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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%
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Old June 20th, 2011, 08:58 AM   #2661
Nexis
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That is not true.

State gasoline taxes and the most (but not all) of federal gas taxes were, in principle, meant to be used only for road maintenance. But in 1982, the "Mass Transit Account" was created, and *it* uses funds that come from gas taxes. This was just one of the many changes to the "users pay, users benefit" principle. Nowadays more than 25% of gas taxes are used for non-highway purposes.

Additionally, there's a proposal calling for the creation of a "transportation trust fund," replacing the highway trust fund, which would allow an even bigger chunk of gas taxes to go to mass transit. Still, this is not as bad as gas taxes in Europe, which are actually general purpose revenue. That's why there are more tolls roads in Europe, as they pay for the roads rather than gas taxes.



I don't see anything wrong with that.
All Northeastern states have this , but the fund is not stable. Raided for things other then Transport , which is now coming to bite us in the ass. Billions wasted on developments and education...taken from the Trust fund and Gas Taxes are too low to fund it in the first place.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #2662
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All Northeastern states have this , but the fund is not stable. Raided for things other then Transport , which is now coming to bite us in the ass. Billions wasted on developments and education...taken from the Trust fund and Gas Taxes are too low to fund it in the first place.
Which is exactly why this notion of taxing gas more just to pay for rail is idiotic and I can't see why anyone with a brain who lives in the US, pays attention to what goes on and buys gasoline would support it. The currect revenue doesn't go for the roads as it is. Much of it is funnelled off. The new taxes will be the same. It won't be used for what you want it used for. It will be one more pot raided by politicians for whatever pet project they deem to be more important, just like they do with the gas taxes collected now. Some of you need to take off the rose colored glasses and see things as they are, not as you want them to be.

Raising gas taxes will accomplish one thing....it will make gas cost more.

You want your gas taxes to just pay for certain things, then convince your elected officials to privatize the whole thing. Set up a corporation to manage and oversee the nation's infrastructure. In a whiney voice..."But FlyFish, they'll just steal it so rich guys get richer". Maybe, but they'll steal less of it than the Government would.

Take the Gov't out of the picture. Some of the best maintained roads and bridges in this country are those with private or semi-private tolling agencies where the money collected has no other legal option but to be used on the road it is collected. When the money falls into a state or God-forbid Federal pot it is gone.

Last edited by FlyFish; June 20th, 2011 at 10:40 PM.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 04:08 PM   #2663
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Which is exactly why this notion of taxing gas more just to pay for rail is idiotic and I can't see why anyone with a brain who lives in the US and pay attention to what goes on and buys gasoline would support it. The currect revenue doesn't go for the roads as it is. Much of it is funnelled off. The new taxes will be the same. It won't be used for what you want it used for. It will be one more pot raided by politicians for whatever pet project they deem to be more important, just like they do with the gas taxes collected now. Some of you need to take off the rose colored glasses and see things as they are, not as you want them to be.

Raising gas taxes will accomplish one thing....it will make gas cost more.

You want your gas taxes to just pay for certain things, then convince your elected officials to privatize the whole thing. Set up a corporation to manage and oversee the nation's infrastructure. In a whiney voice..."But FlyFish, they'll just steal it so rich guys get richer". Maybe, but they'll steal less of it than the Government would.

Take the Gov't out of the picture. Some of the best maintained roads and bridges in this country are those with private or semi-private tolling agencies where the money collected has no other legal option but to be used on the road it is collected. When the money falls into a state or God-forbid Federal pot it is gone.
It doesn't go into Transit , its supposed to be 50/50 but the fund is used for pet projects.....calls for it to stop have yielded no results. Alot of ppl in the NE support the TTF , and are getting tired of the politicions raiding it. Ppl in this region have to put up with congested roads , lack of transit outside the Core , and the TTF gives them some hope for getting transit to the other areas.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 03:28 PM   #2664
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Ideological bickering will be the death of USA.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 03:42 PM   #2665
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Ideological bickering will be the death of USA.
Actually, it is what sets us as different and in the end will be what saves us.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 08:23 PM   #2666
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Actually, it is what sets us as different and in the end will be what saves us.
It may seem odd to outsiders, but the often partisan bickering that you are seeing in the USA now is absolutely *NOTHING* compared to the internal bickering in our nation's past, especially before the 20th century. Remember that we endured a bloody Civil War in the early 1860s that was the result of domestic issues that were left unresolved in the 1787 Constitution Convention and that that Constitution Convention itself nearly failed on numerous occasions before an agreement was finally hammered out - after the delegates were cloistered for over three months in a stuffy meeting hall during one of the hottest, most humid summers in the entire history of the City of Philadelphia, up to the present time (remember, there was no air conditioning and baths were rare back then).

Also, the guy pictured on our $10 note died from a gunshot wound suffered in a duel against a political opponent.

Yes, it was that nasty back then.



Thus, these long and often frustrating debates on issues like establishing and expanding a true high-speed intercity passenger rail network are just an integral part of our culture and historic roots.



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Old June 22nd, 2011, 12:02 AM   #2667
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I didn't mean "political debate", which is useful and eventually ends, with one side accepting it has lost, and the debate moves on to another issue. I meant "ideological bickering", in which nothing is accomplished.

I don't see real HSR being built in the US any time soon, if ever.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 09:06 AM   #2668
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Ideological bickering will be the death of USA.
Can you explain why???
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 12:01 PM   #2669
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Gap between the two parties is widening. Republicans are getting more extreme by the month, and can't backtrack. They will keep lowering taxes and abolishing element of the federal government until there's little left. Amtrak and EPA will be first, but infrastructure projects will be part of that too.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 12:59 PM   #2670
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Gap between the two parties is widening. Republicans are getting more extreme by the month, and can't backtrack. They will keep lowering taxes and abolishing element of the federal government until there's little left. Amtrak and EPA will be first, but infrastructure projects will be part of that too.
Most states have ways of funding projects if the feds don't chip in.....so will be fine with projects that are under 2 Billion $$$. Amtrak is likely to dissapear they've been saying that for months , as for the EPA i don't think so. But enough with politics , go into the North American boards if you want to discussion that stuff. I'm tired of every Rail thread about the US turning into this garbage discussion. As for HSR , i don't anything solid will develop intill the 2020s , as for the Northeast alot of Intercity projects are underway , to upgrade up to 120mph for Electric and Diesel......those will be completed by 2020. Most ppl in the NE are tired of HSR , and prefer Regional & Urban Rail as promises to these 2 categories have been put aside for HSR. Republicans are more warm to regional and Intercity Rail atm then HSR , thus more projects will start and be completed.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 02:23 PM   #2671
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Most states have ways of funding projects if the feds don't chip in.....so will be fine with projects that are under 2 Billion $$$. Amtrak is likely to dissapear they've been saying that for months , as for the EPA i don't think so. As for HSR , i don't anything solid will develop intill the 2020s , as for the Northeast alot of Intercity projects are underway , to upgrade up to 120mph for Electric and Diesel......those will be completed by 2020. Most ppl in the NE are tired of HSR , and prefer Regional & Urban Rail as promises to these 2 categories have been put aside for HSR. Republicans are more warm to regional and Intercity Rail atm then HSR , thus more projects will start and be completed.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #2672
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Gap between the two parties is widening. Republicans are getting more extreme by the month, and can't backtrack. They will keep lowering taxes and abolishing element of the federal government until there's little left. Amtrak and EPA will be first, but infrastructure projects will be part of that too.
They need to realize that the country needs to improve and build new infrastructure to compete with other countries in a globalized world.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 01:10 PM   #2673
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They need to realize that the country needs to improve and build new infrastructure to compete with other countries in a globalized world.
We do realize this , its the dumb stubborn politicians that don't and corrupt ones..... The NE is behind by 80 Billion $$$ in Subway , Regional Rail and Light Rail restorations and expansions we need to get this done before HSR is ever built in the NE. Regional Rail is very popular and theres alot of Support for it from the public and politicians. Subways and Light Rail is becoming very popular aswell , but ppl are not feeling the love for HSR yet. Although Intercity Rail is very popular for connecting regions with weak Air travel , a number of routes will be upgraded this decade.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 03:45 PM   #2674
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Nexis is wise! We have a crumbling infrastructure here. I don't think anyone, even the politicians who are largely responsible for it, would deny that. That needs to be addressed before we venture into new infrastructure just because others have it.

We have an infrastucture need in this country but that need is not a new and better way to get from City to City. It is to get to work in a reasonible amount of time. People living in a suburb 15 to 20 miles from City X are much more concerned about having a way to get to work in less than an hour and a half than they are about the availability of a train to take them to City Y 250 miles away when they already have planes and cars to get them there. Regional rail, subways and improving the highways we already have is what we need to concentrate on at this point.

HSR will happen here, in SoCal likely. But we won't have a network like others have for at least another 50 years IMO.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 10:29 AM   #2675
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Nexis is wise! We have a crumbling infrastructure here. I don't think anyone, even the politicians who are largely responsible for it, would deny that. That needs to be addressed before we venture into new infrastructure just because others have it.

We have an infrastucture need in this country but that need is not a new and better way to get from City to City. It is to get to work in a reasonible amount of time. People living in a suburb 15 to 20 miles from City X are much more concerned about having a way to get to work in less than an hour and a half than they are about the availability of a train to take them to City Y 250 miles away when they already have planes and cars to get them there. Regional rail, subways and improving the highways we already have is what we need to concentrate on at this point.

HSR will happen here, in SoCal likely. But we won't have a network like others have for at least another 50 years IMO.
I can agree with some of this such as the need for focusing on the metro areas. However, I wonder if having an intercity link would spur that development and the intercity rail stations become that city's transportation hub. What is going to start the development of the mass transit links? I would like to see some more of what Brisbane does which are called Quickways, basically it is dedicated BRT completely grade separated. It also allows for a one stop hop to downtown and other destinations.

What I disagree on is not needing a new way to travel between cities. Is it really a good idea to base the future off a finite and uncertain source of energy? Is it a good idea to not have a backup? As we have seen with major airlines, when there is no backup system, it disrupts buisness. Except if the oil spigot was turned off, the United States would have a severe problem. Even with a fuel efficient car, a $1 per gallon increase would results in a $520 increase on spending for gas assuming 10 gallon tank, refilling once a week. For those with less fuel efficent cars driving long distances, it would impact those below the poverty line right in the gut. This country needs to do a few things

1) Pass a fix it first bill for transportation reauthorization, requiring states to rebuild their structurally defficient bridges and bring up their current transit systems, roads, etc. into a state of good repair.
2) Incentivize people to move into the city, taxes are much higher and since intericty transit with the exception of the Northeast isn't that great, the cost savings on transportation are not much.
3) Improve transportation within cities, utilize complete streets policies to equalize all modes of transportation whether it be walking, biking, dedicated transit lanes, etc.
4) Rezone areas that should be high-capacity transportation corridors. This could help increase the effectiveness of public transportation into the future.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 01:10 AM   #2676
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It is quite a preemptive and presumptive assumption to begin it. In all those countries where there are extensive HSR like France, Spain or Italy, people still drive cars a lot, and highways (mostly toll-roads) are expanding and getting more lanes, new alignments etc.


Can't you just take a permanent vacation?

France and Spain have massively ambitious rail expansion proposals, many of which are actually under construction. Paris is going to get $30 BILLION in metro expansions, a new HSL will be built to Bordeaux (funding has been secured), and Spain's frenzied HSR construction is continuing as planned.

Those countries are correctly preparing themselves for a post oil world. But idiots like you prefer to bury your heads in the sand and promote more autocentrism.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 01:21 AM   #2677
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Oh really? A project costing over $50 billion dollars (probably a lot more) to build and billions to maintain over the years sounds like an excellent idea for the most indebted state in the country. Additionally, it's been said more than once that their current funding scheme is very questionable. Also, let's start building from Borden to Corcoran, towns no one even in California knows where they are!

There is a reason Florida rejected the $2 billion in federal money. Some people in this country care when their money is going down the drain (ie: federal money being used to build trains in California). I bet this has been brought up on this topic before, but we live in a car culture, so the ridership estimates CHSRA is counting on are just not going to happen.
The more you post, the more painfully ignorant you reveal yourself to be.

CAHSR was AUTHORIZED BY THE VOTERS via referendum in 2008, the same year that large mass transit expansions were approved in San Jose and Los Angeles by overwhelming margins. Car culture my ass.

Nice of you to name just the beginning and ending point of the INITIAL segment of CAHSR, failing (intentionally perhaps) to mention that Fresno and Bakersfield- cities with a combined metro area population of almost 2 MILLION- will be connected by this segment.

The last paragraph of yours I quoted is a rambling, incoherent anti spending diatribe. Federal money is spent everywhere in the country. Donor states (the ones where people ride trains) subsidize the poor low density states (where people drive everywhere).

Florida didn't reject the $2 billion for the Orlando-Tampa HSL because of spending concerns, Governor Scott wanted that money directed to wasteful road projects instead.

America is only a car culture because it has spent a ridiculous amount of money on roads and a bubble of cheap oil- which will soon burst- has allowed autocentric development to remain relatively cheap. The full costs of autocentrism have not been borne by the individual, and if they were- people would be clamoring for alternative transportation.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 01:24 AM   #2678
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Can't you just take a permanent vacation?

France and Spain have massively ambitious rail expansion proposals, many of which are actually under construction. Paris is going to get $30 BILLION in metro expansions, a new HSL will be built to Bordeaux (funding has been secured), and Spain's frenzied HSR construction is continuing as planned.

Those countries are correctly preparing themselves for a post oil world. But idiots like you prefer to bury your heads in the sand and promote more autocentrism.
Spain and France, 50% for Spain's infrastructure package was going to rail. 80% for France was going to rail.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 01:25 AM   #2679
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Which is exactly why this notion of taxing gas more just to pay for rail is idiotic and I can't see why anyone with a brain who lives in the US, pays attention to what goes on and buys gasoline would support it. The currect revenue doesn't go for the roads as it is. Much of it is funnelled off.
SOME of the gas tax funds are funneled off, but not MOST of them.

The Highway Trust Fund would not be solvent even if all of its funding went to roads alone.

The federal gas tax is too low. It hasn't been raised in almost twenty years. People need to bear the true cost of driving. If they did demand for mass transit would skyrocket.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 01:26 AM   #2680
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Spain and France, 50% for Spain's infrastructure package was going to rail. 80% for France was going to rail.
Not really. Those are numbers from central budget for capital expenses on new infrastructure, and ignore:

(1) money spent by local/regional authorities

(2) money invested by the equivalent of private or PPP turnpike agencies, whose funds come not from the general budget

(3) maintenance of existing infrastructure, which is done under a different budget denomination.
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