Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Randal O’Toole discusses High Speed Rail

I leave this for you guys. I have not watched and I am fairly sure I will not watch it. This situation is very disappointing.Even if HSR is built in America, the people who call teh shots will make sure it fails. So it gores in America.

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12 Responses

  1. BruceMcF says:

    Damn, if only I was bald on top, I could go around pretending to be Randall O’Toole, and then when I said all the pro-rail things, it would be NEWS. NEWS, I tells yah.

  2. J. H. Sullivan says:

    I am bald on top, with only a little more around the edges than
    O’toole, but I don’t make news—–

  3. Tim Lynch says:

    This Randell O’Toole is a trip. Just follow his history AND THE MONEY. Like his buddy, Wendell Cox, he is nothing but a paid shill for the asphalt and concrete industry. He has no expertise. Ask him who pays his wages.

  4. Hieronymous Braintree says:

    There are plenty of light rail lines that have far exceeded ridership expectations and are huge sucesses. Some of Portland’s for example (http://www.lightrailnow.org/news/n_por_2005-01.htm).

    I love train travel and have ridden the Baltimore light rail. It sucks. For all it’s modernistic design touches it’s agonizingly slow and had my stomach churing up acid in frustration as I was trying to get from the airport to Penn Station to catch a train. I would definitely think twice before subjecting myself to that again.

    Stossel ignores the successes, dwells on the failures and uses a cyote to symbolize a fictional lack of ridership on the Porland system. He is, quite simply, intellectually corrupt, but what do you expect for a Foxie?

  5. Allan says:

    Now that y’all have post ad hominem attacks, try to dispute his assertions.

  6. Tim Lynch says:

    Every time I read “Ad Hominem Attacks,” I know I am reading the words of a Right Wing Nut Job whose own aggressive attacks are NEVER “Ad Hominem.” Yeah! Right!

    Are you telling us you are “Southern” by the local contraction “Y’all?” Have you ever gone anywhere on a train? Are you old enough to remember the era when American Passenger Trains were the ‘envy of the world?”

    Ad Hominem Attacks huh.

  7. Jazman says:

    I watched this whole sorry excuse for an ‘issues/policy’ show and was disgusted. First, I got the profound feeling that they were purposely avoiding an in-depth look at the subject…in order to mislead and to feed more redmeat to their voracious take-us-back-to-the-19th century audience. Second, the only ‘expert’ allowed on was a Cato creep who’s only purpose for living is to prop up 20th century dinosaurs like Big Oil, Big Auto, etc while the rest of the world innovates their way through the 21st century. China, Russia, Spain and on and on…as examples. Third, the show again, I believe, purposely blurred the distinctions between inner-city light rail and inter-city HSR implying that HSR would operate similar to a subways or lite rail. Finally, the shots of ’empty trains’ (of only one particular system at one moment in time)…what juvenile and obviously one-sided, tunnel vision journalism! A few summers back my wife and I rode the MBTA into Boston…on a weekday and it was packed…yes in the morning and evening BUT that’s what it’s supposed to do! One of mass transit’s core purposes is to lower traffic congestion during peak hours. The benefits of just that are huge (to much for 20th century dinosaurs to handle I guess). The same thing happens the world over. Another point that fired me up a bit. The Cato creep accused lite rail of being a tool for, in his mind I suppose, tyrannical land use regulators to terrorize the citizenry. What does he want…every urban area in this country to look like a hideous sprawled pancake like LA! I get so tired of these types trying to apply rural, wild west, me-first, to-h*ll-with-the-common-good, squatter values to modern urban settings. If that’s the way you want to live, then move to Alaska, Siberia or the Antarctic. (BTW, I have no problem with those rural values when used wisely in their proper settings… ) So let the rest of us in other settings live the way we want to and if we want to walk or ride a bike to a train station and ride to work and back (and pay for it with our tax dollar) THEN LET US!

  8. Tim Lynch says:

    Thank You Jazzman!

  9. Robert says:

    O’Toole point that buses tend to be much cheaper and more flexible than commuter rail makes sense. Cities like London or Berlin might be old and dense enough for rail, but even then, they use a great deal of buses…

    Jazman might not know it, but Alaskan actually has a surprising amout of publicly owned transport including a rail, busses, and a large fleet of ferries. Since the former eastern block countries tended to use alot of public transport, Siberian communities probable use more communter rail than the U.S. or western Europe. (Remember cars were a luxury under communism.)

    it wouold have been nice if Strossel had invited comment from the other side and sources had been given, but the peice isn’t bad. I’m not sure where all hate comes from. I’m also not seeign any of O’Toole’s arguement being countered…

  10. MFriedman says:

    Jazman,

    You claim that big oil and big auto are 20th century dinosaurs but what would you call big railroad? You sound as if rail travel is an innovative idea! It isn’t! Rail transit has long been a favorite of power hungry bureacrats who love to pick winners and losers (it makes for happy, eager campaign contributors) and love to control our lives. You can be skeptical of the motives of men like O’Toole but his message is sound. Cars represent consumer choice whereas rail represents command and control. We all have to pay for rail projects yet only a small percentage of the population will choose to ride the rail projects…. what do people like you suggest to solve that problem? Make driving unaffordable. Raise gas taxes, raise hwy tolls, etc… Let the market decide if we want rail. Quit trying to force everyone to use your preferred mode of transit.

  11. Tim Lynch says:

    Your sense of history would be shamed by a 5th grader. The era of rail monopolies was gone before the great depression in the 1920s.

    When gasoline is $33 a gallon and you are putting money into the pockets of autocrats who consider you inferior and an infidel, you’d still be bitching about “Choices.” Cars do NOT represent consumer choice. They represent a lack thereof.

    Dinosaur, well, you look like one to me.

    Tim

  12. LazyReader says:

    Randal O’Toole is paid by the CATO institute. And it was years before he was even earning an actual salary, prior to that he was almost pro bono. Modern life is so decentralized that carpooling makes no sense for most commuters, how are giant buses and high-capacity trains going to work? Transit is just government mandated carpooling. Only government planners would argue that we should not spend user fees building things that people use and instead spend tax dollars building things that people don’t use! One way planners create congestion is by diverting an ever-increasing share of highway user fees to expensive light-rail and other transit projects. But planners’ hopes for transit have proven unfounded. Even while highways are crowded, transit buses and railcars in most cities run around nearly empty. In 2005, the average public transit bus had room for 60 people but carried just 10. The average light-rail car had room for 175 people but carried just 25. Europeans’ apparent fondness for transit is also an illusion. Though Europe spends roughly $100 billion a year subsidizing urban transit and intercity rail, they are losing market share to the automobile. Americans drive for 82 percent of all their travel; Europeans for 78 percent. If dense housing and huge transit subsidies don’t work in Europe, how can they work here? And as for the peak oil predictors, stop being a doomsday cheerleader. We’re not running out of oil, we’re running out of simple Saudi liquid oil. Alberta, Canada alone has more Tar sand oil than Saudi Arabia alone has liquid oil. And Colorado has several times more oil shale than Canada has tar sands. Then theres the hundreds of billions of tons of hydrocarbons locked in the ocean depths. We have enough hydrocarbon fuels to last nearly indefinitely in the human time frame of tens of thousands of years. I have no idea what we’ll be driving 100 years from now, but certainly not Hummers and Ford Expeditions (at least not 2011 models).

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