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Old 04-21-2015, 01:51 PM
 
6,180 posts, read 5,553,784 times
Reputation: 4201

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
I would love to get the "brain train" commuter rail all the way to Athens. But I am not sure how the funding would work for the rest of the length all the way to Athens.
Regional high-capacity passenger rail transit service like the future "Brain Train" line between Athens and Atlanta should be funded with a large-scale P3 (Public-Private Partnership) that collects revenues from multiple sources, including:

> Large and small monetary donations from private companies and individuals...

(...The Georgia, Metro Atlanta, local county and local city chambers-of-commerce could ask their member institutions and individuals to collect and donate money to a regional high-capacity transit system.)

> The aggressive sales of large and small private sponsorships...

> Distance-based fares of between $0.10 and $0.50 per-mile in 2015 dollars (from $0.10 per-mile fare for disadvantaged groups up to $0.50 per-mile fare for first-class passenger rail service and appropriate prices for varying levels of service in between)...

> Transit-oriented development at and around stations....

> Value Capture/Tax Increment Financing (revenues from property taxes and fees on new and existing development and properties along a high-capacity transit route).

Not only should the "Brain Train" line be funded with a large-scale P3, but ALL high-capacity transit lines (rail and bus) should be funded with large-scale P3's instead of county-by-county sales tax referendums....Particularly in outlying counties like Gwinnett and Cobb (and beyond) where such a transit tax referendum would potentially be dominated by staunchly anti-tax and anti-transit interests.

The entirety of a future "Brain Train" high-capacity passenger rail transit line and most other high-capacity passenger rail transit lines should be funded with large-scale P3's instead of with revenues from county-by-county sales tax referendums....Which county-by-county voter referendum-approved sales taxes alone don't even provide enough money for high-capacity rail transit service.

We have seriously got to get away from thinking that anti-tax and anti-transit voter-dominated county-by-county sales tax referendums are the only way to fund transit expansion.

For one, using voter referendums to fund transit gives the public the impression that funding transit is optional when transit service clearly is not optional in very large major metro regions of 6 million-plus inhabitants with severely-inadequate road networks.

Second, using voter referendums to fund transit lets one shrinking portion of the population (the aging anti-transit, anti-tax portion of the population which votes most frequently in elections) dictate critically important transportation decisions for the entire population....If past infrastructure decisions had been left up to this portion of the population, we might not even have publicly-funded major infrastructure projects like the Interstate system, Lakes Lanier and Allatoona, the Port of Savannah and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Transit is just as critically-important to the economic well-being and quality-of-life of the Atlanta region as the Interstate system, Lakes Lanier and Allatoona, the Port of Savannah and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

We cannot let a few-thousand angry ideologues (who are stuck in the distant past) dictate the critically-important public infrastructure of a large and fast-growing urban county of nearly 900,000 and a very-large and fast-growing major metro region of more than 6 million.

At this critical point in time, the conversation should not be whether-or-not we are going to extend high-capacity rail transit to an often congestion-plagued large urban county of nearly 900,000 people because a few-thousand ideologues cannot get out of the distant past when the county was a sparsely-populated suburban area that was over 90% white.

At this critical point in time the conversation should be about how we are going to raise the money to extend high-capacity rail transit to a congestion-plagued large urban county of 900,000 people in the shortest time possible.
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:16 PM
 
10,544 posts, read 7,515,727 times
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Good post. That would be great and what I would hope for B2R.

Of course as Texas is showing, it can be tough for 100% private funded passenger rail to get support in some states where 100% government funded highways are built like kudzu: Meet the Opposition to Texas High-Speed Rail - CityLab (also: Debunking 5 Myths About Texas High-Speed Rail )
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:18 PM
bu2
 
10,000 posts, read 6,438,148 times
Reputation: 4156
Its the rural counties that don't have any stops that are opposing it.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:37 PM
 
6,180 posts, read 5,553,784 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
Its the rural counties that don't have any stops that are opposing it.
This is a good comment.

This is a good comment because it underscores the need for sparsely-populated areas to have access (or at least the perception of access) to the high-speed interurban and/or commuter passenger rail transit lines that may be routed through their areas.

Darned near every rural outpost that wants a station along a high-speed interurban passenger rail line should get one....And they can basically have one because not every small one-horse town, hamlet and rural outpost that may have a station has to be served by every high-speed passenger train comes down the track.

For example, 20 passenger trains may roll down a track each day but many of the smallest tiniest towns with a train station may only be served or 1 or 2 trains per day, if that.

Heck, some of the absolute most remote and tiniest outposts may only get service on the days that they might have passengers which in some cases might be rare.

A tiny rural outpost may have a station on a line but most trains will rarely stop there.

In any case, the sparsely-populated rural areas that lie along a high-speed passenger rail track between heavily-populated areas need to feel as if they are getting in on the prosperity that the trains are helping to foster in more heavily populated and developed areas by at least getting a station where a sparsely populated area might only receive occasional or even semi-occasional interurban and/or commuter passenger rail service.

A good example might be a small town like Carl, Georgia in Barrow County on a future "Brain Train" regional high-capacity passenger rail line operating between the ATL Airport and the University of Georgia in Athens.

Carl only has a population of about 255 people and might want to have a station on the future "Brain Train" line between Atlanta and Athens.

Carl clearly does not have the population to support a high-frequency of passenger rail service, but the locals think that a stop will help the economy of the area....So very tiny and rural Carl in Barrow County gets a station on the future "Brain Train" line but only gets served by about 1 or 2 passenger trains per day and the citizens of the area feel as if they area getting in on the economic prosperity that "Brain Train" is bringing to the logistical corridor that it is serving.

The same scenario applies to other small towns and remote rural outposts in states like Georgia and Texas where high-speed passenger rail trains are slated to be routed through smaller cities and towns and sparsely-populated rural areas while operating between more heavily-populated areas.

It is very important that rural areas be made to feel as though they are at least getting in on some of the prosperity that high-speed passenger trains may be fostering while they operate between heavily populated areas like Metro Atlanta and Athens in Georgia or between heavily-populated areas like Dallas and Houston in Texas.

These interurban (and/or commuter) trains cannot just be perceived as being a mode of transportation that only serves the most heavily populated and already prosperous urbanized areas, particularly if these trains will be operating through rural areas that feel that they need a major economic boost.

People in rural areas cannot feel as if they are being bypassed by economic prosperity on high-speed trains that run through their areas without stops.

There must at least be the perception that they are being accommodated and included in the prosperity of the larger state they are located in.
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Just outside of McDonough, Georgia
1,057 posts, read 849,116 times
Reputation: 1315
Despite the legislative challenges and rural opposition, I pray that the Texas Central Railway/JR Central plan succeeds. California's high-speed rail adventure is mired in lengthening timelines, cost overruns, and increasing taxpayer burdens, which doesn't leave a good impression of high-speed rail in Americans' eyes. If people see TCR's success, that might just speed up plans for high-speed rail in other parts of the country.

- skbl17
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:17 PM
 
29,365 posts, read 26,322,855 times
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How come it takes so long and costs so much to do everything in this country? It seems like the Chinese can knock this stuff out in no time.
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Just outside of McDonough, Georgia
1,057 posts, read 849,116 times
Reputation: 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
How come it takes so long and costs so much to do everything in this country? It seems like the Chinese can knock this stuff out in no time.
Workers' rights, studies, and NIMBYs, just to name a few. In the United States, we have numerous labor protections, environmental impact studies are necessary to secure federal funding, and NIMBYs have a very powerful voice in infrastructure planning, allowing them to stall or wipe out infrastructure projects. The Chinese government does not have to go through any of these hoops, which is why they can get stuff done so quickly.

- skbl17
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:02 PM
 
29,365 posts, read 26,322,855 times
Reputation: 10275
Yeah, you are right. It's just frustrating sometimes.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Georgia
11 posts, read 7,857 times
Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airforceguy View Post
If this actually makes it to a ballot in Gwinnett a couple of years and passes, Cobb will look even more foolish for not having MARTA...

MARTA to Gwinnett County? The people want it - Atlanta Business Chronicle
When I use to use MARTA, I had to drive to where it ends, park, wait for it, then wait till all the night sleepers move for a seat. The buses feel even stranger. Like I'm on another planet. Everyone looks so darn depressed. I also heard that the whities don't want the blackies to have easy access to move around..

I'm kind of believing that after living here for so long. It's mind blowing but true.
New York City has the best transportation for the tri-state area. Because most people work in Manhattan.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:20 PM
bu2
 
10,000 posts, read 6,438,148 times
Reputation: 4156
Quote:
Originally Posted by skbl17 View Post
Workers' rights, studies, and NIMBYs, just to name a few. In the United States, we have numerous labor protections, environmental impact studies are necessary to secure federal funding, and NIMBYs have a very powerful voice in infrastructure planning, allowing them to stall or wipe out infrastructure projects. The Chinese government does not have to go through any of these hoops, which is why they can get stuff done so quickly.

- skbl17
The head of the Texas HSR project said it would take twice as long and possibly cost twice as much if they were using federal funds. The environmental studies are much more streamlined.
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