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View Poll Results: Should the US build or improve it's HSR network?
Yes 249 89.57%
No 29 10.43%
Voters: 278. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 6th, 2011, 06:48 PM   #2201
hoosier
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Interesting. But that still doesn't explain HSR in regions with very little intracity connectivity. Like another poster mentioned, once you get there, you're stranded.


.

Are you any less stranded when arriving at the airport in said city? Unlike some airport in the boonies the train drops you off in a bustling DT area where most business and cultural amenities are located Numerous bus lines serve this station or could be easily altered to. You are hardly stranded.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 06:53 PM   #2202
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And no one has addressed why the feds didn't just award these funds as a private grant to this unknown private entity reportedly clamoring for the operational and cost overrun responsibilities of HSR.
Because the federal government was going to build the line and then the state was responsible for operating it, like the interstate highway system. No public infrastructure project consists of the federal government just giving away money to a private entry which then builds and operates said infrastructure.

The state was soliciting bids from private operators to run the line. The response was overwhelming. Many of the bids promised to absorb any cost overruns! There was no fiscal basis to oppose the project. Rick Scott is just a brainwashed criminal businessman.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 07:00 PM   #2203
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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
Are you any less stranded when arriving at the airport in said city? Unlike some airport in the boonies the train drops you off in a bustling DT area where most business and cultural amenities are located Numerous bus lines serve this station or could be easily altered to. You are hardly stranded.
I have a hard time believing people commonly fly from Tampa to Orlando. And I would just drive a car instead of HSR, it's not a very long drive and I give myself or my family mobile flexibility once I get there. Oh yeah, and when time is a consideration, there is no way in hell I'm traversing the waters of bus transportation.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 07:01 PM   #2204
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Originally Posted by slipperydog View Post
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And I did hear about this 'private investor.' Sounded fishy. If this mysterious unnamed private investor was so enthusiastic about HSR to the point that it would eat all the cost overruns and operational costs, what was the point of involving the state to begin with? The feds should have just awarded a grant to this private investor, which could oversee the entire operation start to finish. HSR actually would be a great idea for private investment. If entrepreneurs think it'll work, they should go for it.
http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2...-rail-project/

Read it and weep. Someof the most well known HST manufacturers were interested in operating the line.

No road has ever been built entirely with private funds so why the hell should a rail line?
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Old March 6th, 2011, 07:05 PM   #2205
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I have a hard time believing people commonly fly from Tampa to Orlando. And I would just drive a car instead of HSR, it's not a very long drive and I give myself or my family mobile flexibility once I get there. Oh yeah, and when time is a consideration, there is no way in hell I'm traversing the waters of bus transportation.
Genius, the line was the FIRST LEG of a much larger network that would have extended to Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

When the Pennsylvania Turnpike first opened it connected two tiny towns and was nowhere near Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Should we not have built that road then?

Well, since you refuse to ride a bus, that means HSR must be a bad idea. Most large cities have at least one public transit rail line serving their intercity rail station so your concern is unwarranted.

This "flexibility" you speak of allowed by the car is only possible as a result of trillions of tax dollars pumped into roads.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 07:13 PM   #2206
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When the Pennsylvania Turnpike first opened it connected two tiny towns and was nowhere near Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Should we not have built that road then?
Not a valid comparison. Roads make more sense than rail in most non-dense cities like LA, Dallas, and Tampa, because the car gives you point to point transportation. Here is a comment below from the article you posted. I'd be interested to hear you assuage this person's concerns on the ridership projections. Please don't assume I've made my mind up on this line, but it is definitely questionable.

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They might not be small cities but they definitely are cities that are completely inaccessible without a car. You canít even get around Disney World without a car! Iím as anti-car as they come but if I was going to the theme parks in Orlando and then to the beach around Tampa, I would do the only reasonable thing: rent a car in Orlando and drive it to Tampa, and I canít imagine why HSR would make me change my mind. You would basically just be paying for the inconvenience of having to rent two different cars. If you donít want to drive a car in Florida, my advice is to not go to Florida, which is generally my solution to the problem.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 07:23 PM   #2207
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Genius,
The is no need for name-calling in these forvms, even if it is from the compassionate and Łber-civil left. This is a major reason why the 2010 elections turned out the way that they did.

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Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
the line was the FIRST LEG of a much larger network that would have extended to Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

When the Pennsylvania Turnpike first opened it connected two tiny towns and was nowhere near Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Should we not have built that road then?
The first part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike was built using toll revenue bonds (*NO* taxpayer funding) on an old 'almost' railroad grade and it cut many hours off of the time that it took OTR truck drivers of the day to cross the most rugged and dangerous part of the Alleghenies. The vastly better road was such an improvement in the trip compared with the old road (paralleling US 30) that they were more than willing to shell out the very steep tolls required for them to use it for that part of their trips between the northeast coast and the Midwest.

Mike
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Old March 6th, 2011, 08:01 PM   #2208
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The is no need for name-calling in these forvms, even if it is from the compassionate and Łber-civil left. This is a major reason why the 2010 elections turned out the way that they did.
All too true. well said, Mike!


Quote:
The first part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike was built using toll revenue bonds (*NO* taxpayer funding) on an old 'almost' railroad grade and it cut many hours off of the time that it took OTR truck drivers of the day to cross the most rugged and dangerous part of the Alleghenies. The vastly better road was such an improvement in the trip compared with the old road (paralleling US 30) that they were more than willing to shell out the very steep tolls required for them to use it for that part of their trips between the northeast coast and the Midwest.

Mike
Which gets us to the obvious point: Roads have an inherent interoperability that trains, especially high speed passenger trains in the US, do not. A user of the initial segment of the Pennsylvania Turnpike would use legacy roads for much or most of his journey, without getting out of his car, while a user of high speed rail would have to transfer from other modes. Similarly, due to regulatory differences, European high speed trains can and do operate on legacy tracks that they couldn't use in the US.

I'm all for high speed rail in the US, but I don't want early projects giving the concept a black eye due to inattention to the mode's innate limitations. And I'm afraid that's exactly what will happen with the Tampa-Orlando project, regardless of what any study says. It's just too freakin' short.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 04:39 AM   #2209
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The is no need for name-calling in these forvms, even if it is from the compassionate and Łber-civil left. This is a major reason why the 2010 elections turned out the way that they did.


The first part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike was built using toll revenue bonds (*NO* taxpayer funding) on an old 'almost' railroad grade and it cut many hours off of the time that it took OTR truck drivers of the day to cross the most rugged and dangerous part of the Alleghenies. The vastly better road was such an improvement in the trip compared with the old road (paralleling US 30) that they were more than willing to shell out the very steep tolls required for them to use it for that part of their trips between the northeast coast and the Midwest.

Mike
If I had wanted to call names, I would have. Pointing out the obvious is not name-calling.

My point about the Pennsylvania Turnpike still stands. It started nowhere and ended nowhere, but eventually connected the state's two largest metro areas. The same is true of the taxpayer funded highways. It is true of the under construction I-69, which will dead end in the middle of nowhere 70 miles from Indianapolis and cost almost one billion dollars to construct. Should that road not be built, even though the plan is to extend it to Indianapolis?
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Last edited by hoosier; March 7th, 2011 at 04:53 AM.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 04:43 AM   #2210
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Originally Posted by Tom 958 View Post

Which gets us to the obvious point: Roads have an inherent interoperability that trains, especially high speed passenger trains in the US, do not.
HSR and automobiles are not a valid comparison. Airplanes are highly non-interoperable but they serve as a different form of transportation, as does HSR, from the automobile.

If we plowed as much money into railroads as we did roads, the gap in interoperability would be narrowed significantly. HSR will never have the coverage of roads but it can serve as a strong backbone of intercity transportation when oil prices INEVITABLY rise to even higher levels and stay there.
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Last edited by hoosier; March 7th, 2011 at 04:50 AM.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 04:49 AM   #2211
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Not a valid comparison. Roads make more sense than rail in most non-dense cities like LA, Dallas, and Tampa, because the car gives you point to point transportation. Here is a comment below from the article you posted. I'd be interested to hear you assuage this person's concerns on the ridership projections. Please don't assume I've made my mind up on this line, but it is definitely questionable.
That comment you quoted is offbase. All of the parks in DisneyWorld are connected by monorail or highly frequent buses. A car is needed to get there (not if the HSL had been built) but not needed to get around the actual park.

But please focus on one comment by some ignoramus instead of the actual article written by a highly knowledgeable transportation policy expert.

Disney was so supportive of the project that they were going to build the station servicing their park with their own money.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 04:53 AM   #2212
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Hah, damn you are one angry dude. I don't know, maybe it's because you live in Indiana. Now since this is the HSR forum, it would be best to stay on topic, but I'll say this. I know virtually nothing about Indiana, nor do I care to. But just because someone shows reservation about certain HSR lines, doesn't necessarily mean they advocate building any and all roads. Any person interested in a reasonable debate understands that fact. So let's leave some random highway being built by a bunch of obese, uneducated rednecks out of this. Some roads are good investments, some are bad. Some HSR is good, some shows little promise.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 06:32 AM   #2213
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Hah, damn you are one angry dude. I don't know, maybe it's because you live in Indiana. Now since this is the HSR forum, it would be best to stay on topic, but I'll say this. I know virtually nothing about Indiana, nor do I care to. But just because someone shows reservation about certain HSR lines, doesn't necessarily mean they advocate building any and all roads. Any person interested in a reasonable debate understands that fact. So let's leave some random highway being built by a bunch of obese, uneducated rednecks out of this. Some roads are good investments, some are bad. Some HSR is good, some shows little promise.
Awesome, comparing hard working construction workers to obese, uneducated rednecks. How ignorant can you get? Is there a limit with you? You do know you need an education even if it means adding another lane to a highway, correct? Or do you just want to continue offending certain people behind a computer screen?

The facts stand. Ridership numbers supported High Speed Rail. There was private investors ready to accept bid packages from the state. The Florida taxpayers were off the hook from paying for High Speed Rail. Thousands of jobs would had been created and billions of dollars in investment would had came to Florida. The project was there, had the ability to improve our economy and future, and Rick Scott killed it to send a political message.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 07:05 AM   #2214
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The project was there, had the ability to improve our economy and future, and Rick Scott killed it to send a political message.
And what exactly are you proposing was his 'political' message? Why would the far right be concerned about a project whose cost overruns and operational costs were 100% covered at no risk to the taxpayer? I'm anxious to hear you explain the political ideology there.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 07:30 AM   #2215
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Why would the far right be concerned about a project whose cost overruns and operational costs were 100% covered at no risk to the taxpayer?
Well, given the economics argument has been covered by your explanation there, what does that leave except politics?
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Old March 7th, 2011, 07:47 AM   #2216
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Not a valid comparison. Roads make more sense than rail in most non-dense cities like LA, Dallas, and Tampa, because the car gives you point to point transportation. Here is a comment below from the article you posted. I'd be interested to hear you assuage this person's concerns on the ridership projections. Please don't assume I've made my mind up on this line, but it is definitely questionable.
You got to be kidding! Right?
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Old March 7th, 2011, 07:48 AM   #2217
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Well, given the economics argument has been covered by your explanation there, what does that leave except politics?
Well if it's politics, as many claim, then there has to be a political aim. Please explain that aim.

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You got to be kidding! Right?
Um, no. Would you like to tell me why I'm wrong?
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Old March 7th, 2011, 09:53 AM   #2218
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Well if it's politics, as many claim, then there has to be a political aim. Please explain that aim.



Um, no. Would you like to tell me why I'm wrong?
Some points:

-LA actually has a pretty high population density, about the same as Washington or Baltimore.

- HSR is faster than car and doesn't just compete with cars, but also with airplanes at appropriate distances. Advantage over airplanes should be some intermediate stations, easier check-in, better on-board comfort and a more central position of the station and better intermodal connections, though the latter is not necessarily true in Florida or Texas. Experience is that HSR kills airplanes in distances up to 3 hours and comparable prices. There's a lot of flying going around between LA and Vegas or Phoenix, or within the Texas Triangle which should already be enough to make HSR feasable along these routes.

- Tampa-Orlando is a more difficult proposition, the distance is too short for the speed advantage to matter. They had a ridership study that allowed them to operate at cost, unfortunately their site is down, so I can't cite it... Like I said earlier: the way I understand it, the line was mainly supposed to feed Orlando airport (instead of leaving your car at the airport, you can get someone to drive you to the local HSR station/instead of renting your car at the airport, you drive to the destination and use buses or rent your car at the HSR station). But I definitely agree that Florida, and especially the short distance Tampa-Orlando, is not ideal for HSR despite the size of the cities.

- Finally, there's something called urban planning. Southern California, Arizona and Texas are amongst the fastest growing regions in the US, there will be much more people in 2 or 3 decades. With continuing sprawl, that will mean increasing commuting distances and thus exponentially more commuter miles, which would be quite expensive to do via increasing the road network, if not completely impossible. Which is part of the reason why LA, Phoenix, Dallas and Houston all built light rail lines in the last couple of years, they hope to get denser cities and limit sprawl. There's also a lot of hope for that regarding development around HSR stations, at least in California. I'm not quite certain how likely that is to happen, though. Florida is not quite as much of a boom state, afaik, plus there's not much in public transportation development going on (I think the Orlando commuter rail got sunk together with the HSR, didn't it?), so, again, less than ideal for HSR.

- Bottomline: In my point of view, Tampa-Orlando doesn't really lend itself to HSR, at least not without going on to Miami. However they had a study and expected to recover operating cost, there is a number of potencial users, the capital cost would be very low and in world-wide experience pretty much the only HSR routes that don't recover operating costs are rails to nowhere, built for political reasons... A HSR line between 2 cities of the size of Tampa and Orlando that doesn't work would definitely be a first. But the extent of sprawl and reliance on car in some US cities, particularly in Florida, is also pretty unique in the world, so who knows.

Last edited by Cirdan; March 7th, 2011 at 10:00 AM.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 03:28 PM   #2219
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And what exactly are you proposing was his 'political' message? Why would the far right be concerned about a project whose cost overruns and operational costs were 100% covered at no risk to the taxpayer? I'm anxious to hear you explain the political ideology there.
Simple, this was a project thanks to Barack Obama and neither Rick Scott nor the Tea Party wanted the state to accept $2.4 Bil. from a socialist president hell bent in destroying this country. Look at who he showed his proposed budget to, the Tea Party. They what, represent 10% of Florida? He listened to the Tea Party, they got what they wanted, and now the state has to look at California and the Northeast and say "that could have been us".
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Old March 7th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #2220
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Simple, this was a project thanks to Barack Obama and neither Rick Scott nor the Tea Party wanted the state to accept $2.4 Bil. from a socialist president hell bent in destroying this country. Look at who he showed his proposed budget to, the Tea Party. They what, represent 10% of Florida? He listened to the Tea Party, they got what they wanted, and now the state has to look at California and the Northeast and say "that could have been us".
Wasn't Rick Scott elected saying he'd do exactly what he just did?
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