High Speed Rail Eats Into Chinese Airline Profits – And That’s Good News

Apr 1st, 2014 | Posted by

One of the main reasons to build high speed rail in California is to lure passengers away from airlines, which spew huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, and put them onto bullet trains powered by renewable electricity. All over the world we’ve seen how riders will make the shift from planes to trains once given the choice, and more news from China proves it again:

China Southern Airlines is the latest Chinese airline to post miserable year-end 2013 results. Net profit dropped 24 percent to 1.99 billion yuan ($321 million), and operating profit fell 70 percent. China Southern Airlines joins Air China, where net profit dropped 32 percent in 2013, and China Eastern Airlines, where it fell by 25 percent.

High oil prices, as well as increased competition from low-cost carriers and each other, have taken a toll. But, as each airline has recently acknowledged, so has China’s massive and growing high-speed rail system.

What may surprise you is that this is a good sign for American airlines.

As this blog has repeatedly explained, US airlines want to focus on the more profitable medium and long haul routes rather than place their bets on the short haul routes like San Francisco to Los Angeles. That’s why Virgin America is leaving SJC and ending its San José to LA flights – they make more money flying east to other parts of the North American continent than they do flying within California.

Low-cost carriers that got their start on short haul routes are making the switch. And they want HSR to replace those short haul routes because it opens up more gates at existing airport terminals so these carriers can operate more medium and long haul flights. It’s why JetBlue is bullish on HSR and why Virgin and Southwest want to operate the California HSR system.

In the early 1990s Southwest Airlines helped kill a Texas high speed rail proposal. 20 years later they are not standing in the way of HSR anywhere in the country. The executives who run California’s airports, including SFO, wholeheartedly embrace HSR because they see it as a complement to their services, not a threat.

China’s experience with high speed rail shows once again that if you build it, they will ride. That’s exactly what the airlines are banking on and why they want HSR to be built as planned.

  1. John Burrows
    Apr 2nd, 2014 at 00:50
    #1

    The issue of whether or not Taiwan eventually becomes a part of China will have to be addressed someday, and when that time arrives, let us hope that there is a peaceful resolution.

    But in the mean time Taiwan has its own 214 mile long high speed rail system connecting Taipei and Kaohsiung that, after a rocky start in 2007, appears to doing quite well. According to Wikipedia the high speed trains have destroyed air travel between the 2 cities (Commercial passenger service ended in 2012). For the year 2012 the line carried 44.5 million passengers, a number that I think we would be happy to achieve in California within 5 years of initiation of the blended plan.

    Taiwan has a population of 23 million, (about 60% of California’s), and its GDP of $500 billion is a quarter of ours. Initially the system experienced major financial problems, and for the first year at least ridership was very disappointing. Predictions of 140,000 passengers per day were much too optimistic and only now are they being approached (In June 2013, daily ridership was 129,000).

    I will be a little careful about drawing any parallels between Taiwan and California except to say that if we end up with 129,000 daily riders after 6 years of operation it would likely be worth the bumpy ride it took to get us to that point.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Taiwan has immense ridership relative to city size. It has about the same HSR ridership as South Korea. The Gyeongbu KTX connects Seoul (25 million), Daejeon (1.5 million), Daegu (2.5 million), and Busan (4.5 million); THSR connects Taipei (7 million), Taoyuan (2 million), Taichung (2.5 million), Tainan (1.3 million), and Kaohsiung (3 million). Gyeongbu should be having several times the ridership of THSR, instead of slightly less: see ridership per line on PDF-p. 5 here.

  2. Paul Dyson
    Apr 2nd, 2014 at 07:45
    #2

    So SWA “wants” to operate the HSR system? That’s not what the story to which you link actually says. Reference is made to very preliminary discussions, that’s all. Of course who wouldn’t want a crack at operating a $68 billion plus gift from the taxpayers? On SWA’s terms, of course. It would be more convincing if they wrote a large check towards construction, don’t you think?

    StevieB Reply:

    Louis Thompson, chair of the High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group, said it is fair to assume that private investment will come. “There will be private funds available, but not until 2028, because only by then will there be enough experience with the system for private funders to believe the forecasts.”

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    So private funds will come after construction
    Very useful
    Not as 1A promised

    StevieB Reply:

    What part of the legislation to sell public bonds are you referring to?

    Tony D. Reply:

    2028?!!!

    Joe Reply:

    Life’s big secret – 2028 is coming regardless of whether we start or do not.

    start.

    synonymouse Reply:

    By 2028 it will have been liquidated to the scrapper.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Gotta keep your delusions organized better. If they scrap it UP and BNSF can’t use it for freight.

    joe Reply:

    Rosebud. ackkkk……..

    wdobner Reply:

    Of course who wouldn’t want a crack at operating a $68 billion plus gift from the taxpayers? On SWA’s terms, of course.

    I dunno, according to a number of frequent contributors here that’s exactly what is wrong with the CHSRA. Everything would have been just fine if California had written SNCF a blank check and sent them on their way to build the HSR system of their dreams.

    Eric Reply:

    If by blank check you mean just $38 billion to build the whole system…

    wdobner Reply:

    Sweet, if you’ll believe that then have I got a deal on a bridge for you.

    The cost-plus O&M contracts and the penalties if the CHSRA selected another operating contractor upon completion of the line make SNCF’s promised capital expenditure absolutely worthless. They could easily afford to lowball the capital expenditure and make up for the shortfall in the O&M contracts and penalty payments when the CHSRA rejected Keolis’ bid to operate the completed Phase 1. It could ultimately cost more than twice as much, and that’s only if SNCF was offering financing, which they weren’t.

    But there I go again, calling the glorious French National Railways into question. After all, we all know they are the way and the light, and all the horrendously corrupt CHSRA has to do is get out of their way and the French will surely craft a world class HSR system out of the goodness of their hearts. After all, I read it on a blog, so it must be true, right?

    synonymouse Reply:

    “horrendously corrupt” = contractor and union welfare.

    Are you going to rustle up the substantial subsidy required for TehaVegaSkyRail by taxing Bill Gate’s non-profit charitable trust fund and all the other bazillionaires’ shielded caches. Yeah, sure.

    Yeah the hsr compensation package is a needy charity. Like the prison guards eight weeks of annual leave to start.

    jonathan Reply:

    [...[] It could ultimately cost more than twice as much, and that’s only if SNCF was offering financing, which they weren’t.

    What you’re saying is: thatgoing with the SNCF bid(never mind that the terms of that bid would have meant no Prop1A funding, ever) … would have cost a lot *more* than twice as much.
    Once you take into account the fact that SCNF wasn’t offering funding.

    when you say “twice as much’, that’s 2x what Keolis propsed, is that correct?

    jonathan Reply:

    But there I go again, calling the glorious French National Railways into question.

    PS, don’t let Alon catch you doing that. He’s a pathlogical liar when it comes to his Francophile view of “the Anglosphere”.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Ironically, I was contrasting Francophone and Anglophone views of immigration in support of the Anglophone views. There’s no such thing as the Quebec Charter of Values in the Anglosphere.

    But now I’m not so sure anymore. Three cheers for putting asylum seekers in detention centers! Australia will show the world how to get tough on illegal immigration!

    Eric Reply:

    When it comes to belief, I’ll trust the side that hasn’t repeatedly shown itself to be corrupt and incompetent.

    joe Reply:

    Awarding 38B based on a powerpoint presentation would be a new record.

  3. EJ
    Apr 2nd, 2014 at 07:56
    #3

    This was pointed out last time he posted it too. I guess mentioning HSR and SWA in the same article is enough to state it as fact that SWA wants to operate HSR.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Like everyone else with a pulse SWA would demand the alignment be restored to the default fastest route between the deep pockets of SF and LA.

    As far as the Chinese are concerned the current situation is artificial, in other words, highly restrained and constrained by government policy. For all its chaos India is more representative of the future. Just as in the US in the recent past what the Chinese street wants is more cars and more highways. In time they will get their auto clubs and their highway lobby, who will infiltrate and subvert current government pro-rail, suppress-auto policy.

    Eric Reply:

    I think China’s population density is beyond the point where mass car travel will work for most people’s needs.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They are going to get plenty of freeways.

    Eric Reply:

    Freeways didn’t help NYC.

    flowmotion Reply:

    They’re already getting the freeways.

  4. TomA
    Apr 2nd, 2014 at 10:55
    #4

    Sure syn – who wouldn’t want the most profitable route, if you are a private for profit corporation. The question is – does it best serve the publics needs to cut off the central valley and other cities?

    EJ Reply:

    I’m pretty sure they’d have little interest in detouring over to Palmdale. It’s less clear to me they would insist on I-5. So long as they could run 220 mph expresses all they way (i.e. no slowdown to 110 mph just to serve downtown Bakersfield), I’m not sure they would want to cut off Fresno and Bakersfield just to save a couple of minutes – I’d think greenfield stations adjacent to those cities would be fairly attractive to a HSR operator.

    Now the I-5 route is cheaper to build (fewer grade separations, slightly shorter, cheaper land), but that’s not really a concern if the operator isn’t required to cover construction costs.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The advantage of I-5, if done properly, is a very long stretch of sustained top speed w/o any kvetching from locals. If 160mph turns out to be the real world sustained speed you will need long periods of non-stop. You can still access Fresno and Bako via spurs and those two will enjoy very good travel times to both LA and SF.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If 160mph turns out to be the real world sustained speed

    it was in the 60s.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    You mean in the 70s, right? The Shinkansen ran at 210 km/h until the 1980s, and the upgraded legacy European trains and the Metroliners ran at 200. The first 250 km/h train opened in 1977.

    jonathan Reply:

    Oh, bullshit.

    I was wondering the same thinkg, but thinking of BB 9200 Capitole ; BB 9291 and 9292 were capable of 250 km/hr, which is 155.3 mi/hr. That’s in 1967

    Alon, ometimes I wish you’d get over your Shinkansen fetish.

    jonathan Reply:

    … “bullshit” may be a bit strong. I suppose you could argue that only those two BB 9200 Capitlole units were rated for 250 km/hr; the ocnversions of regular series units were limited to 200 km/hr.
    And I guess the service was timetabled for 200 km/hr. But, even so.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The timetabled speed is what counts. The trains are almost always capable of more speed. The ICE3 is capable of 330 km/h but Germany only has 300 km/h service, etc.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He didn’t say anything about revenue service.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_1000_Shinkansen

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_speed_record_for_rail_vehicles

    jonathan Reply:

    I had a bet with myself whether you were going to cite prototypes.

    SNCF, 1955, 331 km/hr. If we’re talking sustained speed for passenger operations, then… there have to be passengers, no? And if we’re talking in the context of CSHRA, there have to be fare-paying passenger,s or the operation will heed subsidies. Or,i in initial electrified runs,won’ count as “operation” but”testing”.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    The 1955 record was (from what I read) really at the limits, and (if I remember correctly), they had to do trackwork afterwards. On the other hand, kind of amazing was that this record happened under 1500 VDC.

    Regular operation maximum speed at that time was 140 km/h (I am not quite sure when the Mistral got to 160 km/h, but in 1960 or so, the Swiss RAe TEE multisystem EMUs were limited to 150 km/h in France, because otherwise, they would have been faster (and better) than the Mistral.

    jonathan Reply:

    hi Max,

    well of *course* the 1955 record was pushing the limits. It may have been the first time that SCNF ruined kilometres of perfectly good catenary and track to break a record, but it certainly wasn’t tlhe last. My point, if it was not clear, was to point out to Andirondacker that he was being an ass (sensu donkey).

    For the RAe, I’m going to go out on a limb ,and say 1965. (I don’t have a book specifically on the RAe, and I don’t even have a model – Maerklin/Trix has ugly plillars). I’m pretty sure the Mistral got to 200 km/hr in 1967. From about 1964, I _think_ it was more like 140 km/hr.
    Which of course matches your number.

    Sometimes I wish I had had the spare change to buy a *real*, 1:1 BR 103. Gutted, but even so that’d be cool. But then I wouldn’t have been able to afford a house / lot to put it on .

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Prototypes imply intent.

    Jonathan Reply:

    You just can’t admit being in error, can you?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    adirondacker12800 Reply:
    April 3rd, 2014 at 6:53 am

    He didn’t say anything about revenue service.

    jonathan Reply:

    Gee, and I though this was the Calfonria High Speed Rail Blog.

    If Synon didn’t explicitly say “damn-the-torpedoes, tear-down-the-overhead, push-the-track-out-of-true, record-breaking run”, then a *reasonable person* would assume Synon meant what Synon always talks about: that is, revenue service. Revenue service which is required by Prop 1A to *not require any operating subsidy*.

    You just can’t admit being in error. No question-mark.

    (counting until I see the “you need to get laid”. response …..)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    alright, go fuck yourself for 1822 seconds

    jonathan Reply:

    Ahh, the good old ARPAnet 1822 host-IMP interface.
    What gems come from a swine’s …. rumination.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The spur approach for the Central Valley is a non starter. That would be like proposing BART cross the Bay at Berkeley with a spur through downtown Oakland. Clinging to I 5 is a dying man’s gambit, just ask Dennis Douty.

    swing hanger Reply:

    You can run 160mph trains intermixed with locals (Nozomi/Kodama), it’s done with station loops and strict timetable adherence. Agree with EJ about station location, when a downtown station is not viable due to timetable and/or environmental considerations, build a greenfield/parkway station, one that serves two to three valley valley as a regional stop.

    swing hanger Reply:

    (second valley)= cities

    Lewellan Reply:

    “Bullet trains powered by electricity lure consumers away from airlines which spew CO2 into the atmosphere.” (roughly paraphrased).

    Passenger-rail NOT powered solely with electricity offers similarly significant CO2 reduction. And, more passenger-rail (for USA circumstances) can be affordably built, thus reducing CO2 emissions more than all-electric 200mph bullet trains for the Dilbertian psuedo-intellectuals who inhabit Silicon Valley.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    [Citation needed]

    Lewellan Reply:

    Citation only needed for those who won’t use the gray matter between their ears.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    No, a citation actually is needed. Amtrak’s fuel economy is, in gasoline equivalent, about 45 passenger-mpg. That’s not an improvement over new cars at intercity car travel’s average occupancy, which is 2. And that’s mostly at low speed; higher speed means higher fuel consumption. I want to see where all those super-efficient diesel loco-hauled trains are. The problem with being this aggressive, with lines like “Dilbertian pseudo-intellectuals” and “those who won’t use the gray matter,” is that you need to occasionally back up your claims. Well, back it up. I think you’re bullshitting and am calling your bluff; in poker, this is where I’d go all in.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    I want to see where all those super-efficient diesel loco-hauled trains are.

    Britain. A 2+8 IC125 gets 0.89 liters per 100 seat-km (source, page 18).

    Alon Levy Reply:

    That’s on straightaways, not up the grades of the Tehachapi Loop that Lewellan wants legacy trains to use.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Just to underline it, between Newton Abbot and Plymouth, the IC125 trains slow down considerably, and it is not because of curves or slow orders; the diesel units simply “run out of steam” on the grades. And compared to the grades Levellan wants to use legacy trains, these grades are not really that steep.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Alon: with regards to Amtrak, you’re averaging different routes with different load factors. Some routes get much better than 45 passenger-mpg, others get much worse.

    That said, Amtrak’s diesel locomotives (newest is from 2001) are not terribly efficient, and neither are ANY diesel locomotives. They don’t come *close* to the efficiency of electric locomotives, because small diesel generators are pretty inefficient. (This is true of *any* diesel generator smaller than utility-scale.)

    And diesels perform much worse than electric on steep grades; they can’t develop the instantaneous power.

    Eric Reply:

    “You can still access Fresno and Bako via spurs”

    Perhaps better than spurs – you could run SF-LA trains on the existing Central Valley tracks (perhaps somewhat improved) plus the HSR mountain crossings. The time might not be competitive for SF-LA, but it would be good enough for Fresno and Bakersfield, and would serve more destination pairs than a dead-end spur would.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The UP could be approached about hanging some wire, say Bako to Fresno, at State expense. The worse thing they could say is go to hell. But a free experiment could prove useful to them and good pr.

    synonymouse Reply:

    worst thing

    Joey Reply:

    There’s a more complicated technical issue with this – UP would need high wires to clear double stacks. But high speed trains typically have rigid pantographs for aerodynamic reasons, meaning that the wires have to be lower and can’t vary in height very much.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The equipment would have to be “transitional”, but that would appear to be somewhat the case given interoperation with FRA-AAR freight lines anyway.

    Hell, they have to decide whether they prefer forced transfer or some form of hybridization. Maybe electric hauled Amtrak stock in the interim.

    Joey Reply:

    Track is cheap. ROW is cheap. Grade separations are expensive. Even if you want to run along UP there’s no point in using their track.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You can’t mix slow trains and fast trains for appreiciable distances, the fast trains catch up with the slow trains.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I am suggesting 110mph(UP’s putative speed limit)San Joaquins hauled by electric locomotives and proceeding onto the Bako to Sta. Clarita and beyond hsr via Tejon. In the interim and in conjunction with an I-5 racetrack to Sac and SF.

    The only drawback to approaching the class ones about some catenary is maybe getting your feelings hurt if they say take a leap. And according a private company some infrastructure at public expense. But happens all the time.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    there are 110 mph diesels. Since it won’t be that much faster than driving there won’t be much demand and if there’s little demand why bother electrifying?

    synonymouse Reply:

    You likely cannot operate those diesels over the mountain crossing thus necessitating an unappealing forced transfer at two ends.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Syn: Forget anything like that on UP property, unless it is bought by the State.

    datacruncher Reply:

    BNSF and UP are likely drooling more over the prospect of using their available capacity for more oil trains than agreeing to faster/more passenger trains on their tracks.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    UP and BNSF have the money to create all the capacity they might need for increased business, oil or anything else. They anyway have plenty of capacity for additional unit trains. It’s local switching or scheduled passenger trains at higher speeds that soak up track time.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Conversely that would seem to predict zilch interest on the part of the class ones in purchasing any redundant to them orphan hsr trackage divested at auction by the State.

  5. joe
    Apr 2nd, 2014 at 11:16
    #5

    Sprawl defined

    http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/MeasuringSprawl.PDF

    What the Four Factors Can Tell Us
    Much of the value of this study is in the ability to go beyond a single ranking to look at the factors that create sprawl within a particular metro area. In particular, this research underscores the notion that sprawl is not merely density. In these rankings, some metro areas sprawl badly in all dimensions. These include Atlanta, Raleigh, NC and Greensboro, NC. A few metros are compact in all dimensions, such as New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Portland, Oregon. Yet other metro areas are more of a mixed bag; in these cases, the individual factor scores can tell us more about the characteristics of individual metro areas. For example, while the Columbia, SC and Tulsa, OK metro areas contain large swaths of low-density development, the presence of a number of strong centers brings them up in the overall ranking. And while San Jose, California has slightly higher density, its lack of centers pulls it down in the overall ranking.

    joe Reply:

    The Four Factor Sprawl Index
    Based on this understanding, the researchers set about creating a sprawl index based on four factors that can be measured and analyzed:

    · Residential density;
    · Neighborhood mix of homes, jobs, and services;
    · Strength of activity centers and downtowns;
    · Accessibility of the street network.

    StevieB Reply:

    The majority of the land used for development, according to Professor Arthur C. Nelson, executive director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah, at the Conference for the New Urbanism 21 in Salt Lake City, will be currently used land that’s “recycled” with new development. Transit oriented development (TOD) will be a major driver of new development, both residential and non-residential. About 70 per cent of new development will take place on already developed suburban land. But with a commitment to greater density, all of the land needed can be land that’s currently used as parking lots.

    Eric Reply:

    Is this what will happen, or should happen?

    joe Reply:

    Happening for a while.

    Mountain View CA used to have little 1/4 acre plots with cherry trees and a small home.
    Here’s one demolished and turned into a 3 home development.
    https://goo.gl/maps/CchZ0

    This one will become a park https://goo.gl/maps/fV6VY.

    Eric Reply:

    I can see this happening in the Bay Area and to a lesser degree LA, which are topography-constricted. Is it happening in Houston or Minneapolis or Atlanta or DC?

    StevieB Reply:

    Among large metro areas, “The biggest success story is surprisingly Los Angeles,” says Reid Ewing, a University of Utah professor who was the lead researcher on the study. “Los Angeles has actually densified substantially.” The famously car-dependent California city ranked seventh among metro areas with populations over one million. The report attributes some of L.A.’s high score to development around transit stations and an ordinance that allows developers to build denser projects in exchange for affordable housing.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not surprising at all – The PE and LARy were massacred.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    L.A. has densified substantially thanks to poverty, reduction in manufacturing with union wages, etc. A lower standard of living works wonders for transit use.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Paul, if you take a look at the Youtube video from the last days of the PE Long Beach line you will see how functional it was amid good passenger loads. The electric operations could have easily been saved and for a fraction of the money lavished on, say, BART.

    The decline of manufacturing is national and cyclic. The Rust Belt has waxes and wanes. The one thing that is constant is government. State capitals like Columbus thrive while the other towns suffer.

    The manufacturing that is doing well is mostly limited to right to work states. And the quality of life is also determined by area cost of living as well as wages.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Right to work states consistently have lower quality of life/GINI scores. They are doing well if your idea of “well” is a single wide with a 12 year old pickup truck parked next to it.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Seriously, Paul?

    The main driver of density in Los Angeles has not been poverty.

    First, traffic congestion has convinced a subset of the population to live closer in to downtown because of work and other demands. Second, Asian buyers have routinely bought pcommercial and residential property in Southern California as a hedge. Capital flowing back from trade deficits is often used them to rehabilitation this property into lucrative projects.

    Third, incentives for cities are skewed toward building more housing to collect impact fees or more retail to get sales taxes. Mixed-use serves both purposes and encourages transit use. The same thing was happening a decade ago before they axed redevelopment agencies.

    But the increase in poverty has much more to do with immigration and the decline of union labor across the board.

    Oh, and let’s not forget that poverty has been increasing in California since the Nixon years because the State was most vulnerable to the decision to end the gold standard, both for its impact on real estate speculation, but also because it made foreign oil cheaper than domestic oil. Some of the decline was inevitable: some of the manufacturing in California was a holdover from World War II and not borne out in true peacetime demand. But some of the decline has been instigated, definitely.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Ted: People who can’t afford houses live in apartments. It’s that simple, don’t over theorize.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    There’s got to be an award for how completely out of touch that statement is.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Paul,

    Either you understand the salience of the points I brought up or you don’t.

    Lots of people in Los Angeles can’t afford a house but are not so poor as to rely only public transportation. Moreover, a large part of the density increase in central LA is due to condominiums, which are full of people who also presumably can afford to buy a car.

    jonathan Reply:

    There’s got to be an award for someone so out of touch as to blame conditions in LA on ln Nixon’s leaving the Gold Standard.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Ted:
    The density in central gentrified L.A. is a minor issue compared to what has happened in the San Fernando Valley and the satellite cities. I have been in the SFV since 1980 and seen the main arteries become lined with apartments. At the same time we have lost high paying auto manufacturing, aerospace, etc. Are these factors unrelated?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Cairo.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Ted:
    The density in central gentrified L.A. is a minor issue compared to what has happened in the San Fernando Valley and the satellite cities. I have been in the SFV since 1980 and seen the main arteries become lined with apartments. At the same time we have lost high paying auto manufacturing, aerospace, etc. Are these factors unrelated?

    Supply and demand. California’s population has grown 62% since 1980 and it has not gotten any physically larger. High demand, limited supply means that land becomes significantly more valuable and there is pressure to make the most money by fitting more people onto the same plot, such as with apartments. Compare the cost of a house in 1980 to the cost of a house nowadays.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Correlation doesn’t equal causation. Density and the decline of manufacturing are symptoms of the same disease, which much to Jonathan’s dismay is very much a product of the US going from a production based economy to a consumption based economy.

    Los Angeles is California’s version of Detroit, where when currency controls, incentives, and production there was huge boom. Now that manufacturing is globalized, the city has to reinvent itself. That is why people overthink things–it’s really that simple.

    synonymouse Reply:

    LA is a far cry from Detroit. You ever experience Great Lakes weather?

    LA sucks water from everywhere it can stick its pipes whereas Detroit has plenty of agua. However it has also plenty unions. That’s why most of the auto plants are in more rural areas or in the South.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Some additional consumption-based economies with dense cities:

    France
    Japan
    South Korea
    Italy
    Spain
    Denmark
    Austria
    Netherlands
    Belgium

    Funnily enough, a lot of these are industrial exporters.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That’s why most of the auto plants are in more rural areas or in the South.

    No they aren’t. Most of them are still in the Midwest.

    Funnily enough, a lot of these are industrial exporters.

    Farming isn’t viable in dense cities and digging up the parks for mineshafts would be very unpopular. Not that they have their large industrial sites in dense cities.

  6. synonymouse
    Apr 2nd, 2014 at 18:44
    #6

    Muni planning addled as per usual:

    http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/S-F-planners-consider-19th-Avenue-subway-5368704.php

    The M line hardly a priority when Geary cries out for action. Oh but let’s not contrary broad gauge nor the selloff of Presidio Yard.

    How about more tunnel on the N? A portal near UCSF would be a challenge and some property and parking would be probably taken but you will run into the same issue for instance in North Beach if you tried to portal out onto Columbus from the Stubway impasse. And of course you would need a portal for the L if you undergounded West Portal. But those clowns would probably try to eliminate it. Diesel busmen.

    Muni has no stones. They should demission. Elevate Rose Pak to Muni Manager.

    Stephen Smith Reply:

    Yeah this is so confusing. Of all places to tunnel…

    flowmotion Reply:

    Looks like City Hall cut a deal with the Park Merced developers. And, in their typical half-assed fashion, they aren’t extending it out to the broad gauge in Daly City.

    As for the N, etc., IMO the only way the Metro system will ever work is if they underground the heavy ridership parts and stop running streetcars out to the ocean.

    Eric Reply:

    Or just get ride of the stop signs, make the stops every 6 blocks not every 2, and institute prepaid PoP fare collection.

    flowmotion Reply:

    PoP fares have existed for years on Muni Metro, so it’s easy to assume your other solutions are uninformed and shallow.

    Eric Reply:

    I don’t have firsthand knowledge, that’s true. But Google Maps street view clearly shows stop signs, absurdly frequent stops, and no off-vehicle infrastructure for fare collection. And it’s hardly “uninformed” or “shallow” to have a basic understanding of what factors can slow and delay a rail line.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Plus decades-obsolete high floor vehicles.

    Muni is a perfect clusterfuck of inefficiency.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And the Muni phenomenon seems to be contagious and spreading.

    Granted BART was congenitally damaged by its Bechtel parentage but has deteriorated even further in recent times, along the lines of Muni rundown. Hopelessly incompetent management and planning coupled with bloated payroll. The BART directors are actually afraid of Amalgamated. What a way to run an rr.

    PB-CHSRA promises to clone the welfare transit bureaucracy to the State level. This is precisely what Prop1a was supposed to scrupulously avoid. Another super expensive depressing mediocrity.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Muni is a creature of San Francisco. Look up the SF Weekly articles by Joe Eskenazi about how messed up San Francisco government is.

    The latest:
    http://www.sfweekly.com/2014-04-02/news/muni-central-subway-budget/

    The behavior of Muni (and BART) is isolated to the Bay Area. CHSRA is far, far better run than Muni.

    synonymouse Reply:

    All due respect, I could not disagree more.

    PB-CHSRA is the creature of Brown and Pelosi and the other party bosses, primarily based in the Bay Area. They will create DogLegRail in the only image they know – hopelessly politicized and dominated by the pet house unions.

    What does Jerry Brown’s craven capitulation to the Tejon Ranch Co. tell you? All you need to know.

    Maybe they will even have the nerve to shunt the second contract to Tutor. They know no shame.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    CHSRA is far, far better run than Muni.

    Fascinating theory.

    Who conceived, promoted, “designed” and is raking in the payola for the Muni Central Subway? PBQD.
    Who is running CHSRA? PBQD.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Half a billion? They don’t really need to tunnel here, but cut-and-cover or maybe even an open trench could be used. There’s no bedrock just sand.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Saving Presidio Yard is much more important.

  7. synonymouse
    Apr 2nd, 2014 at 18:50
    #7

    And some protesters upchucked onto a Google bus.

    http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/2014/04/02/protesters-block-vomit-on-yahoo-bus-in-oakland/

    Goggle have to be some kind of masochists. I’d just relocate to a nice place, like San Diego.

    Cleveland would give them the key to the town.

    aw Reply:

    If you had bothered to read the headline of the story you linked to, you would know that the protesters upchucked onto a Yahoo! bus, not a Google bus. Incongruously, their tweets used the hashtag #googlebus.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You’re sooo right. I guess all social media and search engine outfits are lumped together in my mind. I assume Yahoo! cannot afford SF.

    joe Reply:

    Pulaski Indiana welcomes you.

    EJ Reply:

    San Diego wouldn’t kiss Google’s ass the way the Bay Area does. For better or for worse, down here we’re locked into the military/industrial complex.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    dont fool yourself, if Google proposed a campus with a 1000 engineers, there is no city in the country that would not kiss their ass. Even a data center would elicit fawning on the order of the Pretty Woman shopping scene.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Define “kiss their ass”.

    Any city would be supportive and positive about Google adding jobs but I would agree some cities would be far more aggressive than others. The structure of local government in Silicon Valley is such to where Cupertino, Mountain View, etc, are very dependent on one or two big employers. Seattle, Houston, San Diego, Boston, maybe not.

    Derek Reply:

    Enlightened cities that realize that mixed-use is much more tax-efficient than sprawl might not be so accommodating of a single-use corporate campus. Google in San Francisco, for example, shares an office building with other tenants.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Name 1 city in the US that is going to do anything other than enthusiastically offer 100% support including tax breaks and other perks to get 1000 white collar, high paying, non-polluting jobs even if they want to build a single use sprawling campus.

    What city turns that down

    Derek Reply:

    I already did. Good luck getting SF to approve and subsidize a sprawling campus in SoMa or the Financial District. In the Tenderloin, maybe.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    nope….already sold their soul, would gladly do it again

    http://sfpublicpress.org/news/2013-11/twitter-other-tech-companies-get-sf-tax-breaks-but-show-little-progress-hiring-in-neighborhood

    Derek Reply:

    Nope, not a campus.

    Joe Reply:

    And a campus would not help.

    Anyone want to grab a quick lunch in MountainView ? just head over to the google campus area at shoreline ave exit and turn towards the campus. It’s not that busy. East access, wide streets and businesses that get little if any business from the thousands of google employees munching away at work cafeterias cafés and play areas.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The point is they will give tax breaks to a tech business (Google) who promises jobs. Campus would not make any difference. SF has the Wells Fargo “campus and they don’t seem to mind.

    joe Reply:

    They give tax breaks for having kids and tax breaks for interest on a home loan, …..

    EJ Reply:

    I’m kidding. Though I’d rather Google stayed away; at least till I get around to buying a house. I like my rent where it is.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not a problem anywhere in Ohio, for example, even in Columbus which prospers like a vampire off the rest of the state. Maybe Google could bring streetcars to Columbus.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Actually the abuse Google would face would be from being unable to hire the quality people that they need in Cleveland or San Diego, or even to get their current employees to move. These things aren’t tabula rasa. There’s an entire ecosystem in the Bay Area that supports innovation that just isn’t present to the same degree in other areas. Not to say it couldn’t happen, but it would take a long time.

    That said, the protesters aren’t going to change anything protesting the busses, which have been here since the 1990′s. The reason they started in the first place was because employees were already living in San Francisco and it was a reasonable COB to get them to the wasteland of Mt. View. I can see it now: shuttle flights from SFO ferrying Google employees to Cleveland!

    So the reality of it is that there is 0! benefit to Google to relocate to San Diego or Cleveland.

    joe Reply:

    First, founders came to the Bay Area to attend Stanford and studied topics related to the NSF digital Libraries research initiative. They came here and stay here because the next Gen comes here.

    Second, I can tell you the Bay Area attracts people because of our diversity and tolerance.

    synonymouse’s mental dumps in the comments are more representative of cultural prejudices that keep people coming to the bay area to work and be judged on merit and not stereotype.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They like the Bay Area because it is not so cold and depressing as the East nor smoggy like LA.

    They live in trendy enclaves not Richmond or on International or San Pablo.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/111_Eighth_Avenue

    “The building, which has been owned by Google since 2010, is one of the largest technology-owned office buildings in the world—exceeding all of the combined buildings at Google’s Googleplex headquarters in California. It is also larger than Apple Inc.’s new circular “spaceship” (2,800,000 square feet (260,000 m2)) headquarters being built in Cupertino, California.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    San Diego would be an easy move – there are a lot of ritchie riches and hipsters already there. Weather’s great, likewise the food and the transit.

  8. joe
    Apr 2nd, 2014 at 21:14
    #8

    Westside subway survives legal challenge from Beverly Hills
    By Laura J. Nelson
    April 2, 2014, 7:35 p.m.

    Knocking down one of the last hurdles for Los Angeles’ long-awaited Westside subway extension, a judge ruled late Wednesday that transit officials followed environmental laws when choosing a route that will require tunneling under Beverly Hills High School.

    The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s five-year, $13.8-million environmental review process was thorough and fair, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John A. Torribio wrote in a 15-page decision.

    Transportation officials said Wednesday’s ruling effectively ends a generation of controversy and studies over the subway extension, which will connect downtown to West Los Angeles and serve one of the nation’s most chronically congested commuter corridors. As currently planned, the nine-mile, $5.6-billion line, slated to open in 2035, will include seven new stations between Koreatown and Westwood.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-westside-subway-beverly-hills-20140402,0,1088847.story#ixzz2xnF5JdLX

    Donk Reply:

    Hallelujah

    Donk Reply:

    First they are opposed to tunneling under Beverly Hills, now they are against building bike lanes along Santa Monica Blvd because it will take a way 3 ft of the parkway – this is hilarious:

    http://la.curbed.com/archives/2014/03/10_reasons_beverly_hills_homeowners_are_opposing_bike_lanes_on_santa_monica_boulevard.php

    Joe Reply:

    Wow. Down ‘n out in Beverly Hills.

  9. Edward
    Apr 2nd, 2014 at 21:50
    #9

    Advantages of wide gauge wide body trains.

    http://www.berkeleyside.com/2014/04/01/bart-extends-kayak-hours-but-only-in-last-car/

    synonymouse Reply:

    Not much wider. BART cars 10’6″ wide and NYC BMT type car 10′ wide.

    Edward Reply:

    Hey Maud! I got a bite!

    Michael Reply:

    Golden Gate Transit has been allowing kayaks on their buses for years.

    nick Reply:

    in some parts of the uk we have had kayaks instead of buses or indeed any land transport !

    EJ Reply:

    Still totally unfair that they don’t allow draft animals. Any urban farmer knows the horse is the perfect last mile solution, and the few instances of panic and stampedes in the transbay tube are just a matter of poor training and irresponsible owners.

    Eric Reply:

    Also, the ban on horses puts union jobs with Buggy Whip Makers Local 147 at risk.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    its not the horse as much as the oxen. I know that people are going to call me a “species-ist” but i refuse to share a cabin with a oxen. The occasional goreing is bothersome, but the drool is just a constant mess

    EJ Reply:

    Next time your train breaks down, you’ll wish you had oxen to pull it.

    nick Reply:

    i thought it was a sin to covet thy neighbor’s oxen

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Singular of oxen is ox.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Do we get to pick which Gore? I’d prefer Leslie to Al. If you are worried ox horns you are worried about goring…. and to bring Godwin’s Law into into… it’s better not be Hermann.

  10. joe
    Apr 3rd, 2014 at 07:36
    #10

    Holy crap.

    Atherton’s Bike/Ped Plan Calls for Safer El Camino Real and Bike Boulevard
    http://sf.streetsblog.org/2014/04/02/athertons-draft-bikeped-plan-proposes-major-changes-to-peninsula-streets/

    The Atherton Town Council this afternoon will review a draft of its first ever bicycle and pedestrian plan, which it crafted over the past eight months with resident input. The plan has attracted little notice, even though it calls for safety redesigns on major streets like El Camino Real, Middlefield Road, and Marsh Road.

    Joey Reply:

    That’s encouraging. I’m curious as to why they’re proposing bike lanes and a shared trail though, rather than just proposing a wider trail with more room for bikes and dedicated space for pedestrians.

    Joe Reply:

    It’s good question. That second lane to the right in the illustration is labeled optional.

    Knowing Antherton, it’s there just to take away another CarLane.

    This change would remove enough lanes to make BRT on El Camino Real unworkable.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Santa Clara County plans BRT on ECR from Diridon north to the county line (Palo Alto) in the next 5 years, as their 3rd BRT corridor. But little of that will have a dedicated lane unfortunately (maybe the portion through the city of Santa Clara).

    Other than Alameda County International Blvd, and maybe Geary St in SF, I am not aware of any other BRT corridors being actively planned, including ECR in San Mateo cty. But Menlo Park and Redwood City on either side of Atherton already allow just two lanes of auto traffic each way on ECR so this won’t make much difference.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    BRT is also planned on Van Ness Ave. in San Francisco

    joe Reply:

    Yes. I know it narrows to two lanes. Interestingly the Atherton plan seems to have “acquired” enough ROW for their bike centric plans to accommodate add BRT – if you look at the link it’s possible to envision one in their illustration.

    Menlo Park’s section (I haven’t been there is a while) seems to have the room for a BRT lane if they get ride of dedicated turn lanes https://goo.gl/maps/Ul0bU. That would be possible if they restrict some turns.

  11. Emmanuel
    Apr 3rd, 2014 at 14:46
    #11

    re you kidding me? The last thing we need is a bunch of ticket resellers that price discriminate based on the day of the week or whether you flew with them or whatever f**king reason. The last thing that should happen is our HSR system paid by the taxpayers be under the control of those who didn’t bother to invest a penny into it. We don’t need middlemen jacking up prices because they bulk purchased tickets years in advance. That would just mean that we essentially subsidized them. We built it, they keep the profit?? Are you kidding me?

  12. Brian_FL
    Apr 3rd, 2014 at 16:45
    #12

    Off Topic from Florida:
    In spite of local opposition to All Aboard Florida north of West Palm Beach, the Florida House and Senate today passed the 2014-2015 state budget that includes Gov Scott’s request for funding of the Orlando train station. They allocated over $120M in the budget for the station that will cost over $210M total. It is good news that the politicians here, democrat and republican together, support rail in this state. Next up is the draft EIS due around May 1st.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Also notable tonight from Florida, Charlie Crist says he wants to restart the HSR rail project between Tampa and Orlando if he is elected governor in November! It will be interesting to see how that goes over with the folks at All Aboard Florida. Another acknowledgement that being pro-HSR is a good position to take here when running for statewide office. Back in 2009-10 HSR did have strong bipartisan support here.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-crist-at-orlando-fundraiser-20140403,0,7467651.story

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If I were Crist, I would propose an HSR project that would link Sun Rail, the cruise ports in Canaveral and Tampa, Orlando’s airport, and Disneyworld/International Boulevard.

    That would actually be a game-changer and should pique the interest of the French and Japanese to sell us their technology.

    In this scenario, AAF gets bought out by the State and Amtrak as a new statewide service that replaces Sun Rail and Tri-Rail using the FEC track and giving CSX a sweet deal in the process.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The Tampa-Orlando HSR line would go over well with AAF. It’s complementary, not competition.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    No word on Federal funding though. Obama doesn’t want to help Scott out, so don’t plan for anything this year.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    I think it’s just a pipe dream as there won’t be anymore federal funding for a long time. Not until the tea partiers are kicked out and normal, rational thinkers are back in control. It’s more of an election year ploy to secure votes I think. But I am still pissed that Crist quit and ran for senate when just staying as governor would have assured HSR being built as the legislature had already approved spending the money that the Feds weren’t going to cover in 2011-12. Oh well, missed opportunities…

    joe Reply:

    “I think it’s just a pipe dream as there won’t be anymore federal funding for a long time.”

    You have no idea how the congress is going to evolve in the long run. No one does aside from the demographical shift to more transit friendly voters.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    I am quite sure from what I have been reading that the democrats have a very slim chance (maybe close to zero) of winning back the house. The latest polls suggest they may have trouble keeping the senate. HSR funding might come back after 2017 at the earliest, but only if the democrats retain the WH, senate, and pick up the house in 2016 elections. That happening would require a huge shift in public opinion in just over 2 years time. I just don’t see that happening across the country. The FL democratic party is a mess as far as leadership and organization. They only stay relevant because a core group keeps voting for them. They are a weak party here unlike how they used to be 20 years ago.

    Joe Reply:

    In 2014.

    If Crist wins polling well with HSR supporters then the GOP is going to have balance being assholes and opposing everything with being dumbasses who oppose popular projects and can’t get electeed in swing states.

    Texas also wants HSR and I’m skeptical private interests will pull it off.

    So two must win states for any GOP presidential hopeful.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    The latest polls here show Crist still with a good lead over Scott. He has kept the margin for the past 6 months or more. Crist will likely win in November and at that point things become more interesting for rail projects here. I would think that Crist winning would really grease the wheels for AAF to expand to Tampa (or Jacksonville). With the exception of the tea party crazies that were elected in 2010, FL republicans (state senators and representatives) are rather neutral to somewhat supportive when it comes to rail. What makes them turn is when the governor is against it. It happened before when Jeb Bush and Rick Scott mandated that the state not continue to fund HSR studies or projects.

    I too am skeptical of TX project. Not enough information to know if it is real or just an idea being floated.

    joe Reply:

    With Crist, expect the President/Administration to push national initiatives that impact FL like HSR. Both will dare the GOP to oppose infrastructure spending and in doing so keep FL in-play for 2016.

  13. joe
    Apr 4th, 2014 at 07:41
    #13

    Longer Trains May Be No Match for Growing Caltrain Crowds

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/2014/04/03/caltrain-crowding-to-worsen-even-with-longer-trains-in-2015/

    Caltrain’s rush hour trains have never been more crowded, which isn’t just uncomfortable for riders — it also discourages potential commuters who instead drive along Peninsula highways, and makes rides more difficult for elderly passengers and riders with disabilities. Commuters could see some relief in 2015, when Caltrain plans to extend the length of some of its trains, but the crunch won’t end any time soon if the ridership increase trends continue.

    “Caltrain is not being as proactive as they should be about planning for maximum ridership after electrification in 2019, when trains will certainly be more crowded then they are today,” said Adina Levin, co-founder of Friends of Caltrain. “Congestion on 101 also needs to be addressed with the most cost-effective measures, and one of those is making it practical for more people to use Caltrain.”

    FYI. Without any warning, the UP is slowing all Caltrain service south of Tamien. This has broken the bullet train transfer at Tamien and without the express service slowed commutes to Paly, RWC and SF. Frustrated riders are going back to their cars.

    This undependable access to the ROW drives down ridership and causes very serious thinkers to criticize weak demand for Caltrain S of San Jose.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART is waiting to pounce if PB-CHSRA implodes.

    Eric Reply:

    Electrified rail lines run faster, so the same number of vehicles can provide more trips per day, decreasing crowding.
    Of course that has to be weighed against the likely increase in demand.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Caltrain isn’t planning faster or more efficient or cheaper or more frequent.
    Just more stops, and more maintenance cost.

    Heckuva job for $1.5 billion “invested”.

    America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals, on the job.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    With electrification in 2019, Caltrain can take advantage of electric trains’ faster acceleration and deceleration, allowing it to increase the number of weekday trains from 92 to 114. The number of trains serving the morning rush hour (6 – 9 am) would increase from 27 to 38, and the number serving the evening rush hour (4 – 7 pm) would increase from 30 to 36, according to a proposed post-electrification schedule

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    If you ever did any reading for comprehension, as opposed to mindlessly cutting and pasting press releases, you’d see that the “faster acceleration and deceleration” go solely to making more stops at minor stations, including those (Atherton, Hayward Park, College Park) that unquestionably should be permanently closed.

    Proposed Caltrain 2020 schedule AS PRESENTED BY CALTRAIN, the project sponsor and hence the most optimistic, guaranteed-not-to-exceed thing that America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals could come up with to justify a billion and a half dollars of expense:
    * Local train (not operated at peaks hours!): 78 minutes SJ Cahill to SF Mission Bay (compare to 91 minutes today)
    * Peak limited-stop super-duper electric trains: 68 minutes with 15 intermediate stops (compare to 67 minutes with 12 intermediate stops today)

    So the kewl Caltrain limited-stop electric trains Of The Future will take exactly as long to complete a run as a the crap Caltrain limited-stop diesel trains of today.

    So the bullshit you have ignorantly regurgitated just shows that Caltrain says they will run a larger number of slow electric trains in 2020 than the number of slow diesel trains they run in 2014. That has nothing to do with electrification, and everything to do with throwing more money at BLE and UTU (three or more warm, grossly under-employed bodies per train) to actually run trains back and forth instead of park them out of service.

    “The number of trains serving the morning rush hour” is to increase from 3 limited-stop trains per direction hour to 4 equally-slow limited-stop trains per direction per hour solely by the magic mechanism of paying to run more trains

    The “increase [to] the number of weekday trains” ditto. It’s just adding (by throwing more money away at inefficient operations) 1tph in three morning and three evening peak hours (12 “additional trains”) and restoring half-hour headway between 10am and 2pm (8 “additional trains”)

    Electrification is completely irrelevant. All they are doing is simply throwing more money away running inefficient, slow and infrequent trains on a crap timetable. They have shown themselves to be perfectly capable of doing that with or without spending a billion on electric choo choos.

    I was going to suggest that you use your brain for once, but what’s the point? Facts don’t matter. Just cut and paste!

    http://www.caltrain.com/schedules/weekdaytimetable.html
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/DEIR/Appendix+I+Caltrain+PCEP+VTA+Memo.pdf
    http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2010/04/alternatives-analysis-analysis-part-2.html (“I just spent $6 billion on HSR and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt (and 10 minutes slower Caltrain service”)

    joe Reply:

    Cool Schedule Bro.

    Q: Will the service or schedule change under electrification?

    The project includes an increase of peak hour service from 5 trains per peak hour per direction to 6 trains per peak hour per direction. In addition, electrically-powered trains can accelerate and decelerate faster than diesel trains thus providing the flexibility to increase the frequency of service without adding travel time and/or reduce the overall travel time from one end of the corridor to the other.
    Caltrain has not yet developed a schedule that accounts for these important enhanced service capabilities. In the DEIR a “prototypical” or example schedule was used as part of the analysis. In the coming years, there will be robust public outreach to help determine the schedule that best balances the demands for more frequency and faster trip times.

    From the Caltrain FAQ.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Dear “Joe”,

    The schedule is from Caltrain. Not me. The project proponent. The one that has spent many tens of millions of your tax dollars over a decade of “accounting for important enhanced service capabilities”.

    What Caltrain is saying is “Write us a check for a billion and a half dollars. And maybe we’ll work out what we intend to do with all that moolah after we’ve spent it. Scout’s honor!”

    There are three possibilities:
    1. You actively support public sector fraud.
    2. You’re on the gravy train yourself.
    3. You’re a moron.

    joe Reply:

    From the Caltrain FAQ once more time:

    Caltrain has not yet developed a schedule that accounts for these important enhanced service capabilities. In the DEIR a “prototypical” or example schedule was used as part of the analysis.

    You write with emphasis

    Proposed Caltrain 2020 schedule AS PRESENTED BY CALTRAIN, the project sponsor …

    I then check the document you refer and …. fucken-a…

    The system wide ridership forecasts prepared for the purposes of the Peninsula Corridor Electrification (PCEP) EIR does not imply that VTA endorses any subsequent findings made in the PCEP EIR, or in any other planning document, based on the ridership forecasts prepared by VTA staff.

    Prototypical Caltrain schedules were assumed for the 2020 Project and the 2040 Project + Transbay Transit Center (TTC) scenarios. These schedules were assumed for the purposes of EIR analysis and do not represent a commitment of Caltrain service.

    What does the FAQ say?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Possibility 3 wins in a landslide.

    joe Reply:

    WHAT DOES THE FAQ SAY?
    Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!
    Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!
    Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!

    WHAT THE FAQ SAY?
    Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!
    Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!
    Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!

    WHAT THE FAQ SAY?
    Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho!
    Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho!
    Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho!

    WHAT THE FAQ SAY?
    Joff-tchoff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!
    Joff-tchoff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!
    Joff-tchoff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!

    WHAT THE FAQ SAY?
    Caltrain has not yet developed a schedule that accounts for these important enhanced service capabilities.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Also, I expect with HSR we will be able to catch an express from SF to SJ

    Reality Check Reply:

    Not on Caltrain or at Caltrain fares, however. HSR will (and should) certainly price SF-SJ trips much higher than Caltrain fares in order to fill as many HSR seats out of SF (and the Peninsula for trains making stops there) with higher-value long distance fares (riders) riding well beyond SJ.

    joe Reply:

    The draft schedule (or ridership and revenue estimates) showed local HSR service starting 6AM out of GLY Station North to SF making all stops. That’s the same time as Caltrain departs so it’s definitely a “commuter” hour train.

    I forget the cost of the ticket ($35?) in the draft schedule (use for ridership and revenue calculations).
    Caltrain to SF costs $12.75

    In the PM local HSR Local and HSR Express will compete with Caltrain Service. Given the HSR system has to cover costs – they’ll try to fill seats on HSR local trains rather than lose riders to subsidized Caltrain. I don’t have the schedule (anyone with the link?) but they’ll probably use some of the PM capacity South to run a local HSR to SFO – RWC- GLY and on to Fresno – Bakersfield – Palmdale.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Running an empty train all the way from Los Angeles so they can pick up passengers in San Jose or srop them off in San Jose and then run empty all the way to Los Angeles. Sounds like a plan! I have some stock in a bridge I’ll sell to you cheap.

    joe Reply:

    Ahhh. Yes. That’s NOT the plan.

    The draft schedule sends a local (all stop) AM HSR train from GLY station at 6am. They also start AM trains north bound from Fresno Bakersfield, Palmdale and express out of LA.

    The 6AM GLY train will stop at SJC, RWC SFO and SFT.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Deadheading it from where ever it gets stored overnight assuring it is empty?

  14. Reedman
    Apr 4th, 2014 at 09:50
    #14

    If you are a proponent of HSR who hasn’t seen this, or are a MAD MEN follower:

    Two MAD MEN actors, in their 1965 characters, discuss how to sell HSR,
    in a video sponsored by US-PIRG:

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/7e1b30b48b/mad-men-on-trains

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The sad thing is that people were having discussions like that in 1965

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Speed_Ground_Transportation_Act_of_1965

Comments are closed.