#IWillRide Rally in Fresno

Apr 28th, 2016 | Posted by

This is fantastic:

High Speed Rail may have its detractors but at Fresno City College among the young people who will actually use the service, they are saying, I will ride.

“People in my age group they haven’t seen a lot of investment in the country. A lot of the stuff that is here was already built before we got here. And we kind of take the freeway systems and the highway systems for granted, we don’t second guess the fact that we would use it– and I think that, culturally, that will become common place once High Speed Rail is here,” said Nick Kennedy, Student High Speed Rail Supporter.

Students at Fresno City College organized a High Speed Rail forum on campus yesterday to discuss the benefits of HSR and to make it clear that for the Valley’s young people, the region’s future leaders and builders and doers, HSR is viewed as an essential piece of infrastructure, a vital part of the area’s economic prosperity in the 21st century.

Once HSR is built, people in Fresno will wonder how they ever got by without it.

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  1. Aarond
    Apr 28th, 2016 at 20:25
    #1

    Pretty obvious to see why, besides the very real investments it creates sitting in an air conditioned train at 200 mph beats a cramped car sitting in traffic.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Every day of the week, twice on Sundays.

  2. James M. in Irvine
    Apr 28th, 2016 at 21:34
    #2

    Anyone remember life before ATMs or microwave ovens? I am looking forward to this game-changing technology.

    Jim

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    No I don’t actually, just like future generation wont remember life without HSR.

    Edward Reply:

    When I was born the transistor hadn’t been invented yet…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There are people alive today born before sliced bread…

    Or so the internat told me…

  3. JimInPollockPines
    Apr 28th, 2016 at 21:42
    #3

    Hsr will be good for people who earn money doing things such as Airbnb and uber

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It will also be good for people who earn money buying and selling stuff.

    And of course for people who earn money in pretty much every job ever.

    And those few businesses who for some arcane reasons have to travel from LA to San Francisco on a regular basis. Yeah, I know hard to imagine such an absurd scenario…

    Wells Reply:

    Central Valley commuters N/S favor north leg first.
    Central to the Altamont/Pacheco question, still unanswered:
    Which CV northbound commuters favor SJ siliconvalley ?
    Which CV nb favor Stockton/Sac/ACE/HSR?
    MAJORITY favors Merced/Sac/HSR. Leave Gilroy alone!
    Yet U guys R 2 smart 4 your own britches.
    UR2 smart 2 C wutz in frunta yer own faces, guysngals.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    hat is a lot of shorthand for me, but what I think you are trying to say is something like this:

    https://twitter.com/CALHSR/status/725766789095776256

  4. john burrows
    Apr 28th, 2016 at 23:24
    #4

    Hopefully, on November 8, they will be saying “I will vote” if they haven’t already mailed in their ballots. In November, 2014 the 8% turnout of the eligible 18 to 24’s was more than dismal. Maybe 2014 was not an interesting year as California elections go, but this Nov. that will not be an excuse.

    At the other end of the age scale, turnout among voters over 65 was around 54% in 2014. I realize that the chance of getting kids to vote anywhere close to this number will be next to zero. Maybe, if he can work out something with Hillary, Bernie could come out here and provide a little inspiration for young voters to vote for Hillary.

    And concerning high speed rail, the 18-24 vote could matter. Young voters are more likely to vote Democrat, and to get a 2/3 majority in both houses of the Legislature we are going to need all of the young voters we can get. And that 2/3 majority may be needed to secure cap-and-trade funding for HSR beyond 2020.

    “IWillRide” sounds good, but how about “IWillVote” —That could really make a difference.

    Jerry Reply:

    They could also say:
    I will vote for those who will help us ride.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Unfortunately that is not catchy enough for a hashtag…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    #Vote2Ride

    Jerry Reply:

    Sounds great

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That could work.

    les Reply:

    In Texas they removed the student ID card as valid identification for voting thus hurting democrats. Yet a hunting license is perfectly valid.

    Eric Reply:

    boggles the mind.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    My mind isn’t boggled. A boggled mind suggests confusion of intent. The intent is clear to me and should be to everyone else. These “freedom” and “liberty” thumpers don’t think twice about throwing the constitution out the window if it serves their ideological ends.

    Jerry Reply:

    After 9/11 there was an effort to establish a national ID card based upon a standardized state driver’s license. Some states bulked. They didn’t want photos on the drivers license. So the effort is in limbo.

    Edward Reply:

    But there *is* a national ID card, at least for citizens. I don’t have a driver’s license. I was overseas so long that I could no longer renew it by mail. So I use my passport card. When they first came out people damn near saluted when they were presented one, “United States Department of State” and all that.

    Zorro Reply:

    No there is not a National ID card in the US, Congress has tried to make one and failed to come to any agreement on one.

    Edward Reply:

    There is no *required* national identity card. The passport card is voluntary, but it certainly identifies you as a national of the US.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Or of course there is the basic passport I use. You get some strange looks pulling that out instead of a drivers license upon occasion.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A passport is way more useful than a driver’s license. At least for me, I have the former yet lack the latter.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I know, I am in the same position as you.

  5. John Nachtigall
    Apr 29th, 2016 at 06:39
    #5

    I don’t understand this “America does not invest” narrative

    When I was in college, 20 years ago, I remember reading and article (popular science on paper) that said 2 items were going to change the world in 20 years. 50+ Megabit connections in homes and something called Wi-Fi that allowed those speeds without physical connection.

    The amount of money invested in a single year in the current Information Age dwarfs the spending on “big concrete” like the Hoover Dam and Tennessee Power Authority. We live in an age where even the poor have cell phones. Instant worldwide broadcast of communications is possible for every human. I can stream massive amounts of data in minutes from a plane at 30,000 feet.

    And this is 1 example. The amount of investment and innovation is continuing to accelerate each year. So just because it’s not super huge and dos not have a tourist tour why do people believe that investment in America is stagnated? In many ways we are transcending transportation by making it possible to work effectively from home without the need for travel to work which is a majority of travel.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Actually, most trips don’t involve work at all. That is a common transit misconception, and it is why express commute services see such poor ridership

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i looked it up, you are right. I was very surprised it is at most 20%

    http://traveltrends.transportation.org/Documents/B2_CIA_Role%20Overall%20Travel_web_2.pdf

    Ted Judah Reply:

    For car trips it’s 28% and transit 39%, though.

    I bet they are counting all mode share (like biking) which would drag the average down.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The “work” mode share for transit is so high because transit in the US is geared towards work. A self fulfilling prophecy, really. If there are beautiful things right next to the commuter rail stop but it does not run on weekends, how will people get there?

    Joe Reply:

    “The amount of money invested in a single year in the current Information Age dwarfs the spending on “big concrete” like the Hoover Dam and Tennessee Power Authority.”

    No Data.

    Funny thing is the Hoover Dam is in the US. TVA in the US and therefore the infrastructure benefit is solely to the US and economy.

    Wifi investments – well whose ? What is this even referencing but some memory from 20 years ago.

    And when it comes to actual wired connections and bandwidth for teleworking, the US lags Europe and Asia.

    Nice memories – I remember when Twinkies were 0.12 a pack and I had to walk up hill to and from school in the snow.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Cost of Hoover Damn 836 million with inflation (just stype cost of Hoover dam into google)
    Tennesee Valley Authority is harder because it is not a 1 time thing, but from

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_Valley_Authority

    you get this

    TVA’s power mix as of 2012 is 10 coal-powered plants, 29 hydroelectric dams, three nuclear power plants (with six operating reactors), nine simple cycle natural gas combustion turbine plants, and five combined cycle gas plants.

    and this

    As of 2013, TVA carries $25 billion in debt, near the $30 billion debt limit imposed by Congress.[17] TVA must retire at least 18 of its 59 coal-fired units by 2017, and install scrubbers in several others or convert them to make them cleaner at a cost of $25 billion over the next 10-years according to the Obama Administration’s proposed 2013–2014 budget.

    and

    Operating income $1.453 billion USD (FY 2013)

    So to be nice, I am going to nice and say 5 billion a year (which is very generous)

    On the other side for Wi-Fi and Broadband, well as usual you are wrong

    http://mercatus.org/publication/innovation-investment-and-competition-broadband-and-impact-america-s-digital-economy

    A decade ago, the European Union accounted for roughly one-third of the world’s private investment in communications capital equipment; that amount has plummeted to less than one-fifth today. EU broadband providers invest only half as much as their American counterparts. Additionally, more than three-quarters of all EU broadband subscriptions are DSL, a slower technology, which many Americans would find unacceptable.

    Over the past decade, the United States has consistently made up around a quarter of the world’s broadband investment. This remains true even as the world’s investment in broad­band has grown from $130 billion in 2003 to $330 billion in 2013. US companies continue to invest in technologies like mobile and Wi-Fi, making them cheaper and more broadly avail­able for consumers.

    Providers in the United States invest at twice the rate of EU operators, and there is a grow­ing gap between the United States and the EU in per capita spending on infrastructure.

    So 1/4th of 330 billion is 82 billion, which is an order of magnitude larger than the Hoover Damn and TVA. Like I said, plenty of investment

    Joe Reply:

    The amount of money invested in a single year in the current Information Age dwarfs the spending on “big concrete” like the Hoover Dam and Tennessee Power Authority.

    Did you mean the entire investments in Information Age dwarf two projects? That’s your data and if silly.

    Your written text says infrastructure but data are from only two projects – one of which <TVA) you wrote is difficult to assess. It's your comment and example and not mine.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Well I didn’t include things like satellites, cell systems, computers, phones, tablets, etc.

    You are missing the point. America has more investment now than in the past. This narrative that America does not invest anymore is bunk

    Joe Reply:

    Well you continue to make up stuff without facts and without data.

    Now you throw out a straw man argument that “America does not invest anymore”

    That’s a laughable fabrication. Whose saying that ?

    I just showed the fed investment was under 5 B. Networking investments by telecoms is 60-100B while government spending on transportation and water infrastructure is over 400B a year.

    We clearly put more into old fashioned infrastructure and transportation by a factor of 4.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So we agree. America invests a lot

    Joe Reply:

    We’re 20th.

    http://www.speedmatters.org/blog/archive/20th-globally-average-us-broadband-speed-11.7-mbps/

    The United States ranked 20th globally for average broadband speed with 11.7 Mbps. This average speed puts the US behind first-ranked South Korea (23.1 Mbps), second-ranked Hong Kong (17.0 Mbps), and third-ranked Japan (16.4 Mbps), as well as much of Europe.

    Jerry Reply:

    What? Little Korea beats us?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I can live with 20. Out of 200+ countries. Unlike you, I don’t need America to be number 1 at everything.

    Joe Reply:

    I can’t and still claim we’re in some position to be leading.

    We don’t lead and that 20th class network is supposed to compensate for lower infrastructure investment.

    Sorry but you’re impressions don’t match the data.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Ok, we are number 1 in making planes. Military and commercial. That is transportation and we lap the world. Happy now

    Joe Reply:

    Aerospace isn’t infrastructure but let’s play.

    Boeing is distributing airplane manufacturing with sections of their newest model, 787 made overseas. We’re losing manufacturing.
    Also, Airbus does pretty well against Boeing and we don’t lead them.

    Military? Care to tell me about the awesome F-35? Never heard you mock their project management.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    And that 20th network allows us to have all of the biggest most powerful tech companies in the world. So I guess it good enough to allow us to lead

    Joe Reply:

    Like Samsung.
    Where’s your TV or smart phone made?

    You started tell us how our IT infrastructure investments rock.

    Now we’re on an adventure to “made in” labels.

    Before you crow about Google or Facebook, remember they pay to bus employees to work because or infrastructure in the SV is inadquate.

    Edward Reply:

    I remember that one liner: “They promised us flying cars, and we got 140 characters.”

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I’ll take the internet over useless and polluting transportation any day.

    Joe Reply:

    http://www.nap.edu/read/13427/chapter/2
    National academy:

    Federal investment in IT relates areas is under 5b 2010.

    Broadly the Facebook google Amazon etc are significant to our GDP but then these are not network infrastructure investments.

    In total, according to estimates for 2010 by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the IT-intensive “information-communications-technology-producing” industries3 grew by 16.3 percent and contributed nearly 5 percent to the overall U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).4 A 2011 study by the McKinsey Global Institute found that in 2009 Internet-related activities alone contributed an average of 3.8 percent to the U.S. GDP.5 (By contrast, the total federal funding in fiscal year 2010 for the networking and IT research and development (R&D) program, which includes most federal support for IT R&D, was approximately $4.3 billion,6 just under 0.03 percent of GDP.7) These substantial contributions to the economy reflect only the direct economic benefits of the IT sector and do not capture the full benefits realized from the application of IT throughout the economy.

    CBO estimates https://www.cbo.gov/publication/49910

    Public spending—spending by federal, state, and local governments—on transportation and water infrastructure totaled $416 billion in 2014. Most of that spending came from state and local governments: They provided $320 billion, and the federal government accounted for $96 billion.

    Washington post shows telecom company investments ranges from 55b to 118b with a value like 70b more likely in 2014.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2014/03/25/att-complains-it-needs-more-money-for-infrastructure-upgrades-no-it-doesnt/

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I said 82 billion which is dead smack in the middle of the range you gave. So we agree, there is a lot of investment.

    My point is that everyone points to the “good old days” of investment, but the real facts, as you show, is that investment in transport and everything else is higher than the “good old days”

    Thanks for proving my point

    Joe Reply:

    A lot compared to what?

    We invest less now than before. It’s commonly understood that tech investment in RD is down and recent efforts to improve the slack in the face of international competition gave oppsition from your GOP.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The government invests less than before (if you count inflation) . Total investment is up. Who cares if it is private or public.

    Jerry Reply:

    “Who cares if it is private or public.”
    Agreed. So build it, and We Will All Ride.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Oh and by the way…no data

    “It’s commonly understood”. I have data. You have an opinion

    Joe Reply:

    http://dc.mit.edu/sites/default/files/innovation_deficit/Future%20Postponed.pdf

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Stop only counting government money. In the US capitalist system the government does not “give” all the money. The US spends more on innovation than anyone else. The US government does not.

    PS: It is no wonder that an institution like MiT that gets government grants does not think we spend enough.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Data may be skewed by the fact that the US has much more suburban residents. In Europe you reach a much higher percentage of the population with much shorter broadband lines. Which ceteris paribus should be cheaper. And (I am nowhere near an expert on this) in some places like East Germany they actually put in glass fiber instead of copper lines way back in the 1990s, which supposedly are better for the technology of today or tomorrow or whatever.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Most people in the U.S. have fiber-to-the-curb/pole from the telephone company, cable company or both.

    Edward Reply:

    I have DSL2+ service. Not the greatest, but I can easily watch HDTV. This is DSL from the exchange. The advantage of that is that it works during power failures. We are lucky to have service from Sonic Telecom here. Less than sixty bucks a month flat rate for a landline with free international calls and all features known to man (call forwarding, three way calling etc.) and Internet at whatever rate your pair can handle.

    They are starting to put in fiber to the home, but unfortunately not yet in my neighborhood. The same price would then give me 100 Mb symmetrical and for less than ninety a month 1 Gb symmetrical. In my experience though the biggest advantage is local customer service. Comcast anyone?

    On the other hand, if you are a sports addict and *NEED* your daily fix this is not for you. No TV.

    Aarond Reply:

    Because they don’t see it. The Internet has proliferated to the point where most people, especially young people, don’t think about it. Someone turning 20 years old today came of age just as the iphone got big, they don’t know a pre-internet world.

    HSR, like highways, bridges and tunnels, are all big infrastructure projects that people can see and feel but don’t use every second of the day.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I was born after the dawn of the HSR age. Only occasionally did I give the “infrastructure” side of it much second thought before I became interested in the topic. People my age probably don’t give it much thought either. Trains are just taken for granted in Europe. And if the ICE is one minute late everybody complains and nobody gives a rat’s ass whether some infrastructure failed or what the reason is…

    Eric Reply:

    And in the US, if your flight connection is 8 hours late because of a storm in Chicago, you just suck it up and deal with it…

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Or to mirror the expectation, if Amtrak is on time look to the skies for falling toads.

    Jerry Reply:

    You are correct John. TVA brought cheap (subsidized? ?) electricity to the Tennessee Valley area. Hoover Dam was a great New Deal “jobs program” and brought cheap electricity and recreation to the Las Vegas area.
    Your examples of Hoover Dam and TVA support a similar type of investment in HSR. And the very long list of HSR’s very long list of benefits.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Except most of the dam projects shouldn’t have been built, of course.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I have no problem with Hoover or TVA. They were right for a time of 25% unemployment and a country without 100% electricity penetration. America is not that country anymore. The current economy does not justify a jobs (make work) program. Not to mention that CAHSR is a drop in the employment bucket anyway so as a jobs program it is not useful.

    Jerry Reply:

    But America is a country with 0% HSR penetration.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    And 100% transportation penetration. There is no place I can’t go. HSR is a means to an end, not an end

    Miles Bader Reply:

    And 100% transportation penetration. There is no place I can’t go. HSR is a means to an end, not an end

    I expect there has never been a time when “transportation penetration” was not 100%… people were never trapped in their home, unable to leave.

    In any case, the current majority of transportation uses a technology that has essentially destroyed much of the country and made it an awful place to live. It’s like having “100% heating penetration” using coal… yay?

    There are very good reasons to favor increasing the modal-share of modes like HSR…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    THere are wide swaths of the planet where wheels cannot turn. Wanna reach more places, get a horse. And lots of places the horses cannot go because the snorkel would be too long.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You’d be surprised how well a horse cart deals with urban traffic if congestion is bad enough…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why would I need those newfangled trains? I can go where ever I want by stagecoach!

    Jerry Reply:

    “There is no place I can’t go.”
    There you go again. Just thinking about yourself.

    Jerry Reply:

    As a “jobs program” it is very useful for the Central Valley.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    No, it’s not even a rounding error

    19 million jobs in CA

    http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ca.htm

    According to the authority they add 20,000 for 5 years. Not all in valley because they include suppliers

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/newsroom/fact%20sheets/Jobs_Factsheet_FINAL_040915.pdf

    So 19 mil vs 0.02 mil. Or .1% Wow. Super impressive for spending 20 billon.

    You can do it that way. 20 billion for 20,000 jobs. Super efficient

    J. Wong Reply:

    That’s 19 million in California in total. When you consider where the jobs are located, I would think some significant fraction of 20,000 in the Central Valley starts to be a ways north of .1% for the total CV employment.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You really think 20 billion is a good way to make 20,000 jobs for 5 years? You could just give 100k to 200,000 people in 10x the benefit

    Joe Reply:

    Also training and contracting work for small business and minority/women owned business.

    Awesomely better than the Do Nothing alternative you propose.

    Jerry Reply:

    It’s about more than just the jobs John N.
    There is a multitude of other benefits of HSR.
    “I Will Ride” is just one of them.
    Or do you propose to take part of the $20 Billion and buy every one a car who would otherwise ride?
    And build the extra extra lanes of roads for those cars?
    As Joe says, yours is the Do Nothing approach.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    If it was me, I would spend it all on local light rail/subways. Perhaps dedicated bus lanes if someone could prove to me they would be used.

    Much better return on investment for the money. Better for reducing car trips, ecology, ridership, employment effects, etc. If SF or LA had a subways systems as extensive as NYC so you could live there is no car what is that worth?

    Public transports effects are not linear. There is a point where they become much more useful when they reach a critical mass. Most US cities lack that critical mass. I.e. You can live near a light rail line but it does not go everywhere you need so you still have to own a car. Denver is a good current example of this. They are building tons of light rail, but as of right now, you can’t live in Denver without a car.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Plenty of people live in Denver without a car. There is no place where you are required to have a car to live there, and every major metropolis has areas where one can easily live without a car.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Nope

    http://www.governing.com/gov-data/car-ownership-numbers-of-vehicles-by-city-map.html

    Averaging between 1.5 and 2 cars per household.

    And the same is true for almost all major metros.

    Question? Do you just reflexively disagree with everything I say or do you think about it a bit or even try to look it up. Because I am shocked at your “wrong” rate. You hit every once and a while I will admit but come on, some of these are just outside the realm of possibility. I grew up in Colorado. Denver has 0 walk ability. It has awesome trails and bike paths out to the prairie, but you need a car to do anything for living

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    And before you argue that’s just an average. This link outs the absolute number around 2-4 thousand households. A pittance

    http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2011/0818_transportation_tomer/0818_transportation_tomer.pdf

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    You deliberately misinterperate the data. That is cars in America divided by households. That means that it is including corporate and government owned vehicles in the data, which inflates.the figure by 30%. Also, that figure ignores that 10-15% of households have no car, where some have far more than the average, skewing the figure upwards. Cars aren’t distributed equally.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Also, have you ever been to the central area of Denver? It is very dense and walkable. Or do you never leave the suburbs at all?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There is only one country in the world where cars outnumber people…

    The answer is at this WP page…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_vehicles_per_capita

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You are not spending that money. Only in the most literal sense. It gets back to you. And I don’t mean in the people spend and it is taxed way. The trains running along the lines will generate a surplus (they almost always do, look it up) and part of that surplus (in addition to track access charges) will pay for the license to operate services along that line. Eventually all the money you spent will be repaid with interest and then some. And of course the operator will have to hire drivers, chefs for the cafe car and so on.

    To say nothing of the new opportunities being an hour or two closer to LA and SFO opens up

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    This line is not going to generate a surplus. There is 1 train line in the entire US that comes close to breaking even. It runs pin a much denser part of the country with huge cities that sit within easy train distance. No other passenger trains, local, state, or interstate makes money in the US.

    No one will be able to prove that until they start running, but believing that this line, from SJ to a town of a few thousand people is going to run a surplus is like believing in unicorns

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You do realize that Bakersfield isn’t spelled “LA” and San Jose is not spelled “SFO”

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I do, does CAHSR? Because I read the part of the 2016 plan that said “we have enough money to build from SJ to an empty field north of Bakersfield.

    Now since they are only allowed to build segments that require no subsidy per prop1a that mean that they are officially saying this IOS will make money

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    What would the cost be to build TBT to Hanford, instead of Dirdon to Wasco? That would likely be a more successful option, though I am still in favor of cutting out anything to get to Bakersfield Downtown.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    To include SF and Bakersfield is 3 billion per the plan. So 6-10 billion when they actually build it

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Who said they were going to run trains on it?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Ummm..if they are not going to run trains on it then why are we spending 20 billion.

    And they have to make something because security to keep people from stealing the copper alone is going to be somewhat expensive

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The NEC makes a LARGE profit, and it isn’t even high speed. CAHSR will easily make a huge profit. Frances Paris to Lyon TGV even makes a profit, and it serves a population half that as HSR.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Even short, low speed, diesel amtrak lines like DC to Lynchborg, Norfolk, and Newport News make a profit.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Nope

    http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2013/04/25/does-amtrak-actually-lose-money-on-acela-express-in-the-northeast-corridor/

    I am going to be generous and say they could if they dumped all the other stuff. But train in the US only make profit in freight

    Joe Reply:

    So I read the link and find this:

    I don’t know whether Don Phillips is correct that Acela Express — New York/Boston and New York/DC, generally the only Amtrak routes considered profitable — are actually money losers.

    I guess you’re convinced. He isn’t.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Caiptal costs are irrelevant in this situation, because the state is covering them. HSR should easily cover its operating costs.

    Eric M Reply:

    Your really peddling something from Gary Leff?!?! Come on now

    Eric M Reply:

    Your’re…..

    Eric M Reply:

    or you just Googled “Acela Express profitable” and picked the very first link.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I could have picked the 2nd link. It’s not hard to disprove these comments, how is that a bad reflection on me.

    Bottom line is no one will know if this line will be profitable until it runs(if it runs). I am nearly pointing out that the data says no

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The data does not say that.

    The data says: That depends on how you ask the question, what you count and more or less what your definition of “is” is. Incidentally similar things could be said if you ask the question: “Do airlines incorporated and operating in the USA actually make a profit greater than the direct and indirect subsidies they receive and have received in the past?”

    Those questions are complex and not easy to answer.

    Ask an easier question: Does the long distance wing of a certain railway post black or red numbers? Those are usually publicly accessible data. How high are track access charges? Again, usually publicly accessible data. How high were the construction costs of a certain line? Again, publicly accessible data. You get the data and draw your own conclusions. And you can of course ponder to no end whether the pre long distance bus years are the artifact or the after long distance bus years are the artifact.

    And for the full credit, do kindly research the economic results of the different JR companies and what happened to the different types of debt of JNR upon privatization. This would enable to answer the question posted in an educated way…

    Jerry Reply:

    “This line is not going to generate a surplus.”
    All Public Transportation is about more than just making money or generating a surplus.
    (Cleaner Air anyone??)
    Also. Those who ride, make more room, on the roads, for those who drive.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    And honestly I have no problem with that. It is a public good and a perfectly valid reason to spend tax money. Cars, buses, and light rail and airplane, heck even walking all have some kind of subsidy.

    However, the law that authorized HSR specifically forbids subsidy. That specific point was used to pass this law. So I expect them to abide by the law, they did swear to uphold it.

    Do you think that HSR will require no subsidy? Because all the US data says it will

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Which data says that?

    All I get from the data on the NEC is that you can charge four times what France or Germany do (north of 40 ct/ km as opposed to slightly above 10 ct/km) for a train that is not even all that fast (in terms of average speed) on a decrepit and outdated line with catenary from FDR’s stimulus…

    If you can charge 40 ct/km on a newly built line and beat the airlines by similar numbers as on the NEC, there is no way in hell this line will make a loss. You can even get greedy with track access charges.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They charge what the airlines charge to fly into the convenient airport that serves D.C.
    Congress screws around with who can fly into that airport and which cities it can serve. And regulates how much the airport can charge. And how much Amtrak can charge.

    Jerry Reply:

    PS Who really pays for Air Traffic Control??
    And how does that figure into airlines making money or generating a surplus?

    Joe Reply:

    The US pays for air traffic control and the development of new air traffic features.

    We taxpayers pay in tax subsidizes and occasionally directly pay airlines cash.

    We taxpayers paid 5 B after 9/11.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/9-11-airline-bailout-so-who-got-what/

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Who paid to physically build the airports?

    What about the land they sit on?

    What about the research into aeronautics?

    J. Wong Reply:

    It doesn’t have to be profitable just cannot have a subsidy. So all they have to do is have fares that ensure that is the case. You might argue that whatever fares they choose to do so will be so expensive that no one will ride, but I think that’s really a stretch.

    How much do you think fares will be to not be subsidized? Current fare SF to BFD is $48 one way on Amtrak. That’s subsidized at about 20% per this website Amtrak Subsidies per Route (the San Joaquin). So at most $58, but in reality it will be cheaper to operate HSR than the San Joaquin. (Electricity is cheaper than diesel, the crews will be on the clock for less time, they won’t be paying fees to the freights [although they will have to pay maintenance for the track].) The number of passengers will start at a million and increase. Conclusion: They won’t have any trouble getting people to ride without subsidizing fares.

    Jerry Reply:

    Won’t the actual track distance be shorter for the HSR?
    It seems the San Joquin takes the long way around via Martinez.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    The number of passengers will start at a million and increase

    A million per …? Year? It can’t be per day, even the Tokaido shinkansen is only 393,000 per day…

    But only a million per year seems kind of low: it’s only about 2700 people per day, which with a train holding, say, 400-500 people, is only 5-6 trains per day, which isn’t a reasonable frequency. You want a frequency high enough that riders can choose a travel time at least somewhat convenient to them. That sort of convenience is an important part of increasing ridership…

    Are they just going to start out with fairly empty trains? That won’t help efficiency, but I suppose it would help make the trains more popular!

    john burrows Reply:

    The draft 2016 Business Plan estimates the following for a medium ridership scenario for the initial San Jose to North of Bakersfield IOS.

    2025—————–3.0 million riders
    2026—————–4.1 million riders
    2027—————–5.2 million riders
    2028—————–6.4 million riders

    What I didn’t pick up was an estimate on the number of riders to break even, and I didn’t see anything about how ridership estimates would change under the revised (Stop in Merced) business plan.

    john burrows Reply:

    That would be riders per year.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yes, both shorter distance traveled plus faster.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think all the people who are currently willing to pay 48 bucks for the Amtrak route will be more than willing to pay 58 bucks for HSR. And there will probably more people lining up “just to try it once” because the speed fascinates them…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I have extreme problems with dams. Hoover is a necessary evil, but TVA, Glenn Canyon, The Dalles, Parker, Davis, and O’Shaugnessy dams, along with every other small or recreation only dam should have never, ever been built, and each and every one of those ought to be removed.

    Michael Reply:

    Because you drink Hoover water in LA, but all else is not worthy? Why is Hoover OK but all else bad?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    No, of course not…I don’t mean to sound hypocritical at all. Here is the breakdown of those dams:

    Glenn Canyon: Inefficient water storage for lake mead during time of drought, provides no water or electricity, most water lost to evaporation, should be replaced with aquifer water storage.

    The Dalles: unnecessary dam for navigational purposes only. Does nothing Bonneville can’t make up for. Ruins sacred places for native Americans.

    Parker and Davis: Both unnecessary water diversion dams, built to provide nothing during the dam building binge. This is where the water for LA, SD, and PHX comes from (not Hoover), but a short extension of the CAP and Colorado River Aqueducts to Lake Mead can make up for its removal.

    O’Shaugnessy: Water for SF can come form other dames (Shasta?), in exchange for abandoning farmland.

    These dams are inefficient, ecological disasters, and wastes of resources. Everyone wins if they are removed.

    Edward Reply:

    O’Shaughnessy Dam doesn’t just provide water to San Francisco. And it is the source of electricity for all the electrified transit in San Francisco. I am not – in principle – opposed to removing the dam, but it would require a great amount of construction of other water storage facilities somewhere as well as creation of other sources of renewable energy. None of this is impossible, just very expensive. You may have noticed the difficulty obtaining funds for infrastructure projects.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I am aware of this, but keeping these old dams in repair (we have many, many unsafe dams) is even more expensive. Electricity could come from wind, solar, or even nuclear (I realize how unpopular this is, but one or two nuclear plants (say at Moss Landing and El Centro) could replace every oil and natural gas plant in the entire state, which would massively reduce pollution. Remember that much of this early to mid twentieth century infrastructures, whether it be dams or power plants, is reaching the end of its useful life, so it has to be either expensively updated, or expensively replaced. It is simply a choice of whether we want to retain the status quo, or move on to a greener future.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Hydroelectric dams make money.

    Joe Reply:

    Hetch Hetchy valley rivals Yosemite in beauty. They should dam the water down tiver and restore the Valley. Restoration, a natural process, would take 100-150 years and be a yuuge tourist draw.

    Dams hurt fisheries, more so than planned, but removal is a by case basis.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The TVA is awful. We should just abandon Knoxville and Chattanooga and…

    https://www.tva.com/Environment/Flood-Management/The-Flood-that-Never-Was

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    sorry. I meant to clarify removing the coal plants.

  6. JimInPollockPines
    Apr 29th, 2016 at 14:50
    #6

    I hope Merced is still in the competition for the HMF. It would go a lot of good there. The new university’s the HMF and a transfer point for the unified service would go a long way in helping the area start to thrive again

    Ted Judah Reply:

    True, though I actually think Sacramento should offer free rent to Siemens if it relocates its light rail factory to the old Railyards. Seeing a bright spot in their local economy juxtaposed with Sac’s growing skyline would really neat.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    I’m hoping someone in sac will eventually double the height of the skyline with a tower orvtwo

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Make Merced Great Again

  7. JimInPollockPines
    Apr 29th, 2016 at 16:15
    #7

    Local anti Hsr article
    http://www.mtdemocrat.com/opinion/my-turn-high-speed-fail/

    Jerry Reply:

    By Senator Ted Gaines, with regular Republican comments.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Who represents the most insane district in the entire state.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Is there a competition along that lines?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    IMHO, but you know, he represents Weed–f*cking Weed–, California. Travel up that way and all you see is massive Jesus Saves signs, and a lot of weed.

    Jerry Reply:

    In California it is popular to represent weed.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I know. I’m not a fan.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    don’t be too quick to judge that area. It is the most beautiful part of the state. Go explore places like

    modoc co

    plumas co

    shasta co

    Lassen co, trinity etc. But we must not let them steal it with their state of jefferson movement. That would be like california giving away palms springs, yosemite and lake tahoe. The problem in the far north is that they feel disconnected from and judged by the rest of the state. Their economy was hurt by liberal policies and people lost jobs and their leaders, instead of working to bring jobs and investment, have instead just pandered to their resentment. The rest of the state needs to start acting like those peoples lives matter instead of treating them like stepchildren.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They tend to be free market zealots. The free market is responsible for their shitty economy. The free market sucks doesn’t it?
    After they get their jollies threatening to hold their breath until they are blue rational adults whisper in their ear that if they secede Sacramento is going to stop sending all that lovely money. They stop threatening. Then wail that they aren’t getting enough subsidies. Rinse repeat on 15, 20 year cycles.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I know all those areas well. I have often travelled between relatives in the Willamette Valley and Los Angeles. I have been on the I-5 corridor, and the Cast Starlight, and I’ve been to Lassen, and Susanville, and Lava Caves. My dad has done plenty of work in the area and I know it well. I would still go insane living there for more than a week. I don’t mean to treat them like stepchildren. I want to form consensus from all sided, but when you have Jefferson Independence, and borderline-anarchist antigovernment, religious right, gun rights over everything types, it is impossible to find consensus, and it is easy to get exasperated.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Yes it can be frustrating but those people are a vocal minority. We have the state of Jefferson people in el dorado county too
    They don’t have much support. I mean when you have meetings and only 20 50 or even 200 people show up in a state of 38 million…. 1950s transgenders In San francisco had a better chance of advancing than these people do

    They really just need jobs and their elected leaders are not doing them any favors
    As for guns. Leave them alone This will always be s losing proposition for democrats

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Republicans, the majority of them, who support gun control, have to grow some.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    I pretty sure most of my 4000 neighbors own guns it doesn’t pose a problem for me or them
    Of course it’s within reason to have some common sense rules
    Unfortunately the left want to vilify law abiding gun owners
    That makes the conversation more difficult. I would like to get a gun but hubby is against it
    I think people who drive too slow in the left lane should be shot
    People who are overly fanatic about their guns need to accept that there are rules

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The left wants background checks and wants to outlaw machine guns and bazookas.
    The right thinks that it’s all a communist plot to beat their guns into feminist meditation garden furniture. And that their deer rifle is going to be effective against the Sheriff Department’s tank and the State Police’s helicopters.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Why is everyone so paranoid

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @Adirondacker. Wouldn’t background checks and wants to outlaw machine guns and bazookas be a good thing. And is there a problem with beating guns into feminist meditation garden furniture.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    In the privacy of a pollster’s telephone call Republicans think checks and banning bazookas are good things. When they get together they like to go through a litany of conspiracy theories. One conspiracy theory is that Democrats want to take away all guns everywhere. They have been trotting it out fairly frequent for decades. And that if they just cut taxes on rich people some more the economy will boom. And that lay citizens have a good use for large magazines of ammunition. And that if they just cut taxes on rich people some more the economy will boom. And …

  8. Joe
    Apr 29th, 2016 at 18:14
    #8

    Ralph Vartabedian
    The California high-speed rail authority approved a new two-year business plan Thursday that attempts to patch up concerns and problems that erupted up and down the state over details of a draft plan that was issued in February.

    Still question why Tribune publishing thinks beating up on transit will sell papers. The self driving car owners might buy and read the paper on the way to work. Until then I think public transit riders would be interested in better HSR coverage.

    “I fucking hate HSR” articles don’t inform.

    Zorro Reply:

    Agreed and Ralph should be sent to the moon, one way.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Perhaps to Mars with Elon Musk. Then we get hyperloop out too. Kill two birds with one stone.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well Musk admits that the Hyped Loop works better with a Martian atmosphere, so…

    Wells Reply:

    Hyperloop was some kinda coverup.
    Dumb idea distraction from worse dumb ideas.
    Oh wait, the self-driving car, how much dumber is that?

    Wells Reply:

    http://mynorthwest.com/280206/seattle-braces-first-day-viaduct-closure/#commentsbox

    Elizabeth Reply:

    From what I can tell – WA DOT has done almost nothing to ease traffic during shutdown. They could have had massive bus effort /shuttle with lanes for express through and other for downtown traffic. Instead they told everyone to plan ahead.

    This is a project where the best plan was probably to just take down the viaduct and improve transit. It would have been a disaster for the city /state if traffic wasn’t bad.

    Seattle residents – you should scream and shout about this one.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Hey, its like the 405 carmaggedon closure all over again.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But cars are freedom ™

    J. Wong Reply:

    The problem is that Vartabedian has graduated to “emeritus” status at the Times. He did a lot of good work earlier in his career there and now has pretty much been given free rein to write about what he wants. So he’s got a bee in in bonnet about HSR while the Times editorial board is still somewhat supportive of HSR.

    Joe Reply:

    Well it’s still bad business.
    The Fresno Bee is kicking the LATimes ass in quality coverage.

    I guess that’s why Gannett is offering to buy Tribune Publishing, instill some discipline and consolidate content.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2016/04/25/usa-today-publisher-gannett-offers-to-buy-owner-of-la-times-and-chicago-tribune-for-815m/#1c814fad7bc0
    Tribune Publishing has struggled since being spun from Tribune Media, owner of a number of local television stations, in mid-2014. Over the past year, its share price has fallen roughly 60% amid management change, falling financial forecasts and sharp layoffs, particularly at its strongest brands like the LA Times

    Maybe having writers swing away as they choose isn’t a good business model.

    Danny Reply:

    in publishing it’s called “protection from editors” or “the Brain Eater” in SF/fantasy: once they get too popular you can’t change anything they write because they’ll just take their big name to another publisher; inevitably they slide into anticatholic conspiracy theories/obsessive infant selfcest/Objectivism/Holocaust denial/Velikovskianism/gay panic/Intelligent Design–twisted fruitloops writing garbage that gets passed, printed and purchased

    Edward Reply:

    Fruitloopery!

    One of my favorite terms from “New Scientist”. Are you a subscriber or perhaps British?

    Danny Reply:

    actually one of my academic specialties is understanding how what’s considered fruitloopery is quietly rebaptized into “real true science” and how accepted theories are retroactively deemed crankery, funnily enough

    Wells Reply:

    “I Robot, To Obey” Mickey Zucker Reichert.
    2036, robotic tech evolves a realm of self-aware,
    sentient mechanical entities, owned by those whose
    designs produce robot enslavement then annihilation.
    Reisan du jour, self-driving car jokes.
    Uppity self-driving car entities. (^:

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are there well known creative people who could get protection from the editors but actually didn’t and still produce(d) good stuff?

  9. Joe
    Apr 30th, 2016 at 10:18
    #9

    Hipster or Septuagenerian?

    What a debacle! California’s high-speed rail system has now had more new plans than “Carter has liver pills.”

    Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article74549062.html#storylink=cpy

    Lee Reply:

    CHSRA is REQUIRED to write and delivery a new Business Plan to the Legislature every two years. Besides, it is quite normal for a large project to change as the project learns about the real conditions and the changing environment. I’ve worked a number of major projects and it happened to all of them and for good reasons.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Even Ronald fucking Reagan occasionally adjusted his foreign policy to reality (or rather his flawed perception of it). If he were still around he’d probably be buds with Ortega right about now…. Looks like both those slimy sleazeballs…

    Jerry Reply:

    A funny letter to the editor.
    But he should know that the FTC made Carter drop the word ‘liver’ as being deceptive. Thereafter, it was just Carter Little Pills. But my grandmother always said, Carter’s Little Liver Pills.

    Joe Reply:

    Well Lee,
    The LATimes spins this as a negative:

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-train-plan-20160429-story.html
    “Bullet train agency approves a new business plan with 26 pages of changes”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And if they don’t change a thing LATimes will claim they are deaf or something…

    Morton’s Fork, really…

  10. Wells
    Apr 30th, 2016 at 10:40
    #10

    Collected views of Seattle MELTDOWN first day of AWV SHUTDOWN:

    http://mynorthwest.com/280206/seattle-braces-first-day-viaduct-closure/#commentsbox

  11. Wells
    Apr 30th, 2016 at 12:03
    #11

    http://mynorthwest.com/280206/seattle-braces-first-day-viaduct-closure/#commentsbox

    just keep up on it. seattle carmageddon.

    les Reply:

    I took link across town to new u station without a hitch. Seattle is finally getting more options. So far so good with latest bertha restart….is it finally incident free? We shall see.

    les Reply:

    Bertha only has to go 385 before a Viaduct reopen.
    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/99closure/progress

  12. Jerry
    Apr 30th, 2016 at 15:26
    #12

    Interesting article on the new LA Metro Line $1.5 billion light rail line that opens May 20.
    It will connect Los Angeles with the ocean and adjacent parts of the city’s west side for the first time since trolley cars to the beach were discontinued in 1953.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-blm-calif-rail-c2c8d168-0d2c-11e6-bc53-db634ca94a2a-20160429-story.html

    Article states that Red Bull and RAND will defray all or part of their employees’ transit fares.
    The benefit is key to helping attract and retain employees in one of California’s priciest areas, said Eric Peltz, RAND’s executive director of operations.

    Maybe some companies would defray costs for commuting from the Central Valley to jobs on the Peninsula.

    Who knows?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I am actually quite sure some of them would do that..

  13. trentbridge
    Apr 30th, 2016 at 16:23
    #13

    In 2030, California projects a state population of 44 million vs 39 million today…so imagine the entire state of Minnesota was moving to California in the next 14 years and you see that arguing about public transportation based on current observations is pointless. It’s going to get more crowded and cheaper housing is going to move further and further away from existing cities and suburbs. CA HSR is being built to meet this future and again, for the hundredth time, the alternative plan would require more runways and airport expansions or carving out extra freeway lanes in urban areas…at far greater cost than HSR…not to mention more vigorous local opposition.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Five million more
    Can’t they move to Nevada instead
    Can we just buy Nevada and put all the new people over there?

    Domayv Reply:

    is there enough inhabitable space there?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You can build a house on a desert. It will probably not have a lawn or a pool without wasting tons of water, but you can build a house there.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    There is enough space in LA. More people means a better California. I say let them come and let them build. This state should grow until every surface parking lot and strip mall is converted into seven story mixed users.

    synonymouse Reply:

    There’s more than 39mil today.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There’s more than 80 million in Germany. They manage.

  14. Wells
    May 1st, 2016 at 08:48
    #14

    Suggest a study of Seattle Waterfront, complex seawall, simpler street redesign.
    New LRT fine. Streetcar lines operating poorly and proposed connector is in question.
    Memorial Day weekend a free 4-day music festival, folklife, a good visit this year especially.
    Try to play down the fiasco scandal horror stories about Bertha.
    Congrats on HSR start. Remaining steadfast Merced/Sac/Altamont.
    Take the Talgo PDX-to- Tacoma. Sounder north. Beautiful Sound water route
    soon bypassed to save 12 minutes. See it now or never.

  15. Wells
    May 1st, 2016 at 08:54
    #15
Comments are closed.