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View Diary: Myth of the High Speed Rail "Boondoggle" (302 comments)

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  •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

    Not self identifying as a "CT" rather I am analytical.

    California is in a lot of trouble economically with tax revenues way down and unemployment still quite high.

    So even if CA only has to issue $30 billion in bonds and the Feds pick up the rest one still has a lot of additional bond principal and interest to service.

    So what does this mean for other crucial services like education?  Are we going to have to cut education spending as a result?

    As per investment and revenue sharing I think the HSR will operate at a loss like Amtrak so I don't think it will be a revenue generator at all rather a big cost to the state.

    As for light rail - I think it's great technology, quiet and fast.

    But the light rail in San Jose is hardly used at all.  The reason being it doesn't take people where they need to go.

    And this is why it is better to have developed urban areas where most work rather than offices scattered about everywhere.

    This is where long term planning comes into play as per future development.  Unclear how you deal with how San Jose or LA are currently laid out though.

    Urban planning must easily look 50 years into the future - not easy with our "got have it now" twitter mentality.

    As for Federal money not coming from the tax payer I assume you're talking about the Fed's printing, which is a tax on the lower and middle classes and something left unchecked can lead to Weimar style inflation.

    I'm all for better transport that doesn't pollute, but it has to make financial sense in terms of not bankrupting California.

    "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

    by bcdelta on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 11:00:50 AM PDT

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    •  SJ Light Rail (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paradox, bcdelta

      .....also cannot be categorized as fast. Quiet, maybe.

      No one ever created a vibrant economy by building houses for each other. Houses are built because there is a vibrant economy.

      by Doug in SF on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 11:28:30 AM PDT

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      •  Seems fast enough (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RainyDay

        for the distances and it's damn quite.

        "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

        by bcdelta on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 11:49:11 AM PDT

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    •  the cost of not building (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, psyched, BYw, rosarugosa, halef

      rail will hurt California's bottom line more than building it.

      As for the centralization argument, what better way to encourage that centralization than downtown to downtown high speed rail?

      The world will end not with a bang, but with a "Do'oh!"
      "America is a free speech zone."

      by Love and Death on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 12:12:00 PM PDT

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    •  You repeat this (0+ / 0-)

      You again claim that HSR will operate at a loss "like Amtrak".

      But only part of Amtrak can remotely be compared to HSR. Only the NorthEast Corridor route is even remotely close to "high speed". And there the Acela clearly makes an operating surplus. The slower Regional trains on the same NEC route come close to breaking even. With the recent addition of free wifi to these trains, the move to paperless ticketing, and other improvements, Amtrak's NEC trains are generating a growing surplus.

      Amtrak's losses come overwhelmingly from the long distance trains. Considering trains averaging 55 miles per hour on routes of thousands miles long tells us nothing about HSR. Indeed, while almost every country loses money on its conventional trains, HSR makes a surplus in almost every developed country that has them (meaning who knows what is happening in China.

      •  Woody (0+ / 0-)

        Fair enough, but Acela is not running on ultra high speed lines and the tracks were already there even though they had to be upgraded.

        HSR is much more expensive to build, which is fine.

        But I think when it is built it will have to cost a lot more than $80 to $120 one way SF-LA or it will lose money.

        Next if it's $400 round trip SF-LA it's cheaper to drive or fly so you lose a lot of ridership or you have to subsidize it.

        The project will be way north of the advertised $68 billion.

        It would certainly provide stimulus, but better to repave or widen 5 as it will be used.

        As for HSR - would rather see this done on CalTrain and a commuter line into LA before the central valley and the passes (which are going to be very expensive.

        "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

        by bcdelta on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:11:20 AM PDT

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