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  #61  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2010, 7:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Slug on the Tracks
By CHRISTIAN WOLMAR
President Obama has repeatedly insisted that there is no reason why Europe or China, rather than the United States, should have the world’s fastest trains, and since coming to office he has committed the country to developing a high-speed rail network of its own.

Yet the $8 billion set aside for high-speed rail in his 2009 stimulus package, split among 31 states, includes only two genuine high-speed rail projects — in Florida and California. And even that money will do little more than kick-start the schemes. The rest of the package will go to upgrading various sections of the Amtrak network.

High-speed rail lines are expensive and can take years, even decades, to complete, particularly in a country as large as the United States. As a consequence, the president needs a quick success to show America what a genuine high-speed railway can offer. Fortunately, he has a great test case right on his doorstep: the Acela services along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, which the stimulus package essentially ignored.
I believe the key word missing from this NYTimes editorial was "Stimulus". The author completely ignored that concept when discussing Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, which had no "Ready To Go" projects planned. Amtrak is used to being squeezed financially and had no projects planned with environmental reviews completed. Never-the-less, several Northeast Corridor projects are being built with Amtrak's increased funding last year.

I'm not arguing that the Northeast Corridor doesn't need improvements, golly any rail corridor that's been around since the 1920s and 1930s is going to need some work. But the $8 Billion was Stimulus funds, and completed environmental studies was required to win any Stimulus funds.
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  #62  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2010, 11:47 PM
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I just wanna say one thing about Maglev...
WHO CARES IF IT CAN'T CONNECT TO REGIONAL SERVICES.

HSR usually runs on its own dedicated line.

Heaven forbid you might have to transfer to another local line when you get close to your destination...

ISN'T that similar to when you fly? You fly into a hub.... and **GASP** you have to change planes! Oh no! That sounds complicated!

Sorry for the sarcasm... just pointing out that with the right infrastructure, transferring isn't a problem.
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  #63  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 12:03 AM
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One of the main reasons that I like the Vegas Maglev is that it looks increasingly likely that ARTIC, not Disneyland will be the terminus proposed. People on the Irvine leg of the CHSR could transfer here. And if the exact location is chosen wisely, those on the main line between LA and SD could transfer at Ontario airport.
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  #64  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 1:15 AM
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
(The only reason why private airlines stay in business is because the FAA built and still operates the airports; if they had had to take on airport construction and operation expenses themselves, they certainly wouldn't still be around;
You don't have a clue what your talking about,
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  #65  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 5:00 AM
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Airlines most definitely help fund airport construction and expansion. Money also comes from a variety of sources including passengers (ticket taxes, rolled into airfares), city governments, state governments, and in some cases, federal grants. The FAA does not fund airports in full; not even close.

Quote:
One of the main reasons that I like the Vegas Maglev is that it looks increasingly likely that ARTIC, not Disneyland will be the terminus proposed. People on the Irvine leg of the CHSR could transfer here. And if the exact location is chosen wisely, those on the main line between LA and SD could transfer at Ontario airport.
The terminus was never going to be Disneyland. That was a myth created by Bobby Jindal in the GOP Fortress of Doom.


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  #66  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 5:12 AM
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^ See, this is what I truly mean when I say i'm sick of Republicans...
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  #67  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 6:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Policy Wonk View Post
You don't have a clue what your talking about,
He's part right.

Airlines pay for most airport projects at least indirectly. However, the whole system relies heavily on public financing, public interest rates, and public ability to push projects forward, use imminent domain, etc.

Left to their own means, the airlines would have very little financial or political ability to build anything, and the industry would be severely hampered by it.

Further, airlines rely heavily on the ability to grow/shrink without the burden of having to spend several years building first, and without debt load for facilities they don't need anymore. The whole model needs someone to provide "central services", whether that's a company or a government.
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  #68  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 8:19 AM
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He isn't even part right and airlines would LOVE to be left to their own devices when it comes to basic infrastructure since most large airports in the US are costly, bureaucratic disasters in the hands of incompetent politically controlled operators. Hey airlines... want to get rid of PANYJ?
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  #69  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 5:18 PM
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^And they would be able to build this basic infrastructure how? You can't just decide to build an airport, or even build new terminals at an existing one, without either support from people in the area or the ability to ignore the people in the area. Southwest has tried to basically buy some existing cargo airports, or at least fully fund their own terminals at several, and has almost never been successful. They simply don't have the political pull to get it done when "left to their own devices."
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  #70  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 8:32 PM
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Southwest failed to build a new terminal at Boeing Field because the Port of Seattle raised hell with the county, the Port of Seattle being the ones responsible for runaway costs at Sea-tac that made Southwest want to leave in the first place.

In the absence of the state or local airport operators who are viciously protective of their kingdom things would be very different.
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  #71  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 9:26 PM
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Sounds like you don't have the slightest clue about Sea-Tac.

(I'm speaking as a contractor in the region, not involved with the larger Sea-Tac projects but having built a variety of projects at Sea-Tac and Boeing Field)
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  #72  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 10:47 PM
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Then you should be eminently well informed about Southwest and the Boeing Field proposal they launched five years ago. Which was for no other reason than to escape the rising costs at Sea-tac.


seattlepi.com

It is really unfortunate this didn't come to fruition, it would have opened this past September,
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  #73  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 11:12 PM
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I'm still not sure what that has to do with Southwest being able to do it better on their own. You really think it would be cheaper for Southwest to have to deal with environmental groups, NIMBY groups, eminent domain issues, etc, etc on their own without any help from government agencies or politicians? Sure, the airlines could probably do it cheaper if they had carte blanche to build whatever they wanted wherever they wanted and operate the facilities whenever and however they wanted, but in what world would that happen?
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  #74  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2010, 11:42 PM
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Not that I wish to take this any further off topic, but were going to find out.

Over-staffed, Do nothing transportation agencies are going to be slashed to oblivion by cash strapped states in the coming years.
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  #75  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2010, 12:36 AM
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Sea-Tac is expensive, but you misunderstand the reasons.

Here's the main one: It was necessary to build another runway so that two runways could operate in low-visibility periods. This required building a plateau high above the existing land, which was massively expensive. Worse, 20 years of politics and lawsuits were necessary to get it built, raising the cost substantially. The could would have been astronomical regardless of who built it. Not that it can really be compared...nobody other than a public agency would have the ability to build that sort of project from a financing or legal standpoint.

As for Southwest, they weren't supported for a bunch of reasons, starting with a lot of public expenditure that would have been required, such as roads and transit.
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  #76  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2010, 1:05 AM
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Is this thread about railroads or Seattle airports?
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  #77  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2010, 3:03 AM
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Ditto. Move along to the PacNW forum or an existing airport/airlline thread.
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  #78  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2010, 5:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Sea-Tac is expensive, but you misunderstand the reasons.
No, I was quite aware of that too, it doesn't matter why it is expensive. Southwest simply went in search of a more cost effective facility from which to serve the region.

The Port of Seattle and Alaska Airlines went on the war path and the rest is history.

I would love to continue the subject of state and local airport management in another thread.
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  #79  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2010, 6:46 PM
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Get back on topic!

Here's the deal: both aviation and high-speed rail suffer from the same problems, i.e., expense of getting the kind of environment needed for the profitable operations built in the first place. Since our policy decisions were to leave the railroads to their own devices while expanding our freeway and airport networks in the '50s (this would have been policy I, too, would have supported at the time, ironically enough) the government was more than willing to pick up the tab for construction and maintenance and only get relatively little quasi-farebox recovery back from it. Even today, trucking companies pay far less to use the road network than they should. Latent subsidies and all that.

But times have changed; our freeway and airport networks are largely built whereas our railroad network has stagnated and even shrunk. Our passenger rail network stinks! This is why outlays for new infrastructure should be directed towards the rail and public transit domains--to again equalize the efficacy of all options of transit.

Policy Wonk: your specious claims about public transit make it very, very difficult for me to listen to you with any credulity. Public transit, too, is part of the whole network of integrated modes of transit that constitute "transit freedom".
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  #80  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2010, 4:41 PM
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ok back on topic
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