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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:19 AM   #321
Facial
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I think, though, that it needs its own funding source - going to Congress every year for handouts doesn't work.
And what, exactly, would that funding source be? Everybody's been wondering for 30 years, and we all know that anything private won't work.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:21 AM   #322
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And what, exactly, would that funding source be? Everybody's been wondering for 30 years, and we all know that anything private won't work.


How about a $0.15 gas tax a gallon for public transport.

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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:36 AM   #323
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Ever heard of the Acela?


Fantabulous. But for 90% of the trip, HSR is incompatible with conventional rail. So I repeat, the two are not mutually exclusive, as they serve largely different needs with different infrastructure.

Frankly, I don't really care about the rest of the country when it comes to rail; I am more concerned about what happens in my neck of the woods, the Northeastern US. If the car-dependent West Coast can't get its act together, there is no need for us to suffer.

We already have conventional rail in the NEC that is as good as it gets by way of the ACELA service. The only logical improvement in the NEC is a dedicated HSR line.
I think you're missing the point. If you want HSR, you have to change development patterns and build potential ridership.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:37 AM   #324
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How about a $0.15 gas tax a gallon for public transport.

In Washington, where I am, a gas tax is protected by state law as roads-only. Public transport funding is complex and tenuous, but we're getting it done on a local level. As that drives up ridership on the Amtrak Cascades route, we'll add trains, and as we add trains, more people ride (it's a wonderful cycle) and we see more support for eventual HSR.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 06:46 PM   #325
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I think you're missing the point. If you want HSR, you have to change development patterns and build potential ridership.
And my point is that in the North East we already have the development patterns and public transit ridership to justify a new dedicated HSR line from Boston to Washington via NYC!

If the West coast has not done so yet as to justify a new HSR line, it is no reason to hold us back.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 07:27 PM   #326
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And my point is that in the North East we already have the development patterns and public transit ridership to justify a new dedicated HSR line from Boston to Washington via NYC!

If the West coast has not done so yet as to justify a new HSR line, it is no reason to hold us back.
Who's holding you back? You don't even have the political capital over there to separate grade crossings for Acela. Sure, Washington (state) isn't anywhere near that level of service, but we've found a framework in which we can improve.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 09:23 PM   #327
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Who's holding you back? You don't even have the political capital over there to separate grade crossings for Acela. Sure, Washington (state) isn't anywhere near that level of service, but we've found a framework in which we can improve.
With a federal government that takes $0.15 of every $1.00 that is sent to it by my part of the country, it is not a question of will, but of funding.

That is what is holding us back, a federal transportation policy dictated by an overly car dependent nation, the West coast above all.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 10:01 PM   #328
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With a federal government that takes $0.15 of every $1.00 that is sent to it by my part of the country, it is not a question of will, but of funding.

That is what is holding us back, a federal transportation policy dictated by an overly car dependent nation, the West coast above all.
I'm not sure how it is you disconnect funding and politial will.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 10:47 PM   #329
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I'm not sure how it is you disconnect funding and politial will.


No $ = no projects.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 11:24 PM   #330
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No $ = no projects.
And you *get* that money through political will.

You don't get any money if you don't have supporters. The only method of getting that support that's effective in the long-term is to incrementally upgrade existing services. We don't have anywhere near the support necessary to build something from scratch.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 12:53 AM   #331
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And you *get* that money through political will.

You don't get any money if you don't have supporters. The only method of getting that support that's effective in the long-term is to incrementally upgrade existing services. We don't have anywhere near the support necessary to build something from scratch.
No, you don't get that money because it is being used to prop up backwards parts of the country.

YOU may not have the demand necessary. I assure you that in the NEC we do.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 02:22 AM   #332
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No, you don't get that money because it is being used to prop up backwards parts of the country.

YOU may not have the demand necessary. I assure you that in the NEC we do.
So, uh, fix it. If we're doing upgrades here, you guys should be grade separating Mass.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 05:44 PM   #333
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So, uh, fix it. If we're doing upgrades here, you guys should be grade separating Mass.
Round and round we go, where we stop nobody knows

And how are we supposed to pay for upgrades when Washington DC robs us blind to bankroll the Bible Belt? Post-its that say "IOU?"
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Old January 25th, 2008, 05:51 PM   #334
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Round and round we go, where we stop nobody knows

And how are we supposed to pay for upgrades when Washington DC robs us blind to bankroll the Bible Belt? Post-its that say "IOU?"
Uh... raise state taxes. Sorry to break it to you. We're doing it in WA.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 05:56 PM   #335
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Uh... raise state taxes. Sorry to break it to you. We're doing it in WA.
You are raising state taxes for a practically non-existent public transit system.

How do you think we in the North East fund our ALREADY EXISTING systems? Through taxes!

So I repeat, where do we get new funding given that our tax rates are already higher?
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Old January 25th, 2008, 06:31 PM   #336
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You are raising state taxes for a practically non-existent public transit system.

How do you think we in the North East fund our ALREADY EXISTING systems? Through taxes!

So I repeat, where do we get new funding given that our tax rates are already higher?
I really just don't understand what's so hard here. What are you even arguing for? Fixing the federal government? Give me a break.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 06:33 PM   #337
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I really just don't understand what's so hard here. What are you even arguing for? Fixing the federal government? Give me a break.
Give you a break? Perhaps if your state was getting robbed bindly by DC, you would be a little bit more ticked off that your rail development was being stifled so that a new road can be built in Alabama.

You really should not be patting yourself on the back with an air of smugness because of a slightly improved suburban rail infrastructure. Washington State may be better than Texas when it comes to transit, it is still DECADES behind the North East.

This significant difference also relates to the suitability of HSR investment, which, as you can guess, I can consider being decades ahead in the North East than in the Pacific North West.

Last edited by xote; January 25th, 2008 at 06:40 PM.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 06:57 PM   #338
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Give you a break? Perhaps if your state was getting robbed bindly by DC, you would be a little bit more ticked off that your rail development was being stifled so that a new road can be built in Alabama.

You really should not be patting yourself on the back with an air of smugness because of a slightly improved suburban rail infrastructure. Washington State may be better than Texas when it comes to transit, it is still DECADES behind the North East.

This significant difference also relates to the suitability of HSR investment, which, as you can guess, I can consider being decades ahead in the North East than in the Pacific North West.
Um... maybe I'm not ticked off because I know that the best thing I can do about it is build local rail, and that banging my head against a brick wall (the federal government) will just make me burn out?

Right now, I have a local transit agency to defend and a state rail department to support, and if I started complaining at the federal level for more Amtrak service, those battles might be lost.

If you want HSR investment, look to your state government. The FRA weight requirements won't change until we fix our land use.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 11:48 PM   #339
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That is what is holding us back, a federal transportation policy dictated by an overly car dependent nation, the West coast above all.
And above that, very powerful people who ensure to brainwash us into thinking that cars and petroleum are the only and best way for living, and who love to greenwash themselves and their industry on page-wide newspaper ads and television commercials...
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Old January 25th, 2008, 11:56 PM   #340
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15 cents sounds like too little.

23 cents per gallon gas, 7 cents per gallon diesel sounds more like it to me. Quite simply put, the people who guzzle the most will pay more, but at the same rate as everyone else including those who conserve their gas.

Also, as former California gov. Gray Davis wanted, we need to triple the car tax.
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