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Old 03-26-2010, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,095 posts, read 23,056,498 times
Reputation: 7960

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I once looked into taking an Amtrak train from my home to Little Rock, Arkansas and then a Greyhound bus from the train to the town my ex-wife and kids live. I also looked into a Greyhound bus for the whole way there. I was shocked at the price and the several days it would take both the bus and the train to make the trip. By car and obeying the posted speed limit it was an 8 hour drive including stops to stretch the legs and eat. By Amtrak it was at least two days one way. Direct trains between major cities would probably work better and faster. Make them so there's no stops between the major cities. People in outlying areas can take a bus or drive to the nearest train station city.

 
Old 03-27-2010, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 17,081,697 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
I once looked into taking an Amtrak train from my home to Little Rock, Arkansas and then a Greyhound bus from the train to the town my ex-wife and kids live. I also looked into a Greyhound bus for the whole way there. I was shocked at the price and the several days it would take both the bus and the train to make the trip. By car and obeying the posted speed limit it was an 8 hour drive including stops to stretch the legs and eat. By Amtrak it was at least two days one way. Direct trains between major cities would probably work better and faster. Make them so there's no stops between the major cities. People in outlying areas can take a bus or drive to the nearest train station city.
Sadly, 'tis true. However, I remember a time when a trip like this was only a little longer ,due to stops along the way that cars don't make, but the interstate program changed all that.

If you're child of the 50's & 60's then you know what has changed to uproot the mass transit system America had before the interstate highway system was built.
 
Old 03-27-2010, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,676,459 times
Reputation: 2819
So how do you propose to solve this dilemma, Tightwad, seeing as you don't seem to be willing to reply serious posts.
 
Old 03-27-2010, 05:45 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,808,996 times
Reputation: 6677
Quote:
Originally Posted by getmeoutofhere View Post
Cars will never become too expensive for the average person.
House prices always go up too.

Infinite statements are rarely true, so the best we can do is to live with the odds of certain things happening.

We already know that the cost of cars has been going up faster than our ability to earn money to buy them. An example of this is the fact that people use to buy them with cash, then there were 2 year loans, then 4 year loans. Now we've got 6 year loans and government assistance.

We also know that government intervention in emissions, mileage, and safety requirements have dramatically increased the cost we pay compared to the cost of comparable cars in other countries. With the government planning even more control over CO2 emissions, there's a good chance that prices will continue to go up.

Given the current trends, there's a very good chance that owning and driving cars WILL become too expensive for the average person over the coming decades.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosecitywanderer View Post
So it's cheaper to build thousands of miles of rail lines, displace residents, spend billions upon billions of dollars than it is to use roads that already exist on founded rights-of-way? A few holes in your logic there, chief.
Why would we need more rights-of-way? We already have plenty of them in the form of our existing roadways.
 
Old 03-28-2010, 01:20 AM
 
Location: Still in Portland, Oregon, for some reason
866 posts, read 2,992,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlinggirl View Post
Why would we need more rights-of-way? We already have plenty of them in the form of our existing roadways.
Trains can't go just anywhere, you know. If memory serves the maximum grade your normal train can climb is just over 1%. Cars can do 10 to 15 times that and roads have been built to reflect that capability. I seriously hope you aren't suggesting tearing out roads for railroads, are you?
 
Old 03-28-2010, 08:50 AM
 
10,765 posts, read 20,261,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlinggirl View Post
We already know that the cost of cars has been going up faster than our ability to earn money to buy them. An example of this is the fact that people use to buy them with cash, then there were 2 year loans, then 4 year loans. Now we've got 6 year loans and government assistance.
Cars last a lot longer than they did 20-30 years ago though. These days 200k on a car with minimal mechanical issues is the rule of thumb where as 20-30 years ago that was unheard of for the everyday car. MPG's have doubled and tripled. Technology such as computers have reduced the amount of guesswork needed to fix problems.
 
Old 03-28-2010, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 12,853,869 times
Reputation: 2414
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlinggirl View Post
We already know that the cost of cars has been going up faster than our ability to earn money to buy them. An example of this is the fact that people use to buy them with cash, then there were 2 year loans, then 4 year loans. Now we've got 6 year loans and government assistance.

The proliferation of loans is due more to our credit-happy society than the expense of cars.

You can still go buy a safe car brand new for $10K or $12K. It's nothing particularly nice or fancy, but serviceable.

$12K at 4 years / 5% = $277 a month. Not too bad.

$12K at 3 year / 5% = $360 a month. Still not bad.



There are more expensive cars out there, of course, but if you need a car, you can stretch the loan out on $12K and it will certainly be affordable.
 
Old 03-28-2010, 10:14 AM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
16,532 posts, read 33,558,953 times
Reputation: 15275
Default When Cars are to expensive where are the railroads

I don't believe that cars will ever be too expensive to purchase. Car factories can only stay in business if they are moving their products. Maybe the O.P. is sad that he can't afford a luxury car, or one with AWD. Otherwise, buying a good used car is always an option for those with a minimal financial budget.

30 years ago, my parents were happy to be able to buy a used $2500 Subaru wagon. 20 years ago, I was very happy with finding a used '79 Honda CVCC for $900. Six years ago, I bought a '93 Honda Civic hatch for $500 and had my boyfriend replace the head gasket with $180 in parts... and it's still my daily driven work car. And it's actually a great car that is fun to drive. And last summer, my boyfriend purchased a Volvo 240 wagon for $800 and he'll really happy with it. It had almost 200K on it and the woman who owned it had all the service records, so we knew that it was well taken care of.

If you are afraid to buy a used car, then it doesn't make sense to buy the same car new.

My advice to the financially challenged is to never buy a brand new car. Factory warranties never cover what actually breaks. All cars new and used need maintenance and replacement of wear items like brake pads. Buy a simple car with the least amount of bells and whistles, as there is far less to break. Find a good honest mechanic and don't be his nightmare customer (). Buy a car he checks out and approves of. Don't read car magazines and lust after fancy expensive cars that the average person has no need to buy. Don't think that a shiny fast car will get you hot looking girlfriends. Learn how your car works and teach yourself how to fix the little stuff. A factory service manual for most cars costs under $75. I have several friends who taught themselves how to work on their own cars. They started with doing their own oil changes and worked their way to more complicated fixes. My boyfriend taught himself how to rebuild an automatic transmission when he was in high school. And one friend now is a mechanic at an Acura dealership. I've only replaced lightbulbs in my dashboards and once replaced a radiator.

Otherwise, again remember that car companies would go out of business if their customer base can't afford to buy their product. So there is no need to panic.
 
Old 03-28-2010, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
12,942 posts, read 18,538,276 times
Reputation: 13774
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 SNAKE View Post
There's plenty of oil left in the United States and Canada. Between the costs of extraction/refining and social conscience, they're largely untapped right now. That can very easily change.
Silly people that are against strip mining millions of acres of land across western North America. What are they thinking anyway? It's not like we need clean water, forests, mountains or places to grow food or anything. Just as long as we have tar sands and oil shale, right?
 
Old 03-28-2010, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
12,942 posts, read 18,538,276 times
Reputation: 13774
Cars will never be too expensive to purchase, just too expensive to commute regularly with.

If oil has peaked, there is still just as much oil in the ground as has ever been burnt. It won't last nearly as long, however and will only get more expensive as time goes on. Eventually, it will not be cost effective to use it as a fuel for the vast majority of the population.

Plus, long distance trains use oil too, so they won't be a very cost-effective solution either, and steam locomotives have their own set of problems, which is why the technology was abandoned in the 30's and 40's.

Electricity is the short-term solution. We need better batteries, and better ways of creating massive amounts of electricity but we can realistically make the world run on voltage instead of oil in a few decades.

Also, we've built our world around personally owned autos, and although the pressures of peak oil will change our world, we can't afford to just abandon everything and start again. I expect cities will become more dense and compact, exurbs will die off and people will go about their daily business in short range electric cars (and electric trains for longer trips) that will slowy get better as time goes on.
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