November 1, 2011

California's high-speed rail project nearly triples in cost — to $98.5 billion.

And the new projected completion date is 2033, not 2020.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday was expected to endorse the long-awaited plan, the first major update to the project in two years and the last before the federal deadline to begin construction next year. But state legislators, who were already skeptical, will tear through the plan starting Tuesday before deciding whether to start building, or to kill the project.
Obviously, they need to kill the project. Speaking of governors, remember this guy?



That's the ad — from August 2010 — that clinched my vote for Scott Walker.

180 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I think parts of California has the population density to justify High-speed rail, if they want to pay for it. Has to be faster and more convenient than air service, however.

MadisonMan said...

(BTW -- his tie has always bugged me in that commercial...it's too long!)

rhhardin said...

It's a future high speed bike path.

Paddy O said...

High speed rail totally makes sense for California, given how long it takes to get from one place to another.

But not now, not with the state of the state being what it is.

A family struggling to put food on the table isn't in a position to go and buy a new car. Even if the old car has bad gas mileage.

Scott M said...

"If they want to pay for it" doesn't really cover it. First they have to be able to pay for it. I'm not sure enough attention is being given to this nationally, but California is in piss-poor economic shape. Going full-bore, bull-moose toward a project that's already slipping all bounds of time and cost seems akin to deciding to have a baby to fix a bad marriage.

madAsHell said...

How in the hell is someone supposed to get from Borden to Corcoran?

bagoh20 said...

Was it really the ad, if the ad was bad, you would have voted against him?


You are all pikers in Wisconsin. In California, we don't hang out protesting, we get in there and burn up those tax dollars before they ever arrive. We don't just whine while others are fixing things in the background. We go bankrupt with gusto and moxy and never look back. Your little baby train wasn't even gonna cost any jobs. You need to get serious, and screw some shit up, you pussies.

traditionalguy said...

The trap is set with "Federal Grants" as the bait.

When the State mouse nibbles on that bait, it is trapped into a slow and painful death from losing State revenues operating a totally useless monument to magical thinking.

The enemy within the wire is striking out again to destroy us operating from our captured White House.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

I think parts of California has the population density to justify High-speed rail, if they want to pay for it. Has to be faster and more convenient than air service, however


Your statement is a non sequitur. Hi population density RULES OUT HSR, rather than endorses it. Hi density makes it almost impossible to run a HSR, so the “need” is there, but not the capacity….somewhat akin to Shakespeare’s statement upon drink, “it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance”. Further, the plan, as proposed runs in the LOW DENSITY areas first….precisely because of the cost per kilometer. The “crafty plan” is to spend $30/40 Billion Dollars, linking nowhere and then say, “Look we have all these ‘sunk’ costs we might as well complete the system.”

Scott M said...

The enemy within the wire is striking out again to destroy us operating from our captured White House.

Surely you meant "occupied".

DADvocate said...

But, but, but, we neeeeed high speed rail.

ricpic said...

But without high-speed rails how will we build up the already dense cities to even greater density with shoulder to shoulder high rise buildings where people are stacked up like cordwood because that's the earth friendly way to live...right?!?!

Tim said...

"Obviously, they need to kill the project."

One would think so, yes.

But the obvious thing is the least likely thing - California has too many liberals - so they'll vote for the hope and change of high speed rail.

Especially because of the project labor agreements - most especially because of the project labor agreements. Labor Unions Uber Alles.

bagoh20 said...

"triples in cost..."

Take that, you hardworking job-creating tax payers. F'ing right - you better run. And if you think of coming back this way, we got a global warming law now to slap you up side the head. It's gonna cost every household in the state $3000 per year. Imagine what that will cost you and you business. Yea, that's right, just keep walking...punk. We will mess you up up in here.

Patrick said...

Triple the cost? My ass.
1. They will not bring this turkey in for less than triple the cost. It will certainly cost well above triple the originally anticipated cost.

2. They will not complete it by 2033.

garage mahal said...

Walker [who used to be for the proposed HSR line before he ran for governor] isn't against all HSR. We're paying tens of millions more to upgrade the Hiawatha than we would have if we accepted the federal grant. Yes! Heckuva job A-House.

Even under the most conservative ridership projections, the report said the rail system would have a net operating profit

[snip]

The first 130-mile segment would create about 100,000 jobs in the hard-hit Central Valley, according to the report. Building the entire system would generate about 1 million jobs.


Source

If liberals are for it, I'm against it!

Tim said...

traditionalguy said...

"The trap is set with "Federal Grants" as the bait.

When the State mouse nibbles on that bait, it is trapped into a slow and painful death from losing State revenues operating a totally useless monument to magical thinking."


This is exactly right.

"Federal grants" means California pays <$1 on $1, so therefore, no matter how much California can ill-afford to pay anything for this boondoggle, the fact the feds are putting pennies on the dollar on the table for the project becomes the light for the moths to fly into...

They think they belong to the "reality based community," but as they ignore the math of fiscal and budget realities in favor of magical thinking, they're just idiots, cannibalizing the future for a failed utopia.

edwardroyce said...

The only people who really love rail are those that either don't have to pay full price for it or who don't own a car.

As someone who commuted by train to Manhattan every working day for years it was an albatross. The stinking hyena nipping at your heels.

What is the schedule. Are you going to make the train? Be late? Too early and going to stand around waiting? Enough time for coffee? No time at all? Just how packed is this damn train? Who the hell ladled on the perfume? Jesus I think someone crapped themselves.

You want a train system? Then let's think outside the box and do something else. How about an ultra-light personal rail system that can accommodate electrically driven cars. You drive your car to an entrance/exit ramp and get into the rail system. The car communicates to a centralized system and nearby cars for safety. The car gets the electricity it needs to run from the system and drives itself since we're talking about rails here which pretty much precludes anything but going forward.

You can stack the rail systems on top of one another to give additional capacity, you remove the range restrictions on electrical vehicles, you improve transit by stacking the rail systems which gives you vastly improved capacity.

You do that and I'll work in Manhattan again because then I can just drive onto the system, lock in and then go to sleep. Then once I get there I can tell the car to go find a parking spot in an automated garage somewhere until I need it again.

As for regular trains? Not just no but Hell No!

edwardroyce said...

In addition to those benefits you could also engineer skyscrapers to have more than one set of entrances/exits. Currently one of the biggest limitations to building size is the difficulty in engineering the elevators. But if you have a ultra-light personal rail system that could deliver and pickup passengers every 5 stories then you don't need as extensive an elevator system.

Additionally you've now got a solution to the nearly insoluble problem of how to get people out of a skyscraper above the 16th floor.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sofa King said...

We're paying tens of millions more to upgrade the Hiawatha than we would have if we accepted the federal grant. Yes! Heckuva job A-House.


Source? My understanding was that those grant monies specifically had to be used on new construction and could not have been used to upgrade the Hiawatha.

bagoh20 said...

"Building the entire system would generate about 1 million jobs."

That's right. If we just build 10 of these, then the nation is saved. Surely there are 9 more areas like this one that need a train. Why are people so stupid that they can't just do this so we can move on to the bright future we deserve.

edwardroyce said...

@ garage mahal

"The first 130-mile segment would create about 100,000 jobs in the hard-hit Central Valley, according to the report. Building the entire system would generate about 1 million jobs."

You mean The Central Valley? Where the unemployment rate hit 40% because the damn liberals shut the water off?

Oh yeah that's impressive.

AllenS said...

With the completion date in 2033, there is room for the cost to tripple again.

Nonapod said...

20 years from now, are people even going to want to go anywhere? As technology advances our society seems to be trending towards de-urbanization rather than becoming more dense and concentrated in cities. Telecommuting is becoming more and more pervasive. People are ordering more and more stuff online rather than using B&M (so much so that the only B&M places left seem to be big box superstores). I just think it's a solution that doesn't have a problem.

ndspinelli said...

There would be a big market for high speed rail from LA to Vegas. However, it would require frequent trains on weekends and much fewer on weekdays. What gives it so much potential is you don't need a car in Vegas and even car loving Golden Staters would pay a premium price for the train. It would also require imagination. You would have to provide liquor service. To a lesser degree a high speed from SD to Vegas would work. However, the govt. is stuck in the 1960's. They want frequent stops..it won't work. These trains need to be nonstops if they are to compete w/ airlines and cars.

Tim said...

From the "source:"

The Democratic governor asked his two summer appointees to take a hard look at the project. Richard spent 12 years on the board of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, and retired Bank of America executive Michael E. Rossi also is Brown’s jobs adviser."

Uh uh. Two appointees of a Democrat Governor, also known as "Governor Moonbeam," elected on the power of labor union contributions and an ignorantly liberal electorate, undertake a "study" on the economic viability of a project that "Brown said in August that he still supports the plan to link San Francisco with Los Angeles and Anaheim by 2020..."

Yes. This "source" may in fact exist, but it is only credible for idiot liberals and others who believe in magical thinking.

No worries though - California is filled with a majority of such idiots, so they'll cannibalize their future to build this boondoggle.

Hopefully the lesson will be stark enough for the other 49 states that in some way, California's sacrifice to the gods of liberal wet dreams will have been not in vain.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

The first 130-mile segment would create about 100,000 jobs in the hard-hit Central Valley, according to the report. Building the entire system would generate about 1 million jobs


You might have missed this, but the “point” of government is NOT to “provide jobs.” IF those jobs COST California $1 for $0.80 invested, you know if they make California, POORER, for it. Another news flash Garage, NO public transit system makes money, and NO light rail/HSR makes money…and NO ridership figures are ever correct….lastly making a “profit” do you mean make a profit by Gross Income- (Fixed Costs + VariableCosts)= Operating Profit, or by “Profit” are you figuring in the subsidy as well?

Chuck66 said...

Well, Wisconsin's rail project wouldn't have been nearly as bad as Californias as it was going on existing trackage. Only the Watertown-Madison segment needed significant upgrades. I am a rare right wing who supports transit projects...but only if they make sense.
Huge problem with California is that it is new construction. The California wienies are throwing a fit over each mile where property needs to be acquired.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)




A little more for Garage…two words, “Big Dig.”

Further HSR is an elite subsidy, the 99% subsidizing the 1%. I will fund it via my petrol taxes, and it will be used by lawyers, professors, and investment bankers, who COULD afford to pay their own way, but will take the subsidy from the other 99%’s gasoline taxes to lower their transport costs.

Tim said...

"You mean The Central Valley? Where the unemployment rate hit 40% because the damn liberals shut the water off?"

Yes. The Central Valley's economy is based upon agriculture. It also votes Republican. Liberals in Washington, loving the Delta Smelt more than they do Republican voters in California's Central Valley, turned off the water, turning some of the nation's best ag lands into dust bowls, and driving up the region's unemployment rate to 40%. Robert Mugabe would applaud the play.

Worst yet, EVERYONE knows the project labor agreements for the HSR will specify Los Angeles and Bay Area union construction firms for the multi-billion project. Central Valley citizens? They can watch from the unemployment line, or beg of jobs emptying trash cans and cleaning restrooms in the stations.

Patrick said...

Garage,

Funny how you pointed to that quote about the project running at a net operating profit.

I read that and laughed. The folks who budgeted only 1/3 of the required funding for the project also believe it will have an operating profit. That warrants some skepticism, wouldn't you think?

Chuck66 said...

Tim good point on who gets the contracts. Any time the government builds something, favored interests get the jobs.
And then there is the case in St Paul Minnesota, where the government inflated teh central corridor light rail line by several million to higher "minority contractors". How does that work? A black lady set up a shell corporation and leased a warehouse. Suppliers would send their products through her warehouse, in one door and right back out. Thereby making them minority products and could be sold to the project at a highly inflated price. That is how you get trillion dollar budget deficits.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... If liberals are for it, I'm against it!..."

It's a good a reason as any given their track record of turning everything they touch to shit.

Scott M said...

It's a good a reason as any given their track record of turning everything they touch to shit.

Hey. They did kill Osama. Although, admittedly, he's fish shit now, so your point still stands.

Richard Dolan said...

Hilarious. California is broke and yet is about to embark on another colossal boondoggle unless not-so-common sense prevails among its political class. It's the state that is about to remind everyone that the bankruptcy code has a special chapter for municipalities.

Even if the feds pick up most of the tab to build it, California taxpayers will have to pay to maintain and run it, for the few who may actually use it. Add that to the unfunded pension and health insurance liabilities that are already crippling California, and the picture of inmates in charge of the asylum is complete. And even if you were inclined to take a train in California, you still need a car at both ends of the line. It's a state of suburban sprawl without any urban center, at least not one where people are likely to be starting or ending their trip.

For those of us looking across America from NYC, California is living proof that there really are places with an even more disfunctional political class than ours. Way to go, California.

rhhardin said...

If everybody build high speed rail, you'd really only need a single train, which would be a huge cost saver.

bagoh20 said...

I drive and fly L.A. to Vegas regularly. Driving cost me about $150 in gas and 4 hours with the cruse set on 95mph. But I can fly on Southwest for $39 each way plus tax and get there in 45 minutes. Nothing is gonna beat that. The only reason I ever drive is so I can take my dogs and tools to do work.

For gambling and entertainment visitors the train is better than driving, but not better than flying, which is much faster, cheaper,and where they already serve liquor.

The solution is already here, stop looking.

Surfed said...

Our new Gov Rick Scott 86'd the Florida high speed rail line from the city the giant rat ate (Orlando) to Tampa. Told the Feds to keep their money and shove it.

The Crack Emcee said...

I wrote today's post and felt bad.

I feel better now.

Carry on.

Bob_R said...

Mongo, why would Hedley Lamarr care about "where the choo-choo go"? Don't know. Mongo only pawn in game of life.

Bob_R said...

Is Jerry Brown Hedley Lamar or Mongo?

Scott M said...

Harumph.

Tim said...

"California is broke and yet is about to embark on another colossal boondoggle unless not-so-common sense prevails among its political class."

This is all true, of course, but the root cause is idiot liberal voters and labor unions.

California has the government it deserves: it is exactly how the idiot liberal voters and labor unions want it to be.

That it doesn't work is besides the point; it works for them, like an employee embezzling his employer into bankruptcy - long term viability of the enterprise is meaningless, when there's money to steal today.

Hopefully the other 49 states watch and learn.

Petunia said...

Don't forget that California now allows illegal aliens to apply for tuition aid without threat of deportation, which will add millions every year to the California taxpayers' bills.

Not exactly known for their fiscal responsibility out there.

Tim said...

Bob_R said...

"Is Jerry Brown Hedley Lamar or Mongo?"

Excellent question. Jerry Brown is Hedley Lamar without the charm or appetite for personal corruption or violence; the labor unions are Mongo without the brains or decency.

MadisonMan said...

You can sue her!

God, I love that movie.

AJ Lynch said...

Combing the HSR topic with a picture of Gov. Walker may make Garbage's head explode. You are very cruel Althouse.

MadisonMan said...

And Gov Walker: How'd using those federal funds for fixing highways work out? (As if they'd ever be used for that crumbling town road he is standing on)

Ann Althouse said...

"BTW -- his tie has always bugged me in that commercial...it's too long!"

Paging Dr. Freud.

Ann Althouse said...

"And Gov Walker: How'd using those federal funds for fixing highways work out? (As if they'd ever be used for that crumbling town road he is standing on)"

Obviously, the Democratic central government deprived us of those funds. That's something to fold into the next election.

But we are better off without the money at all than taking it and being forever on the hook for more and more money.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Divide those "million jobs" into $98.5 billion and it's obvious that they must be either short-lived, low-paying, or (more likely) imaginary.

The key word in "operating profit" is that first one. An operating profit is net of operating costs, but not the cost of capital (which is kinda big here). If it materializes, the operating profit sounds like it would cover about a tenth of the interest on the bonds.

rocketeer67 said...

Sometimes, a poorly tied necktie is just a poorly tied necktie.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I don't know which character Jerry Brown is but the case for high-speed rail is authentic frontier gibberish.

Scott M said...

I don't know which character Jerry Brown is but the case for high-speed rail is authentic frontier gibberish.

HOWARD JOHNSON IS RIGHT!!!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

EVERYONE knows the project labor agreements for the HSR will specify Los Angeles and Bay Area union construction firms for the multi-billion project. Central Valley citizens? They can watch from the unemployment line, or beg of jobs emptying trash cans and cleaning restrooms in the stations.

Exactly.

As many times as Obama and the Dems say "shovel ready" jobs, what they really mean are UNION jobs. It is a big giant kick down to the unions.

None of the unemployed who are not already in Unions are going to be offered the high paying "Davis Bacon" wage jobs if/when they actually come to be.

In addition to the plums going to the UNIONS only, they still have to pass the hurdles of CEQA and the enviro-nazis who want nothing built anywhere anytime. Delay delay delay....and the costs go up up up.

MadisonMan said...

Obviously, the Democratic central government deprived us of those funds. That's something to fold into the next election.

This was a completely predictable turn of events for anyone who thinks.

I think a good anti-Walker ad next cycle would be someone standing on that self-same still-crumbling road.

chrisnavin said...

I know the point has been belabored...but I suspect this is what you get with a majority of democratic voters in your state.

As the populace slowly accepts the "truth" about climate change (which often means a whole raft of regulations and political opportunities to regulate according to Lefty ideals), the enlightened elites, or people with time enough and inclination to think about things simply ignore how this change translates into daily politics and the usual ignorance, potential for corruption, and favoritism where the rubber meets the road. Follow the money.

This can challenge not only legitimate rule, but also, work against working people, economic opportunity and freedom by making unfunded pretty trains subject to the whims of Sacramento. Some kid will look out his window and admire the train, but eventually he'll either be stuck hustling for a union job, or watch it carry wealthier, usually politically connected people moving on elsewhere.

Such a joke.

rocketeer67 said...

I think a good anti-Walker ad next cycle would be someone standing on that self-same still-crumbling road.

Also: a good pro-Walker ad, highlighting the intransigence and foolhardiness of a party that refuses to appropriate funds wisely for present needs.

BigFire said...

It's a rail from nowhere to nowhere. Of course the cost triple. This is government contract. Who care if there's no money, we'll float more bonds (California is already in junk bond territory).

garage mahal said...

Source? My understanding was that those grant monies specifically had to be used on new construction and could not have been used to upgrade the Hiawatha.

Less than four months after losing nearly all of an $810 million grant, Wisconsin is again seeking federal high-speed rail money - this time to upgrade the existing Milwaukee-to-Chicago passenger line

Of course Wisconsin did not get the 150 million.

But at least LIBRULS didn't get their way! That's the important part. Althouse can feel good about the fact we're paying more to upgrade our HSR already here, and her tax dollars going to California to build their HSR. Win-Win! So fucking dumb it's beyond words.

MadisonMan said...

@rocketeer, given that Republicans are in charge in WI, I'm not sure how that works in Walker's favor -- Unless you're thinking that Federal Funds should be used to pave what is clearly a town road.

rocketeer67 said...

Are your "local" roads maintained solely through locally-raised funds? Fed funds are used to maintain local infrastructure in every other state in the union - why not Wisconsin?

PatCA said...

What's happening to CA is truly frightening. We're going to borrow to raise the matching funds?? From whom, China?

When the cap and trade laws kick in January 1, I predict disaster within a year. TV ads are already warning us "the authorities" may have to reduce our energy consumption to meet the goals. Can you imagine on a 100-degree day and suddenly your air goes out?

The beast slouching towards Bethlehem indeed. It's going to be ugly.

Michael said...

Notice how the tripled cost does not raise a liberal comment. That is a feature to them.

traditionalguy said...

The answer is obvious. We can use the Commerce Clause to justify all residents have to make mandatory annual purchases of a square inch of the railroad we want to build.

I remember offers saying you could buy a deed to a square inch of land in some romantic location. But the new Square Inches of track program will cost a lot more.

What's more romantic than new railroads. It is so 21st century high tech.

AllenS said...

WI state taxes on a gallon of gasoline is over 30¢. That money should be going to fix the roads. Same with the Feds collecting 18.4¢ per gallon. They have plenty of money. People are still buying gas.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
When the cap and trade laws kick in January 1, I predict disaster within a year. TV ads are already warning us "the authorities" may have to reduce our energy consumption to meet the goals. Can you imagine on a 100-degree day and suddenly your air goes out
Rest assured neither Schwarzenegger, Brown, Pelosi, “Babra” Streisand, James Cameron or AlGore will be inconvenienced..having bought “carbon credits” they will be able to run their off-grid A/C and other environmental control systems. For YOU, it could be a “little rough.”

Michael said...

"Everyone knew (the cost) was going to be higher because they're in this process now of actually designing the project," said Rod Diridon, a former board member for the rail authority. "It's just a matter of time" for them to find the money.


On planet earth private companies spend money to "actually design" projects before they cost them. On planet politician the estimates come out of the politicians asses and get approved by a gullible public. Then they get the real numbers.

The quote above says it all about process in govt.

Jay said...

The first 130-mile segment would create about 100,000 jobs in the hard-hit Central Valley, according to the report. Building the entire system would generate about 1 million jobs.


Hilarious.

Um, when the rail line is complete those jobs go where ___ again?

OH, you're an idiot.

Never mind.

MadisonMan said...

WI state taxes on a gallon of gasoline is over 30¢. That money should be going to fix the roads. Same with the Feds collecting 18.4¢ per gallon. They have plenty of money. People are still buying gas.

There was a recent article in the JSOnline that detailed how insufficient those gas taxes are for local road building.

Link.

garage mahal said...

Um, when the rail line is complete those jobs go where ___ again?.

GREAT point moron! Why do we build anything in this country if the construction jobs aren't permanent????? Dams, bridges, interstate systems, etc. STOOPID!

In fact, we should be tearing them all down!

/Jaytard

Jay said...

Why do we build anything in this country if the construction jobs aren't permanent????? Dams, bridges, interstate systems

Um, dams and bridges are actually used.

HSR lines are not.

Idiot.

Jay said...

Why do we build anything in this country if the construction jobs aren't permanent????? Dams, bridges, interstate systems, etc. STOOPID!


Bridges and damns aren't built for "jobs" nor do the people planning them crow about "jobs"

Idiots like you try and play up this "jobs" angle because HSR is a complete waste of money.

Idiot.

garage mahal said...

Idiots like you try and play up this "jobs" angle because HSR is a complete waste of money.

Then why is Wisconsin on the hook for 150 million in taxpayer funds to upgrade a HSR line, under Scott Walker's direction? Did he forget HSR is a boondoggle?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
There was a recent article in the JSOnline that detailed how insufficient those gas taxes are for local road building
There is a market-based solution…at the Federal level repeal Davis-Bacon…at the local level repeal “prevailing wage laws”…all those do is jack up the cost of construction and reward (Democratic) Unions. When something “costs too much” in the Real World, the answer, usually, isn’t ask for a pay raise to buy more, but wait for innovation to drive the cost DOWN….you know DVR’s, MP3 players, flat screens all cost a lot in the beginning, you didn’t go to your boss and ask for a raise to buy one? Or ask the ‘state” to raise taxes on everyone so you could get a subsidized one, did you?

Michael said...

150M in taxpayer funds will build about two hundred feet of rail or will pay for the HSR signs to put in the terminals. The trains will run at the same speed. Joke money for a joke project.

Patrick said...

Just thinking out loud, here Garage, but if they dramatically underestimated the costs of their line, what do you think the odds of them correctly estimating the number of jobs it will create?

PatCA said...

The Central Valley is indeed "hard hit" thanks to the feds shutting down the water for the farms there. So let's...build a train and hire all the out of work farm laborers!

The answer to government mismanagement is somehow always more government.

As I say we're doomed.

And yes Joe, the elites will get their energy. Can't wait to see their rationale for that.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Just thinking out loud, here Garage, but if they dramatically underestimated the costs of their line, what do you think the odds of them correctly estimating the number of jobs it will create
I will mark you as, “NOT a ‘Team Player.’”

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In fact, we should be tearing them all down!

In fact, they are.

garage mahal said...

150M in taxpayer funds will build about two hundred feet of rail or will pay for the HSR signs to put in the terminals

Actually we're paying for a couple decades worth of HSR, we're just not getting it. But we have guns in the Capitol! So awesome.

Chip S. said...

All profits to the people!

This is impressive. Here we have a gigantic investment project that will be ultra-profitable--a study assures us--which means that there must be a long line of corporations trying to build HSR themselves.

Instead, Gov. Brown heroically is allowing the taxpayers of the future to reap the lavish returns that are sure to be realized. Corporate interests and will be reduced to a few multi-billion-dollar contracts here and there. The People will pocket the profits.

The OWS movement is working!

Tim said...

STOOPID!(sic)

Indeed so. Not one public transportation system in the United States pays for its operating costs, let alone both its operating and construction costs.

It is subsidized - every single last one of them.

For liberals, of course, this is a feature.

For normal people, it is stupid.

That we keep doing so over and over again shows how much value liberals place on being stupid.

It must be a liberal's birthright.

Methadras said...

It's a fucking scam. It costs 3 times as much as the budget and they think they will get or exceed the level of amtrack ridership. Leftards and their statist love of the choo-choo are fucking batshit crazy.

MadisonMan said...

When something “costs too much” in the Real World, the answer, usually, isn’t ask for a pay raise to buy more, but wait for innovation to drive the cost DOWN

A better answer, as far as state Govt goes, is (IMO) to shelve new construction until you have sufficient money to maintain the old infrastructure.

However, roadbuilders who contribute to Gubernatorial campaigns don't want to hear that.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Michael said...

On planet earth private companies spend money to "actually design" projects before they cost them. On planet politician the estimates come out of the politicians asses and get approved by a gullible public. Then they get the real numbers.

Not that I want to defend the politicians, but... In 27 years in software development, I can count the number of times the system was designed before a cost and schedule were decided on... let me see... yes, that would be zero hands.

Always -- ALWAYS -- they tell us when it's due and what it will cost first. Then later they tell us what we have to do. Then they wonder why it always -- ALWAYS -- runs late and costs too much.

I'm not saying every company runs this way; but to claim that private companies never do this is a stretch too far.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

bagoh20 said...

The only reason I ever drive is so I can take my dogs... to do work.

You know, that's a violation of their 13th amendment rights. Better not let Peta catch you.

garage mahal said...

Indeed so. Not one public transportation system in the United States pays for its operating costs, let alone both its operating and construction costs.

Besides walking, just about every mode of transportation is subsized.

Still no answer why anti-HSR fiscal hawk Scott Walker is asking state taxpayers to come up with 150 million for HSR service? Weird.

cubanbob said...

California is one weird puppy. On the one hand Jerry Brown is about to cut a quarter of a testicle off the civil service unions in the form of retirement age and contributions and on the other hand he wants to gift them this idiocy? Is that supposed to be the 'pain killer'?

What is missing in all of these moronic high speed rail schemes is that no one will use them. Even if the feds were to pay 100% of the construction costs the revenues will never cover the operating costs. No one will pay the fare if it reflected the true operating costs. And if it doesn't, the already broke state can't afford the operating subsidies and if they try to shut it down the feds will demand the money back. It so mind numbingly stupid only democrats can come up with such ideas, ordinary people aren't capable of being this foolish.

garage mahal said...

What is missing in all of these moronic high speed rail schemes is that no one will use them

Maybe you can answer:

Why is anti-HSR fiscal hawk Scott Walker asking state taxpayers to come up with 150 million for HSR service? Weird.

[And actually it is 209 million]

DADvocate said...

I can't emphasize enough how important HSR is. HSR is very European. Anything European is great and cool, which we need more of.

Plus, spending all this money on HSR will hasten our governmental financial failure whicl will make us even more European.

cubanbob said...

garage mahal said...
Indeed so. Not one public transportation system in the United States pays for its operating costs, let alone both its operating and construction costs.

Besides walking, just about every mode of transportation is subsized.

Still no answer why anti-HSR fiscal hawk Scott Walker is asking state taxpayers to come up with 150 million for HSR service? Weird.

11/1/11 12:24 PM

Really? You mean all those tolls and user fees and fuel taxes tasked to the highway construction are really earmarked for other things like welfare? Who knew? And ticket taxes on airline tickets and landing fees do nothing to offset the costs of aviation? Who knew?

You are right, no public transportation system, ie busses and trails cover their construction costs and operating costs but instead siphon off fees and taxes collected for highway construction and maintenance. Enough with the public transportation free-loaders, charge them with the freight. Or let them hitch a ride.

garage mahal said...

Almost forgot, the 209 million we now have to pay comes out to about 278 yrs of yearly maintenance costs of the line that was killed.

Winning!

Kirk Parker said...

Paddy O,

"Air Travel totally makes sense for California, given how long it takes to get from one place to another."

FIFY.

Just get rid of the TSA nonsense, and air travel will make even more sense.

David-2 said...

The California High Speed Rail Authority has not yet posted the new business plan on their website (http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/Business_Plan_reports.aspx).

A key thing to discover in it will be: Is the claimed "net operating profit of $352 million a year" before or after debt service on the bonds?

A public company has to say whether it is EBIDA/EBIDTA - but a government? They don't necessarily have to follow standard accounting rules.

Cynical guess: The $352M/yr is before paying off the bonds.

(And as other commentators have correctly pointed out: This projection provided by the same people who missed the estimated cost of the project by a factor of three. I don't believe any ridership projections of any government transportation project.)

Chip S. said...

Ten years of HSR construction has certainly stimulated the Greek economy.

garage mahal said...

cubanbob
You still didn't answer my question.

MayBee said...

I can purchase tickets on Southwest and get from NorCal to SoCal in one hour for $59.

Chip S. said...

Still no answer why anti-HSR fiscal hawk Scott Walker is asking state taxpayers to come up with 150 million for HSR service?

Just a wild guess: It costs a lot less to upgrade an existing line than to build a new one?

Another crazy shot in the dark: More people take the train from Milwaukee to Chicago than to Madison?

No, those can't be right. All trains are equally valuable.

wv stramp: A rare monosyllabic portmanteau word for "tramp stamp"

cubanbob said...

garage mahal said...
What is missing in all of these moronic high speed rail schemes is that no one will use them

Maybe you can answer:

Why is anti-HSR fiscal hawk Scott Walker asking state taxpayers to come up with 150 million for HSR service? Weird.

[And actually it is 209 million]

11/1/11 12:30 PM

I have no idea as to why. He is your governor, not mine, so ask him what the logic is. In my state the governor killed an equally moronic plan. Governor Walker is right about many things but apparently this thing is a goof up on his part.

AJ Lynch said...

The states, cities and fed govts are still broke right? Cause when I see CA still wants to spend money it does NOT have, I thought maybe I fell into a coma for 10 or 20 years and just woke up.

I look forward to seeing these half- built monstrosities where construction had to be halted because we ran out of real money to pay for this stuff.

garage mahal said...

Just a wild guess: It costs a lot less to upgrade an existing line than to build a new one?

But why upgrade at all? 209 million is serious scratch. They're boondoggles! Nobody rides them. They lose money. Yada yada yada.

Why not just tear it up and be done with it?

MadisonMan said...

I can purchase tickets on Southwest and get from NorCal to SoCal in one hour for $59.

How long does it take to get to the airport from where you live, or from the airport to where you want to visit?

It's easy for me to fly to Denver. But then there's the little issue of getting out of that POS airport to where I really want to go.

Seeing Red said...

Then why is Wisconsin on the hook for 150 million in taxpayer funds to upgrade a HSR line, under Scott Walker's direction? Did he forget HSR is a boondoggle?



You don't want to upgrade an existing line?

How come?

MayBee said...

How long does it take to get to the airport from where you live, or from the airport to where you want to visit?

It's easy for me to fly to Denver. But then there's the little issue of getting out of that POS airport to where I really want to go.


The airport is closer than the train station.
I have lived in places with convenient trains/buses to the airport. That's a nice combo.

I'm not anti-train, but we in CA do have a good alternative currently. The thing that makes it truly inconvenient is the security, but the idea that can be done to train travel is hardly worth banking billions on.

Chef Mojo said...

Why not just tear it up and be done with it?

Works for me. We've got ghost towns. Why not ghost tracks? Let salvage operations bid for the rights on removing the steel and ties, and regrading the land the tracks are on.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
I can purchase tickets on Southwest and get from NorCal to SoCal in one hour for $59.

How long does it take to get to the airport from where you live, or from the airport to where you want to visit?"

Does HSR offer door to door service? Wow. Maybe we should reconsider this...

Chip S. said...

@garage--Apparently Walker is using some kind of decision criterion that weighs costs against benefits. Which means that you're upset at Walker because he's governing on the basis of something other than a fervent winger's hyperbole.

Or maybe your position is simply, If Walker's for it I'm against it!

garage mahal said...

You don't want to upgrade an existing line?

I'm asking what the point is, if HSR is a boondoggle and waste of money. And I'd like to see how the 209 million is a justified expenditure.

MayBee said...

*** the idea the security requirements can't be added to train travel ****

I went to a B1G college football game this year- they've adopted homeland security rules including no bags, no purses, medicine in baggies. Why? Because of all the threats that have been made to college football games in the Midwest?

If Homeland Security can get college football stadiums to adopt unnecessary, inconvenient rules, think of what they'll do to train travel.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...
Almost forgot, the 209 million we now have to pay comes out to about 278 yrs of yearly maintenance costs of the line that was killed.


Hilarious. That 'real math' is a beauty, isn't it?

MadisonMan said...

Does HSR offer door to door service? Wow. Maybe we should reconsider this...

Don't be dense. Rail stations are more likely than an airport to be in a downtown where I'd want to go.

For example, the Denver Rail terminal is far more convenient to Denver than Denver International Airport.

My point was that flying time is not the time to look at when you compare rail time to air time.

Michael said...

"I'm asking what the point is, if HSR is a boondoggle and waste of money. And I'd like to see how the 209 million is a justified expenditure"

Exactly.

Jay said...

arage mahal said...

I'm asking what the point is, if HSR is a boondoggle and waste of money. And I'd like to see how the 209 million is a justified expenditure.


It isn't.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
For example, the Denver Rail terminal is far more convenient to Denver than Denver International Airport.

Is NOT the same thing as “convenient”….Denver is not small, and so if you have to take a taxi anyway, it’s only a little less costly and inconvenient from DIA than Denver Downtown Train Station to your destination.

My point was that flying time is not the time to look at when you compare rail time to air time
Still a good point.

garage mahal said...

@garage--Apparently Walker is using some kind of decision criterion that weighs costs against benefits

I wonder what that criterion is! It sure didn't work last spring when he killed the project, because we still have to pay that 209 million we would not have to have paid if we accepted the funds. That comes out to 278 yrs of HSR we're paying for, but not getting.

[The yearly maintenance costs of the Madison-Mke line was estimated at 750k/year after matching funds from the Feds].

Wow!

Richard Dolan said...

Notice that the last two comments were posted on 11.1.11 at 1. At least garage got one thing right: wow!

Jay said...


[The yearly maintenance costs of the Madison-Mke line was estimated at 750k/year after matching funds from the Feds].


Actually it was $9 million.

Oh, and "the feds" don't have any money, but you're not at all concerned about that.

Bozo.

Michael said...

MadisonMan. You are right in your downtown Denver example but most HSR discussions conceive of a downtown that does not exist, a downtown where all the places you want to go will be located. But even in Denver, Aurora is not downtown, nor is Boulder, nor Golden, nor Cherry Creek, nor Broomfield. All of these are major sub markets of Denver and are places where business is conducted and cars are needed. It is almost always easier to fly in, even to Denver, and rent a car than it is to be tied to a sporadic schedule of a single railroad which has no competition.

MadisonMan said...

Too late for 1:11!

garage mahal said...

Actually it was $9 million

Wrong Jaytard. Feel free to keep lying though, you mental midget. It's your only argument.

MayBee said...

Because this HSR is in California, I thought the CA example was pretty pertinent. How did we end up in Denver?

MayBee said...

How long would a HSR from Madison to Denver take?

Peter said...

"Everyone knew (the cost) was going to be higher because they're in this process now of actually designing the project," said Rod Diridon, a former board member for the rail authority. "It's just a matter of time" for them to find the money."


'Michael' said, "On planet earth private companies spend money to "actually design" projects before they cost them. On planet politician the estimates come out of the politicians asses and get approved by a gullible public. Then they get the real numbers."

I interpreted Diridon as just saying, "OK, we lied."

For if they were honest and everyone knew it would cost more (but perhaps not how much more) then why wouldn't they have said, "This is our lowball estimate- t's just a number. We really know it's going to cost more- a LOT more!" ?

Chip S. said...

I wonder what that criterion is!

Just another wild guess: Likely benefits > likely costs?

Libruls talk and--far worse--act as if maximum-imaginable-benefit > zero constitutes a reason for government action.

The point regarding your comments today is that, by your own admission, you don't know what the differences between realistically estimated benefits and costs are for the two rail lines. Yet you are ready to use Walker's decisions in the two cases as evidence of ... what? Stupidity? Hypocrisy? Pure evil? Koch money?

Your instinct is always to rule out good faith and sound judgment on Walker's part as an explanation, despite the evidence from places like Kaukauna.

Michael said...

I am reminded in reading Garage's comments of the two farmers who were using an outhouse. When one farmer finished his business and stood up some change fell from his pocket into the latrine. Without a word he reached in his pocket, pulled out a $20 bill and dropped it in the hole. His buddy said, "What the hell did you do that for?" And the farmer answered: "You don't think I am going down there for fifty cents do you?"

MadisonMan said...

@MayBee: That depends on how HS it is :)

My point is that the hour flight time is really not the total travel time. Just like you shouldn't look at travel time for rail to be just point A to point B, because you never really start at point A and end at point B.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

Wrong Jaytard. Feel free to keep lying though, you mental midget. It's your only argument.


You can present no facts or data to prove me wrong.

PS, it is beyond comical that you would present these estimates as fact in a thread about HSR cost over-run and not understand the irony.

Idiot.

Michael said...

MadisonMan: The time argument is fine so long as you consider that there is one airline running and one train running to the same destination at the same time. The real convenience factor in this analysis is ignored.

There are hundreds of flights to Denver every day. In its heyday there were probably less than fifty trains into the city per day. You can fly non-stop to Denver from dozens of cities that have no train service at all and many others that would require multiple transfers.

A much better argument on short hauls is the fly versus drive comparison. One hour flights or less are challenged by cars on a door to door basis.

MayBee said...

My point is that the hour flight time is really not the total travel time. Just like you shouldn't look at travel time for rail to be just point A to point B, because you never really start at point A and end at point B.

Obviously.
But here's the deal.
You can get from a NorCal airport to an LA airport for 1 hour flight time for $59.

The state and federal government is about to invest billions of dollars to compete with that.
HSR is supposed to get a passenger from a SanFrancisco rail station to the (inconvenient) Los Angeles Union station in 2 hours 40 minutes and we don't yet know the price.

So Denver aside, is this "investment" worth the gain? Currently we have a pretty good alternative.

garage mahal said...

The point regarding your comments today is that, by your own admission, you don't know what the differences between realistically estimated benefits and costs are for the two rail lines.

I'm the only one here that has cited any factual data or figures.

You don't live in Wisconsin, I do.

We are paying for 200+ years of HSR service. Without getting it. Not to mention the lost jobs/revenue from Talgo who had committed to moving to Wisconsin and building the rail cars.

I would think even a retard like Jay could figure out the "cost/benefit" analysis of that, but, sadly no.

Would anyone here pay for a car they couldn't own?

MayBee said...

Drive time from SF to LA is about 5 hours. Roads currently built.
HSR will theoretically be 2 h 40 minutes, plus travel to/fro the train stations. Price unknown. Rail lines not yet built.
Flight time 1 hour plus travel to/fro airport. Price as low as $59/each way. Airports and roads currently built.

But Denver! Doesn't seem to be responsive.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I can't help but think that if Althouse is paying $13K a year in property taxes for a modest sized home, you cheeseheads should have more than enough money for high speed choo choos.

Jay said...

I'm the only one here that has cited any factual data or figures.


Hilarious.

Actually, you're just making a false assertion in rapid fire fashion.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My point is that the hour flight time is really not the total travel time. Just like you shouldn't look at travel time for rail to be just point A to point B, because you never really start at point A and end at point B.

Driving time is the total travel time and when I get to my destination Point B, if I need to go to C, D, E or F.....I still have the means to conveniently travel to my other locations.

The problem as MayBee points out, especially in California, is that even IF you took a train to a central area in Los Angeles or San Jose or Sacramento, there is NO WAY to get around the town because the "town" is so spread out and busses or other transportation is terrible or non existent.

You STILL need a car to get around so why not drive your own or take a plane which is cheaper and then rent.

High speed rain or even slow speed rail is not efficient and is a waste of money and a waste of TIME since you can fly or even drive quicker currently than taking Amtrack. Plus you have more flexible schedules available in the non train transportation mode.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...

Don't be dense. Rail stations are more likely than an airport to be in a downtown where I'd want to go.

For example, the Denver Rail terminal is far more convenient to Denver than Denver International Airport.

My point was that flying time is not the time to look at when you compare rail time to air time. "

Well, we are talking LA to Frisco here. But the fact that you want "downtown" doesn't mean all want it. For many, "downtown" is a problem...why airports are built now away from downtown. Second, you fail to factor in that there are many more flights than trains...how long will you have to wait for a train?

garage mahal said...

Actually, you're just making a false assertion in rapid fire fashion.

Try to keep up. I know it's hard.

One of Walker's main objections to the Milwaukee-to-Madison line is that operating costs are expected to total $7.5 million a year, not counting fare revenue. State transportation officials say federal aid could cover as much as 90% of that sum, as it does on the existing Hiawatha line, leaving $750,000 a year for state taxpayers to pick up. Link.

Just remembered our dumb governor thought he could take the HSR funds and use for other projects. Which is against federal law.

Alex said...

We can't afford NOT to build HSR everywhere even if bankrupts us!

Jay said...

State transportation officials say federal aid could cover as much as 90% of that sum,

Hilarious.

Alternatively,

State transportation officials say federal aid could not cover as much as 90% of that sum,


You are such a beclowner it is sad.

Jay said...

Try to keep up. I know it's hard.


You mean like by saying "could" = fact?

"Keep up" like that, stupid?

Jay said...

Try to keep up. I know it's hard.


Yeah, funny how you accept "could" but ignore this:

"It's the state's call. They're the ones that have to pay the $750,000 a year or $7.5 million a year ongoing. On the other hand, they'd have to forgo the $800 million. Is that a sensible trade-off or not? I worked to do my best to be part of giving them the option of making that decision," Petri said

And again, lost on you is that fact that these estimates are routinely off by 50%.

You're a moron of epic proportions.

garage mahal said...

The Feds are already paying for 90% of the Hiawatha, Jaytard. Which they would have done with this line.

Even if they didn't, that's still 30 yrs worth of HSR service Wisconsinites are paying for, but not receiving.

Can you do simple math Jay? Instead of guessing, break out your calculator and give it a try!

andinista said...

This is an example of California single-party government insanity.

LA-SF will still be better by air.

Right now, door to door, it takes 5 hours to fly commercial between LA and SF. (Door to door: from the moment you leave your house to go to the airport, until you are at your intended destination and sit down in a chair and say "ahh".)

So instead of traveling at 350 mph, you'll now travel at 125 mph, adding another 1.5-2 hours. Which you won't make up from the outbound security delay differential. You'll still have to show up early and go through security. And it will cost just as much.

It will be a 7 hour journey, for the same price. Insane.

All this is, is a scam to forever transfer and launder borrowed money from taxpayers through unions into politicians pockets. This is what happens when you have electorate that believes in fairy dust, and elects profoundly stupid partisans and ward-heelers. Californians will not wake up from their nightmare until they have nothing to eat but dirt.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...
The Feds are already paying for 90% of the Hiawatha, Jaytard. Which they would have done with this line.


Really?

Then why did they say "could"?

And why did the state legislator use the $7.5 million figure?

Why did the federal representatives use the $7.5 million figure?

Oh, because you're a silly little liar.

Thats why.

Jay said...

Even if they didn't, that's still 30 yrs worth of HSR service Wisconsinites are paying for


As opposed to the number of years the federal taxpayers who don't live in WI are paying for.

Idiot.

Alex said...

Why should the federal government pay for Wisconsin HSR?

Scott M said...

Why should the federal government pay for Wisconsin HSR?

Unions need their backs kicked and their funds slushed?

andinista said...

Here's some facts.
1. Airports: LA: LAX, Ontario, John Wayne, Burbank, Long Beach. SF: SJC, OAK, SFO.

2. Train terminals: 1 in LA, one in Bay Area. Can't have too many, or the trip time is lengthened and the HSR promise is lost.

3. Flight times: every hour from 6AM to 9PM.

4. Rail departures: twice a day to start, eventually 4/day.

5. Automobile drive time, door to door: 7 hours.

HSR in California is flushing the country's wealth down a rathole. Wake up! Don't do this!

garage mahal said...

Jaytard is one of the lizard brain wingnuts who would gladly pay for a service he doesn't receive. If it meant it might piss off a liberal. Pretty hard to talk sense to such an astonishingly stupid person. Oh well.

garage mahal said...

But to give you an idea what hypocites Republicans are about federal grants for projects, read and weep.

But away from the cameras, Cantor sometimes pulls right up to the spending trough, including the very stimulus law he panned in public. Letters obtained by Newsweek show him pressing the Transportation Department to spend nearly $3 billion in stimulus money on a high-speed-rail project—not the one he derided in Nevada, but another in his home state. “Virginia ... will demonstrate that this historic investment in rail will create jobs, reduce congestion, spur economic growth and improve our environment,” says a letter he signed with other Virginia members in October 2009, cribbing President Obama’s own argument for the stimulus.

Choo choo!

MadisonMan said...

3. Flight times: every hour from 6AM to 9PM.

4. Rail departures: twice a day to start, eventually 4/day.

Practically speaking, I don't think this part makes a difference. Unless people actually go to the airport to grab the first available flight, or go to the rail terminal and grab the first available train. Do they? I wouldn't travel like that ever. For un-planned trips, everyone I know drives. For something planned, you tailor your plans around the airline or rail schedules.

Even when I grab a bus, I know what the schedule is beforehand so I am not waiting more than 5 minutes.

Michael said...

I don't travel as much as I used to, maybe 60,000 air miles this year at current pace. I have done upwards of 150,000 in some years and been on two or more planes a week for months on end. Trains only appeal to people who are afraid of flying, who rarely travel themselves and then only to a specific meeting, and to people who romance the mode. You can run numbers until your fingers are numb and there are no more cells in Excel but you will never make the case for HSR except in the N.E. corridor and then only after massive expenditures to upgrade the roadbeds.

MayBee said...

Practically speaking, I don't think this part makes a difference. Unless people actually go to the airport to grab the first available flight, or go to the rail terminal and grab the first available train. Do they? I wouldn't travel like that ever.


More options mean more options.

If you are a student in NorCal coming home for Thanksgiving, a flight every hour means you can come home as soon as you can get to the airport instead of waiting until Wednesday night or Thursday morning. If a class is out early, you can change your flight.


A lot of people travel like that, especially people who are using the train or plane for a commute more than for a vacation/business trip.

andinista said...

Flights every hour mean a lot more unplanned, last-minute, target-of-opportunity travel. Especially business travel. If I know I need to go talk to my suppliers, but I don't know how long I will be there, knowing that I can delay my departures or arrivals helps me decide if and when to go. If I have to cut short my business meeting cuz of the train departure, that's bad. If my meeting ends early, I can hop an earlier flight.

Flexible schedules = more business.

Also, consider. An airline with low load factors rents out its plane to others: they have lots of options to cheaply expand/contract with ridership. Your unused high-speed train just sits on a siding and depletes your cash flow.

And once your stupid train gets a reputation for inflexible and inconvenient departures, your ridership evaporates, and everyone goes back to cars and planes.

Stop dreaming! There is no way under the sun to make HSR commercially successful in California. It's just politicians stealing your money and giving it to your friends.

andinista said...

Oops! I meant politicians stealing your money, and giving it to THEIR friends.

Seeing Red said...

Garage, you might want to look at a map. Virginney rail lines make sense. Nevada does not.

cubanbob said...

Garage I don't know what question you asked me that I did not answer. If you add up the fuel taxes, tolls, car taxes,excise taxes tied to trucks and autos and truck fees the highway systems more or less is paid for by its users. It's the roadway and auto related taxes that subsidies mass transit and bike lanes.

Commercial aviation is also user supported. Why shouldn't rail users pay their share of the freight?

Seeing Red said...

You don't want to upgrade an existing line?

I'm asking what the point is, if HSR is a boondoggle and waste of money. And I'd like to see how the 209 million is a justified expenditure.

--------------


No you're not asking what the point is.


You're saying you don't want to maintain something that's in use.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Why shouldn't rail users pay their share of the freight

Uh, because they CARE about the environment, because they are HIP, dood…because as a member of the new ruling class they DESERVE the service?

cubanbob said...

Trains other than high density corridor in the Northeast make no sense. Any trip worth flying to is generally more than a five hour drive, usually at the seven hour point. Less than that its more convenient to drive. Trains are neither fish nor fowl since from end to end trains are not really faster and unless you are going to a compact metro area like Manhattan you still need a cab or a van service to get you to where you are going and some sort of local transportation to get about.
High speed trains don't make sense. If they did, railroads would be back in the passenger business.

MadisonMan said...

If you add up the fuel taxes, tolls, car taxes,excise taxes tied to trucks and autos and truck fees the highway systems more or less is paid for by its users. It's the roadway and auto related taxes that subsidies mass transit and bike lanes.

In theory. Not in fact.

garage mahal said...

6 bicyclists beat $4 JetBlue flight in race during Carmageddon

Hoosier Daddy said...

Bike paths!!!

Hoosier Daddy said...

In theory. Not in fact.

You have to really ask whether we are truly undertaxed or whether the state is grossly inefficient with the use of our tax dollars.

I mean it has to be one or the other and I'm not buying that its the former.

george said...

But don't worry folks, Obamacare will save enough money to pay for everything! You will even be able to get a buy one get one free ticket to the high speed rail for the pony the government is going to buy you for your birthday!

Who could be against ponies?

MadisonMan said...

Well, when was the last time the gas tax went up? Here in WI it used to go up automatically on January 1st, but Doyle stopped that. Yet road-building costs increase.

In other words, I don't see why it can't be a combination of the two, primarily the latter.

MadisonMan said...

Actually, it was Apr 1st. And the annual bump was stopped during Doyle's administration, not necessarily by Doyle.

These errors did not occur because Wisconsin has the lowest beer tax in the nation.

AJ Lynch said...

Maybee - I wish you were in charge of making our govt's big spending decisions. But you are too logical and analytical so it could never happen.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
3. Flight times: every hour from 6AM to 9PM.

4. Rail departures: twice a day to start, eventually 4/day.

Practically speaking, I don't think this part makes a difference. Unless people actually go to the airport to grab the first available flight, or go to the rail terminal and grab the first available train. Do they? I wouldn't travel like that ever. For un-planned trips, everyone I know drives. For something planned, you tailor your plans around the airline or rail schedules.

Even when I grab a bus, I know what the schedule is beforehand so I am not waiting more than 5 minutes."

Do I remember correctly that you teach? If so, god help the poor kids.

You do understand that many who travel for business do so around schedules that aren't of their making. *Am meeting? No problem...take an early flight. Train? Go the day before. Get a hotel.

There is a reason that air carriers have frequent flights...to accomodate their customers needs. People want them, and are on them.

By your stupid logic we could have just one train... a week. Just plan...right?

Kirk Parker said...

MadMan,

"In theory. Not in fact. "

Read it again: he said "highway system" not "road system". And there is some legitimacy for general revenue support of local roads--even if I walk and bike everywhere, I do want the garbage truck to come by regularly, the fire truck or the police or the medics if I need them, etc.

Big Mike said...

@garage, you assert (without proof, as usual) that California high speed rail will create 1 million jobs for the projected $98.5B.

If true (and that's unlikely) and if the high speed rail comes in for the current projected $98.5B (also unlikely), then we will have created 1 million temporary jobs at a cost of $98,500 per job.

How about we pick a million unemployed skilled laborers at random and pay them each $49,250 to do nothing? What they produce doing nothing will benefit the state of California just as much as the high speed rail project, and they'd save half the projected outlay.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I haven't read all the comments, but it doesn't sound like anybody here is real familiar with California geography. An HSR line from Merced to Palmdale is an HSR line from nowhere to nowhere. The projected one-way fare from LA to SF is $81, roughly what an airplane ticket costs. HSR would take twice as long as flying, and would involve two additional connecting railroad lines. The figure of 1,000,000 new jobs is preposterous, and seems to have been pulled out of Tom Umberg's ass.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Geez, the WaPo goes to all the effort of moving Palmdale into the LA basin for you and this is the thanks they get. There's no pleasing some people.

Heart_Collector said...

Yeah build your trillion dollar fucking train so the next earthquake after completion teaches you that you really are that retarded.


That's like going all in when you don't even have cards.

Kirk Parker said...

Paul Z FTW!!! :-)

wv: depack - what we'll have to do once we get the density nazis out of power.

Robert R. said...

Here's the source on how Walker ironically turned into one of rail's biggest supporters pouring tens of millions of State dollars on top of Federal money spent elsewhere.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/125810723.html

And the key quote.

"Yet the state's own numbers call that contention into question. While some of those figures could change, it appears the state eventually could spend $11.7 million on a temporary maintenance base, up to $60.1 million on a permanent maintenance base, up to $10.2 million on train shed upgrades at the downtown Amtrak-Greyhound station, $6.6 million on signal upgrades at the station and at least $10.4 million on new locomotives - all costs the federal government would have paid."

That's leaving out the costs for upgrading State owned track between Watertown and Madison that is used for freight and is in the budget to be upgraded.

Wisconsin needs less of those kind of fiscal "victories".

Robert Burnham said...

What bothers me is the idea of a TV/web ad clinching someone's vote.

When it comes to politics, for the sake of your soul (not to mention sanity), ignore all media except print.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

When it comes to politics, for the sake of your soul (not to mention sanity), ignore all media except print.

How is it that you think that print media is somehow honest or presenting an accurate picture of anything, given the Journolist scandal.

My parents both worked in the newspaper business. Union printers for all of their lives and were around many major newspapers from the Chicago Tribune to the SF Chronicle.

The big joke in our household was:

"They can't print it if it isn't true"

Yuk yuk hardi har har har.

Bruce Hayden said...

Those talking about the Denver area should keep in mind that that airport was a boondoggle too. Before DIA was built, Stapleton was the 5th busiest in the world. They wanted to build a 4th or 5th runway, and it would have had to have been over Rocky Mountain Arsenal. So, now the new airport can build from its current 6 to 12 all-weather runways. Meanwhile airports like Phoenix with 3 runways, much too close together to be all-weather, are handling comparable traffic, while being a short taxi (and soon, light rail) trip from downtown. And, of course, while LAS may not be closer to downtown than PHX, it is 5 minutes by taxi from the Strip, which is what is really important.

Why build DIA in the first place? It doesn't really handle any more traffic (though it could), and is probably more than twice as far from downtown Denver as Stapleton was. The answer is that it was a Democratic politician's wet dream. Authorized by Mayor Pena, and finished by Mayor Webb, the people who benefited from it were the land speculators, the unions, and minority contractors (Webb is Black). As to the speculators, few were surprised when the cost of acquiring the land came in a billion over budget, and most of that money ended up going to prominent Denver families, who mostly hadn't owned the land a year earlier. And the results of hiring minority contractors, from cracked marble to cracked runways, took years and hundreds of millions more to correct.

Keep in mind though, that the goal in designing that airport (DEN), was not as a convenient metropolitan airport, but rather, as a major regional, and possibly international (given the length of runways possible there) hub. And, as such, it works probably as well as it possibly could, given that Colorado has more snow than some other states. Planes have minimal taxiing, and passengers can get from gate to gate in very short order, once they figure out the airport (I have been through it > 500 times, so can almost do it with my eyes closed).