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  • Thorpeedo
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
    Nice theory - but the practicality is it doesn't happen. People have that option already today with commuter systems in many parts of the country - and the vast majority still prefer their car. People want control and individuality.

    You must make the car unattractive to displace it - and the best way to do that is with making the car too expensive to use.

    When it costs you $400/month to park your car.. and $15 to go through a tunnel... and the transit can take you anywhere, including outside the city... that's when people start fleeing from their cars.
    This is absolutely right. You have to be the most attractive option when all factors are considered. Any one of these factors being outstandingly brilliant is simply not enough. Walking cannot be matched in terms of proce, but you wouldn't want to use it. Helicopter is both fast and convenient, but cost makes it unsuitable for most of us.

    Then once you have made it attractive as a method of travel, you have to make it viable financially as a service. If that viability includes a subsidy, then the taxation question comes into it, as does any capital investment.

    Personally I don't think you will stand a chance of displacing the car until the oil runs out, but the combustion engine is that vital to the operations of any first world country, that rather than seriously chase alternatives, the developed countries will actually provide investment into a technological equivalent oft the engine, once oil begins to look scarce.

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  • flynnibus
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    Originally posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    But if the train system was fast, inexpensive and reliable in America you'd see people head back to rail. As you pointed out, people enjoy taking the train. No driving, no traffic, no stress.
    Nice theory - but the practicality is it doesn't happen. People have that option already today with commuter systems in many parts of the country - and the vast majority still prefer their car. People want control and individuality.

    You must make the car unattractive to displace it - and the best way to do that is with making the car too expensive to use.

    When it costs you $400/month to park your car.. and $15 to go through a tunnel... and the transit can take you anywhere, including outside the city... that's when people start fleeing from their cars.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaliforniaAdventurer
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    If driving were much cheaper in Europe you'd see people head back to their cars. People enjoy driving, its flexible, it works, and many times its fun.
    But if the train system was fast, inexpensive and reliable in America you'd see people head back to rail. As you pointed out, people enjoy taking the train. No driving, no traffic, no stress.

    Leave a comment:


  • kcnole
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    If the trains could get you there faster than driving or flying, you'd take the train again.
    I'm never going to consider taking a public transportation to anywhere that I could reach in 4 hours or so in a car. Its much cheaper and flexible for me to just drive my car.

    Now, for example, visiting my family in NC is a long haul. It takes about 9 hours of driving to get there. I've flown that once or twice, but most of the time it is still much cheaper for me to drive so I take the inconvenience. If the train could get me there at least as fast as the air transport and for far cheaper I'd consider it. I don't think there's any HSR that can do that however.

    Funny how the rest of the world (think London, Paris, Delhi, etc) benefits from public rail, but somehow it is better for Americans to always use expensive, polluting, dangerous cars.
    It has nothing to do with the oil companies and everything to do with economy and scale. I have family in Europe, it costs then over 8 dollars a gallon to drive a car. Its cheaper for them to use the public transport. Its also very easy. The European countries aren't that big, everyone is living in very small compact areas. To move around is relatively simple.

    Now look at the US. We're huge. People are spread out all across this land, even in areas like Orlando. Its a massive sprawl. Plus driving is very inexpensive in the US compared to Europe even with the recent gas hikes. If driving were much cheaper in Europe you'd see people head back to their cars. People enjoy driving, its flexible, it works, and many times its fun.

    Again, I'm not against the idea of public transportation. There are times that I really wish my city had good public transportation and I'd use it. The problem is, I'm intimately aware with the funding issues we have in FL. I work in higher education and live in the capital city. I have a lot of friends in government. I've seen jobs slashed, I've seen state agencies gutted recently, I've seen Non-Profits who do good work forced to close because they lost their funding. I know the devastating effects the class size amendment are about to have here. We can't afford to subsidize this train in addition to those other issues, not in the current state of the economy.

    I'm not against trains. Like Walt I'm fascinated with them. When I was younger I used to go and watch them go by. There's a mystery to taking the rail. I've used amtrak before. It was fun (although it took a long time). I just need to see a model that can support itself. If it can support itself without additional government funding then I'd be ok with it. I just don't think it can and its a waste of the billions of dollars.

    As for the argument about stimulating the economy. That money would stimulate the economy more if you just picked a number of people and gave them all 50 grand. I could stimulate the heck out of the economy with that kind of money. Instead what we're doing is just flushing it down the toilet.

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  • flynnibus
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    Originally posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    In France you'd pay $50 or more in tolls to use the highways.

    In this country we subsidize drivers with "freeways" which is what makes things tilted against mass transit and towards private automobiles.
    Central Florida is already covered with Toll Roads.

    Cars are unattractive in the example cities everyone keeps bringing up as examples of where things work. They work because cars are luxuries.

    - Gas is 3x as more expensive
    - Cars themselves are 3x as more expensive
    - There is extremely limited parking = so its extremely expensive
    - Tolls don't just exist, they are excessive
    - Car ownership is much more expensive overall (insurance, repair, etc)

    Cars are great for hauling and long distance travel. That's not our problem. Our problem is cars being used for commuting and short hop leisure.

    HSR can not displace cars as the preferred long distance travel when it's a train to nowhere and you get stranded at the other end.

    Making transit work is not just about building rails - its an entire eco-system of factors that must be put into place. Including things like building zoning and land management, car taxes, and car costs. The problem here is so many businesses are built up around the use of cars. To drive a stake through those businesses is political suicide.

    Leave a comment:


  • lazyboy97O
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    Originally posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    In France you'd pay $50 or more in tolls to use the highways.

    In this country we subsidize drivers with "freeways" which is what makes things tilted against mass transit and towards private automobiles.
    Which is why, in the future, Florida could very well be the place to build. The state already has a system of toll roads in place, but first the destinations need to also be places where one can use transit to get around. Build the local networks, then the high speed link and then use the existing toll and transportation infrastructure to push the rail network. As of now the plan is just to build the shiny high speed train link.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaliforniaAdventurer
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    In France you'd pay $50 or more in tolls to use the highways.

    In this country we subsidize drivers with "freeways" which is what makes things tilted against mass transit and towards private automobiles.

    Leave a comment:


  • santadog
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    When I was overseas, I did a great deal of train travel I really enjoyed it. I fly from Madison Wi to WDW, and could see myself taking HSR from Milwaukee/Chicago to Orlando instead of Flying (even if it took some extra time). You could get on a train in the evening, get a sleeper, and take a nap, waking up at WDW: what could be better?

    Leave a comment:


  • lazyboy97O
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    Originally posted by Dustysage View Post
    Funny how the rest of the world (think London, Paris, Delhi, etc) benefits from public rail, but somehow it is better for Americans to always use expensive, polluting, dangerous cars.

    I think I smell the oil/auto industries behind these patently false arguments.
    Except in America the car is not expensive. Why should I pay to take a train from Orlando to Tampa and then be forced to take a taxi or rent a car when for the cost of a tank of gas I can avoid all of that and just do as I please? The first step, exactly as flynnibus is saying, is to make the car unattractive in Tampa and Orlando.

    I posted the prices for TGV trips of comparable distance. Why would I pay $50 for a train ticket, plus a taxi or rental car when I can just use the $50 to buy a tank of gas, and bring along some friends or family members without having to pay an additional $50/person?

    Leave a comment:


  • CaliforniaAdventurer
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train



    when you factor in airport security and pre boarding time wasted at the terminal, HSR can be as fast as flying on short distances like LA to SF or Miami to Orlando.

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  • Dustysage
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    Funny how the rest of the world (think London, Paris, Delhi, etc) benefits from public rail, but somehow it is better for Americans to always use expensive, polluting, dangerous cars.

    I think I smell the oil/auto industries behind these patently false arguments.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaliforniaAdventurer
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    I'm envisioning Miami to Boston, Vancouver to LA and the Texas/AK/OK systems getting built, and working quite well to keep people off roads and out of the air.

    And you got to start somewhere. And FL is part of that mix.

    I'm glad WDW, where Walt Disney envisioned EPCOT, will be on the cutting edge of this exciting technology.

    Leave a comment:


  • flynnibus
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    Originally posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    Because all the trains are so slow. People drive or fly.

    If the trains could get you there faster than driving or flying, you'd take the train again.
    That's not an arguement that wins you anything.

    Even HSR can't even come within 40% of a planes speed.. so HSR isn't going to help you there.

    People aren't going to take a train that is faster then their car, but then strands them on the other side.

    People take a car because its the most convient and cost effective. If you can't break those reasons - you don't take the train.

    The reason mass transit works in the city is because cars aren't cost effective. It works in other countries for the same reason... but normally driven by government directives to make cars unattractive.

    and the map is to show the difference between the routes.. which was the topic in disagreement. I showed numbers backing up my side.
    Last edited by flynnibus; 02-09-2010, 02:24 PM.

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  • flynnibus
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    Building and promoting mass transit in America will do us much better in

    - reducing car usage
    - reducing need for more road capacity for simply peak times
    - shaping land development into more efficient use of resources
    - improving the living standards of people

    Vs building interconnector rails between cities with no transit mentality as part of initatives with true returns.

    What do this do for FL? 'Create Jobs'? At 1.6 billion dollars, the goverment could simply pay 2,000 people directly $80k a year for 10 years. It's a miserable return on investment and burdens FL for decades.

    We need sustainable projects.. not just projects to build something!

    Leave a comment:


  • CaliforniaAdventurer
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
    And for the number types... an interactive map of Amtrak revenues and passenger totals

    Subsidyscope.com — Transportation: Analysis Shows Amtrak Lost $32 Per Passenger in 2008
    Because all the trains are so slow. People drive or fly.

    If the trains could get you there faster than driving or flying, you'd take the train again.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaliforniaAdventurer
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    A friend sent me this link. I would expect more disappointment for Federally funding these corridors if I lived in a state that didn't have one. But you guys just don't want them at all?

    High-speed rail: Skipping your town

    High-speed rail small in scope - Feb. 9, 2010

    Take a look at the map. Some connections accross America will still be regular railroads into the forseeable future. But you've got to start somewhere, and these corridors are the ones that are considered feasible.

    Leave a comment:


  • flynnibus
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    And for the number types... an interactive map of Amtrak revenues and passenger totals

    Subsidyscope.com — Transportation: Analysis Shows Amtrak Lost $32 Per Passenger in 2008

    Leave a comment:


  • flynnibus
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    Originally posted by Mikado View Post
    That's false - undoubtedly the biggest myth in all of passenger railroading. Loss per-passenger statistics are completely meaningless ("made-up") figures, often compiled by passenger rail critics to make rail look bad, always misleading - sometimes deliberately. Look at it this way: If you sell even one more ticket for todays train, does it lose more money or less? Operating costs don't change a penny by putting a warm body in an otherwise empty seat, nor do you save anything by hauling around passenger cars with a bunch of empty seats. Just like any business you want to maximize revenue; Since your operating costs are largely fixed, the more tickets you sell, the smaller the operating loss. The mistaken $200 per-passenger argument makes it sound like you lose more money the more people you carry.
    Only if you misuse the data - which an intelligent person looking at the chart doesn't do. The per person is as you say, just a way of looking at the aggregate vs the number of consumers - not a direct PNL comparison per rider. Your 'defense' assumes you are always going to run the train hence the costs are fixed. That's the flawed assumption. The very point of the comparison is to show its not profitable to run the train based on the number of consumers it's serving. Your logic takes the government approach of 'well we need to offer service regardless...'.

    Any way you slice it - the train does not serve enough people to be able to collect enough revenues to offset it's expenses. And relative to other subsidized routes, its even FURTHER in the hole. So it's not just revenue negative, compared to it's peers its excessively negative.

    Originally posted by Mikado View Post
    Indeed, Northeast Corridor capital costs included, it costs far more to subsidize supposedly profitable Acela than it does the entire national network of supposedly money-losing long-distance trains.
    Yet the NEC represents basically 1/3 of all Amtrak total ridership. And numerous publications contradict your statements, from both Amtrak and external parties. Even if the NEC as a whole were not profitable, at least it's used. Compared to the arguement of 'we have to run these trains no matter how under utilized they are'... I'll take the in demand, but subsidized trains for $500 Alex.

    I don't see the business case for HSR between these cities in Florida in a scale that makes sense to invest IMO.

    Some recent blurbs on the NEC vs the rest of the system
    http://washington.bizjournals.com/wa...6/daily50.html
    Report: D.C.-Boston Amtrak route is least subsidized
    Washington Business Journal - by Tierney Plumb Staff Reporter

    The D.C. to Boston corridor was Amtrak’s least subsidized route in fiscal year 2008, according to a study by Pew Charitable Trusts.

    That Northeast corridor carried the highest passenger volume -- totaling nearly 10.9 million people -- among the train operator’s 44 routes.

    The Northeast corridor’s high-speed Acela Express, one of only three Amtrak lines to turn a profit, made an average of $41 per passenger. In comparison, the heavily utilized Northeast Regional lost nearly $5 per passenger.

    Still, 41 of Amtrak’s U.S. routes lost money in 2008, and the average loss per passenger was more than $32.

    That’s four times more than the estimated loss of $8 per passenger, which was calculated by Amtrak.

    Unlike Amtrak’s method of calculating the loss or profit per passenger on each of its rail lines, Pew’s study includes depreciation and overhead costs.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaliforniaAdventurer
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    The stimulus dollars have been allocated, so if Florida doesn't take the money, I'm sure California will take more. Arnold would even be happy to do free ads for Florida Orange Juice after he leaves office.

    Leave a comment:


  • kcnole
    replied
    Re: WDW to provide 50 acres of free land for high speed train

    Why are you so intent on derailing these plans?
    I don't know if you're talking to me or Flynnibus, but if it's me, its because I'm a citizen of Florida. I work in the government city and have connections to people involved in government. I know the financing problems the state of Florida has. The class size amendment alone is about to kill the states budget. I also know that this train will be a huge burden on the state to keep running and we can't afford it. Our unemployment numbers just reached a high we haven't seen since the late 70's. We're officially at 11.8 %. Our tax dollars are dwindling, and while this train might create a few jobs, the tax moneys required to keep it running will kill even more. There are things that desperately need money in Florida, HSR isn't one of them.

    The mistaken $200 per-passenger argument makes it sound like you lose more money the more people you carry.
    No it doesn't. It just shows that in that year the train lost a ton of money, and when averaged out it came to 200/passenger that somebody else had to pay for. Regardless of whether it was 200/passenger or 1 dollar for one and 2000 for another is not important. What is important is that the train is losing money, and lots of it. Somebody has to pay for that, those people are the taxpayers of the state.

    All passenger trains lose money
    Yes they do, which is why we need to look at transportation systems that are more affordable. I'm certainly not against trains in cities like NY even though they lose money. Transportation is a necessity and its the only way to truly move around those cities. The trains are used and used by a lot of people. That's simply not going to be the case in FL.

    Leave a comment:

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