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Old 06-07-2013, 11:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
As air travel goes up in price, it's not surprising that train ridership is going up. But that doesn't mean that every single metro in America deserves HSR, does it? Of the 25 busiest Amtrak stations in the United States, none of them are located in the South.

List of busiest Amtrak stations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
If we get that MMPT in downtown Atlanta and hook into a HSR network and a bunch of commuter lines, I'll bet you plenty of people will ride. I would personally ride a fast train to Savannah or Chattanooga, and to other destinations as well.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCW View Post
Amtrak, because I don't have all day to be wasting around on some slow bus. Regionals take 3:24, Acelas take 2:45, that bus takes 4:15, and I doubt it has food service.
+1, and of course the cost of the car and insurance itself (+ maintenance of the car etc). One of the main benefits of the train is not even cost though its simply being able to have two free hands.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:19 AM
 
7,112 posts, read 9,550,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
If we get that MMPT in downtown Atlanta and hook into a HSR network and a bunch of commuter lines, I'll bet you plenty of people will ride. I would personally ride a fast train to Savannah or Chattanooga, and to other destinations as well.
Sounds like the ol' chicken and egg problem.
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:13 AM
 
9,732 posts, read 9,628,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
No, I'm not ideologically opposed to investing in a multimodal transportation network under any circumstances. HSR from NYC to DC? All for it. HSR in Tokyo? Makes sense. HSR from Paris to Brussels? Yep. HSR from the Bay Area to LA? I can see that. HSR from Atlanta to Charlotte? Or Atlanta to Birmingham? No.
...I didn't say that you were opposed to investing in a multimodal transportation network under any circumstances everywhere, I said that you were opposed to investing in the transit part of a multimodal transportation network in a very fast-growing corridor (the I-85 Atlanta-Charlotte corridor) in a very fast-growing part of the nation (the Southeastern Piedmont between Washington and Atlanta).

If high-speed rail makes sense for a low-density corridor between Los Angeles and the Bay Area (particularly the very low-density area long-stretch of the LA-Bay Area HSR corridor between Palmdale, north of LA and San Jose at the south end of the Bay Area), then HSR makes even more sense for a much-shorter length very fast-growing higher-density corridor of existing passenger rail service with 8 existing stops between Atlanta and Charlotte.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I don't see transit as a way of raising the prestige of a city ("We have HSR like London. Atlanta has arrived!").
...Multimodal transportation options do raise the prestige of the cities and towns those modes of travel serve.

Just look at how infinitely much the presence of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Interstate system, and even the MARTA heavy rail system (in its heyday) have raised the prestige of the Atlanta region and the State of Georgia.

Without the presence of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the Interstate system and the MARTA heavy rail system, Atlanta absolutely does NOT get the Democratic National Convention in 1988, the two Super Bowls in 1994 & 2000, the Summer Olympics in 1996, the SEC Football Championship Game every year, the NCAA Final Fours every 5 or so years, etc.

The more transportation connectivity a city has, the more prestige it can gain by virtue of having that connectivity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I think only high density, high-priority corridors warrant such service. And Atlanta-Charlotte is not one of those corridors.
...With continued very-high rates of population growth already outstripping existing transportation infrastructure (particularly the region's politically-restricted road infrastructure) in the Atlanta area and threatening to outstrip existing transportation infrastructure (and even future road infrastructure) through the entire Interstate 85-anchored Southeastern Piedmont Corridor between Atlanta and Washington DC (not-to-mention the fact that Atlanta is home to the world's busiest passenger airport and is the largest metro region in the Southeastern US; Charlotte is the financial capital of the Southeastern US; and Raleigh-Durham is the research and higher-education capital of the Southeast), the fast-growing I-85-anchored, NS rail line-centered Atlanta-Charlotte corridor IS very-much indeed a high-priority corridor that warrants high-speed rail service in the very-near future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
That's what Megabus is for. I'm well out of school and I still take Bolt and Megabus despite obviously having way more money now than I did then. Plus, I can travel roundtrip on the East Coast for $34 flat whereas the Acela may cost up to $200. What student do you know is going to pay $200 for a train ticket if they can take a bus for substantially less? Amtrak seems costly to working professionals little less college students. That's why the Chinatown bus became so popular.
...Those are good points. That's why special groups, like students, should travel at rates discounted from regular rates that should be much more affordable than current Amtrak rates in most cases so as to appeal to a wide swath of the traveling public.

Think distance-based user fee regular fare rates of between $0.30-$0.40 per-mile with real estate transactional funding (for-profit leasing-out of land around stations and along train lines), Tax Increment Financing (property tax revenues from new development that pops along lines and around stations) and private investment (for-profit leasing of transit lines and all associated costs out to private investor/operators) providing heavy subsidies to bring the price down from the baseline rate and keep fares low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Is it the American taxpayer's responsibility to make sure every small town in America is connected by HSR no matter the price tag?
...NOT "every small town in America" will be directly connected by high-speed rail, only high-priority corridors with existing rail right-of-ways like the fast-growing I-85-anchored Atlanta-Greenville-Charlotte-Raleigh-Richmond-Washington DC corridor.

I also completely agree with you that it should not necessarily be the responsibility of the American taxpayer to finance the entire cost of investing in a very-necessary expansion of our underdeveloped transportation infrastructure.

Users and private investors should bear most, if not all, of the cost of upgrading and expanding our underdeveloped and undersized multimodal transportation infrastructure (BOTH passenger rails and roads).

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
First, the traffic in those areas (on I-85 between Atlanta and Petersburg, VA) is not that bad and is limited to rush hour. If you want to see bad traffic, then you should try driving up I-95 from Bowling Green, VA to DC. On a Saturday afternoon, you can literally roll at a brisk pace of 15mph for about 80 miles all the way (on an 6-8 lane highway, mind you) to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. That's bad traffic. I can drive down the I-85/40 corridor with no problems at all. It's not until 95 meets 64 from Norfolk that you get this intense crush of traffic going up the Coast where I say, "Yeah, I wouldn't mind being on a train right now."
...I agree that the traffic along I-95 between Richmond and Washington DC is perennially bad as there is no disputing that fact-of-life in the Northern Virginia suburbs and exurbs of DC.

But the traffic has indeed been bad enough on I-85 between Atlanta and Petersburg, VA for the governments of the states of South Carolina and North Carolina to have invested hundreds-of-millions, if not billions, of dollars over the past 2 decades in expanding the existing I-85 roadway, even going so far as to create brand new expanded alignments of I-85 outside of such areas as Spartanburg, SC; Lexington, NC-Thomasville, NC-High Point, NC; and around the southern suburbs of Greensboro, NC as part of the new I-840 Painter Boulevard Loop around Greensboro.

I've even personally experienced how bad the traffic is in the I-85 Corridor between Atlanta and Petersburg, VA being stuck in traffic on that stretch of I-85 on multiple occasions over the years.

One traffic jam that stands out was a very-severe 3-hour delay on a rural 8-lane section of I-85 outside of Burlington, NC during the week of the Thanksgiving holiday 15 years ago when the I-85-anchored Atlanta-Washington corridor had roughly more than 6 million fewer people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Second, a far easier way to take cars off the road is to up the current Megabus service. You just run more buses. But since there are only three Megabuses running between Atlanta and Charlotte (compared to the 25 between DC and NYC), it's pretty clear that the demand for travel between those two cities is weak. If Megabus is not even maxed out at full capacity, I can't see how a multi-billion dollar train route would make any sense.
...Buses are a good way to take cars off of increasingly crowded roads.

But high-speed passenger rail is much better at taking cars off of crowded roads than buses because, when given a choice, trains are an infinitely more appealing mode of moderate and longer-distance travel to commuters and travelers than buses (and cars), just like airplanes are a more appealing mode of long-distance travel than buses (or cars) in most instances.

Passenger rail is also a much better mode of travel than bus because as a fixed mode of transportation in high-priority, high-density and high-traffic corridors, passenger rail can spark high levels of private investment that buses cannot (...private investment in the form of high-density transit-oriented mixed-use development around train stations in historic and existing downtown and neighborhood centers).

Also, with nearly 2 million people flying between Atlanta and Charlotte each year, and with Interstate 85 being one of the busiest superhighways on the entire planet between Atlanta, GA and Richmond, VA (by way of Greenville, SC; Spartanburg, SC; Gastonia, NC; Charlotte, NC; Greensboro, NC; Burlington, NC; Raleigh-Durham, NC; and Petersburg, VA), and the existing Amtrak Crescent line being one of the busiest passenger rail lines in the Amtrak system outside of the DC-Philly-NYC-Boston Northeastern Corridor, demand for travel between Atlanta and Charlotte and beyond is indeed strong and requires a large-scale transportation infrastructure investment in the form of an upgrade of existing passenger rail service to high-speed passenger rail service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
It's low density any way you want to cut it. I mean, it's not exactly fair to compare a nation of 90K sq. miles to a metro area of 8,000 sq. miles. But yet the UK, being at a disadvantage with a much larger geographic area, still manages to be denser than the Atlanta metro. New Jersey (the whole state) is nearly twice as dense as Metro Atlanta.

All metro areas have that issue. Los Angeles has whole mountain ranges and national parks in its MSA. NY/NJ and Philly have a large military base (Fort Dix), parks and reserves within their CSAs. All metros have things that pull density down (the UK does too obviously). Yet those areas still have much higher densities because they are way more urban.

Those are still low densities. The highest density census tract in Metro Atlanta is only 21,189 ppsm, which is lower than some of the tracts in the neighborhood I grew up in in Philadelphia (and that part of Philly is considered "suburban").
...Those are good points, but upgrading and expanding passenger rail service in the very fast-growing corridor between Atlanta and Washington by way of Charlotte and Greenville-Spartanburg is not only about serving an area of increasing population density, it's also about creating a transportation option for people to move around after the current very-limited road network can no longer be expanded to keep up with the continued growth of the population and is no longer able to completely handle all of the vehicular movements of the population during peak hours (as is already much the case on the section of the I-85 roadway closest to Atlanta).

Evidence of this is already being seen south of DC and northeast of Atlanta where the state governments of Georgia and Virginia have started the initiation of congestion pricing to create space on roadways (on I-95 south of DC and on I-85 northeast of Atlanta, respectively) that are effectively built-out and can no longer be expanded to accommodate continued high rates of population growth.

Extension and toll conversion of I-95 HOV lanes south of DC:
Virginia Megaprojects - I-95 HOV/HOT Lanes

First phase of long-term plan to implement congestion pricing on all sections of Atlanta freeways starting with the existing HOV lanes on I-85 Northeast and other Atlanta-area Interstates.
http://www.dot.ga.gov/aboutGeorgiado...nagedLanes.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
What's the population density of that corridor (Atlanta-Washington DC)? There's not a lot of development between those areas. I wouldn't even say there's much development between Richmond and DC.
...There's enough development between Atlanta and Washington for the State of South Carolina to have invested hundreds-of-millions in expanding I-85 through the fast-growing Greenville-Spartanburg industrial area.

There's also enough development between Atlanta and Washington DC for the State of North Carolina to have invested billions in the ongoing expansion and realignment of I-85 between Gastonia, NC and Durham and in the ongoing upgrades and expansion of the state's passenger and freight rail infrastructure between Charlotte-Gastonia and Raleigh-Durham by way of Greensboro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I wouldn't even say there's much development between Richmond and DC.
...There's enough development between Richmond and DC for Amtrak to operate 4 train lines between DC's Union Station and Richmond.

There's also enough development between Richmond and DC for the existing reversible HOV-2 lanes on I-95 to be extended south by 10 miles and in the process of being converted to HOT lanes to push excess heavy traffic out of the lanes between DC and Stafford, VA, that's despite the presence of heavy Amtrak service and a VRE (Virginia Railway Express) regional commuter rail line between DC and Fredricksburg, VA.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
If we get that MMPT in downtown Atlanta and hook into a HSR network and a bunch of commuter lines, I'll bet you plenty of people will ride. I would personally ride a fast train to Savannah or Chattanooga, and to other destinations as well.
Why would plenty of people be riding to Chattanooga? The concept that people need a reason to be going somewhere seems to be completely lost on this Board. There aren't enough people in either Savannah or Chattanooga to justify such lavish infrastructure spending. They are small cities that are not sufficiently economically integrated to have tens of thousands of people commuting daily via long-distance rail. The price of HSR is so high that it makes the most sense for business-related travel, which is why it's a good idea along the Northeast corridor. But in small cities where there's not nearly the same type of exchange of human capital as there is between, say, New York-Washington, London-Brussels-Paris, Tokyo-Osaka, it makes no sense. It's too expensive.

Your personal preference is not a reason to spend billions of dollars. I mean, my personal preference is that school districts spend as much money on lacrosse as they do football and basketball. Why doesn't New York have a 100,000 seat stadium just for lacrosse? Why doesn't Atlanta? I personally think lacrosse deserves $100 billion in annual spending from the federal government alone to promote the sport. It would be totally worth it.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rationalism. View Post
+1, and of course the cost of the car and insurance itself (+ maintenance of the car etc). One of the main benefits of the train is not even cost though its simply being able to have two free hands.
Newsflash...

The overwhelming majority of households in Metro Atlanta already have cars. A car is not an added expense someone incurs simply because they want to take a weekend trip to Charlotte. Besides, as other posters have already mentioned, most people would need a car to get around in Charlotte anyway, so why would they pay for a train ticket only to find themselves renting a car to get to their destination? It doesn't make any sense.

And someone who was completely averse to driving could go between Atlanta and Charlotte for $24 roundtrip on Megabus. So the train does not come close to competing against either the personal car or bus for personal travel. Only the most intense foamers would be willing to fork over an additional $100+ to Amtrak for the privilege of riding a train. Most normal people, who have mortgages, tuition, and other bills to pay, are not going to do that.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
We can show that: there is plenty of demand with flights and cars
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
No, you can't. Why continue to make a claim that you can't prove? 72 flights between Charlotte and Atlanta does not mean 72 flights full of people traveling to Atlanta.
...72 flights between Charlotte and Atlanta may not necessarily mean that all 72 flights between the two cities are full, but 72 flights between Charlotte and Atlanta does mean that there is enough travel demand between the two cities for there to be 72 airline flights in operation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
that Atlanta has a history of supporting expansive rail networks when it was a much smaller city
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
This is really reaching.
...Atlanta did heavily support and patronize its historic streetcar system before the era of the complete dominance of the automobile after the Korean War.

Also, despite the inadequate fare structure, Atlanta rather heavily supported and patronized MARTA until Atlanta's urban area basically outgrew the limited (and politically-restricted) service area of MARTA.

If Atlanta had not heavily-supported MARTA in the 1970's and '80's, Atlanta would have never won the bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympics. That's because MARTA (along with the then newly-expanded freeway system) was cited as one of the major reasons that Atlanta won the Olympic bid in 1990.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
that there are smaller cities that are connected to HSR; cities that are less dense that are already connected (Westwood MA, Stanford CT, York UK)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Those cities are also sandwiched between international megacities and other large, densely populated cities.
...Those cities are sandwiched between international megacities and other large, densely-populated cities...the type of international megacities and densely-populated cities that the fast-growing and increasingly highly-populated I-85-anchored/NS rail line-centered corridor between Atlanta and Charlotte (and beyond to Raleigh-Durham, Richmond and Washington) is actively in the process of becoming with the area's continued extremely-high rates of economic and population growth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
HSR is not intended for development, or for a smooth ride, or to save the environment, or for fun, or for status, or for the "coolness" factor. It's intended for highly populated, high-density and highly-connected corridors.
...You are correct, HSR is intended for highly-populated, high-density and highly-connected corridors.

The Atlanta-Greenville-Spartanburg-Charlotte-Greensboro-Durham-Raleigh-Richmond-Washington corridor, which is continuing to increase in population and density as it continues to grow, will become highly-connected with upgrades of the existing slower-speed passenger rail lines that operate through the area (the Amtrak Carolinian and the Amtrak Crescent) to high-speed passenger rail lines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
The state of Georgia has fewer people than Los Angeles County, which tells us that HSR would be a complete disaster in the Southeast considering the low transit shares out West (despite having much higher density).
...It is true that the state of Georgia has fewer people than Los Angeles County, but so does every other state on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States except for the states of Pennsylvania, Florida and New York.

And outside of the individual major metro areas of the west (Los Angeles, the Bay Area, etc), there is much more distance and much less density in the rural areas between those very-dense major metro areas, making for much less population density between an L.A. and a Bay Area than there is between an Atlanta and a Charlotte (400 miles between Downtown Los Angeles and Downtown San Jose by way of train through a much more sparcely-populated area in Central California versus 260 miles between Downtown Atlanta and Downtown Charlotte by way of train through a more densely-populated and heavily-industrial area in the very fast-growing South Carolina Upstate).

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
The money that would be wasted on building a system that runs empty for the next 75 years could be used on education, healthcare, repairing bridges that are falling into rivers, etc. We have bigger priorities than building fancy trains in an attempt to make South Carolna more like Belgium.
...I don't agree with your extremely ideological viewpoint that an upgraded train service in the fast-growing corridor between Atlanta and Washington by way of Charlotte would "run empty", but I do agree with you that very-little, if any, already very-scarce public funding should be used to fund this much-needed upgrade and expansion of passenger train service between Atlanta and Charlotte.

The only public funding that should be used is Tax Increment Financing (property tax revenues only from new development that pops around train stations and along transit lines).

The rest of the funding for the much-needed upgrade and expansion of transit service at the local, regional, intrastate, and interstate levels should come from a robust mix of user fees (distance-based fare structure) and private investment (real estate transactional funding from for-profit leasing of transit entity-owned properties out for the construction of mixed-use transit-oriented development around stations and along transit lines; the for-profit leasing out of transit lines and all associated construction and operating costs to private investor/operators).
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I-85 should definitely be widened. That's a greater priority than HSR.

I-85 is only two lanes for much of the distance between Atlanta and Greenville.

I-95 is a minimum of three lanes from Petersburg, VA to Boston. That's a distance of 570 miles.
...I completely agree that I-85 should be widened to at least 6 lanes (3 lanes in each direction) between GA Highway 20 in Buford, GA and US Hwy 76 in Anderson, SC where I-85 expands to 6 lanes through the Greenville-Spartanburg area of the South Carolina Upstate so that the rapidly-growing amount of already heavy freight truck traffic in the corridor can be much more safely accommodated on the I-85 roadway.

But instead of treating the need for upgraded passenger rail service on the Norfolk Southern/Amtrak right-of-way and the need for an expanded I-85 roadway as two totally different projects they should be packaged and improved together.

Construction of the I-85 expansion and construction of high-speed rail facilities within the NS ROW should be financed by cutting the amount of state and federal fuel tax that currently funds the maintenance of the I-85 roadway (through a cash rebate to taxpayers) and replacing that fuel tax funding by implementing distance-based user fees on I-85 at least through the state of Georgia.

After fuel tax funding has been eliminated on the I-85 roadway in Georgia and replaced with funding from the implementation of user fees on the roadway, both the I-85 roadway and the future upgraded passenger rail line should be leased out for-profit to a private entity that would pay to design, construct, operate and maintain both the expanded I-85 roadway and the high-capacity passenger rail line within the parallel Norfolk Southern right-of-way.

Leasing-out the I-85 roadway and the passenger rail line to a private operating entity eliminates the cost to the taxpayers of designing, constructing, operating and maintaining both modes of transportation infrastructure and also makes the taxpayers a profit that can be used to fund other much-needed transportation infrastructure projects elsewhere.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Why would plenty of people be riding to Chattanooga? The concept that people need a reason to be going somewhere seems to be completely lost on this Board.
...Chattanooga is an area of many attractions with growing tourist appeal (Lookout Mountain, Rock City, the world-famous Chattanooga Choo-Choo hotel and museum, the Tennessee Aquarium, a revitalized downtown area and riverfront filled with shops, restaurants, theaters, etc that is increasingly-popular with tourists and conventioneers).

Chattanooga is also home to an airport that has frequently been mentioned as the leading candidate to become a reliever airport to Hartsfield-Jackson by way of a high-speed rail link (interurban and commuter rail service) between the Atlanta Airport and the Chattanooga Airport.

Chattanooga gets a lot of visitors from the Atlanta area and also gets a lot of commuters from counties in nearby Northwest Georgia.

Likewise, there are a lot of people who commute on a daily basis between homes in the Chattanooga area, particularly in the very-nearby counties of Northwest Georgia, and jobs in the Atlanta area, one of the factors which contributes to the very-severe daily peak-hour congestion on I-75 between Lake Allatoona and I-285.

Chattanooga also often gets a lot of visitors who either stop in the area on the way to Florida or make the area part of a trip to the mountains of Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina.
Just because YOU have never been, don't want to go to, or don't need to go to Chattanooga doesn't mean that there is no movement of people between Atlanta and Chattanooga.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
There aren't enough people in either Savannah or Chattanooga to justify such lavish infrastructure spending. They are small cities that are not sufficiently economically integrated to have tens of thousands of people commuting daily via long-distance rail.
...Just like Chattanooga is a center of commerce in Southeastern Tennessee and is a big regional tourist attraction that is rising in popularity, Savannah is a colonial city that is an even-larger tourist attraction with a European-style old world-looking historic downtown that draws visitors from up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

There are also many beach and resort areas that are very nearby to Savannah on the Atlantic Ocean (Tybee Island and Hilton Head Island in nearby South Carolina are the most-famous of those beach and resort areas) that are VERY-POPULAR with Metro Atlantans.

Georgia Southern University, a state university that has very many students, alumni, supporters and fans from Metro Atlanta, is located along the way relatively close to Savannah in the Southeastern Georgia college town of Statesboro.

Savannah is also home to the fastest-growing international seaport in the Western Hemisphere and one of the busiest seaports on the entire planet at the Port of Savannah.

Many major corporations, including Ikea, Target, etc, have major distribution and warehousing facilities near the critically-important international seaport at Savannah, a development that has made Savannah a major center of employment (and commerce) in the state of Georgia.

Many imports and exports to and from the Atlanta region go through this very increasingly critically-important international seaport at the Port of Savannah by way of freight rail and freight truck, something which, in addition to the extremely-heavy tourist traffic on I-75 between the Midwest and Florida, contributes to extremely-heavy severe peak-hour traffic jams on Interstate 75 through the South Metro Atlanta suburb of Henry County.

It is because of the critically logistical (and cultural) importance of the Savannah area to Metro Atlanta that there is a pressing need for both a high-speed passenger rail and high-speed freight rail link between Atlanta and Savannah via Macon.

Again, just because YOU personally have never been or would never go to Savannah/Hilton Head does not mean that hundreds-of-thousands of other Atlantans and Georgians don't visit and move between Atlanta and Savannah each year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
The price of HSR is so high that it makes the most sense for business-related travel, which is why it's a good idea along the Northeast corridor. But in small cities where there's not nearly the same type of exchange of human capital as there is between, say, New York-Washington, London-Brussels-Paris, Tokyo-Osaka, it makes no sense. It's too expensive.
...As international centers of logistics (air travel and truck & rail freight), finance, and higher-education, research, technology and medicine, respectively, Atlanta (6.1 million metro population), Charlotte (2.4 million metro population) and Raleigh-Durham (2.1 million metro population) hardly qualify as "small cities" with no exchange of human capital between them.

Just the fact that three of Atlanta's megabanks (Bank of America, Wells Fargo and BB&T) are either nationally or regionally headquartered in the state of North Carolina (with a 4th, Suntrust, having significant operations in the state of NC) along with the tens-of-thousands of Metro Atlantans who either attend or have attended college in the state of NC, not-to-mention those Georgians with relatives, family and friends in the the state of North Carolina, means that there is a heckuva lot more exchange of human capital within the fast-growing highly-populated I-85-centered corridor between Atlanta and Washington.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Your personal preference is not a reason to spend billions of dollars. I mean, my personal preference is that school districts spend as much money on lacrosse as they do football and basketball. Why doesn't New York have a 100,000 seat stadium just for lacrosse? Why doesn't Atlanta? I personally think lacrosse deserves $100 billion in annual spending from the federal government alone to promote the sport. It would be totally worth it.
...YOUR ideologically-driven personal preference against transit is not a reason for this state, region and nation not to invest in its transportation infrastructure that WILL be used by tens-of-millions of people other than you.

High-speed rail is not a "personal preference", high-speed rail is a very-necessary mode of transportation that Americans (Southeasterners) will have to use to get around as road infrastructure becomes built-out and is unable to be continuously and endlessly expanded to keep up with explosive population growth (see Metro Atlanta overcapacity road network as a prime example of a road network that can no longer be expanded on a large-scale to keep up with population growth that has taken the population of the Atlanta region from 1 million in 1960 to over 6 million in 2013).
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnsleyPark View Post
I have serious doubts that someone in Alpharetta will drive downtown to the multi-modal station, park and board a train to Charlotte. They can drive in 4 hours a lot more conveniently and still have their car to get around the city. I travel to Charlotte for business quite frequently. I would not take a train. I think most folks wouldn't take a train. Does it sound cool? Sure. Is it practical? Nopers.
...Those are good doubts to have, but according to the map of the study area and the plans on the GDOT website, there would likely be a couple of outlying multimodal stations in suburban Northeast Metro Atlanta where high-speed passenger rail service could be accessed in Doraville and Suwanee.

So if they were driving to the train station, someone who lived in Alpharetta and needed to catch a high-speed passenger train to Charlotte and points north would drive from Alpharetta to Suwanee, park at the train station in Downtown Suwanee and board a northbound high-speed passenger train to Charlotte.

Though, under the vastly-expanded transit regime that high-speed rail would undoubtedly be apart of, one would also have the ability to drive to a park & ride garage in Alpharetta somewhere in the vicinity of GA Hwy 120 and board either a bus rapid transit line or a regional heavy rail line that roughly follows the route of GA 120 through the Northern suburbs of Atlanta between Marietta and Lawrenceville).

One would take the future GA 120 bus rapid transit or regional heavy rail line from Alpharetta east to a multimodal station in Downtown Duluth where they would transfer to a northbound regional heavy rail line that would take them to Suwanee where they would exit the regional heavy rail line and transfer to an interstate/interurban high-speed rail going north towards Charlotte.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AnsleyPark View Post
They can drive in 4 hours a lot more conveniently and still have their car to get around the city. I travel to Charlotte for business quite frequently. I would not take a train. I think most folks wouldn't take a train. Does it sound cool? Sure. Is it practical? Nopers.
...You may not elect to take a train between Atlanta and Charlotte, but that does not mean that there is no one in a road infrastructure-challenged Metro Atlanta region of 6.1 million people that would elect to ride a train to and from a metro region of 2.4 million people in Charlotte that is referred to by many as the Financial Capital of the Southeast.

One must also keep-in-mind that just like air travel and automobile travel, high-speed passenger rail travel would not exist in a vacuum as a cottage industry of automobile rentals and other assorted commercial services (shops, restaurants, hotels, retail, etc) that would pop up around major train stations in highly-populated areas.

Zipcar is already making plans to offer rental car services around some stations of existing urban light rail and heavy rail lines in major cities, including Atlanta.
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