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View Diary: Sunday Train: The Texas Wishbone Regional High Speed Rail (72 comments)

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  •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
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    Odysseus

    I thought I was making your point: It offers a choice, and does not REQUIRE a car to use HSR if there is access by public transit at each end to begin and end one's trip.  One still MAY need a car at one end or the other.

    I cantake a bus to the LRT station within 5-7 miles of my house in Dallas, take the LRT to downtown, and take the HSR to downtown Houston (at whatever "high-ish" or truly "high" speed it travels).  My final destination happens to be downtown, but it could be elsewhere in the central part of Houston which is/will be accessible by public transit, obviating the need to rent a car at that end (though if I did, it would be like renting at the airport).

    And sorry, but Houston is the FOURTH largest urbam area, and D_FW combined has 6.2 million people, according to the census.  Probably two of the largest, within-250-miles-of-each-other urban area pairs in the country.  And the area between them is essentially very sparsely populated, and the topography begs for a straight HSR ilne.

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    by tom 47 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:49:21 AM PDT

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    •  I think I was saying: (1+ / 0-)
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      neroden

      "It works better with public transit", not "It doesn't work without it".  

      And yes, of course, given the spread of the urbanized areas, of course there should be a suburban station.  If I lived south of downtown, that's where I would board to go to Houston.  Since I live north of downtown, that's where I would board.

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      by tom 47 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:54:29 AM PDT

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      •  You said ... (2+ / 0-)
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        Odysseus, neroden

        "A HSR line needs this at each end to make it worth while;" ... and its not so, except maybe in a corridor where the cost / benefit is right on the margin. Its certainly not true for slam dunks like a Houston / Dallas bullet train, or a Houston / San Antonio Regional HSR.

        An HSR that has it on both ends makes it more worthwhile, but the strongest corridors would stand on benefit/cost comparison with very little public transport at all.

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        by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:02:02 AM PDT

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        •  OK, I accept your hairsplitting and my imprecision (1+ / 0-)
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          neroden

          I was not specific to make the comparative to cities NOT having the public transit.  I agree, it is MORE worthwhile with it, though not by any means not worth it without.

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          by tom 47 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:46:50 PM PDT

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          •  Its more that I have seen that ... (1+ / 0-)
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            neroden

            ... actual argument made ~ the false claim that its no good at all without a broad based public transport network at each origin and each destination ~ that when what you wrote said just that, it jumped out.

            Its silly, since it ignores the fact that people fly without packing their car in their checked baggage ... but the people spreading that argument are taking advantage of Americans general lack of experience with 21st century rail travel.

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            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:41:52 PM PDT

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            •  I imagine I was projecting my own preference (1+ / 0-)
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              BruceMcF

              to not need a car at either end (I hate driving to the airport, too).  

              My weekly business trip to Houston does not require a car, and I like the option of not having it.  Granted, I am downtown, and transit is readily avialable.  I also admit to taking a cab to Hobby Airport when returning, to make sure I catch my flight; I do take the bus from the airport to downtown, though - works just fine, straight from the airport to my desination (and I save my and my client's expense budget the cab fare).

              Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

              by tom 47 on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 06:37:19 AM PDT

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              •  That's an important point ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... opponents like to lapse into stereotypes, since they are not aiming at building a working system but in preventing working systems from being built ...

                ... but in reality transport markets include a range of circumstances. Some people that need a car at the destination are better off getting off at the airport station and renting a car. For the big amusement parks, they'll put in a shuttle to the nearest station.

                While a bullet train must attract a big fraction of the existing transport market to justify its costs ~ and by the same token can, grabbing over half the air market for a two and a half hour trip and an equal number of motorists ~ the cost per kilometer of a regional HSR system is much lower, and for cities of this size, it can easily justify its cost on single digit percentage shares of the total market. Especially since the services would be running with no operating subsidy.

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                by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 08:03:51 AM PDT

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