive as the mega freeway, but it will be more expensive than replacing all the regular roads that make the grid. Make a train that moves your vehicle rather than moving people and you have a better product, because people still need to get places when they get to their destination.
 
2009-08-27 05:41:43 PM
ambercricket: And, naturally, the HSR will have none of these issues.


Much like how traffic on one bridge improves when you build a second bridge. Alleviate the crowding on one system by creating capacity on another system.
 
2009-08-27 05:44:20 PM
OnlyM3: Everyone's familiar with NIMBY
Not
in
My
Back
Yard

Ecowackos are Bananas
Build
Absolutely
Nothing
Anywhere
Near
Anyone


They are also C.A.V.E.s

Citizens
Against
Virtually
Everything
 
2009-08-27 05:51:14 PM
Pocket Ninja: Actually, it sounds more like Union Pacific is pretending to give a shiat about environmental concerns as a beard to protect its real interest, which is protecting its existing right-of-way.

Got it on the very Boobies...Dang, Fark comment forums are smart.

/well, sometimes.
 
2009-08-27 06:02:45 PM
I cannot believe noone has posted the best train activity in CA yet.

The annual Mooning of Amtrak!!!

farm4.static.flickr.com

Link SFW

Link (new window)
 
2009-08-27 06:08:52 PM
emersonbiggins:The problem with Amtrak is not that it's a government-run agency, as you've ascertained re: the success of other countries' transit agencies, but that it is charged with a ridiculous mission - to turn a profit, while it's forced to use other companies' freight rights-of-way, limiting its application, speed and potential for growing ridership..

SJ has to pay Banverket a track access fee, yet nonetheless passenger rail is profitable in Sweeden. And most other European system, while not profitable overall, have significantly lower losses than Amtrak.

Amtrak's problem is they're running services that the market rejected 40 years go, using equipment designed 35 years ago, at a performance level comparable to the 1930's. As long as Amtrak runs the way they run now, the results will be the same. Nobody outside the third world buys the kind of trains Amtrak (and many US transit agencies, for that matter) buys, and runs them the way Amtrak does, anymore, for the simple reason that the market will not accept it.
 
2009-08-27 06:12:50 PM
PsychoPhil: Amtrak's problem is they're running services that the market rejected 40 years go, using equipment designed 35 years ago, at a performance level comparable to the 1930's. As long as Amtrak runs the way they run now, the results will be the same.

That would be cause of federal regulations, which specify that freight has priority, and the FRA requires the trains they use to be what they use. It's not Amtrak's fault that our legislators sabotage trains in so many ways.
 
2009-08-27 06:35:34 PM
I echo davidphogan's comments re: FRA. Amtrak's equipment, and most cities' commuter/light rail systems are operating under extremely onerous regulations. Recall my comment that the Acela weighs 2x more than it's French cousin, entirely due to FRA regulations regarding train deformation tolerances.*

* - there's a joke in there somewhere
 
2009-08-27 07:01:21 PM
ecmoRandomNumbers: Ah, California.

It's like Florida, but on the left side.


America's ass vs America's wang?
 
2009-08-27 07:03:51 PM
ambercricket: stops

They are expecting just over 2 and a half hours from downtown SF to downtown LA for a typical service. Easily competitive timewise with air, and a lot less of a hassle
 
2009-08-27 07:06:31 PM
ChadManMn:
ecmoRandomNumbers: Ah, California.

It's like Florida, but on the left side.

America's ass vs America's wang?


That makes Texas the taint.
 
2009-08-27 07:09:28 PM
ambercricket: Really? The current plans show as many as 30 or more stops along the way. These trains won't be running at a bazillion miles per hours and they won't even be running at full speed in urban areas at all. How many stops does a plane make between SFO and LAX or the other regional airports?

I don't know the details of the "current plans" in California, but that is what "local" vs. "express" trains are for. You simply make some of the stations along the way (at regular intervals) have passing sidings, and then you can run non-stop trains through without stopping. They simply time it so that the faster train can pass the local while it's sitting in a station. Then you have people transfer from the express to a local at a transfer station to get to one of the stops that isn't served by the express.

Not that hard. This is how they do it in Japan, I know for a fact.
 
2009-08-27 07:17:03 PM
Crosshair: My grandparents and great grandparents knew trains quite well. They sucked, hard. My grandma told me stories of how wonderful it was to have a car, even on the sh*tty roads of the day.

Trains are not the Mecca of transportation you think they are. They are not as versatile as roads, they cannot go as many places as roads, they are more expensive than roads.


I've lived in countries with good HSR systems, and they do not suck.

I don't think they're a "Mecca of transportation". I do think that it's a good idea to diversify our transportation system to include them, for a variety of reasons.
 
2009-08-27 07:18:37 PM
Mnemia: I don't know the details of the "current plans" in California, but that is what "local" vs. "express" trains are for.

It sounds like from some of the planning docs I've read that they're planning something along those lines.
 
2009-08-27 07:20:21 PM
davidphogan: It sounds like from some of the planning docs I've read that they're planning something along those lines.

I would imagine they would be. Otherwise it would pretty much defeat the purpose of HSR.
 
2009-08-27 07:41:07 PM
phlegmmo: ChadManMn:
ecmoRandomNumbers: Ah, California.

It's like Florida, but on the left side.

America's ass vs America's wang?

That makes Texas the taint.


Pass me that cactus.... I have an itchy taint
 
2009-08-27 07:48:32 PM
Make the High Speed Rail System a CAR CARRIER!!!

Problem solved.

That will be $9.3 million in consultation fees, please.
 
2009-08-27 07:48:37 PM
dittybopper: Mnemia


Doot-doo-da-doo-doot.


Ma-nah, ma-nah.
 
2009-08-27 07:51:53 PM
jayessell: Make the High Speed Rail System a CAR CARRIER!!!

Problem solved.

That will be $9.3 million in consultation fees, please.


It's been discussed, as is having cargo cars paid for by companies like FedEx and UPS that currently depend on air freight to move next day packages.
 
2009-08-27 08:03:19 PM
Feh. Silliness. There is no reason to waste a moment listening to enviro-hippy douches. We need to get them all to head off to some cave in the hills so that the rest of us can get on with the real world. I have two issues with this story. 1) enviormental impact studies are horsecrap. They are a massive waste of time and money. 2) Ca. is in massive debt and should not be spending a damn thing, certainly not on some overpriced train system.
 
2009-08-27 08:20:27 PM
Ima4nic8or: Feh. Silliness. There is no reason to waste a moment listening to enviro-hippy douches. We need to get them all to head off to some cave in the hills so that the rest of us can get on with the real world. I have two issues with this story. 1) enviormental impact studies are horsecrap. They are a massive waste of time and money. 2) Ca. is in massive debt and should not be spending a damn thing, certainly not on some overpriced train system.

I sense a whole lot of DRTFA.

lunchinlewis: They're not blocking it so much as pushing for an alternative route is what I get from reading the article. What's wrong with that?

If the high speed rail is going to impact Union Pacific's freight operations they deserve to be heard. Freight rail can be incredibly successful and reduces roadway traffic/pollution. So high speed rail needs to learn how to play well with others.


Your statement sounds far too well-informed and sensible to be here on FARK. I'm going to have to ask you to leave plz.
 
2009-08-27 08:45:46 PM
I take stuff like BART sometimes when it works for me. Like when I'm going to an A's game. I drive from here (Stockton) to Dublin and ride from there. Sure, its a PITA to get a train going back because of the huge amount of people when the game ends, but heck, the parking costs more than 2 roundtrip tickets.

When my wife recently had a work thing in SF they took BART also because the hotel they stayed at was 2 blocks from a station.

But if I'm going to go visit my Uncle in Foster City, I'm gonna drive, because BART doesn't go there, and I'm not going to make a hop from BART to another train, to a bus, etc etc.

Although there are a lot of people that do that kind of stuff, mainly transit works if there isn't more than one change. I'd consider it if I could take BART to Caltrain, and Caltrain was a block from my uncle's. But I start to yearn for my car when I think about another hop to a bus. That, and the simple fact is, the direct route to my Uncles would be hours and distance shorter, because I'd have to take BART into SF, then Caltrain from SF south.

Easier for me to just drive 580/238/880/92, pay my penance at the toll plaza and I'm there. I wouldn't even be in SF by then.

It works in a lot of places because its close, on either side of the travel. I used to take light rail in Sacramento when I lived there because I lived 2 blocks from the station and my work was 3 blocks from a station. That I can tolerate. But once I started working in Rancho Cordova and my work was 4 MILES from the station....not so much. And I worked late, light rail stopped running at midnight. I couldn't walk the 4 miles to get to the station, I'd literally had to have had someone drive me there every night. And thats a pain for a co-worker, no matter how friendly you may be with them.

Oh, I did try it once, with a bike. I figured I could cover more ground with a bike. Going there wasn't an issue-LR to the closest station, then get on a bus with a bike rack so I wouldn't be all sweaty when I got to work.

But that bus stopped running at 5pm. I had to ride like the wind to make LR on time. Oh, only 2 bikes allowed per train, and when I showed up the second time and was denied entry because there were 2 bikes on it already (and I had to call a friend, at 11 at night, for a ride because it was the last train!) I said the heck with it and started driving again. I gave it a chance a few times, but it just didn't work for me.

And those are the kind of obstacles that sink and will continue to sink mass transit in most areas. Where I work now, busses don't even run. Ok, I could catch one 2 miles away, every 2 hours. I'm not sitting around for 2 hours.

Freeway here I come! And for many people even with this, it will stay that way. The moment I can choose when to have a train/bus pick me up and when to drop me, door to door, I'll reconsider it. It doesn't work for me, it doesn't work for many others. Thats why it fails. Unless the bus is going to stop at every business in every town to appease every person, on time...

Yeah right!
 
2009-08-27 09:03:58 PM
whakojacko: ambercricket: stops

They are expecting just over 2 and a half hours from downtown SF to downtown LA for a typical service. Easily competitive timewise with air, and a lot less of a hassle


And you actually believe that? The HSR directors also claim a number of departures from San Francisco that will be more than even Shinjuku (the busiest train hub in the world) can manage. The numbers the HSR advocates have been feeding the public are so absurd that they border on outright lies.

Consider that to this day BART has cost several times as much as its initial budget was claimed to be, still fails to serve the entire area it was supposed to and has such unreliable service that even now it doesn't issue a real schedule. The trains use non-standard systems so they cost twice as much as conventional trains to maintain and many of its parts have only a single supplier in the entire world. The same people involved with BART are involved with HSR.

I absolutely guarantee that the HSR project will be the biggest white elephant California has every pissed its money away on.
 
2009-08-27 09:12:18 PM
Mnemia: ambercricket: Really? The current plans show as many as 30 or more stops along the way. These trains won't be running at a bazillion miles per hours and they won't even be running at full speed in urban areas at all. How many stops does a plane make between SFO and LAX or the other regional airports?

I don't know the details of the "current plans" in California, but that is what "local" vs. "express" trains are for. You simply make some of the stations along the way (at regular intervals) have passing sidings, and then you can run non-stop trains through without stopping. They simply time it so that the faster train can pass the local while it's sitting in a station. Then you have people transfer from the express to a local at a transfer station to get to one of the stops that isn't served by the express.

Not that hard. This is how they do it in Japan, I know for a fact.


One problem -- none of that is part of the HSR plan.

Japan has a fantastic rail system that I love to use every time I am there. Unfortunately, California is not Japan. Public transportation of any sort in California is a chaotic mish-mash of fiefdoms who all refuse to cooperate with each other. Do you know how many years it took just to get the busses in the East Bay to stop at BART stations at all? I still remember having to use the Ashby BART station because you couldn't get a bus at the station close to campus. I had long since graduated by the time they fixed something so stupidly simple.

Remember that these same agencies will ALL be demanding a piece of the HSR pie. I seriously doubt I will live long enough to see the first train leave the station even if the whole boondoggle gets funded.
 
2009-08-27 09:24:32 PM
The best thing about efficient public transportation? Saving the planet? Naw, the best thing is a good mass transit system keeps a lot of poorly maintained, uninsured shiatwagon cars off the road. You see, most of these people really aren't evil, they have no choice. Good pubnlic transportation makes for safer roads
 
2009-08-27 10:54:08 PM
Be Well: Freeway here I come! And for many people even with this, it will stay that way. The moment I can choose when to have a train/bus pick me up and when to drop me, door to door, I'll reconsider it. It doesn't work for me, it doesn't work for many others. Thats why it fails. Unless the bus is going to stop at every business in every town to appease every person, on time...

Yeah, cause when you fly somewhere it's exactly as convenient as you described it. Right?
 
2009-08-27 11:02:18 PM
Roger Arseways: PlusCestLaMeme: Um, why the exception for veterans benefits? If the prop system is retarded (which it is), why not vote against all of them?

Because I don't want to deny funding to veterans because of dumb politics.


How about a high speed rail system ... for veterans? How about more prison building ... for veterans? How about more school construction bonds ... for veterans?

As soon as they find out what will cause voters to pass a prop, every prop will somehow become about that.

By the way, the high speed rail system is an expensive boondoggle that will lose its ass while taking a negligible number of cars off the road. People keep voting for this garbage not because they plan to use it themselves but because they think it'll get all those other cars off of their road so they can get to work faster.
 
2009-08-27 11:07:01 PM
ambercricket: Japan has a fantastic rail system that I love to use every time I am there. Unfortunately, California is not Japan. Public transportation of any sort in California is a chaotic mish-mash of fiefdoms who all refuse to cooperate with each other.

Also keep in mind that Japan's population density is 339 persons per square kilometer, while California's is 90. That makes public transit much more cost-effective.
 
2009-08-27 11:31:26 PM
palo alto shiat-heads fark everything up for everybody.
 
2009-08-27 11:45:03 PM
jjorsett:
Also keep in mind that Japan's population density is 339 persons per square kilometer, while California's is 90. That makes public transit much more cost-effective.


California's 90 is right in line with France (77) and Spain (85), where one of the world's most successful HSR lines (in terms of ridership) was launched less than two years ago.
 
2009-08-27 11:47:32 PM
Correction - France's pop. density is 110/sq km. Still within line, though.
 
2009-08-28 12:07:12 AM
emersonbiggins: Correction - France's pop. density is 110/sq km. Still within line, though.

The endpoints matter more, also. What's San Fran's density and LA's density? To add ridership, also assume people from San Diego and Tijuana will use it eventually too.
 
2009-08-28 12:26:04 AM
ambercricket: whakojacko: ambercricket: stops

... still fails to serve the entire area it was supposed to a


Because the people on Menlo Park, Atherton, and Palo Alto didn't approve it in the 60s. I'm guessing you live in one of those places.

Has such unreliable service that even now it doesn't issue a real schedule.

You mean like this? iBart is a very nice application for the iPhone as well. You're probably thinking of MUNI, which doesn't publish a real schedule, and is a flaming pile of poo.

The trains use non-standard systems so they cost twice as much as conventional trains to maintain and many of its parts have only a single supplier in the entire world. The same people involved with BART are involved with HSR.

BARTs trains suck; non standard gauge with bespoke signaling system makes them expensive and hard to maintain. HSR will run on standard gauge on steel wheels with overhead electric.

Earlier you said 30 stops, when it's less than 10. You don't really know what you're trolling about do you. Which website are you getting this erroneous information from?
 
2009-08-28 12:30:30 AM
Hammster: Which website are you getting this erroneous information from?

I'd be it's ilovetomakestuffuptosuitmyargument.com. If that's not registered, I'm claiming a trademark.
 
2009-08-28 03:40:44 AM
Bored Horde: eddie van heinous: Sigh. That high speed rail was first proposed over 10 years ago, and will take over 10 years just to build the first segment.

I'll be 6 feet under by the time that thing ever runs.

The alternative is you can build it on shoddy rock so that the track shifts and requires a multi-billion dollar repair job, after a train derails at 300 MPH and destroys a small town.


It doesn't take decades to survey that.
 
2009-08-28 08:15:48 AM
Just like how environmentalists fought to prevent a nice sea gate on the intercoastal waterway near new orleans - it will hurt the aminals waaaaa.

Oh, sorry about those dead people from Katrina, our bad.

/People>animals>animal activists
 
2009-08-28 09:37:04 AM
forresttriax: A rail line in each direction is more expensive to build and maintain than 4 lanes wide 8" deep concrete over road bead in each direction?

On a per lane basis, yes. Rail is more expensive. Per unit of capacity, it looks even worse for rail.

My dad is a surveyor and once worked at the coal mines in ND doing surveying work for, among other things, the rail network. Maintaining railroads is very expensive and labor intensive. The grades must be precisely calculated, the rails MUST be parallel to a very tight tolerance. A road by comparison is very easy to build and maintain. Slap down a decent roadbed and pour concrete on top. Grades that would stop a train cold can be navigated by cars with ease.

Light rail runs about $35 million per mile with a range of 15 to 100 million per mile. A single lane of freeway runs about half that while heavy rail costs twice as much as light rail.

More expensive and less versatile. I can't imagine why trains are only used nowadays for bulk transportation nowadays.

Here are a couple of good links.

Link (new window)

Link (new window)

Link (new window)
 
2009-08-28 10:43:03 AM
Crosshair:
Light rail runs about $35 million per mile with a range of 15 to 100 million per mile. A single lane of freeway runs about half that while heavy rail costs twice as much as light rail.)


Why do you insist on comparing apples with oranges? Very few freeways that I know of are one-lane, and most urban freeways have 6-10 lanes, many times running about 3-4 times the cost of light rail. Also, urban freeways are well correlated with a wholesale reduction in surrounding property values, whereas just the opposite occurs with commuter, light and heavy rail systems.

BTW, your links are fail. Next time, just link to Wendell Cox's data directly (demographia.org), and save us the trouble of pinpointing your bias.
 
2009-08-28 11:51:32 AM
Mnemia: DarnoKonrad: Made sense when most of the oil in the world was drilled here.

Cheap coal electricity will look this stupid in 50 years as well.

America's big problem is that we are so capitalist that we only care about results/efficiency/sustainability/effectiveness in the very short term (nothing wrong with capitalism, but it does create a bias towards short-term-thinking). I personally think we need to temper that a bit. Short-term results are good, but not at the expense of larger long-term costs. I would argue that the best way to ensure long-term sustainability in energy or transportation infrastructure is to invest in deploying a diverse mix of different technologies. That way, we aren't stuck with ridiculously high costs to replace EVERYTHING should one or another technology become unsustainable for whatever reason in the future.



I disagree that capitalism is the cause of short term thinking. I would instead say the current system, and Wall Street in particular, are to blame. With the stock market system, short term gains and share price are the dominant concern of corporate executives.
 
2009-08-28 09:33:31 PM
Our environ-mentals have been mucking up the program for a long time now.
We can't build a cleaner refinery, we can't go to nuke power,
they request alt energy and complained when windmills were put up.
Cutting down old growth can save a forest from being wiped out by fire....can't do it.
Spiking trees kills the farking tree...doesn't matter.
Burning SUVs, or a laboratory
releases horribly poisonous chemicals...
releasing non-native species into the ecosystem dooms them, or another species...

In the initial attempt to curry favor with the radicals, California has given the inmates the keys to the institution.

And you can see what it has gotten us.
 
2009-08-30 02:35:04 AM
DarnoKonrad: Oh, and railroads are bastards.

Yeah, those bastards that make a lot of the goods you buy cheaper by providing the most efficient land transportation avialable. WTF?
 
2009-08-30 03:20:54 AM
tuna hp: Southern CA does not at all. So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.

Ahem. There are two or three rental car companies operating now in LA;s Union Station. You also have to rent a car when you fly into LA. So your point is?
 
2009-08-30 03:36:45 AM
Mnemia: Things like HSR are about the future, not the present. I will agree that there's no point in building it unless you want to revolutionize your whole transportation system, but that's kind of the point, isn't it?

And in fact, LA County just approved a 1/2 cent sales tax increase that will be in effect for thirty years and allow us to greatly expand our rail system. It's nexus is in Union Station, where I presume the HSR will wind up. You can already get from there to the Mid Wilshire and out to North Hollywood, and to Pasadena and shortly East LA. A line going towards Santa Monica will have it's first segment open soon and they are going to roll a long with that. The long beach line is kind of skeevy, but so are you if that's where you're headed.

In thirty years, the HSR may or may not be ready, but we will be. Gotta remember where we are going too. Villraigrosa is pushing to expedite the "Subway to the Sea", and we have other "Shovel Ready" projects in the pipeline to fill out the system, as well as several other routes being built as we sit here.

Considering we started from zero not very long ago, the system is already pretty useful if your starting point is Union Station, and gets moreso with every new completed segment.
 
2009-08-30 03:46:12 AM
bhcompy: or a huge sprawling metropolis it does, but in reality many parts of the area are not adequately serviced. The reason isn't because of a lack of trying though. The geography of LA kills it. There is no centralized job center and housing is everywhere.

Um, did you know MANHATTAN wouldn't be what it is today and could not survive in anything like it's current form, without the subways. Guess what happened first? No subway, no Empire State Building.

In LA we are already seeing a flurry of higher density development anywhere the subway, and to a lesser extent Light Rail establishes a station. A lot of the condo developments in Pasadena were in response to nearby access to the Gold Line. Which they want to take out to Claremont and then Cucamonga and it could conceivably reach San Bernadino. At that point you have the old Red Car system back, except mostly grade separated, and barriered off from traffic, faster, smoother and more comfortable, with air conditioning. On the LACTMA website they have a lot of information about what projects will be funded under the new sales tax. And San Francisco already has a decent system. So what was the question again?

/chicken-egg
 
2009-08-30 04:06:34 AM
beerbaron: bhcompy: or a huge sprawling metropolis it does, but in reality many parts of the area are not adequately serviced. The reason isn't because of a lack of trying though. The geography of LA kills it. There is no centralized job center and housing is everywhere.

Um, did you know MANHATTAN wouldn't be what it is today and could not survive in anything like it's current form, without the subways. Guess what happened first? No subway, no Empire State Building.

In LA we are already seeing a flurry of higher density development anywhere the subway, and to a lesser extent Light Rail establishes a station. A lot of the condo developments in Pasadena were in response to nearby access to the Gold Line. Which they want to take out to Claremont and then Cucamonga and it could conceivably reach San Bernadino. At that point you have the old Red Car system back, except mostly grade separated, and barriered off from traffic, faster, smoother and more comfortable, with air conditioning. On the LACTMA website they have a lot of information about what projects will be funded under the new sales tax. And San Francisco already has a decent system. So what was the question again?

/chicken-egg


Quiet, you're making sense and we can't have that on Fark!
 
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