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(LA Times)   Damn, without a high speed train train how will subby ever get from BFN to BFE?   (latimes.com) divider line 99
    More: Fail, high-speed trains, Sacramento, Bill Lockyer, trains  
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1587 clicks; posted to Politics » on 27 Nov 2013 at 7:35 AM (34 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-27 03:57:35 AM
I'm starting to think that if Elon released his Hyperloop plans about five years earlier Proposition 1A probably wouldn't have been approved.
 
2013-11-27 04:15:00 AM
Like we do now: by car.  Faster, cheaper, and more convenient.
 
2013-11-27 07:37:34 AM

phlegmmo: Like we do now: by car.  Faster, cheaper, and more convenient.


But, but, but if everyone should want to live in high-rise filing cabinets with no  yard and 2 windows in the middle of a city, using buses and trains to get everywhere, and they should like it!
 
2013-11-27 07:41:47 AM
i293.photobucket.com
 
2013-11-27 07:41:59 AM

SurfaceTension: phlegmmo: Like we do now: by car.  Faster, cheaper, and more convenient.

But, but, but if everyone should want to live in high-rise filing cabinets with no  yard and 2 windows in the middle of a city, using buses and trains to get everywhere, and they should like it!


If we were all living in high rises, zip-lines would be the preferred mode of transportation
 
2013-11-27 07:42:27 AM
Telecommute. Duh
 
2013-11-27 07:48:45 AM
"Maybe we are not building the right high-speed rail project. If you were the captain of the Titanic, would you order full speed ahead after hitting an iceberg?"


Wow. Your analogies stink, buddy.
 
2013-11-27 07:49:29 AM

quatchi: [i293.photobucket.com image 512x512]


You're right. When the people who put this thing together can't even follow through on the very first commitment they've made, it doesn't bode well for the rest of the project. "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission" takes on a bit different meaning when you're $25 billion short before breaking ground. This project hasn't even started yet and it's already making the Big Dig look like a textbook case of foresight, prudence and efficiency.
 
2013-11-27 07:53:14 AM

SurfaceTension: phlegmmo: Like we do now: by car.  Faster, cheaper, and more convenient.

But, but, but if everyone should want to live in high-rise filing cabinets with no  yard and 2 windows in the middle of a city, using buses and trains to get everywhere, and they should like it!


You sound fat.
 
2013-11-27 07:54:50 AM
I like how the opponents of these things always flip out that they won't be self sustaining. How much does a highway or a residential street for that matter make?
 
2013-11-27 07:57:42 AM

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: quatchi: [i293.photobucket.com image 512x512]

You're right. When the people who put this thing together can't even follow through on the very first commitment they've made, it doesn't bode well for the rest of the project. "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission" takes on a bit different meaning when you're $25 billion short before breaking ground. This project hasn't even started yet and it's already making the Big Dig look like a textbook case of foresight, prudence and efficiency.


Damn.  Having driven through the last few years of that hell, I can say, that's damned impressive.

NickelP: I like how the opponents of these things always flip out that they won't be self sustaining. How much does a highway or a residential street for that matter make?


You mean your street doesn't just spontaneously sprout quarters? Huh....
 
2013-11-27 08:01:28 AM

SurfaceTension: phlegmmo: Like we do now: by car.  Faster, cheaper, and more convenient.

But, but, but if everyone should want to live in high-rise filing cabinets with no  yard and 2 windows in the middle of a city, using buses and trains to get everywhere, and they should like it!


"Offering a new option? Surely this is somehow some sort of reflection on all modes of living and transport, so I must make angry comments on the internet that I think are humorous but really belie a deep misunderstanding of the world."
 
2013-11-27 08:01:47 AM
It's a BFD.
 
2013-11-27 08:02:34 AM
At 68 billion (probably more) I'd say corruption is a bigger problem than figuring out which fund to raid.
Even the hyperloop platinum plan came out cheaper than that.
 
2013-11-27 08:04:11 AM

NickelP: I like how the opponents of these things always flip out that they won't be self sustaining. How much does a highway or a residential street for that matter make?


They're landing strips for streetlights, which bring us advanced technology. Without residential streets, we wouldn't have velcro.
 
2013-11-27 08:06:13 AM
FTA:  In a major legal blow to the California bullet train, a Sacramento judge ruled that state officials cannot pursue their plan to tap billions of dollars in voter-approved bond funding for construction, a decision that could cause indefinite delays in the massive $68-billion project.

Typical activist judge overriding the will of the people.
 
2013-11-27 08:06:26 AM
Bloemfontein, South Africa to Bielefeld, Germany? Take a plane. That's a hell of a train ride.
 
2013-11-27 08:06:55 AM

NickelP: I like how the opponents of these things always flip out that they won't be self sustaining. How much does a highway or a residential street for that matter make?


Maybe the problem has something to do with the fact that the people who wrote the ballot measure want to continue despite not following through on what was contained in said ballot measure.

This isn't about whether high-speed rail is desirable, it's a simple violation of their own promise. They got the proposition passed by making certain commitments, and from the sound of it you don't think they should bother following through on them. You seem to be OK with someone saying, "give me a bunch of money to build something, and I'll get a bunch from that other guy... oh, you know what, that other guy didn't give me the money but I'm still going to take yours... and most likely will eventually expect you to give me the money that I said was going to come from the other guy".
 
2013-11-27 08:15:04 AM

Trail of Dead: SurfaceTension: phlegmmo: Like we do now: by car.  Faster, cheaper, and more convenient.

But, but, but if everyone should want to live in high-rise filing cabinets with no  yard and 2 windows in the middle of a city, using buses and trains to get everywhere, and they should like it!

You sound fat.


You sound judgemental
 
2013-11-27 08:15:29 AM

phlegmmo: Like we do now: by car.  Faster, cheaper, and more convenient.


More convenient? Maybe in the middle of nowhere, where land is cheap enough to build huge parking lots.

Faster? Maybe in the middle of nowhere, where road capacity won't be an issue.

Cheaper? Maybe in the middle of nowhere, where there is no traffic. (Sitting in traffic costs money. Billions a year.)
 
2013-11-27 08:15:33 AM
Don't worry, that Musk guy is going to build a train that sucks you there.
 
2013-11-27 08:16:01 AM

LasersHurt: SurfaceTension: phlegmmo: Like we do now: by car.  Faster, cheaper, and more convenient.

But, but, but if everyone should want to live in high-rise filing cabinets with no  yard and 2 windows in the middle of a city, using buses and trains to get everywhere, and they should like it!

"Offering a new option? Surely this is somehow some sort of reflection on all modes of living and transport, so I must make angry comments on the internet that I think are humorous but really belie a deep misunderstanding of the world."


I understand the world just fine enough to know that I want to spend as much time not living close to others as possible. Thanks for playing.
 
2013-11-27 08:19:42 AM

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: NickelP: I like how the opponents of these things always flip out that they won't be self sustaining. How much does a highway or a residential street for that matter make?

Maybe the problem has something to do with the fact that the people who wrote the ballot measure want to continue despite not following through on what was contained in said ballot measure.

This isn't about whether high-speed rail is desirable, it's a simple violation of their own promise. They got the proposition passed by making certain commitments, and from the sound of it you don't think they should bother following through on them. You seem to be OK with someone saying, "give me a bunch of money to build something, and I'll get a bunch from that other guy... oh, you know what, that other guy didn't give me the money but I'm still going to take yours... and most likely will eventually expect you to give me the money that I said was going to come from the other guy".


maybe Im not very familier with this rail line. it seems everytime a rail proposal comes up the opponents slam it for not being self sustaining too. hell nationally look at amtrak and the post office for this. sometimes its ok to spend money on infrastructure at a loss. the gov isn't sopposed to be a business or we wouldn't have a need for taxes.
 
2013-11-27 08:22:24 AM

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: NickelP: I like how the opponents of these things always flip out that they won't be self sustaining. How much does a highway or a residential street for that matter make?

Maybe the problem has something to do with the fact that the people who wrote the ballot measure want to continue despite not following through on what was contained in said ballot measure.

This isn't about whether high-speed rail is desirable, it's a simple violation of their own promise. They got the proposition passed by making certain commitments, and from the sound of it you don't think they should bother following through on them. You seem to be OK with someone saying, "give me a bunch of money to build something, and I'll get a bunch from that other guy... oh, you know what, that other guy didn't give me the money but I'm still going to take yours... and most likely will eventually expect you to give me the money that I said was going to come from the other guy".


I agree with you; prohibiting them from spending the money because they failed to fulfill the other terms of the contract is fine.  But I also agree with Harvey; there's a double standard when it comes to expectations of mass transit versus private vehicles.

We've been addicted to the automobile for almost seventy years in the U.S. and as a result we built sprawling population centers that require a vehicle to effectively traverse.  That was great when gasoline was cheap, but it's not sustainable indefinitely.  90% of local public transit is a joke, and regional and national mass transit is an even bigger joke.  And we're so closely tethered to individual transportation that we don't have the cultural or political will to fix the problem.

The Interstate Highway Project was a modern wonder of the world, and it's a shame we can't do the same thing with a large Federal investment, particularly when the cost for the government to borrow money has in recent years been the cheapest in a generation.
 
2013-11-27 08:23:40 AM

flucto: Don't worry, that Musk guy is going to build a train that sucks you there.


The Hoover Mover? The Suck 'n Slide? The Blow 'n Go?
 
2013-11-27 08:23:49 AM

way south: At 68 billion (probably more) I'd say corruption is a bigger problem than figuring out which fund to raid.
Even the hyperloop platinum plan came out cheaper than that.


Posting concepts on the Internet is free, so yeah, much cheaper.
 
2013-11-27 08:23:52 AM

UNC_Samurai: But I also agree with Harvey NickelP


Sorry, FTFM; not all the way through my morning coffee.
 
2013-11-27 08:24:08 AM
Americans, as represented by their U.S. Government, are too corrupt to build trains.
 
2013-11-27 08:24:42 AM
Subby, go from BFN to BFE on a high speed train? As opposed to train train?
 
2013-11-27 08:25:13 AM
I wonder how much stock that judge owns/gets in campaign contributions in petro-energy and highway construction firms.
 
2013-11-27 08:25:29 AM

Muta: FTA:  In a major legal blow to the California bullet train, a Sacramento judge ruled that state officials cannot pursue their plan to tap billions of dollars in voter-approved bond funding for construction, a decision that could cause indefinite delays in the massive $68-billion project.

Typical activist judge overriding the will of the people.


The will of the people, as expressed in unambiguous language in the initiative, was for more than borrowing money. It included provisions for having all funding in place, full environment review for the full route, a speed requirement, full rights-of-way acquisition, and numerous other requirements, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF WHICH has not been met. What astounds me is how the project got as far as this without having been shut down by a court earlier for those reasons.
 
2013-11-27 08:27:35 AM

NickelP:

maybe Im not very familier with this rail line. it seems everytime a rail proposal comes up the opponents slam it for not being self sustaining too. hell nationally look at amtrak and the post office for this. sometimes its ok to spend money on infrastructure at a loss. the gov isn't sopposed to be a business or we wouldn't have a need for taxes.



The post office wouldn't be losing money if they weren't required to maintain a pension fund for retired post office workers that aren't even born yet.
 
2013-11-27 08:28:51 AM

HotIgneous Intruder: Americans, as represented by their U.S. Government, are too corrupt to build trains.


Not if we took a page from Russia and built our trains using the labor force of the Gulags and bury those who couldn't survive the labor in unmarked graves not far from where they were building it.

I mean if we're going to have a "For Profit" prison system, we might as well use some of that labor to build railroads.
 
2013-11-27 08:29:29 AM

NickelP: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: NickelP: I like how the opponents of these things always flip out that they won't be self sustaining. How much does a highway or a residential street for that matter make?

Maybe the problem has something to do with the fact that the people who wrote the ballot measure want to continue despite not following through on what was contained in said ballot measure.

This isn't about whether high-speed rail is desirable, it's a simple violation of their own promise. They got the proposition passed by making certain commitments, and from the sound of it you don't think they should bother following through on them. You seem to be OK with someone saying, "give me a bunch of money to build something, and I'll get a bunch from that other guy... oh, you know what, that other guy didn't give me the money but I'm still going to take yours... and most likely will eventually expect you to give me the money that I said was going to come from the other guy".

maybe Im not very familier with this rail line. it seems everytime a rail proposal comes up the opponents slam it for not being self sustaining too. hell nationally look at amtrak and the post office for this. sometimes its ok to spend money on infrastructure at a loss. the gov isn't sopposed to be a business or we wouldn't have a need for taxes.


The initiative that authorized this project REQUIRES that it be self-sustaining. If it was sold to the people on that basis, if it must satisfy that mandate by law, then it has to deliver or not be built.
 
2013-11-27 08:30:20 AM

NickelP: I like how the opponents of these things always flip out that they won't be self sustaining. How much does a highway or a residential street for that matter make?


Not the point. The initiative to fund the project explicitly required it to be self sustaining to authorize the bond issue.

If the proponents can't meet that condition, they can go back to the voters with a non-self sustaining plan. Odds are high it'll *fail*, but if you're going to ask for sixty *billion* dollars, you damn well better be prepared to keep the promises you make as a condition of getting the cash
 
2013-11-27 08:30:53 AM

SurfaceTension: I understand the world just fine enough to know that I want to spend as much time not living close to others as possible.


Speaking as a member of "others," we appreciate the consideration.
 
2013-11-27 08:32:13 AM

Weatherkiss: HotIgneous Intruder: Americans, as represented by their U.S. Government, are too corrupt to build trains.

Not if we took a page from Russia and built our trains using the labor force of the Gulags and bury those who couldn't survive the labor in unmarked graves not far from where they were building it.

I mean if we're going to have a "For Profit" prison system, we might as well use some of that labor to build railroads.


The "capitalists" haven't thought of that yet.
Give them time.
Inmates could "volunteer" for train construction and earn 10 bucks a day or something.
 
2013-11-27 08:33:41 AM

HotIgneous Intruder: Weatherkiss: HotIgneous Intruder: Americans, as represented by their U.S. Government, are too corrupt to build trains.

Not if we took a page from Russia and built our trains using the labor force of the Gulags and bury those who couldn't survive the labor in unmarked graves not far from where they were building it.

I mean if we're going to have a "For Profit" prison system, we might as well use some of that labor to build railroads.

The "capitalists" haven't thought of that yet.
Give them time.
Inmates could "volunteer" for train construction and earn 10 bucks a day or something.


10 ounces of weed = 10 miles of rail. I can see the Drug-Free America PSAs now.
 
2013-11-27 08:33:49 AM
It's more of a Shelbyville idea.
 
2013-11-27 08:36:01 AM
The TFA's contention that federal funds could be used to keep the project going for a while is BS. The fed funds require 50% matching funds from the state, which this ruling makes impossible. If CA tries spending the fed money anyway, it'll be fun to see what kind of reaction they get from the feds.
 
2013-11-27 08:36:14 AM
Yeah - subsidizing cars and highways is a much better use of public funds...

http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/streetcar-gif-toronto.gif
 
2013-11-27 08:40:14 AM
FTA: If you were the captain of the Titanic, would you order full speed ahead after hitting an iceberg?"

You know what? I think we're going to have to start a licensing system for metaphor and simile. If you can't them responsibly, you shouldn't use them at all.
 
2013-11-27 08:41:06 AM
Here's the problem with Amtrak. I plan on traveling tomorrow (Thanksgiving) from just south of Washington DC to Savannah, GA. I'm leaving early in the morning, around 3-4am so that I get there around noon to 1pm. It's a trip I make about every 6 weeks or so and takes me, on average, about 8.5 hours, costs approximately $150 in gas, and puts about 1100 miles on my vehicle.

I worked up an itinerary for Amtrak. One round trip ticket costs $425. To get there I must leave at 8:27, have a layover of 1:58 in Richmond, then take another 9:01 to get to Savannah. Not counting time to get to and from the stations, that's a 12:36 hour trip, or about 4 hours longer than it takes by car. To get back, the schedule says it will take 12:02, or about 3.5 hours longer than by car. Not to mention I'm paying approximately $275 more for the pleasure. I'll drive, thank you.

Oh, and for the record I use public transport to get to/from work on the days I don't telework. But having a transportation subsidy definitely helps with that.
 
2013-11-27 08:41:46 AM

LasersHurt: SurfaceTension: I understand the world just fine enough to know that I want to spend as much time not living close to others as possible.

Speaking as a member of "others," we appreciate the consideration.


This introvert is glad to hear it.
 
2013-11-27 08:44:47 AM

stratagos: NickelP: I like how the opponents of these things always flip out that they won't be self sustaining. How much does a highway or a residential street for that matter make?

Not the point. The initiative to fund the project explicitly required it to be self sustaining to authorize the bond issue.

If the proponents can't meet that condition, they can go back to the voters with a non-self sustaining plan. Odds are high it'll *fail*, but if you're going to ask for sixty *billion* dollars, you damn well better be prepared to keep the promises you make as a condition of getting the cash


in this case it seems reasonable to shiat can it then. I was just making a general observation that rail is always expected to pay for itself for some reason while car based infrastructure never is.
 
2013-11-27 08:45:50 AM

Chummer45: Yeah - subsidizing cars and highways is a much better use of public funds...

http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/streetcar-gif-toronto.gif


Good thing everyone in that streetcar is going to the exact same place, and not hauling kids or groceries or, like I do, bowling equipment. Oh, wait...
 
2013-11-27 08:48:04 AM
Carpool with your mom.
 
2013-11-27 08:50:57 AM

SurfaceTension: Chummer45: Yeah - subsidizing cars and highways is a much better use of public funds...

http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/streetcar-gif-toronto.gif

Good thing everyone in that streetcar is going to the exact same place, and not hauling kids or groceries or, like I do, bowling equipment. Oh, wait...


Because a streetcar can only go to one place at a time.
 
2013-11-27 08:54:20 AM
I see the usual wankers are here.

TFA: "Public transportation exists"

Wankers: "WHY ARE YOU FORCING YOUR LIFESTYLE DOWN MY THROAT!!1!!"
 
2013-11-27 09:02:10 AM

UNC_Samurai: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: NickelP: I like how the opponents of these things always flip out that they won't be self sustaining. How much does a highway or a residential street for that matter make?

Maybe the problem has something to do with the fact that the people who wrote the ballot measure want to continue despite not following through on what was contained in said ballot measure.

This isn't about whether high-speed rail is desirable, it's a simple violation of their own promise. They got the proposition passed by making certain commitments, and from the sound of it you don't think they should bother following through on them. You seem to be OK with someone saying, "give me a bunch of money to build something, and I'll get a bunch from that other guy... oh, you know what, that other guy didn't give me the money but I'm still going to take yours... and most likely will eventually expect you to give me the money that I said was going to come from the other guy".

I agree with you; prohibiting them from spending the money because they failed to fulfill the other terms of the contract is fine.  But I also agree with Harvey; there's a double standard when it comes to expectations of mass transit versus private vehicles.

We've been addicted to the automobile for almost seventy years in the U.S. and as a result we built sprawling population centers that require a vehicle to effectively traverse.  That was great when gasoline was cheap, but it's not sustainable indefinitely.  90% of local public transit is a joke, and regional and national mass transit is an even bigger joke.  And we're so closely tethered to individual transportation that we don't have the cultural or political will to fix the problem.

The Interstate Highway Project was a modern wonder of the world, and it's a shame we can't do the same thing with a large Federal investment, particularly when the cost for the government to borrow money has in recent years been the cheapest in a generation.


The highway example is a good cautionary tale. A lot of people, including some in this thread, say "hey, we subsidized roads, so why not rail?" I view the result of decades of road subsidies as *exactly* the reason why we need to be cautious about subsidizing rail, air, hovercrafts, pneumatic tubes or whatever happens to be the transportation fad of that era. You don't counter one mistake by making another. A good public policy would take a more holistic and long-term approach to transportation needs and allocate resources to those systems which are best-suited for each need, taking into account offsetting costs (for example, spending $1 on X saves you $1.30 on Y). As it stands, it seems like each transportation system exists in a vacuum and is built based on where it's easiest to do so rather than talking into account where people actually want to go.

That said, we can and should try to get as close as possible to some sort of notion of sustainability, and attempt to have the users of the system pay asmuch of the costs as is practical (up to the pointwhere the costs of collection are higher than what you're trying to collect). For roads, it's tolls and gas/mileage taxes. For airports, it's landing fees and the like. For passenger rail, it's ticket prices. And so on. You can factor in the offsetting costs ("each person who rides the train saves us $1.64 per ride on road maintenance, so we'll discount ticket prices by that much"), whether you call them a subsidy or whatever doesn't really matter as long as the numbers are somewhat close.
 
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