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88 Percent of Americans Open to High Speed Rail « CelebrateChange4Florida

This is encouraging stuff.

88 Percent of Americans Open to High Speed Rail « CelebrateChange4Florida.

Filed under: Passenger Rail Politics, United States High Speed Rail

17 Responses

  1. Allan says:

    HNTB is a corporation that lives off the trough of gov’t projects.

    What was the survey question? I’m sure that many would give lip service to HSR but would they do so given the cost? Or given a different choice?

    They would be like Boeing issuing a press release that people support air travel.

  2. Ted Crocker says:

    95% of citizens don’t know the real details behind the various high speed rail projects. That’s what I found out when I did my own independent neighborhood poll of 150 households living near the proposed rail corridor. On the surface they sound good, especially as represented by those that want to build them. The reality is we can’t afford them (don’t talk to me about opportunity costs – see below) and they are underfunded to boot. Unless the Federal Government is going to front the $500B to $1Trillion to build them, the states are going to have to pay, and they don’t have any money. Here in California, we have a $21B deficit, our schools fell to number 50 in the nation and our levies (remember what happened during Katrina?) desperately need rebuilding in order to keep the salt water from SF Bay out of the drinking water. The likely real cost of our HSR is $80B, not the $42.6B claimed. So far we have $9B in state bond, $2.25B from the Fed and $0 from private money. The HSR Board has been unable to produce a basic investment grade business plan or believable ridership surveys and yet they are set to start construction in 2012. The way the bond measure was written, the system must be delivered in full SF to LA, and operate without subsidy or it will not be funded. So far, the legislators have not had the nerve to pull the plug because the political will is extraordinarily powerful and the rail boards have huge PR budgets (funded by the tax payers), whereas private citizens and City governments have none. Just because a survey says all is great, consider who took it. HNTB is one of the major consulting companies on the HSR project here in California. If it’s anything like the work they’ve done on the HSR project to date, I wouldn’t trust it any farther than I can throw it.

  3. JAY says:

    We seem to afford a war for 1 Trillion and that ok with you?

  4. Allan says:

    Jay … And those who support gov’t health care would say to you, “So you want to spend $1 trillion on fancy trains while people need medicine?”

  5. JAY says:

    That means nothing..200 billion will build all the HSR in the
    USA and last for decades..A trillion dollar blown on this middle east adventure and we have the anti rail types screaming about this huge cost of HSR..BTW this is a pro railroad board..

  6. Ted Crocker says:

    It’s fine that this is a pro rail board. I am pro-HSR under the right circumstances. I’m also in favor of improving local rail service – something else that is being largely ignored because of HSR. I would think you would want common sense and the law to dictate whether or not HSR should be allowed to continue, and not your love of it. Building HSR at any cost is not a valid reason.

  7. Jim Loomis says:

    It’s so easy to be against things. But that way nothing ever gets done.

  8. J. H. Sullivan says:

    Ted Crocker has the right idea. We need to build up our local and long distance passenger rail first, which could be done easily for around $100M or less.

    What we are doing is trying to run before we walk. Anyone under the age of 40 today, has no idea what real passenger rail was like before airlines and private automobiles scuttled it. As a result all we have is the skeletal remains, embodied in Amtrak, which has no desire to improve itself or provide more routes or service, or even restore a truncated route (Sunset Limited) unless the states pay for it.

    Foreign countries that we envy for their HSR — WE MUST REMEMBER — Have a large network of short, medium, and long distance trains that feed passengers to the HSR routes. Look at Japan, the bullet train largely hugs the east coast, so if you want to go to the west coast, you take the bullet to some intersecting point and ride a ordinary train to your destination.

  9. Ted Crocker says:

    Also, foreign countries have cultures less dependent on cars. The irony is, that other big project that was sold as the answer to all our problems in the ’50’s – the interstate highway system – trained us as a nation to turn on public transportation so commonly used before then. It’s going to take some time to change the culture, especially as cleaner and more efficient cars are designed. Ultimately, it will come down to gridlock, and not necessarily fuel prices that will change peoples’ prefered mode of transportation. They will likely have to feel the pain first. So, it’s a balancing act. HSR needs to make sure it has the ridership and the feeder rails to support it as it grows. And that is how HSR was developed in Japan and Europe. The jury is out on China. Their economy is strong now, but they may find they have a huge albatross around their neck when they realize the continued costs to subsidize and maintain their vast sytem. Also, their situation is tantamount to ours when we built the Transcontinental Railroad, not as we are now. Remember, the TCRR went bankrupt 3 years after it was completed and a ticket cost anywhere from $40-100 in 1882. Taiwan’s HSR has been operating at huge losses since before the economic downturn. I urge caution and a level head in developing HSR.

  10. CAL says:

    Really old 65+rail fans?? GEE this lame nation has 110 “high speed rail”..and its TTOOO fast!! jesus christ you dorks ..only one real HSR is being planned ..its Cali. ?Dont tell us old dogs what life will be like long after your dead…We have to live here ..you things had a good life so SHUT UP and we will build what we want

  11. NONIMBYS says:

    Ted Crocker is a classic NIMBY..Does not what HSR beacuse it runs near his house..and works the web posting his stupid slanted crap..The railroad has been there for over 140 years..people like Ted buy because it was cheap..at least in the Bay Area. Ted..did you not see that railroad when you bought your home?? OR did the realtor put up plam trees??

  12. Ted Crocker says:

    I’m just trying to have some good discussion. People like you, NoNimbys, are the ones working the web to name call because you can’t think of anything constructive to add to the discussion. Who’s hiding behind an alias? Not me. The rail does not run any closer to my house than a good portion of my town. I love the old time feel of the rail nearby. The scale fits our town. I love hearing the freight train at night. It reminds me of an old fashioned town. I’ve seen you say the exact same things to others that you don’t like hearing from. If you want to have a grown up discussion, I am always happy to oblige. I am open to the fact that I might learn something I haven’t heard before. I am not against HSR, unless it is done irresponsibly. If HSR is to work, it must have the proper funding. Instead of me, you should be yelling at your legislator to have a serious talk with Washington and see if they can get more money.

  13. NONIMBYS says:

    YOUR all over the web..dont lie

  14. Ted Crocker says:

    When did I say I wasn’t? I don’t lie. I will acknowledge that. So? And you are all over the web, too, unfortunately doing the same thing you are doing here.

    You know, it’s okay to participate as it broadens understanding of all sides of a discussion, but only when you are willing to listen to all sides. Like I said, I think you are pointing your anger towards the wrong people, and certainly not in a constructive way. I’m sure nobody wants to hear us bickering, so enough said…

  15. I really think a rational, fact based discussion is healthy for the project. Building up regional rail and transit in general is first is the step toward successful HSR.People should be able to get to the HSR without having to build huge car parking structures.

    Facts are facts, they don’t have any less credence whether you live somewhere near the tracks or far away. People voted for the project to be done in accordance with the laws so we’re not stuck with an incredible bill at the end of it.

    Name calling has no place in this discussion, in fact, it shows a weakness in personal character (particularly the anonymous ones) and demonstrates zero command of the facts. You’re actually hurting your cause.

    Many of us in the various parts of the state, not just the peninsula, want the project run lawfully and want to be protected against a financially unsound project. As we say, ” do it right” which means responsibly.

  16. NONIMBYS says:

    What is with you NIMBYS!! “MS” examiner nimby So you people call each other up and tell each other to go post something??? What you cant just have your mouthpiece at the examiner so you come to a trainboard ?? better yet if you all like to debate go to CAHSR blog..they can couter some of your hyped horror facts about this 140 year old railroad and not some 18 lane freeway that you people make this project out to be..your right Ted enough of this here

  17. Ted Crocker says:

    Jay, you bring up an interesting point – the price of war. FWIW, I didn’t support the war(s). HSR could be built along with a lot of other beneficial programs, if it weren’t for the cost of these wars. There too was another case of doing something using the argument of opportunity costs. I’ve heard an interesting parallel drawn between HSR and the Iraq war. Some say if you don’t support the war, you must not support the troops. We know that isn’t true. Well some say, if you don’t support the CA HSR project in its current flawed state, then you must be against HSR. Also not true. Somehow, the inference is that you are not pro-American. I’d like to give Americans a little more credit than that.

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