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Old 02-02-2010, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Norcross, GA
195 posts, read 386,637 times
Reputation: 85

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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
You say "priced right" which means subsidized. The gov't could just subsidize the airlines now and hold down fares, and get the same result today without spending billions more of borrowed dollars in the process.
Are airlines not subsidized repeatedly with cash incentives and bailouts?

Moreover, I think I could find upwards of 1,000 travelers between Nashville and Atlanta on any given day.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,988,656 times
Reputation: 3896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brillemeister View Post
Are airlines not subsidized repeatedly with cash incentives and bailouts?
I think you'll find that most US airlines have gotten very little in that regard historically except some monies ($5 billion?) provided immediately after 9/11 in compensation for the feds forcing them to shut down on zero notice for multiple days just after the event. That was a painful exercise, and the money did very little to reduce the overall impact of that event on the industry (which was already heading into a down cycle before 9/11).

There were federal loan guarantees offered as well after 9/11, but I don't recall many airlines taking them. US Air and America West, I think. Possibly UAL? I don't remember. As I recall the majority chose eventual bankruptcy and reorganization rather than accept the rather harsh loan terms, but I could be mistaken.

If anything, airlines in the US end up footing the bill for various things (like many of the security measures imposed by the feds post 9/11), and I think US airlines end up on the pointy end of the stick a lot more than many of their larger international counterparts, many of which are simply not allowed to fail by their respective governments.

Disclaimer: I worked in software development for Northwest Airlines (Flight Ops) for over 10 years up to and including 9/11, and I've spent 21 years in total now writing software for the airline industy, so I may have a viewpoint which is somewhat biased towards the airline side of things.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:26 AM
 
Location: The Greatest city on Earth: City of Atlanta Proper
8,021 posts, read 12,552,340 times
Reputation: 5944
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
I think you'll find that most US airlines have gotten very little in that regard historically except some monies ($5 billion?) provided immediately after 9/11 in compensation for the feds forcing them to shut down on zero notice for multiple days just after the event. That was a painful exercise, and the money did very little to reduce the overall impact of that event on the industry (which was already heading into a down cycle before 9/11).

There were federal loan guarantees offered as well after 9/11, but I don't recall many airlines taking them. US Air and America West, I think. Possibly UAL? I don't remember. As I recall the majority chose eventual bankruptcy and reorganization rather than accept the rather harsh loan terms, but I could be mistaken.

If anything, airlines in the US end up footing the bill for various things (like many of the security measures imposed by the feds post 9/11), and I think US airlines end up on the pointy end of the stick a lot more than many of their larger international counterparts, many of which are simply not allowed to fail by their respective governments.

Disclaimer: I worked in software development for Northwest Airlines (Flight Ops) for over 10 years up to and including 9/11, and I've spent 21 years in total now writing software for the airline industy, so I may have a viewpoint which is somewhat biased towards the airline side of things.
You are right that the Airlines themselves have probably seen very little in the way of public subsidies, but that's only half the story.

All Airports (and highways) were built with public money by the local and federal government. All freight and passenger railroads (except for subways) were built by private companies. Even the streetcar and interurban lines of the early 20th century were built by private companies. Once the construction of the Airports and highways were subsidized in the 1950s onwards, that spelled the end of the passenger rail system for the most part in this country.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:32 AM
 
51,896 posts, read 47,713,403 times
Reputation: 16195
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
Sorry, but in places like Europe and Japan, with short distances and very dense urban areas very close to one another, high speed rail makes sense. In the US, with huge distances between major population centers and large swaths of land with low density population, it truly makes little sense.

If you look at the probably the only place in the US where rail makes logical sense, the Northeast Corridor, there are still many challenges, and taking a plane from Boston to DC, NY to DC, or even Boston to NY...still makes some sense. If rail isn't more attractive from Boston to NY...how on earth could it ever hope to be more attractive for a trip in the southeast US?

Sorry, but many of you folks are letting your political biases and desire to be like Europe get ahead of common sense and reality.

As for the ATC system...I'm a pilot...it's not archaic. I'm not saying improvements couldn't be made, but it's far from archaic.
It doesn't matter to me. I still want a bullet train. There is actually a good reason why I don't travel much. I don't have a car(or a license). Atlanta metro is too car-centric and its sad. Sometimes I feel like that is all many residents want, is a car-centric city. The way I see it, not having a bullet train is kind of sad. To be honest, I have not caught on to alot of the technological advances, but the bullet train should have been in the USA a long time ago. I sure could use it. It doesn't seem like common sense to you, but what about those who don't have cars?
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,858 posts, read 15,195,854 times
Reputation: 3566
Quote:
Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte View Post
It doesn't matter to me. I still want a bullet train. There is actually a good reason why I don't travel much. I don't have a car(or a license). Atlanta metro is too car-centric and its sad.
And hence you make my point that many (not all) of the opinions here are just that....based on political biases....and not much in tune with the reality of the fiscal or business side of the equation. Your agenda is about cars and what you want. You're content to do it with borrowed money.

Again...for the tenth time...look at the Northeast Corridor between DC and Boston. Amtrak should DOMINATE the market for travel in that corridor....from urban core to urban core....some of the most politically liberal people in the US, many without cars....but it still doesn't after 30 years. WHY?
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:26 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 33,300,535 times
Reputation: 3570
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post

Again...for the tenth time...look at the Northeast Corridor between DC and Boston. Amtrak should DOMINATE the market for travel in that corridor....from urban core to urban core....some of the most politically liberal people in the US, many without cars....but it still doesn't after 30 years. WHY?
You know the answer to the question, but I'll throw my reasoning in anyway. Because people don't want to sit on a train when they can get in their car and drive to in practically the same amount of time, and on their timetable.

When I lived in NJ, I had to go to Washington DC and Boston on numerous occasions, and I made those trips in all three possible ways- rail, air and car. All three generally resulted in door-to-door times that were relatively similar, when you factored in the time to get to the airport or train station, time spent waiting for the train/plane, stops on the train, etc. Only one option, however, offered me the opportunity to come and go on my own schedule, to take a side-trip if I wanted, to stop along the way for something to eat, etc.

As you said above, Pirate wants a train line because he chooses not to have a car, but that's his choice- one that 99.9% of the rest of the population doesn't want to make, and a big reason why we don't have a national train system that is successful. The only reason we might get a new system now is because the government is looking for places to throw money around in the name of "job creation"- if it wasn't for that, no one would even be talking about rail at the federal level.

People often talk about Europe and how rail is so popular and successful there, and how we're "behind the times" because we don't have a rail system here. It's not a matter of being "ahead" or "behind"- it's a matter of having a different cultural system. Americans always have, and always will be a group that wants their individual freedoms, including the freedom to live where they want, and come and go as they please in their own vehicles, and that'll prevent us from ever having large-scale use of rail.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,858 posts, read 15,195,854 times
Reputation: 3566
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
You know the answer to the question, but I'll throw my reasoning in anyway. Because people don't want to sit on a train when they can get in their car and drive to in practically the same amount of time, and on their timetable.
Exactly. The problem is that we let politics get so deep in these discussions that people lose sight of the reality.

There is a segment of the population (cough...democrats...cough) that would love to borrow and borrow to spend on these kinds of pet projects with absolutely no concept of the ROI or whether a positive one could ever be achieved. They hate cars and would have us all driving Priuses.

I'm not opposed to rail, slow or high speed. When I'm in Britain or continental Europe, I use the high speed services and love them. They make sense based on the distances and cost/time to drive/fly. Even in the northeast, I took the Acela many times to Manhattan since I hated to sit in a cab on the Grand Central Pkwy trying to get into the city (and my company was paying the tab). However, when you look at the southeast, southwest, and northwest US...those same factors are not in play and trains make little sense for long distance travel.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:54 AM
 
51,896 posts, read 47,713,403 times
Reputation: 16195
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
And hence you make my point that many (not all) of the opinions here are just that....based on political biases....and not much in tune with the reality of the fiscal or business side of the equation. Your agenda is about cars and what you want. You're content to do it with borrowed money.

Again...for the tenth time...look at the Northeast Corridor between DC and Boston. Amtrak should DOMINATE the market for travel in that corridor....from urban core to urban core....some of the most politically liberal people in the US, many without cars....but it still doesn't after 30 years. WHY?
Well, I don't live up there. I can't afford to relocate anywhere right now. I am here in metropolitan Atlanta. I am not going anywhere because I can't afford it. If I am going to be here until I can move to a region that is tailored to what my needs are, I need to push for change. Yeah, it is partially about what I want, and need. I need to be in a place where there is high-speed rail and better public transit. Unfortunately, for financial reasons, that isn't going to happen until I graduate from college. If I am going to be here, then I need to demand change. The way metropolitan Atlanta is made, it doesn't work for me.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:59 AM
 
51,896 posts, read 47,713,403 times
Reputation: 16195
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
You know the answer to the question, but I'll throw my reasoning in anyway. Because people don't want to sit on a train when they can get in their car and drive to in practically the same amount of time, and on their timetable.

When I lived in NJ, I had to go to Washington DC and Boston on numerous occasions, and I made those trips in all three possible ways- rail, air and car. All three generally resulted in door-to-door times that were relatively similar, when you factored in the time to get to the airport or train station, time spent waiting for the train/plane, stops on the train, etc. Only one option, however, offered me the opportunity to come and go on my own schedule, to take a side-trip if I wanted, to stop along the way for something to eat, etc.

As you said above, Pirate wants a train line because he chooses not to have a car, but that's his choice- one that 99.9% of the rest of the population doesn't want to make, and a big reason why we don't have a national train system that is successful. The only reason we might get a new system now is because the government is looking for places to throw money around in the name of "job creation"- if it wasn't for that, no one would even be talking about rail at the federal level.

People often talk about Europe and how rail is so popular and successful there, and how we're "behind the times" because we don't have a rail system here. It's not a matter of being "ahead" or "behind"- it's a matter of having a different cultural system. Americans always have, and always will be a group that wants their individual freedoms, including the freedom to live where they want, and come and go as they please in their own vehicles, and that'll prevent us from ever having large-scale use of rail.
It isn't really a matter of choice so much as it is money. Cars cost money, alot of money, and I don't trust used cars. Most cars, if I wanted to get one, I would be pushed further into debt than I already am now. I would have to get a car payment if I couldn't pay for it in full. Then there is gas, which has gotten expensive, then the insurance, and I don't expect my parents to go out and buy a car for me. Besides, why do you want a car-centric society so bad? I don't see it as healthy.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:30 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 33,300,535 times
Reputation: 3570
Quote:
Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte View Post
Besides, why do you want a car-centric society so bad? I don't see it as healthy.
Again, just because you "don't see it as healthy" doesn't mean the rest of the country has an issue with it.

Why do I want a car-centric society so bad? Freedom of choice- I want to be able to go where I want, when I want. Whether I drive by myself of take my entire family with me, I can pay the same amount to drive someplace- if I fly or take a train, I pay for each person, which increases my costs. I dont' want to deal with taxis, buses, etc., to get from the pre-determined start/stop points (airports, trainstations), or have to rent a car at my destination, which defeats the purpose of not driving in the first place. Not everyone wants to live on a train line.....
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