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Old 02-03-2010, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,983,750 times
Reputation: 3896

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte View Post
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.
Why don't you trust used cars? I've only owned four cars in my lifetime, all of them used: 1980 Toyota Celica (sold to friend), 1986 1/2 Toyota Supra (drove on ice and broke it ), 1985 Honda Accord (traded in), and 1994 Honda Accord EX (still driving it), and I've had exceptionally good luck with them.

No car payments in a looooong time now, and still 31mpg on the highway.

Insurance and GA license/ad valorem fees on an older car are relatively inexpensive, also. I think mine were around $45 this past year. And it seems to pass the emissions test quite handily. NOx is higher than I would like, but...
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:30 PM
 
51,866 posts, read 47,690,997 times
Reputation: 16192
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
Why don't you trust used cars? I've only owned four cars in my lifetime, all of them used: 1980 Toyota Celica (sold to friend), 1986 1/2 Toyota Supra (drove on ice and broke it ), 1985 Honda Accord (traded in), and 1994 Honda Accord EX (still driving it), and I've had exceptionally good luck with them.

No car payments in a looooong time now, and still 31mpg on the highway.

Insurance and GA license/ad valorem fees on an older car are relatively inexpensive, also. I think mine were around $45 this past year. And it seems to pass the emissions test quite handily. NOx is higher than I would like, but...
I never know what I am getting in a used car. Sometimes used cars might have problems. If I am going to get a car, I need to have it for the longhaul, like my father had his for 20 years.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,858 posts, read 15,192,827 times
Reputation: 3566
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike7586 View Post
Actually, I think it is ignorant to say "This is America, not Europe or Japan."
If you weren't so busy trying to make this a political cause...

....you'd understand that all I mean is that distances, geography, and economics are different here. In Euorpe and Japan, cities are very close to each other, and it makes sense to take an hour TGV to Brussels from Paris.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
969 posts, read 1,700,023 times
Reputation: 623
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
If you weren't so busy trying to make this a political cause...

....you'd understand that all I mean is that distances, geography, and economics are different here. In Euorpe and Japan, cities are very close to each other, and it makes sense to take an hour TGV to Brussels from Paris.
I don't agree with that. People drive from Atlanta to Charlotte, Atlanta to DC or NY, Charlotte to Raleigh, Charlotte/Raleigh to DC or NY, etc etc. all the time anyways. The distance doesn't stop them from driving. Obviously we are not talking about cross-country (Atlanta to Los Angeles for example), but up and down the East and West Coast people drive all the time. There are certain parts of this country where High Speed Rail can work and others where it doesn't make sense. Have you even seen a map of the plans? It's only in specific corridors (like West Coast, Northeast, Southeast which is basically Atlanta to DC) and travel between major cities (like Chicago and St. Louis).

Right now, a lot of people don't utilize Amtrak because it takes a lot longer than driving. By upgrading the tracks and equipment for High Speed Rail, the trains can reach speeds between 100-150 mph which would make it a very competitive option for travel.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,858 posts, read 15,192,827 times
Reputation: 3566
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike7586 View Post
I don't agree with that. People drive from Atlanta to Charlotte, Atlanta to DC or NY, Charlotte to Raleigh, Charlotte/Raleigh to DC or NY, etc etc. all the time anyways. The distance doesn't stop them from driving. Obviously we are not talking about cross-country (Atlanta to Los Angeles for example), but up and down the East and West Coast people drive all the time. There are certain parts of this country where High Speed Rail can work and others where it doesn't make sense. Have you even seen a map of the plans? It's only in specific corridors (like West Coast, Northeast, Southeast which is basically Atlanta to DC) and travel between major cities (like Chicago and St. Louis).

Right now, a lot of people don't utilize Amtrak because it takes a lot longer than driving. By upgrading the tracks and equipment for High Speed Rail, the trains can reach speeds between 100-150 mph which would make it a very competitive option for travel.
Again...for the 999999999th time....yes, some people would take the train from Atlanta to Charlotte for example. The questions I keep asking, that no one seems to want to answer or is capable of answering is:

How many people would ride? Can we even estimate based on data we now know?

Would the fare be low enough to entice people out of their cars or off airplanes? Don't forget that when you drive with more than one person (for example: a family visiting) you get economies of scale that you lose on a train or plane.

Could rail service be provided where it would make a profit or at least break even? Would the service be a net drain on taxpayers?

As I mentioned, Amtrak has just barely eeked out a profit in the NEC, with all the infrastructure, geographic, and cultural advantages in that very densly populated and highly urban area. I'm not against rail, just these kinds of pie in the sky fantasies that get thrown around with little real planning or work to determine feasibility.

Look, maybe my thinking is all wrong on the merits....then please someone show us a link where the cost/benefit has been reviewed.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:57 PM
 
823 posts, read 2,021,814 times
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I never quite understood why people expect transportation to make a profit. Even the heavily subsidized airlines lose money hand over fist.

Profit or less is meaningless to me. Questions about how long it would take and ridership projections are useful. If it would take too long to get anywhere then it would be a waste, but to dismiss it just because it wouldn't meet this unreasonable standard of profit makes no sense to me.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,528 posts, read 4,383,529 times
Reputation: 2299
I never could understand the "profit or nothing" ethos of this country myself. As if that idea in of itself is efficient. There are externalities behind every business and/or enterprise. There should be room for both road & transit, I would think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteyNice View Post
I never quite understood why people expect transportation to make a profit. Even the heavily subsidized airlines lose money hand over fist.

Profit or less is meaningless to me. Questions about how long it would take and ridership projections are useful. If it would take too long to get anywhere then it would be a waste, but to dismiss it just because it wouldn't meet this unreasonable standard of profit makes no sense to me.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:51 PM
 
3,875 posts, read 9,140,950 times
Reputation: 2315
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike7586 View Post
Actually, I think it is ignorant to say "This is America, not Europe or Japan." We can take what is successful in other countries (some which are our competition) and tweak it so it works for OUR country. We do have a serious transportation problem in this country and it's just as important as health care, etc. This country's greed and people spending more than they can afford is another topic.

Also, I never said I hate cars. You anti-transit people love to say that about pro-transit folks. I don't want the country paved over. We have so much farmland too that is so underutilized, which is another topic for discussion. What we are simply saying is we cannot rely on one form of moving people and goods around (roads). Is that really so difficult to understand?

Atlanta and much of the Southeast didn't get a lot of money for High Speed Rail because you're right, the demand is not there yet, especially Atlanta to Nashville (which is why it didn't get any money!). Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, DC line makes sense. All of the other routes you mentioned got a lot of money, because they make sense, so what is your point? Nashville to Atlanta doesn't make sense right now, which is why it didn't get any money...

Like I said before, if earlier generations didn't invest in our highway system, which was the envy of the world, we would not be the same country today. I'm sure there were naysayers back then too (about how it was a waste).
I actually wish it was more like Japan. I'd stay here the rest of my life if I could, because everything is so efficient and seems to fit everyone's needs. If I had to go back to the U.S., I would like to go to the state that is the most like Japan. I wished that it would be Georgia, but now it is one the least Japan-like states (though it might be more Japan-like than say Nebraska). The only thing Georgia has in common with Japan is the climate and vegetation. Most would say California is the most Japan-like, and I agree in a way, but I'm not a big fan of Cali after living there for 10 years.

I agree that extending the D.C. to Charlotte line through Atlanta would make sense. I also think there should be an ATL to Savannah line connecting to the coastal line to Charleston and Jacksonville, and connecting to the Florida corridor. That was the original proposal, making Atlanta a hub in which 2 lines crossed at the proposed MMPT at Five Points Stations.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,858 posts, read 15,192,827 times
Reputation: 3566
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteyNice View Post
Even the heavily subsidized airlines lose money hand over fist.
First, what heavy subsidies? Second, some airlines have lost money lately due to 9/11 and later the high cost of fuel, but not all are losing money. Still, they are corporations that have to answer to stockholders. They are free to cutback, merge, or go out of business, as many airlines have done. A government run "service" such as Amtrak, just keeps blowing away taxpayer money, decade after decade. It is not the same thing.
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:36 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,381 posts, read 23,928,592 times
Reputation: 4532
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
Not doubting your stats, but would like to review them. Can you post a link? I have friends who work for Metro North Commuter RR but what we're discussing isn't commuter rail but inter-city rail, specifically high speed rail in the southeast. During the gas price spikes, ridership increased on commuter rail and Amtrak posted a modest (I think it was 2% or 3%) increase in ridership in the NEC. Don't know what the recent trend has been.

I do know that the operating profit for Amtrak in the NEC has been very small, and again....many of the stations and other infrastructure is subsidized by local governments and authorities for commuter rail. That would not be the case in the southeast.
Well ppl have had it with there cars and the Transit Networks that feed the NEC are The entire NEC is undergoing improvements in tracks and added Capacity, and upgraded Catenary and HSR Voltage,by 2020 speeds with be at 180 on 80% of the network and 120-50 on bad sections. By 2025 95% of the Northeast will be in reach of a commuter or Intercity line. But sadly i don't see the SE catching up to the NE, it seems everything is slow paced down there.

~Corey
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