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Old 04-10-2013, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Beavercreek, OH
2,194 posts, read 3,848,091 times
Reputation: 2353

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Not sure how what you're saying is anymore of a negative for rail than it was for highways when they were first growing as a system. You don't start out with a fully built rail system. And rail would not need to be as expansive as highways, anyway. They're meant to be complimentary, not as a full replacement.
Hi jbcmh81--

And exactly how many people would regularly utilize the service from say, Cincinnati to Columbus?

Assuming you drive to the Cincinnati station and park your car there, you still have the issue of needing a car once you get to your destination, unless you want to spend more time hailing a cab or waiting on mass transit once you get there.

Or worse if you lived in Milford and needed to get to Westerville. Good luck with that on the high speed rail line in coordination with other mass transit. (I'm pretty sure COTA goes to Westerville, but it screams of 'an hour on the bus') - time which would be saved by... ahem, driving on I-71.

Compounding your problem is that the high speed rails in Ohio were limited to 79 MPH, so you aren't going to save any time that way even if you lived right on top of the train station, and your destination was the train station at the other end.

Until you can address all those issues and increase ridership, then blowing billions on setting up a high speed rail system will never make sense. I just don't think there's enough regular traffic between Cincinnati and Columbus (or Cleveland for that matter) for it to be worthwhile.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:37 AM
 
16,345 posts, read 18,051,721 times
Reputation: 7879
Quote:
Originally Posted by hensleya1 View Post
Hi jbcmh81--

And exactly how many people would regularly utilize the service from say, Cincinnati to Columbus?

Assuming you drive to the Cincinnati station and park your car there, you still have the issue of needing a car once you get to your destination, unless you want to spend more time hailing a cab or waiting on mass transit once you get there.

Or worse if you lived in Milford and needed to get to Westerville. Good luck with that on the high speed rail line in coordination with other mass transit. (I'm pretty sure COTA goes to Westerville, but it screams of 'an hour on the bus') - time which would be saved by... ahem, driving on I-71.

Compounding your problem is that the high speed rails in Ohio were limited to 79 MPH, so you aren't going to save any time that way even if you lived right on top of the train station, and your destination was the train station at the other end.

Until you can address all those issues and increase ridership, then blowing billions on setting up a high speed rail system will never make sense. I just don't think there's enough regular traffic between Cincinnati and Columbus (or Cleveland for that matter) for it to be worthwhile.
I don't know, I've never personally done a study, but they did do them for the 3-C proposal, so the estimates are out there. I don't remember the numbers, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't zero.

Again, this argument against rail makes zero sense considering transit history. Did people argue against building roads at a time when you couldn't take them everywhere? You don't magically start out with a full system where every line is connected to other forms of transit. That's not how things work and it's never worked that way. That's why there is a term called TOD, or transit-oriented development, which means that things get built around transit, but that development doesn't happen if the transit doesn't exist.

Also, rail is not meant to replace the road system. Roads will always exist. That does not mean that a multi-modal system is not beneficial or cannot be complimentary or successful.

HSR in Ohio is not limited to 79mph. There were proposals back in the 1990s for HSR travelling up to 200mph, but were tabled for the same reason the 3-C one was: politics. The speed limits follow the speed capabilities of the tracks. The 3-C proposal was low-end because they weren't going to upgrade the tracks to handle higher speeds... and they were also going to be shared with freight instead of having dedicated lines.

How exactly do you increase rail ridership when there aren't any passenger rail lines in Ohio?
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:39 AM
 
1,066 posts, read 2,415,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Not sure how what you're saying is anymore of a negative for rail than it was for highways when they were first growing as a system.
Actually, it's incredibly different.

Partially because it's "complimentary", as you stated. But also because there were(and still are) large, structural, financial, and geopolitical "roadblocks" to a large national(or even state-wide) train system.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:45 AM
 
16,345 posts, read 18,051,721 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksu sucks View Post
Actually, it's incredibly different.

Partially because it's "complimentary", as you stated. But also because there were(and still are) large, structural, financial, and geopolitical "roadblocks" to a large national(or even state-wide) train system.
How is it being complimentary a negative?

I see political roadblocks, especially from Republicans, but I don't see the financial and structural problems, especially nowhere near what exists for roads, and yet they keep getting built regardless of whether we can pay for them and their long-term maintenance.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Beavercreek, OH
2,194 posts, read 3,848,091 times
Reputation: 2353
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
I don't know, I've never personally done a study, but they did do them for the 3-C proposal, so the estimates are out there. I don't remember the numbers, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't zero.

Again, this argument against rail makes zero sense considering transit history. Did people argue against building roads at a time when you couldn't take them everywhere? You don't magically start out with a full system where every line is connected to other forms of transit. That's not how things work and it's never worked that way. That's why there is a term called TOD, or transit-oriented development, which means that things get built around transit, but that development doesn't happen if the transit doesn't exist.

Also, rail is not meant to replace the road system. Roads will always exist. That does not mean that a multi-modal system is not beneficial or cannot be complimentary or successful.

HSR in Ohio is not limited to 79mph. There were proposals back in the 1990s for HSR travelling up to 200mph, but were tabled for the same reason the 3-C one was: politics. The speed limits follow the speed capabilities of the tracks. The 3-C proposal was low-end because they weren't going to upgrade the tracks to handle higher speeds... and they were also going to be shared with freight instead of having dedicated lines.

How exactly do you increase rail ridership when there aren't any passenger rail lines in Ohio?
Hi jbcmh81--

Oh, I'm in absolute agreement that the ridership isn't zero. But in order to make it worthwhile and not constantly need government subsidy, you're going to need to fill up those trains on a regular basis. Even other mass transit such as Metro and RTA require continuous government subsidy through sales taxes, etc. as they only collect something like half of their operating funds through fares.

Now, can you make a fair case that mass transit should be subsidized by government? Possibly - especially since the number one beneficiary of mass transit in Ohio is low-income people who simply can't afford a car.

But how would you subsidize a high-speed rail to the point where it's affordable? It would almost be entirely picked up by government - not half, not a fraction, but a huge fraction of the costs.

It would have to be cheaper/more convenient than driving. And Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland simply doesn't have a large enough professional base to make it worthwhile (the only class of riders who could afford to pay full fare), especially when you consider the even smaller number of people who would use the line.

I think the money is better spent developing transit throughout the city and to its suburbs, not between cities.




And one thing posted in the Automotive forum that I thought I'd bring over here because of its truth:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacktravern View Post
One big thing the public transportation lovers always omit.....if you have to stop to take a leak or even worse, a mean number 2, its so much better to be in your car and you can stop at the nearest fast food, supermarket, ect...

I remember being on the subway everyday in High School and having to hold in bad gas, it was terrible. But sometimes, I just let it rip
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:16 AM
 
1,066 posts, read 2,415,069 times
Reputation: 643
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
How is it being complimentary a negative?
This is the heart of the issue. Is a new train system necessary? If you answer in the affirmative, then I have a second question: why hasn't it been built yet?

Is something that is merely "complimentary" actually needed? More to the point, is it worth spending ridiculous amounts of tax payer dollars? Even more to the point, can local, state, and federal government even afford it in the first place?

I think you are confusing what you "like" with what society "needs". Even if everyone wanted a national(or state) operated train system, it would be extremely foolish for the government to undertake such a large project at this point. Even if, as you seem to suggest, trains are necessary, I highly doubt the government can find a realistic and responsible way to fund such a project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
but I don't see the financial and structural problems,
Quite frankly, then you need to open your eyes. Do you know how much money goes into government contracts to build and repair roads? How about all of the oil industry profits which stand to lose A LOT from a competitive train system? Do you honestly believe that these special interests are just going to stand by idly while a hoard of government money is funneled toward projects which could cause big losses for their respective industries? Furthermore, as henslaya points out, we're far from sure if a train could even compete with existing modes of transportation.

The U.S. is primarily car dependent because large corporate interests have lobbied for decades to ensure widespread access to automobiles and roads. That, combined with the power of the petrodollar has created a country which is primarily automobile dependent, and thus looks much different than most of the rest of the world.

This is reality. It's nice that you feel strongly about trains. Perhaps it would be beneficial the American public. But frankly, even if it were the right thing to do, the government would find a way to screw it up. Inefficient bureaucratic ownership is no substitute for private enterprise.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:41 AM
 
16,345 posts, read 18,051,721 times
Reputation: 7879
Quote:
Originally Posted by hensleya1 View Post
Hi jbcmh81--

Oh, I'm in absolute agreement that the ridership isn't zero. But in order to make it worthwhile and not constantly need government subsidy, you're going to need to fill up those trains on a regular basis. Even other mass transit such as Metro and RTA require continuous government subsidy through sales taxes, etc. as they only collect something like half of their operating funds through fares.

Now, can you make a fair case that mass transit should be subsidized by government? Possibly - especially since the number one beneficiary of mass transit in Ohio is low-income people who simply can't afford a car.

But how would you subsidize a high-speed rail to the point where it's affordable? It would almost be entirely picked up by government - not half, not a fraction, but a huge fraction of the costs.

It would have to be cheaper/more convenient than driving. And Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland simply doesn't have a large enough professional base to make it worthwhile (the only class of riders who could afford to pay full fare), especially when you consider the even smaller number of people who would use the line.

I think the money is better spent developing transit throughout the city and to its suburbs, not between cities.

And one thing posted in the Automotive forum that I thought I'd bring over here because of its truth:
Rail requires far less subsidy than most other forms of transit, including roads, because they end up paying for more of their costs, and if done right, all of them. Unless you want to toll every road, that can never be said for them. Federal rail spending accounts for around 1% of the entire transportation budget. I will never get the double standard on subsidization. And no, the fact that roads get used more doesn't make the difference okay, considering that it's a logical result of having far more roads and very few alternatives, so the system has been set up to favor them from the beginning. How is that working out for state and local transportation budgets which continue to build more and more roads at a greater loss? Having RTA recoup 50% of their costs is still significantly more than roads do.

Why would HSR necessarily be more expensive without almost entirely being subsidized? And why would it have to be cheaper than driving? Again, it's not meant to replace roads, so I'm trying to figure out why you guys keep thinking that it needs to to be valuable. Air travel is more expensive than driving, but people still fly. HSR is about speed less than cost. Can you drive 200mph on 71? Even the 79mph you were talking about is above the legal speed limit.

How much do you think rail travel costs per trip? Have you ever actually taken one?

Urban rail is great, and I agree the focus should probably start there, but reviving the 3-C line can and probably should be part of that.

Passenger rail has bathrooms. No Ohio city has subways and probably won't anytime in the next 50 years, but even they have bathrooms at most stations. If the guy had to wait 60 seconds between stations, big whoop.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:48 PM
 
16,345 posts, read 18,051,721 times
Reputation: 7879
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksu sucks View Post
This is the heart of the issue. Is a new train system necessary? If you answer in the affirmative, then I have a second question: why hasn't it been built yet?

Is something that is merely "complimentary" actually needed? More to the point, is it worth spending ridiculous amounts of tax payer dollars? Even more to the point, can local, state, and federal government even afford it in the first place?

I think you are confusing what you "like" with what society "needs". Even if everyone wanted a national(or state) operated train system, it would be extremely foolish for the government to undertake such a large project at this point. Even if, as you seem to suggest, trains are necessary, I highly doubt the government can find a realistic and responsible way to fund such a project.

Quite frankly, then you need to open your eyes. Do you know how much money goes into government contracts to build and repair roads? How about all of the oil industry profits which stand to lose A LOT from a competitive train system? Do you honestly believe that these special interests are just going to stand by idly while a hoard of government money is funneled toward projects which could cause big losses for their respective industries? Furthermore, as henslaya points out, we're far from sure if a train could even compete with existing modes of transportation.

The U.S. is primarily car dependent because large corporate interests have lobbied for decades to ensure widespread access to automobiles and roads. That, combined with the power of the petrodollar has created a country which is primarily automobile dependent, and thus looks much different than most of the rest of the world.

This is reality. It's nice that you feel strongly about trains. Perhaps it would be beneficial the American public. But frankly, even if it were the right thing to do, the government would find a way to screw it up. Inefficient bureaucratic ownership is no substitute for private enterprise.
Why hasn't it been built is pretty complicated, actually. I would look up the history of HSR and general passenger rail proposals in Ohio the past 25 years, as it is pretty interesting. The first proposals were in the early 1980s, only a few years after the last passenger rail came through the 3-C corridor. The reasons for why it didn't happen range from political opposition (mostly from Republicans like Kasich, who has helped kill more than just the last 3-C proposal in his time), to bad economic times coinciding with times of proposal to private companies refusing to cooperate with land acquisition for stations. Whatever could go wrong did, but at no time was it about a lack of interest.

Which is more ridiculous: Rebuilding less than 2 miles of highway through Columbus for $1.5 billion (which will have a lifespan of less than a decade before more maintenance is required) or using that money to build a 3-C rail corridor and still have enough left over to pay for about 65 years of annual maintenance? Don't talk about rail costs when we're willing to waste billions to widen a few miles of highway.

So we shouldn't diversify transit because oil companies won't be able to compete? And you talk about lack of demand while actively supporting a rigged, biased system that favors roads. Sorry, but corporations may lobby for roads, but they didn't spend the money to get them built. Their interests were in ensuring that people remained as reliant on auto transit as possible because it helped their bottom lines, but let's not pretend like they shelled out the cash to actually construct anything.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:51 PM
 
1,295 posts, read 1,907,894 times
Reputation: 693
You guys are sheeple for getting distracted by the economics of dinky rail start-ups. Look at road and air travel. There be boondoggles of much, much, muuuuuuuuuch greater proportion. Instead, you just see a shiny new teapublican talking point and think it's enlightened. Bravo.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:55 PM
 
1,295 posts, read 1,907,894 times
Reputation: 693
Quote:
Originally Posted by flashes1 View Post
would never work in america. We're too big and expansive. For example how do you get from one suburb in columbus to one suburb in dallas. It would take driving your car to the airport in columbus, then taking a cab from the airport in dallas to your final destination. It just doesn't make any sense.
ftfy

What if you were traveling from the city of Columbus to the city of Dallas? How much more convenient would it be to actually depart and arrive within the city rather than out in airport land?
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