Nearly Half of Expo Line Riders Came From Cars

Sep 14th, 2016 | Posted by

Expo Line at La Cienega

Metro released survey findings of riders on the new Expo Line phase serving Santa Monica – and found that nearly half ditched their cars for the train:

More than two-thirds of riders on the recently opened Expo Line Phase II to Santa Monica are new to the train line and more than 40 percent of them switched to transit from driving alone, according to a survey released this week by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority….

Metro surveyed about 1,000 riders at the Expo Line’s seven new stations and found 70 percent of them were new to the Expo Line. Of the new riders, nearly half used to drive alone while 23 percent had switched from bus service.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, unless it’s news to you that people despise traffic on the 10 with an undying passion. But this is also similar to what happened in Spain when the AVE high speed rail line first opened. Many of its passengers switched from driving as well.

Opponents of rail projects underestimate how much people hate sitting in traffic. When they’re given a better option – one that is fast and convenient – they’ll take it. The Expo Line is now so popular that there aren’t enough trainsets to meet demand.

As someone who has driven on Interstate 5 between SF and LA more times than I can count, including sitting in traffic in the middle of the Central Valley that was so bad that it took nearly 9 hours to complete the trip, I can say with certainty that there will be huge demand for a train that can make that trip in half the usual travel time.

If you build it, they will ride.

  1. Jerry
    Sep 14th, 2016 at 15:11
    #1

    Good photo showing the downtown LA skyline in the distance.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Yep, that’s why I chose it. Metro does a great job with these photos.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    In Berlin there is a bus line, mostly operated by double deckers that has next to no purpose besides tourism, as it passes by almost all major sites. It only costs the normal BVG fare and is included in all day tickets (Line 100 in case you are ever in Berlin). I hope LA gets to insert something like that into travel guides soon as well..

  2. Jerry
    Sep 14th, 2016 at 15:21
    #2

    Survey also found that 50% get to a new Expo Line station by: Walk/Bike/Roll.
    “The results are in line with Metro data on riders of the whole system that show the vast majority (79 percent) walk or bike to catch the bus or train.Recent research from the nonprofit Transit Center, shows transit located in walkable neighborhoods encourages higher ridership.”

  3. Danny
    Sep 14th, 2016 at 16:58
    #3

    who wants to start bets on what Cato’ll say about this? “rail destroys the base for the gas tax and that’ll spread blight! property values will collapse! eeeee!”

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Government shouldn’t bother improving it’s economy or improving it’s citizens lives.

    Danny Reply:

    it’s literally the same economics as Pinochet (look up the Chicago School’s history, oy)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How people still defend Pinochet is beyond me. As is why people still pronounce him with a silent t.

    Danny Reply:

    Moby and Sean Penn like Videla, Massera, and Galtieri

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why?

    Anandakos Reply:

    Well, you know what they call red plonk in Chile, right? PinotChit.

  4. Bahnfreund
    Sep 14th, 2016 at 17:14
    #4

    OT:

    Deutsche Bahn today announced what they brand the ICE 4. It will only enter regular service with the December 2017 schedule change, but think about this: Germany has now the fifth generation (ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 old style and ICE3 Velaro style) of high speed train before the US has its first…

    Of course German media – including the Facebook site of Tagesschau saw this as an exceptionally good chance to remind people of past hiccoughs of the ICE….

    A German that can’t complain ain’t happy…

    Eric Reply:

    A friend of mine was recently in Germany, and complained that the cell phone service was terrible everywhere. Do Germans complain about that, or are they used to it?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Which network was (s)he on?

    Also, rural or urban area?

    And yeah, Germans complain about that. Usually they complain that their provider is the worst one ever, though.

    Eric Reply:

    Don’t know which network. Both rural and urban.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It used to be that Telekom had the best overall network and E-Plus had the worst. However, E-Plus has recently been bought out by O2 (The same company that operates as “movistar” in much of Latin America) and now Vodafone gets to be the worst network by default.

    The quality of phone network is also what is hampering better Wifi on trains (you have to pay extra for Wifi on second class in the ICE unless you already have that included in your T-mobile contract). There are simply not enough masts within reach of the tracks.

    Useless Reply:

    Eric

    that the cell phone service was terrible everywhere.

    Europe is lagging behind Asia and the US in 4G deployment due to a massive spectrum auction cost. After paying for spectrum auction, carriers have no money left over to actually deploy a network.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, I dimly recall that UMTS was sold in an era of almost constant budget deficits in Germany (even budget deficits in excess of the stupid EU 3% rule) and the minister of finance was extremely happy about what he considered windfall…

  5. angeleno
    Sep 14th, 2016 at 22:42
    #5

    We have yet another reason to ride Expo rather than to drive the 10: many of the vistas of mountains and city lights afforded by the elevated Expo tracks beat the views of sound walls and tail lights imposed by the I-10 traffic jams. Your photo hints at some of what we get to enjoy on Expo, but I hope readers get a chance to enjoy all the views in person.

    But unfortunately, unexpectedly high ridership demands did not swamp out trainset availability. Rather, after Metro’s deal to buy 100 new rail cars from AnsaldoBreda collapsed, opening both the Gold Line extension and the Expo extension looked like they would guarantee standing room only on short trains running on very long headways. They have. Fortunately Kinkisharyo stepped into the breach and is cranking out new train cars for Metro as fast as they can. We Expo riders all look forward to December, when Metro promises much shorter headways and somewhat longer trains. When those blessings come, look for Expo ridership stats again to jump.

  6. Donk
    Sep 14th, 2016 at 23:51
    #6

    There were so many Morris Browns in LA that were against this for so long and now they are all eating their words. All they did was waste their and our time and money.

    synonymouse Reply:

    It was the Morris Browns that kept BART from usurping the SP ROW. There would be no place for PBCAHSR and the latter would have been routed to Oakland.

    The LACMTA system is not a fair test of potential transit use in SoCal as these are the strongest PE lines that never should have been killed off. Tantamount to the Key System F line from Berkeley to SF.

    Katella is more indicative. Looks to this auslander that there are a couple of protransit hotspots, Greater LA and San Diego. The rest indifferent to transit but love more freeway lanes.

    Jerry Reply:

    Change the ‘indifferent’. Change the ‘car centric’ car culture.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The Expo line should not be considered complete until the Washington/Blue Line/Expo junction is grade separated. What agency in their right mind would permit such a monstrosity? Of course it will not be cheap, but that is not usually a problem for Metro. Say about 400 yards worth of subway. In reducing transit time and improving utilization it would be a bargain. Someone needs to give it a sexy brand name, then it might get done.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Scollay Square isn’t being used anymore.

    bixnix Reply:

    >> What agency in their right mind would permit such a monstrosity?

    An agency that doesn’t have an unlimited budget and has so many needs that the sales tax will go up another half cent to get things done, of course.

    The Expo won’t be done until it’s entirely grade separated north of the 10 with the Pico Blvd station underground. The Blue line won’t be done until the Washington Blvd section is underground.

    Jerry Reply:

    “An agency that doesn’t have an unlimited budget”
    Gee. Is that like the ‘sequestered’ military budget?
    Sequester the military budget even more and use the money for better things such as transit.

    bixnix Reply:

    Let’s rebrand local rail and even HSR as military support projects – put a roundel on the side and the money will roll in!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Being against transit is un-American. We just have to spin it right…

    Neville Snark Reply:

    This is not stupid. Soldiers working the stations and trains with the odd gun on display, the trains themselves being painted like tanks, and the sheeple will love it, have no objection to diverting trillions to it. Of course the generals etc will have be sworn to secrecy, can’t let anyone in on the joke.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Aren’t there soldiers that dislike military spending?

    Or was that just Ike in a rare moment of sanity?

    Ted K. Reply:

    I think the phrase you’re looking for is military-industrial complex.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military–industrial_complex

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, yeah. That was what I meant. But I dislike that turn of phrase. And I dislike Ike. Let France and Britain hang out to dry. And toppled Mossadegh and the President of Guatemala…

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Of course their budget is limited. Therefore spend limited resources wisely, where they will have the greatest effect. Punctuality and efficiency at the core of the system should be of the highest priority. For that reason they should have built the downtown connector after the blue line then outward from there so that it works immediately as an integrated system with a larger matrix of o/d pairs.

    joe Reply:

    Focusing on the core will not win a supermajority of votes for system funding.
    They spread their effort ($) to build voter consensus. It can backfire but that’s been forced on them by 2/3 vote.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I don’t think it will win this time. This is the 4th trip to the well and the spiel could have been rehashed from 1981. Certainly much of the Valley is agnostic. Burbank City Council refused to endorse. Still too much highway expansion going on

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do you need a 2/3 majority to set up a new road toll?

    Because if road tolls were the/a dedicated funding source, that could establish more budget room to work with… And it would encourage ridership all by itself.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    No, you don’t.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So why don’t at least try a vote on a new road toll to establish a dedicated funding source for better transit service? It’s worth a shot.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I don’t think car culture actually exists. I think everywhere just has a convenience culture, where people go places in the midst convenient fashion.

    Eric Reply:

    At the very least, there is a habit factor, where people structure their lives around a certain mode of transport, and even if an equally convenient mode appears, they are unlike to switch out of their habit.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    People who don’t own cars are naturally mutlimodal. It’s only car people that are mono-modal, sticking to their car in (almost) every given situation.

    And I do think that cars influence culture and there are in fact people that idolize cars as part of their identity and whatnot. Maybe not as many as back in the bad old days, but still quite a handful.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I suppose, but you’d be surprised at how many not-poor angelinos use transit, whether they be car free or not. I’m referring to just central la and bits of the Westside and SGV here, btw

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You’d be surprised how many people are incapable of realistically assessing the time and money certain trips take using various transit modes. There are a lot of Germans who think 60€ for Hamburg-Munich on short notice is “too expensive” and that their car could do that cheaper (doubtful, unless you only count gas and even then its close) and faster (no way, José).

    But I get your point.

    Andy M Reply:

    Agree. I think there is a laziness culture with people not seeking out the best mode on a case to case basis but using thei car for everything. This is why many cars are over-designed. The car that is optimal for shopping is different to the one that is optimal for bringing the kids to school and that again is different from the one that is optimal for a cross country camping roadtrip. By seeking out cars that can combine everything, owners get cxars that are suboptimal for almost everything. The way around this is to replace the concept of carownership with that of car sharing so you can select the optimal vehicle for the job from an available pool, and the best solution for the job at hand may well be transit.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Someone once put it more succinctly: I don’t have to take two chairs a sofa and a giant chest along when I drop of my kids at Handball practice.

    That’s one of the many problems with cars.

    Plus the fact that they sit around unused for vast amounts of time.

    By the way, the “Adam ruins everything” episode on cars is well worth watching.

  7. Neville Snark
    Sep 15th, 2016 at 02:01
    #7

    Music even to my SF ears to see what a success the LA Metro is proving to be,

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    L.A. matters. Because all the media is there.

    Danny Reply:

    and the prototypical NIMBYs: there’s going to be pushback against the anti-rail constituency, especially if M passes; now every quadrant of LA County has rail service, and it’ll become a familiar part of everyday life: people are now aware that they can hop on/hop off across the Southland with a minimum of fuss

    and when they ask “why didn’t we get this sooner?” or “why is it so slow?” they’ll understand that LA had allowed cars, elitist cranks, and Leninist cultists to rule the roost for decades; now when they show up with their horses or their suspiciously-large budgets for “spontaneous protests” there’s going to be not only people who have experience riding and being near trains (seeing the Amtrak, Gold, or Green blast by me on the freeway is always a thrill), but a heightened awareness–rail advocates will be waiting for them when they come out of their clown car

    HSR needs local rail to connect to at its stops, and in turn HSR work promotes network expansion, connection, and speed upgrades: a unified “rail constituency” helps Metro, Metrolink, and CAHSR simultaneously
    Metrolink’s always being upgraded; in 2 years the millions of people getting off at LAX will be seeing signs to the Green, followed by the Regional Connector downtown; in 6 years the Purple’s extension will lance the Westside transit boil

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think we are past the point of biggest resistance, but it is too early for the victory lap. I believe for instance that while any governor that tried to kill HSR in California right now would have protests at his hands, he or she could still pull it off. Give it a couple more years and there is no chance in hell for that.

    EJ Reply:

    LA’s transit system, between rail and Rapid bus, is finally starting to be a real network, where if you can get on at one point, you can go lots of different places in a reasonable amount of time, rather than just being a bunch of disconnected lines. It’s not there yet, one of the big complaints about the current system is that it takes even longer to get from Pasadena to Santa Monica than it takes to drive during rush hour (and they really need to publicize the regional connector so people know this situation is being resolved).

    All of this helps HSR, in that more transit connections to HSR stations will improve ridership, but HSR is really a separate issue for SoCal, which is far more focused on regional connectivity.

    Danny Reply:

    right, most HSR opposition is because of the cost, but maybe 90% of that is SF-SJ and Palmdale-LA–24% of the trackage: so the CV alignment will be well underway by the time Newsom limousines his way in and most of the money after will go into the shared corridors to bring them up to snuff

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Make that gilroy-merced, TBT to 4th/king, and Bakersfield to la.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, HSR is different from local transit, but people that regularly ride Metro Rail are more likely to support HSR than people that don’t (would like to see a demographic breakdown of that)…

    “Oh no, we are losing the white subway rider constituency! Quick! Do something about it!”

  8. Bahnfreund
    Sep 15th, 2016 at 06:12
    #8

    In a few years, LA will be known as a public transit city.

    Even as one of those leading the US.

    Sierrajeff Reply:

    Yup, and meanwhile those of us in S.F. can only sadly watch as our city dithers and stumbles along, unable to even complete the Caltrain connection to the TBT, or fast-track something as eminently sensible as continuing the T-Third from Chinatown to North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf.

    It’s been a long, long time since I’ve heard anyone use the old S.F. motto “The City That Knows How” in anything but an ironic, derisive sense.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Lee and Heminger are more interested in broad gauge 10 cattlecar trains on Geary.

    Sierrajeff Reply:

    I’d be fine with that too. (I think a Geary subway is necessary and warranted; though I think it makes more sense for it to be Muni than BART.) Heck, I’d be fine with *any* reasonable signs of progress and forward-thinking on S.F.’s part – right now it seems limited to Weiner’s good-intentioned but ultimately non-binding transit promotion efforts.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There’s West Coast Weiner?

    Does (s)he tweets pictures of genitalia?

    J. Wong Reply:

    He is the Supervisor for the Castro. He’s gay and on the conservative side of SF politics. He’s running against Jane Kim, a more progressive Supervisor, for the State Senate seat. No pictures.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Perhaps only in California can you be gay and (moderately) pro-transit and still considered “on the conservative side”…

    Danny Reply:

    Ernst Röhm

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah, that was a fascist. Of the – arguably – economic populist bend.

    Danny Reply:

    since the 90s the New Democrats have been economically Reaganaut while giving some lip service to social issues (Lee’s a good example, but Rahm Emanuel’s hardly pro-LGBT!)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well the US are not alone in this trend.

    British Labour moved to the right in the 90s. The Spanish PSOE is not particularly Socialista or Obrero (worker) either. The SPD had a rightward shift under Schröder. But unlike the Democrats all of them had to pay dearly at the polls for what they did. In the US ethnic politics and a two party system keep that from happening. Basically if the GOP does not clean up its act, they will never gain enough of the Latin@ vote or the African American vote to matter. Which is a shame, because a competitive African American vote would probably hugely benefit the African American community. But I can fully understand why no African American would vote for the current racist and bigoted GOP.

    Danny Reply:

    Clinton was personally damned by Michelle Alexander and hasn’t picked up the under-35 AA vote at all even for November
    so we have the pro-fracking Birther who wants to send Central Americans back or the, uh–

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think you got cut of there in the middle of what you were saying…

    Nathanael Reply:

    This is why we need election system reform.

    I suggest approval voting for President, and a proportional representation system for Congress. (Any proportional representation system.)

    Bdawe Reply:

    only in San Francisco. Weiner is of course a progressive democrat, he’s just not of the peculiar ‘build a wall around San Francisco and make the techies pay for it’ variety.

    synonymouse Reply:

    LA public transit city? Somewhat. The cubicle slaves are getting poorer and the automobile more pricey. So in a way it is back to 1900.

    But hightech jitneys could really sap fixed guideway revenues and poach significant numbers of riders. Especially if “public” transit has high fares, crummy onboard conditions and labor unrest.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Rich people ride metro too.

    EJ Reply:

    I think it’s time we stopped feeding the troll.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    But he’s our troll.

    EJ Reply:

    Why can’t we have a better one?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Because we don’t pay trolls?

    At least syno is more or less able to spell stuff. And he keeps punctuation to a bearable minimum.

    Unlike some German language trolls that show up when the issue of immigration is even alluded to…

  9. Neil Shea
    Sep 15th, 2016 at 09:36
    #9

    O/T: tech buses have 34k daily riders, half the ridership of Caltrain, all down the same corridor, ‘ reverse commute’ from SF to Silicon Valley
    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2016/09/15/800-tech-buses-bay-area.html

    Dumbarton rail would deliver folks right at the Facebook campus – could be one seat from SF. A short light rail extension from Mountain View could drop people right at the Googleplex. Again it’s in SF’s hands to extend Caltrain to the TTC.

    Joe Reply:

    Report (mostly graphical) here:
    http://mtc.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2016%20Bay%20Area%20Shuttle%20Census.pdf

    765 tech shuttles daily.

    Side 4 shows the biggest connection is between SF and jobs in Santa Clara Co.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Never sure with these data whether they mean trips or round trips.

    joe Reply:

    Good point,

    Report clear about counting 765 buses, not bus trips.

    Also 34,000 is the daily capacity (one or two way trip not so sure) not ridership unless all are full.

    Reasonable assumption is a shuttle bus makes a round trip. Also ridership data are normalized the other agencies so the rankings not impacted making it a significant part of the bay area transit.

    FWIW in ecology unimportant measure, Leaf Area Index (M^2/M^2) can be reported as single/projected or all-sided and it’s a common error when making comparisons.

    joe Reply:

    Auto correct make “an important” -> unimportant.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    (Raises fist and waves) Autocorrect….

    Aarond Reply:

    Dumbarton is a short term fix. What is needed is (and I’m serious), Caltrain replacing VTA’s Campbell line, and 280 rail connected to a 19th/Geary subway terminating at the TTC. Or VTA up highway 85 and El Camino.

    The problem is getting into the meat of Silicon Valley and right now the vast majority of SF is unable to do that, due to Caltrain’s location on the eastern bayshore. All of Muni’s and SFMTA’s plans account for people wanting to flow into downtown SF, not people wanting to flow into the south bay.

    joe Reply:

    Apples and Oranges – Dumbarton connects to east bay and improves a transit bottleneck.

    SF MUNI would benefit from a Geary SW

    280 is a scenic route and out of the way.

    I propose BRT and eventually a grade separated Rail line from East San Jose to El Camino/522 (most used line in the VTA) and continue up the Peninsula on El Camino to SF/San Jose Blvd/ Valencia and on to Mission Blvd.

    Easiest thing for VTA is throw Caltrain a few peanuts to run more trains to South San Jose and County which takes cars off 101 and 85.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Here’s hoping for vta Sprinter.

    joe Reply:

    Nope.
    Today they could more cost effectively Extend Electrified Caltrain to Capitol and Blossom Hill.

    Amtrak CC is due to start 2 AM commuter runs in 2017 with transfer at Diridon to Caltrain or continuing to Oakland Sac.

    Easier to increase diesel frequency for the last Caltrain Zone from 3 to 6 trains with possibly Amtrak CC taking over commuter service with stops at Morgan Hill, Gilroy adding Pajero, Castroville and Salinas.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    That is of course the ideal situation, but it requires Caltrain every 15 minutes.

    joe Reply:

    Why?

    Some EMUS start at the Blossom Hill terminus while others can turn around at Tamien and/or Diridon.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Because the single most cost effective project in the bay, imho, is to upgrade Caltrain to a true rapid transit line, like bart. Obviously, your other very good suggestions dont require it, but any high quality comprehensive plan does.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Agree. Electrification is a key start. A good control system is needed, sucks we’re wasting money and time with CBOSS. And the grade seps will be needed, we’re inching forward there. Finally some leadership, train car purchases, longer platforms and this is within reach.

    Beyond that, Dumbarton Rail is important. And the extension to TTC. And the South Santa Clara County / Monterey network. Better ACE & CapCor service. And finally we probably should connect SMART trains over the Richmond Bay bridge to Oakland.

    Aarond Reply:

    I think it’s got merit, consider Gilroy less as the ass-end of Caltrain (what it presently is) and more “gateway to the central coast”. Taking a note from SMART, trains would start in Santa Cruz and Monterrey terminating at Diridon as an interurban.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Or auburn.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Or Santa Rosa.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    @AaronD – Yes. To keep our Bay Area economy from collapsing due to labor high cost and unavailability we need to better connect all available hinterlands. Initially we looked to the East Bay as far as Tracy / Stockton — need to improve that. Now the South as you say.

    The North Bay is more distant from key Silicon Valley jobs, but SMART over Richmond bridge to Oakland will just make sense.

    Finally we’ll have to go further with HSR to Fresno, Merced. And a much improved CapCor to Fairfield, Davis & Sac.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Does anyone know if smart can physically run over the bridge, or would a new one need to be constructed.

    Anandakos Reply:

    I really doubt it. Where would they put it?

    Joe Reply:

    Lost economic growth due to housing shortages limiting job creation in just three metro areas were estimated to cost the US 9% of GDP.

    http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/chang-tai.hsieh/research/growth.pdf

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I personally would love to see Gilroy as the gateway to the central coast. With HSR, I’ll probably go see my family in Santa Cruz a lot more, and it would be nice if I wouldn’t have to go north to Dirdon, then transfer to a bus and go south to Santa Cruz. I can’t believe there is no efficient transit from Gilroy to Santa Cruz today. Right now, I have to either take the coast Starlight to Salinas, then 2 or 3 busses, take it all the way to san Jose, then 1 bus, or fly to sjc, then take lrt and a bus. Otherwise, I’m stuck paying for a $50 Über. It’s obscene.

    Roland Reply:

    Whttps://www.google.com/maps/dir/Los+Angeles,+CA/Santa+Cruz,+CA/@35.6229725,-122.3658528,7z/data=!4m15!4m14!1m5!1m1!1s0x80c2c75ddc27da13:0xe22fdf6f254608f4!2m2!1d-118.2436849!2d34.0522342!1m5!1m1!1s0x808e441b7c36d549:0x52ca104b2ad7f985!2m2!1d-122.0307963!2d36.9741171!3e3!5i2ould this work?

    Roland Reply:

    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Los+Angeles,+CA/Santa+Cruz,+CA/@35.6229725,-122.3658528,7z/data=!4m15!4m14!1m5!1m1!1s0x80c2c75ddc27da13:0xe22fdf6f254608f4!2m2!1d-118.2436849!2d34.0522342!1m5!1m1!1s0x808e441b7c36d549:0x52ca104b2ad7f985!2m2!1d-122.0307963!2d36.9741171!3e3!5i2

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    It isn’t terrible, but it isn’t as quick or enjoyable. Besides, I often like stopping in Santa Barbara along the way. Its a testament to how there aren’t any good options–yet for travel between northern and southern California.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If only there were some project fixing that…

    Anandakos Reply:

    Since they run “reverse peak” they’ll outperform the train. It’s kind of a lost cause.

  10. John Nachtigall
    Sep 15th, 2016 at 15:27
    #10

    actually, I think only 50% conversion from cars is very good at all

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

    80% of travel is cars and trucks. So if you were converting people on a 1 for 1 basis, 80% of the new riders would be from private. Its a start, but if you just canabalize other public options you are not going to change peoples attitudes.

    StevieB Reply:

    23% of new riders have switched from buses because riding trains is superior to riding buses despite the contrary opinion of conservative think tanks. To expect the bus riders to continue using the inferior option is ridiculous.

    Danny Reply:

    the BRU’s already put up cardboard cutouts of SuperMaid to say Measure M’s racist because it gives Latino and Black communities rail access

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Even though they don’t even represent the views of those communities.

    Danny Reply:

    what they called those communities is unprintable
    though everyone was quite amused when the whole South and Eastside turned out counter-protest against them
    the problem is they’re a cult: their meetings are about 1. reading Mann’s pamphlets, 2. how to tell other people about Mann’s pamphlets, and 3. how to detect, isolate, and expel deviation from Mann’s pamphlets
    it’s like the Bob Avakian followers that the RAs have to clear out of the UCLA dorms periodically

    synonymouse Reply:

    Please explicate that last line for those of us auslanders from NorCal.

    Danny Reply:

    Avakian’s a post-Maoist weirdie: his reach is actually pretty global; if there’s any “Revolution Now!” pickets that’s them

    synonymouse Reply:

    Connected to Bernie?

    EJ Reply:

    No. Good god you’re a creep.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Seems conceivable – Bernie is 3rd party on the left.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i think you are misreading those think tank pieces. The argument is they are more cost effective, not that they are nicer or more luxurious.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And how could we ever spent money on “those people”?

    Also I very much doubt the “cost effective” line of argument. Rail consistently beats bus in terms of farebox recovery ratio if all other things are equal. And clearly a system that is better utilized puts more money back into the community.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Everything is not “equal”. Rail requires a tremendous new investment in capital. Buses run on existing infrastructure. you can’t just ignore capital costs.

    Joe Reply:

    A 2/3 majority required to fund these projects and they still pass, stuff gets built and used.
    Tremendous support and use.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    And that’s not even getting into their positive effect on land values (which means higher property taxes)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You can get that money from the Feds much more easily than mounting operating losses for a bus system.

    Plus, railcars, rails and so on have a very long useful life. Buses… Not so much.

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s the opposite, the federal government funds senior shuttles and school buses but will only fund rail if it’s an interstate service. This is why the buses that service hole-in-the-wall hamlets like Michegan Bluff are brand new. It’s also how SamTrans can skim money from BRSSD and SUHSD through their 260, 295 and 61 routes.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    [citation needed]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Google “Passenger Rail Road Improvement Act”. There’s been more than one. The way the Republicans want to “improve” rail is to eliminate any funding.
    The buses in Nowheresville will continue to run almost empty. If they don’t, Real Americans(tm) will whine to their Congressman that they have to ferry grandma around to her doctor appointments. Paid for by Medicare. That they want to keep the gubbermint’s hands out of.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It’s not handouts if it’s for us…

    Danny Reply:

    they held up Metro Rail for decades based on the “buses are cost-effective” argument: now LA has more buses than ever, the superbuses are packed even as they come every 5 minutes and do 8 mph on Wilshire and Sunset, and the Orange has to be tracked at a higher expense than if they’d skipped the BRT to begin with
    speed and unit density show that there’s no argument http://www.thetransitcoalition.us/TTC_SpeedCapacityGraphLG.htm
    to the think tanks if burning down a city is cost-effective they’ll recommend it: they’re what keeps the US behind the other developed countries

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The expo line cost 1.5 billion took 7 years and it standing room only and moves at a fraction of its top speed

    the only difference I see is the 1.5 billion up front.

    Danny Reply:

    LADOT is being uncooperative downtown and is being made to cooperate; in the middle portions of the line my smartphone clocked it at 64 mph
    new train cars are coming online in December
    it would’ve taken 4-5 years had it not been for Cheviot Hills pouring a few millions into Damien Goodmon, but at least Metro now knows how to deal with the courts and has experienced anti-NIMFY lawyers
    even the Orange Countyites that infest Southland haven’t left any of their usual “boondoggle! boondoggle!” comments on any of the stories after it opened, and that was as I predicted–even the Gold extension’s being hailed as a success
    that was as I predicted–once a project is done its success and usefulness becomes obvious; the only time they can oppose it is when it isn’t open yet: then they can claim it’ll mean astronomical costs, crime waves, ethnic cleansing, permanent slowness, etc.; then they pretend they never made these claims and were only worried about the cost and quality, and are raving about the next project

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Considering the top speed is 55 mph you should immediately contact Metro and complain it was operating at unsafe speeds.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expo_Line_(Los_Angeles_Metro)

    Or….it was not going that fast

    Honestly, how do you define success. They spent 1.5 billon to expand ridership about 40-50k per day. Half come from cars so they took 25k car trips off the road, per day. The corresponding highway has about 290k trips per day. So they spent 1.5 billon to knock it down by 10%.

    That’s a lot of money for 10%. Of course it has ridership, but success is defined by efficiency. The bay bridge is built and people use it. But being grossly overbudget with quality problems means it is not a success.

    It is too early to judge the expo line, but the capital required to build rail combines with the chronic project mismanagement makes it hard to judge a success

    EJ Reply:

    Well how would you judge it? It’s a component of a network that is only starting to come together.

    Danny Reply:

    you do realize that the Expo was delayed for three years fighting St Damien and his ever-shifting yet mysteriously-funded barratry when it happened to go right through a paradigmatically histrionically-NIMFY part of West LA?
    and you DO realize that the entire purpose of a nuisance suit is to keep going as long as possible to drive up costs and delay schedules so that the backers can then point to the costs and delays as a strike against the entire transit agency and proof positive of “chronic project mismanagement”

    synonymouse Reply:

    Perhaps they are being stealth funded by the highway lobby.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    wow a capital project delayed by lawsuit….that is so unusual, they could have never anticipated that…

    Jerry Reply:

    The point is that the lawsuit delayed the project by three years, which meant that the costs went up, and then the litigious NIMFYs shout it costs more.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Well to be fair, the NIMBY’s are trying to cancel the project, so overall I would say it is a good strategy.

    Of course also to be fair, they have to give credit to the environmentalists, who invented the strategy.

    Interesting how if you try to stop a train you are a NIMBY, but if you try to stop them building a Walmart or a Police Station, well then you are on the side of angels.

    http://www.socialistalternative.org/2016/09/16/victory-seattle-blocks-police-bunker-victory-rally-rally-build-1000-homes-instead-sept-22/

    Danny Reply:

    Goodmon started his suits after being seen nowhere during the comment period, started new suits whenever Metro and LAUSD came to an agreement without him, started new suits whenever Metro did what he wanted, got ultimately thrown out of court
    he used grotesque racist language for a project that Cheviot Hills had made racially-charged; contrariwise, while he says he protects Black communities from surface rail, he has gotten no traction fighting the Crenshaw/LAX Line despite local worries about gentrification; now he’s switched to fighting the Southside development
    he wasn’t some guy concerned about capital expenditures, no more than the BRU: his one goal is to keep his face in the papers and to keep his store of ascribed righteous virtue full

    Jerry Reply:

    “but success is defined by efficiency”.
    I looked up the word ‘success’ and never saw the word ‘efficiency’.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well these days half the dictionaries operate on the wiki principle, so by now someone might as well have put that in there…

    Jerry Reply:

    And John N. makes up his own definition to try and convince others that he is correct and they are wrong.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    OK how do you define success.

    If I spend 1 million dollars to build 20 Ft. of sidewalk…and people use the sidewalk is that success. Yes, I am arguing that there has to be a risk/benefit balance.

    I dont think it is valid to say “No matter how much it cost, now that it is active and being used it was worth it”. I call that efficiency, but you can call it whatever you like.

    If you want the a classic definition of project management, it is a triangle with Cost, Schedule, and Quality at the tips. Most people think you can only optomize for 2 of the 3. There are a ton of different ways to do this.

    So again, how would you define success?

    Jerry Reply:

    He who asserts must prove.
    It is up to YOU to define success, not me.
    And YOUR definition of ‘success’ is wrong.
    Efficiency of operation may be a part of project, but you claimed that, “success is defined by efficiency. ”
    And that definition of ‘success ‘ is totally wring.

    Jerry Reply:

    It’s not only ‘totally wring’, it is totally wrong.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    wow Jerry, for a guy that accuses me of setting up strawmen, I bow to your supoerior skills

    You dont even wait for me to respond, you just say “John N will say this and he is wrong” and then counter an argument I never made…

    I didnt assert the project was successful, that was the ORIGINAL POST. If you care to look up, I questioned the definition of success.

    But even more interesting, you wont give a definition of success, but you are sure that I am wrong. How can that be. In order to be “wrong” I have to be judged against some standard, a standard you say I am the only one who can create. So I created a standard “efficiency” and you said it is wrong, with no argument to rebut.

    So I followed your rules. I asserted it is a questionable success, set up a standard to define how I measured it, and now you say it is wrong with no rebutal.

    So is the measurement of success “What Jerry says”? Because if that is the measurement of success I would think you are a very busy guy judging from your lofty point of un-involvement.

    Jerry Reply:

    You are being shifty again. I simply pointed out YOUR error.
    YOU are the one who defined ‘success’ as being efficiency.
    And you and your definition are both wrong
    You say you, “questioned the definition of success.”
    And then you went ahead and provided your definition:
    . “but success is defined as efficiency”
    And I pointed out I looked up the word ‘success’ and never saw the word ‘efficiency’ used. Maybe in some dictionary in your mind it might exist.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Given the repeated and consistent evidence that $Billion road expansions leave us fully congested again due to Induced Demand – it sounds like we’re all agreeing that there is no cost/benefit to this kind of pork barrel subsidies to construction companies.

    OC has shown that private companies can build roads if needed- although they lost $$$ too.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    ok, here you go

    http://www.inc.com/ilya-pozin/6-ways-to-measure-the-success-of-any-project.html

    Measuring the success of a project with efficiency.

    Jerry Reply:

    You are wrong again John N.
    YOUR opinion article simply describes the process of completing a project. NOT the project itself.
    Your article also emphasizes OPINION.
    Your article does NOT establish “success as efficiency”.
    Your article does NOT, repeat does NOT, DEFINE
    . “success as efficiency”.
    You failed again John N.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    repeat it 5 more times and tap your heels together.

    All you are doing is asserting your opinion, just like me.

    Considering the article is title “6 ways to measure the sucess of any project” its pretty clear what the authors intended.

    But you go ahead and cling to the argument that no matter how much money we spend on trains, it is worth it. See how far that gets you.

    Jerry Reply:

    It does NOT define “success as efficiency”>

    Jerry Reply:

    The word efficiency is not used in any definition of success.

    EJ Reply:

    Of course you’re not converting people on a 1 for 1 basis. That would imply there was no existing public transportation on the route where you built your rail line, and if that were the case, why did you even build the rail line in the first place?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i dont think i explained my point well. If you look at the cite, ground transportation is 80-90% private cars and trucks and ~10-15% busses (you have to throw out air transport and do the math).

    So if you start a new transit line, you would, if you are shooting for par, expect 80-90% of the people to come from private cars and 10-15% from busses.

    So if the goal is to move to a “transit” society and away from cars, you need to convert 80-90% of your riders from private or you are just partially camabilizing the exisitng public transport.

    Im not saying its bad, by all accounts it is super popular, I am just saying that touting 50% is not really all that super when you consider the numbers

    And I agree, trains are far superior to busses, but hella expensive on a per mile basis to build and run.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    I’m not sure that the aim is ‘shooting for par’ in your sense. If only 10% of the ridership were recruited from driving cars, then still that’s 10% x N (where N is total amount of motorists per day) that have been moved from cars to transit (ignoring the evident fact that other motorists will take many of their places).

    Nathanael Reply:

    “And I agree, trains are far superior to busses, but hella expensive on a per mile basis to build and run.”

    Roads are hella expensive on a per mile basis to build and run, *and* they don’t scale up to high populations. (they’re ok for low populations, but still hella expensive.)

    This is why the 1950s fantasy of flying everywhere was proposed — no roads or tracks! — but turns out flying is hella expensive too.

    This is why the 1980s/1990s fantasy of telecommuting was popular — but it turns out we actually like to see other people in person?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How about PRT or hovercraft? If the personal helicopters didn’t work out we were all going to use PRT to the V/STOLport that was at the hovercraft dock…

    Eric Reply:

    ” just partially camabilizing the exisitng public transport.”

    Or in other words, you are improving the quality of life for existing transit riders (at the same time you are getting many other people out of their cars).

    I fail to see how that’s a minus.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Better transit for “those people”?

    In Nachtigall’s world, that’s a minus.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Your forgetting ridership that “just appears”. Believe it or not, some people that take a new travel option would not have traveled otherwise.

    That’s how the railroads could make a profit despite the paltry number of people who traveled via stagecoach beforehand.

    That’s why the combined number of people coming from cars rideshare and trains does not equal the number of people riding intercity buses in Germany.

    EJ Reply:

    No, you explained it fine. It’s just that it doesn’t make sense. Of course some percentage of rail riders are going to be previous bus riders, you would naturally expect them to switch to a mode that was faster and more comfortable. The fact that 50% of new riders switched from cars is fantastic (especially since there isn’t much parking at most Expo line stations).

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Trains cost more to build, but they cost less to operate than a bus line of equivalent capacity.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    True.

    And they also last longer.

    Useless Reply:

    Bahnfreund

    The cost of train is not just maintaining rolling stock, but also the maintenance of railway as well. With buses, the cost of maintaining road and highway is negligible.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s not true.

    Assuming an urban road with no trucks (which is not exactly an unreasonable assumption) having buses on it or not having buses on it make a huge difference.

    I am not entirely sure how road damage scales with weight, but I have heard anything from third power to fifth power.

    And buses are heavier than cars. So ceteris paribus you would have higher maintenance costs for a road with buses than for one without. Just like a railway with heavy freight traffic deteriorates faster, ceteris paribus

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Not unreasonable? What urban road exists that carries no trucks?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Buses destroy asphalt roads … anyone remember all the curbside bus stop on El Camino had to be dug out and replaced with concrete pads?

    Equivalent Single Axle Load

    Generalized Fourth Power Law
    The AASHTO load equivalency equation is quite cumbersome and certainly not easy to remember. Therefore, as a rule-of-thumb, the damage caused by a particular load is roughly related to the load by a power of four (for reasonably strong pavement surfaces).

    Impact of Buses on Highway Infrastructure

    With the use of data available in New Jersey, the application of this methodology showed that the maintenance cost attributable to buses in the state is about 2.4% of the total maintenance cost.

    Ted K. Reply:

    There are streets in S.F. that have a weight limit (6K lbs.) low enough to make Hummers illegal to drive on them.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/hey_wait_a_minute/2004/08/californias_suv_ban.html

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Cars “destroy” roads also. As does weather. No road exists without maintenance. Larger vehicles just wear them down faster

    And the article you linked to, from 2004, specifically says large trucks are on the road and it is not enforced.

    But let me get this straight, you want public transit and an end to the “car culture” in the US but only if it done using trains because you are also against busses?

    Wow

    EJ Reply:

    But let me get this straight, you want public transit and an end to the “car culture” in the US but only if it done using trains because you are also against busses?

    Where do you see anyone saying buses are bad? They’re part of any transit network.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It would be awesome if we could build rail lines everywhere serving everybody.

    But for the foreseeable future, there will be places that just don’t justify that investment. And for those places buses are a solution. They also help feed the trunk lines.

    If course whether all buses have to look the same is a different question.

    “Bus” might well mean a twelve-seater if demand is low enough doing more runs instead.

    Nathanael Reply:

    John, don’t be a moron. Read the literature on the fourth axle power.

    To a first approximation, cars do NO damage to roads. Only trucks and buses do.

    (And weather but only in areas where it freezes.)

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Literally the 2 posts above mine both arguing busses are bad.

    EJ Reply:

    No, they’re arguing with the premise that buses have no capital costs other than the buses themselves.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    2.4% of total costs? That is a rounding error.

    Busses take advantage of existing infrastructure that would be supported with or without them. They are essentially “free riders” on the network. That is why they are so much cheaper per mile than trains (when you include capital costs). They dont have to pay for a dedicated route (like trains)

    EJ Reply:

    It would be considerably more than 2.4% if you were operating a bus route that had the speed and capacity of the rail route.

    Joe Reply:

    This will end up with John concluding transit is bad. Personal cars are lighter and thus superior to buses whose heavy weight cause most road damage and if loaded with people are even more damaging.

    EJ Reply:

    Oh, yeah, I know it’s not a good faith argument.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Buses make sense in places where the usually empty 12 passenger minibus comes through once an hour ten times a day on weekdays. The cheapest option for places like New Jersey is to leverage the existing railroad infrastructure. Less labor, less road traffic, less pollution, no 10 billion dollar bus terminal that would take property off the tax rolls in Manhattan.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yet the BRT crowd (if it actually exists in good faith) argues that buses “can do everything trains can and more” forgetting that they’d need a lot of dedicated infrastructure (and grade separation) to do that. Which costs money. And then you end up with a system that is dirtier (even assuming against reason and experience electric operation; those rubber tires are gonna produce a lot of fine grained dust) and has less capacity than going with trains in the first place.

    Buses can do stuff. But a city of 500 000 people that relies on only buses for its public transit is a disgrace unworthy of a high income society.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    A North American metro area of half a million doesn’t have enough riders for rail. Too easy to drive. Gas is too cheap and land for free parking is too cheap. There won’t be much congestion if any at all.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    shouldn’t you wait until I actually write an argument before you dismiss it?

    because I would argue that transportation is a basic function of government and an excellent use of money. In the US, for whatever reason, the road system was chosen as the primary mode of transit and that is what is supported. Now you can argue that it was a bad choice, but that was the choice.

    To change that now requires a huge investment in capital. Trillions of dollars of investment. My argument is that the benefit, while real, is not worth Trillions of dollars. Especially when technology is moving closer to using the existing system in new and more efficient ways.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The personal helicopters we were all promised back in the 60s will solve all our transportation problems. But we weren’t going to need them because there would be PRT systems all over the place. That we could take to the V/STOLports dotting the landscape. Except on the routes where the hovercraft would be faster.

    Joe Reply:

    Nachtigall’ Law

    When you find yourself in a hole, keep digging.

    Example:

    I would argue that transportation is a basic function of government and an excellent use of money. In the US, for whatever reason, the road system was chosen as the primary mode of transit and that is what is supported

    EJ Reply:

    To change that now requires a huge investment in capital. Trillions of dollars of investment.

    Trillions? Is LA building a thousand Expo lines? I mean, we’re talking about LA here, right?

    Again, what’s your proposal? Billions of dollars in “congestion relief” (widening freeways, etc.) hasn’t accomplished jack shit. How do you make automobile transportation viable in a city the size of LA? Autonomous vehicles don’t count (and there are a variety of reasons why they don’t work anyway because of simple geometry). You bring up autonomous vehicles, and I’ll raise you cheap fusion power and PRT.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    We are not just talking about LA, we had switched to buses vs. rail in general. But its the same argument for LA. It will take 10-100s of billions to switch from predominate cars to predominate trains. Even NYC, with its subways, is still 50% car travel.

    and i dont need to “make” automotive travel viable in LA, it already is. That is how the vast vast majority of people in LA travel every day. As much as you detest it, that is a fact and a reality. Despite the traffic jams and congestion, people use it every day all day.

    Should they build a new system (trains)? Only if it provides so much benefit as to overcome the inertia of the existing system (cars). Right now we have trillons in capital tied up in roads and cars. You are not going to throw that away overnight for a new system that requires even more capital unless it is worth it.

    When the US switched from horses to cars it was worth it. The switch to rail has yet to prove itself worthy of the investment. That is not me saying it, that is the market. People (the collective term) decide what they want. Cars, no matter how much you hate them, are very versatile and a “killer app” that is hard to beat. I get personal travel, door to door, anytime I want in any way I want.

    any form of public transit has a hard time competing with that. I have to share, I have to run on some elses schedule, I dont have a say on the level of service, I dont get door to door service. Cars are superior in all those areas. That is why advocates insist on raising the gas tax or eliminating parking, they are trying to re-balance the market

    Its not Nachtigall’s law, it is the market’s invisible hand, people choose cars. Trains have yet to provide enough benefit to have people choose otherwise and considering the inertia of the existing system, they wont (in my opinion).

    EJ Reply:

    I don’t hate cars. It’s you who insist on a false dichotomy, because you don’t like public transportation.

    EJ Reply:

    And you still haven’t stated how you think LA should expand its highway capacity, since it continues to grow, traffic continues to worsen, and $billions in “congestion relief” haven’t helped.

    It’s true that the majority of Angelenos don’t take public transportation. In some cases that’s a real choice. Heck, I know people who live in London who drive everywhere. Talk about massively inconvenient. But they love their cars. For many drivers in LA though, it’s because public transportation isn’t yet convenient enough, or isn’t perceived as being convenient enough, for where they live and/or where the want to go. That’s why investments in transit in a city like LA are needed to bring it closer to a true network, where you can get most places in a reasonable amount of time from most other places.

    You don’t seem to understand that there’s a difference between “the market” and “your personal preferences.”

    Jerry Reply:

    @ John N.
    Where does pollution enter into all of YOUR self interest?
    Your self interest of swinging your arm ends at your neighbors nose or lungs.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    In addition to the initial positive benefit that the $1.5B Expo line is demonstrating immediately upon opening, as each additional rail line is opened we will enjoy the Network Effects of reaching an accelerating base of users.

    Contrast that to the road network which is already built out, so no significant network effects will be realized by adding new roads. Indeed the failure of the road network is one of a broken pricing model.

    Incremental users do not pay for the congestion they impose on all existing users. That’s why the 405 Carmeggedon project did not deliver any improvement for the $1.1B spent, and additional road expenditures similarly will be wasted. Only if road usage is priced/tolled so that they pay for themselves can this challenge be mitigated.

    Interesting that JN opposes government expenditures in general but somehow wants to carve out an exception for the bottomless pit of road spending without demonstrated benefit. Let road users pay.

    EJ Reply:

    Interesting, too, that “the market” in LA repeatedly votes for tax increases to fund transit projects.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    In the history of transportation there have been

    a) racket run roads, with little maintenance turning a “profit” by the racket simply standing in the way with the figurative (and in some cases literal) bigger stick. Whether those roads are in 2015 Somalia or in 1215 Swabia is irrelevant

    b) Private run (usually as a stock based company) railroads building and maintaining vast infrastructure both urban and intercity turning a profit in industrializing and industrialized society

    c) a few toll roads here and there which amount to a rounding error in the grand scheme of things

    All other forms of transportation throughout history have been a collective endeavor to sink everybody’s money for the benefit of those who use the traffic system. Be it the Roman roads or the LA freeways. The jury is in: If you let the free market handle things you get railroads if you have a state half way strong enough to keep the peace and racket controlled roads if the state is fragmentary or the state itself is the racket (aka feudalism)

    Danny Reply:

    @Neil Shea
    that’s what I was getting at with my arduous rant about the GOP always denouncing “entitlements” and “subsidies” while representing the most heavily-dependent areas: they only keep rightie anti-spending rhetoric going with such pretense
    (and to be fair it’s not like the Dems haven’t perfected the art of torching the safety net, exporting jobs, making mass imprisonment a policy, hiding dirty cops (even to the point of destroying data like Emanuel), and then waving one bloody shirt or other at the voters)
    opposition to rail on basis of cost can only exist as long as roads are seen as free: that they’re the default, that maintenance is invisible (as opposed to rail expansion), that roads are “dual-use” for transit since you can drive buses on ’em, that the at-grade rail is more dangerous than the at-grade car
    contrariwise, road spending can be as much of a bottomless pit as it likes for the reason that “transit spending” is associated with startup (new tracks, “novel” tech like HSR), constant expenses (farebox recovery, Amtrak’s $1.5B), low ridership (with the implicit notion that people want to drive, that’s why there’s so many cars on the road; and also Brock Adams and Sarah Palin’s concept of “trains to nowhere”–Montana or the Central Valley)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There are far more highways to nowhere than there can ever be trains to nowhere…

    Neil Shea Reply:

    A 10% reduction in corridor road traffic will often make a noticeable positive difference in congestion levels.

    Meanwhile assuming that people take the mode that is best for them, you have improved transportation for ALL riders. And you may have improved the available labor pool for key employment areas, e.g. Santa Monica.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    neither of those statement have yet to be proven, we will see.

    But my argument is not that there are not advantages, the argument is do those advantages outweigh the large up-front capital investment?

    EJ Reply:

    Yes they do.

    EJ Reply:

    Honestly, what’s your solution? Traffic in LA is becoming impossible, there’s little support and a lot of outright hostility for new freeways and widening the existing ones doesn’t work. Metro just spent $1.1 billion for “congestion relief” on 10 miles of the 405 and it’s worse than ever:

    http://www.laweekly.com/news/11-billion-and-five-years-later-the-405-congestion-relief-project-is-a-fail-5415772

    Building out metro rail (and improving the bus system) creates an alternative network.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Which is both more efficient to operate and has higher capacity.

    You can move way more people down a two lane railroad than a two lane highway.

    Nathanael Reply:

    IIRC, you can move significantly more people down a two lane railroad than a *four lane* highway.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    @JN: LA spent a similar amount ($1.1B) on the 405 Carmeggon project with almost nothing to show for it. It seems you are arguing for the status quo, which has few fans other than you.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Does Nachtigall live in the area that voted on those measures?

    Maybe that explains both the result and his hatred for it…

    I of course don’t live in L.A. but if my city ever put a light rail extension to a vote, I would of course vote yes. Even if it meant a half cent sales tax increase or the likes.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Just so we are clear, your definition of success is relief in traffic congestion. So if the traffic does not ease on I-10 from LA to Santa Monica then the Expo line is a fail?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people on the train are relieved of automobile congestion.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The explicit goal of highway widening is relieving congestion.

    Which they fail at.

    The Expo Line has and had many goals. But congestion relief was not the only goal.

    So you are applying the wrong yardstick if you only measure traffic congestion to judge them.

    And yes, if traffic stays the same but people on the train get to where they wanna go faster it is a success. The centerpoint of traffic planning should be moving people and goods, not moving cars and trucks.

    Danny Reply:

    so cute how Reason pretends to be critiquing the problem when their knee-jerk train of thought is what caused the auto-only problem in the first place
    frankly if GM’s check to the think tanks ever bounce we’re gonna wake up one day with every truck and auto burned and every road torn up

    Jerry Reply:

    Factor in pollution and then ask the question.

    Jerry Reply:

    Factor in car insurance and then ask the question.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Factor in traffic dead and then ask the question.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Again and again and again and again and again, widening roadways provides congestion relief until everybody figures out it’s not as congested. Then the congestion reappears.

    EJ Reply:

    Exactly. That’s why I think those who oppose expanding public transit owe us an alternative. LA has spent billions on “congestion relief” and it hasn’t worked, for reasons that were predicted from the outset.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Induced demand is a bitch.

    Pretty much the only city that ever got rid of congestion while not improving public transit is Detroit.

    And people keep reassuring me that Detroit is a basket case.

    As a matter of fact, Detroit has lost more people than many cities ever had.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Actually, Youngstown Ohio seems to have done so the same way as Detroit. :-(

  11. synonymouse
    Sep 15th, 2016 at 19:29
    #11

    http://www.masstransitmag.com/press_release/12257190/bart-mechanics-bring-train-cars-back-from-dead

    BART is effectively building its own cars. The Market St. Ry. built many cars at the Elkton shops. Of course, Muni builds its own cable cars.

    But standardization does offer perks, like San Diego selling its Duwag U-2’s to Argentina. I figure BART cars will go to the torch. Maybe BART mechanics will cut them up.

  12. synonymouse
    Sep 15th, 2016 at 19:35
    #12

    Why PBCAHSR will not keep a private concessionaire:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-15/france-spain-take-over-high-speed-railway-as-operator-collapses

    Give PB’s North IOS San Jose to Fresno commute op to BART and get it hooked on standard gauge OC 25KV.

    Aarond Reply:

    It does surprise me that the EU does not have a national railway network; something like the Eurostar but across all EU members all terminating in Brussels.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I had an idea some time ago to fix the slow death of European sleeper trains. I provisionally call it “EUtrak”.

    The idea is the following: EU members can opt in via a one cent gas tax that is dedicated funding for border crossing night trains with sleepers. The board of directors is manned by the countries that opted in with the vote share determined by the height of the gas tax (one cent gets one vote, two cents two and so on). Profits are first to be spent on expanding service and then to be distributed towards the general rail budget of the participating countries according to their share.

    I think you could get quite impressive results with something like that…

    EJ Reply:

    I suspect discount airlines are a big part of the reason. Europeans like trains for trips in the 3-4 hours or less range, but beyond that, cheap flights are attractive. Take a look at something like http://www.seat61.com/Austria.htm or http://www.seat61.com/Spain.htm and look at the rigamarole required for longer trips like London-Vienna or London-Madrid.

    I know last time I had to travel London-Vienna I looked at that and said, wait, I can just book a 2 hour flight for about $200… and went with that option. Sure, planes are cramped and uncomfortable these days, but it’s two hours, who cares. Read a few chapters in a novel and you’re there. And I’m someone who strongly prefers trains. For the average person who doesn’t care that much, air travel is a no brainer.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But overall discount airlines are on their way out. The EU is trying to get Germany to stop its three dozen money losing airports (which are almost exclusively the domain of no service carriers). Oil has a known long term trend short term developments notwithstanding.

    A big problem however, are track access charges. Both France and Germany have set them pretty high in order for their operators to continue dominating the market. And if you look at a map of Europe, it is pretty hard to set up a major network without France and Germany. Of course SNCF and DB have a few cross border cooperations as do SNCF and RENFE, but overall cross border trains are actually less prevalent than they were a handful of decades ago… Absurd as that may sound.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    France and Germany (two nations I generally like and respect) can be oddly statist.

    EJ Reply:

    It’s not necessarily a bad system – DB has a large and profitable interest in the British rail system.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    SNCF also owns a handful “private” operators and shares in several others.

    DB actually had to sell Arriva’s German business (they bought it mostly for the UK business) due to German monopoly laws.

    Andy M Reply:

    large, yes, but not all that profitable.

    In the freight sector the smaller companies are more on their toes than DB and collecting the bulk of the growth. In fact DB’s freight business in the UK is down so much that they are moving locomotives to places like Romania. Meanwhile its smaller competitors are continually adding new locomotives in the UK.

    In the passenger business DB made some acquisitions it simply payed too much for. In Germany DB has been heavily criticized for whittling away in the UK the money it urgently needs to be investing back home.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Most of those acquisition happened under one Hartmut Mehdorn, probably the most incompetent manager to ever walk Germany. He nearly bankrupted Heidelberger Druckmaschinene, brought serious trouble to DB then went on to ruin Air Berlin more than it had already been ruined and finally failed to fix the new airport for Berlin. How that person keeps getting jobs is beyond me.

    And for its freight business DB seriously needs to find new ideas. Fortunately cuts are off the table for now, but they don’t exactly have a grand plan for the future of rail freight…

    EJ Reply:

    NTV is still plugging away in Italy, right?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    They seem to do well, and according to a recent press release, they are excising an option on Pendolini (in addition to the AGVs they are operating).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are they in the black yet?

    Or are they still burning through money (given that their owners are mostly banks, SNCF and that one Ferrari guy, this should not be a huge concern unless it turns into a long term thing)…

  13. StevieB
    Sep 16th, 2016 at 07:25
    #13

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott promotes fear of High Speed Rail.

    “It is important to be able to invest in anything that works, but when you invest, you don’t want to lose money,” Abbott said…

    Abbott instead pointed to the freight shuttle system recently unveiled at Texas A&M University, which would move containers on elevated highways using automated transporters. Abbott noted that the system does not rely on taxpayer dollars and would “not involve taking anyone’s property.”

    “You have to look at certain issues so that it works for all the different pieces of all the different constituencies, but most importantly look at at the bottom for the taxpayers in Texas, which is the thing that we have to be the greatest guardian of,” Abbott said.

    Aarond Reply:

    Abbott won’t actually take on TXC directly because he’s between a rock and a hard place as the exact same rural libertarians that voted for him are now demanding regulation. Cosmopolitan ones will raise hell if he screws with a secular private business deal.

    Also, Texas already is home to a massive statewide freight shuttle system in the form of Fort Worth based BNSF. Abbott doesn’t have the balls to take them on, so he won’t ever go beyond fencesitting.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I find it absurd that so many people assume “elevated” automatically means “Does not take private property”.

    The Hyperloop has a similar fallacy at its core…

    Danny Reply:

    the most subsidy-dependent regions and states are always the ones most hysterical about subsidies and the sacrosanctity of property and the taxpayer dollar: the Federal money has to be depicted as 1. “your money” (forgetting that it’s CA and IL paying for NE or LA), 2. a personal favor from the pol, and 3. simply the due reward of a deserving district/state
    everyone from Reagan to Ted Cruz and Phil Robertson has mastered this scam, but it might be ending if the parties reshuffle hard enough
    it’s like Amtrak: the transcon and Southern services make it lose money, but they go through GOP-heavy states so cutting them would face the wrath of 50 Senators at once (in fact they want more): the pols get their constituents Amtrak service *and* get to rail about Amtrak’s losses

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So how about restoring Amtrak to South Dakota (or was it North Dakota?) and Wyoming? Gets you four votes right off the bat and it costs less than one new helicopterbombercarrierdrone (I know next to nothing about things military).

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Its south Dakota and Wyoming. The real question is whether those senators are sane enough to vote for service to their states. If service is to be restored, it shouldn’t be of the long distance variety–it should be more along the lines of Pueblo to Cheyanne and Minneapolis to Sioux Falls. if those votes don’t make a difference though, the money could be better spent in the denser bits of the Midwest, the west coast, the south, or the northeast.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well I would like to run a campaign for Senate from Wyoming on a platform of tolls and booze for 16 year olds (which would mean reduced federal highway funding) but I fear there is no way you could spin that as a right wing / libertarian thing to do. Not even in Wyoming.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    booze for 16 year olds…why? and who cares?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Freedom.

    And so you can raise the taxes for out-of-staters buying your booze.

    Schleswig Holstein has a lot of tax revenue just from Scandinavians trying to get cheap(er) booze.

    EJ Reply:

    Fun fact, Wyoming was the first US state to give women the right to vote. There were a whole lot of lonesome cowboys, and they needed some way to attract women to the state.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Kansas used to be full of socialists.

    The “heartland” was not always as ass backwards as it is now.

    Danny Reply:

    my fantasy map has the Desert Wind, Gulf Breeze, Pan-American, Hiawatha, Floridian, and Pioneer restored (service in the Red states and counties of AL, CO, GA, ID, IN, KY, OK, OR, KS, ND, MT, NV, TN, UT, WA, WY), presumably with the caveat that this is the lossy gub’mint program the GOP always likes to caterwaul about and then take full credit for
    I also have the Black Hawk out to Sioux Falls, the Piedmont to Asheville, the Caprock Chief (TX, CO), Appalachian service, ATL-AR-OKC-DFW, IL-MO-OKC-DFW, and ATL-MS-LA-DFW

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    All funded by a new petroleum import tariff to raise “energy independence”…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    All unnecessary until every urban center of 250K+ is connected to every other urban center of 150K+ within 200 miles of it by 150 MPH+ HSR.

    Danny Reply:

    well for all of these no new track is being laid, they’re just slotting passenger trains into existing traffic
    it actually profits more to run more trains (up to a point), since with the tracks’ capital expenditure taken care of the more trains are run the higher the ridership

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There is an optimal amount of trains to run on the existing infrastructure if we presume Amtrak stays the way it has been since the 1970s. And it’s not three trains a week.

    You will have decreasing costs for adding a bit more seat miles with revenue per seat mile staying steady or even increasing up to a certain point. Any private business would try to find out where that point is and take advantage of it. But Republicans hate innovation and progress so they don’t let Amtrak have the freedom and the money to find out.

    Danny Reply:

    oh, the Republicans LOVE Amtrak
    when it goes through their districts/states
    they get to take the credit, the Maker States get to foot the bill, and they get to damn Amtrak as a waste of money to the Taker States: this setup only works if nobody ever calls them out on it

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But it’s not wise to call them out.

    Because we all want Amtrak to keep running and if possible running more trains.

    I think there should be a big investment in Amtrak to show that it can improve its bottom line by running more trains instead of the GOP paradigm of cuts cuts cuts (as long as they are not in my district)

    Reality Check Reply:

    Texas high-speed rail project faces fight over eminent domain

    As far as David Risinger Sr. is concerned, just because a company calls itself a railroad doesn’t make it one.

    Especially, he said, when the company in question, Texas Central Railroad and Infrastructure Inc., didn’t exist until 2012 — and to this day owns no depots, locomotives, tracks or ties.

    […]

    The company cites a state law dating to 1876 that allows a railroad to take private land in Texas for the public good, even if the railroad itself is a for-profit, private company. Such laws have been used for decades by electricity providers, river authorities and oil and gas pipeline concerns to take property through eminent domain.

    But Risinger and about three dozen other property owners situated between Dallas and Houston who have been slapped with similar lawsuits argue that the law was never intended for a bullet train.

    […]

    EJ Reply:

    IANAL, but the idea that you can’t condemn land to build a railroad, unless you are already operating a railroad, seems legally pretty dubious.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There’s a shortline, somewhere in Texas, that’s teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, that they could buy. Or a bankrupt one.

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah that was my other thought, if somehow the suit is upheld, just buy some crappy little shortline and bingo, you’re “operating a railroad.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s it, I’ll make my business buying up obscure railroads for the sole purpose of selling the title of “operating a railroad”.

    And there I thought reviving the Canton Bulldogs of the American Professional Football Association was a stupid business plan.

    Joe Reply:

    It’s Texas.

    Eminent domain is powerful so I suspect they wanted to build implicit limitations.

    State leglislature can amend or certify Texas HSR is an operator but they’re “chicken” and will let opponents burn up private investment money with these delays.

  14. Bahnfreund
    Sep 16th, 2016 at 10:25
    #14

    OT: Recent media coverage indicates that Deutsche Bahn wants to shut down most of its bus routes. Their subsidiary “Berlin Linien Bus” (spelled without the spaces) is to be shut down and a few routes are to be subsumed under the main DB brand.

    Apparently they lost 15 million € on 30 million € turnover. So apparently, they lost fifty cents on every Euro.

    Flixbus will own almost the entire market with their (until now) biggest competitors, Postbus and Berlinlinienbus getting out of the market. None of the other companies even has double digit percent of the market.

    EJ Reply:

    Is Postbus the same company that runs those yellow buses all over the Swiss Alps?

    swing hanger Reply:

    That would be the service run by the Swiss Postal Service.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PostBus_Switzerland

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    No, but they share a name and a (at least historical) connection to the respective postal service.

    And the Postbus buses in Germany are/were yellow as well.

  15. Jerry
    Sep 16th, 2016 at 15:01
    #15

    Tom Hanks for President!
    Parade magazine asked celebrities and citizens to finish the sentence:
    If I were President. …………………………..
    Tom Hanks responded:
    ““This is goofy, and this is just absolutely me. I would make a truly great state-of-the-art national rail service a huge priority because of the infrastructure it would provide. So let’s just make really good rail transportation all over our country, so we don’t have to go to O’Hare and be at the mercy of rainstorms and backed-up flights. Why can’t we take a good train from St. Louis to Denver? And have it really only take like eight hours. Have it like it is in Europe, where it’s cheap, efficient and fast. That’s what I’d do.”

    swing hanger Reply:

    Not goofy at all. BTW Mr. Hanks is in Japan now promoting the Clint Eastwood-directed movie he stars in. I hope he has a chance to ride the shinkansen.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Mr. Hanks has also been to Eisenhüttenstadt and talked about that in an interview once…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yeah I read that and thought about sharing that, but then laziness took over…

  16. Clem
    Sep 16th, 2016 at 18:50
    #16

    OT: just spotted Dave Couch, manager for the Caltrain Modernization program, cruising down the main drag in San Carlos in a late model Porsche Carrera S convertible. The man has good taste in cars.

    Roland Reply:

    He sure can @ $760K/annum + expenses.

    Michael Burns “only” makes $200k but then again, he is just a “front” for Dave couch (Michael is semi-retired and only works 20 hours a week).

    Jerry Reply:

    Is the Porsche one of the expenses? ?

    Roland Reply:

    The question was asked at the last Board meeting. The answer is contained within Work Directive 8510: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Documents/July+2016+Monthly+Report.pdf (page 17-2).

    Jerry Reply:

    Oh. So it’s TBD. Thanks.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    By the way, the “e” in Porsche is not silent.

    Jerry Reply:

    Thanks. I’ll remember that the next time I write it.
    :-)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well most people have a certain amount of synaesthetic sensation upon reading or writing, so the sound of words is sorta kinda present in your mind even when you just read/write them.

    Human minds are weird.

    EJ Reply:

    So you’re worried we’re pronouncing it wrong in our heads??

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes.

    The gravest of thought crimes.

    No, in some seriousness, I just wanted to make that point…

    Carry on…

    Nathanael Reply:

    For most people, reading runs through the auditory centers. And speaking runs through centers which are also tactile centers… anyway, humans evolved, result is everything in humans is a Rube Goldberg device.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Most people can be trained to shift it to shape processing for speed reading. Which some people hypothesis what is going on for everyone and speed reading is just training to delete the auditory processing…. Finding all the Ninas is harder if you are looking for letters.
    ….Touch typing is even stranger.

  17. StevieB
    Sep 16th, 2016 at 21:31
    #17

    CAHSRA Palmdale to Burbank Open House Meeting.

    Published on Sep 16, 2016
    The California High-Speed Rail Authority held an open house meeting to discuss the Palmdale to Burbank project section in the city of Palmdale in September of 2016.

  18. Aarond
    Sep 17th, 2016 at 11:00
    #18

    off topic:

    Cincinnati opened a downtown streetcar loop a few days ago.

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2016/09/16/4-days-paid-streetcar-ridership-surpasses-12k-riders/90493250/

    While this is great, the train doesn’t have it’s own right of way and is a one-way track through downtown. The goal now is to expand it into something usable (ala LA’s original blue line in Long Beach).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wasn’t Cincinnati the city that tried to build a subway in the 1920s and still has the tunnels in pretty good condition somewhere?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    yep…but I don’t know about the good condition part.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Apparently one major street goes above them and several utilities run in them… So they cannot let them rot too much.

    Or so I’ve heard.

  19. Roland
    Sep 17th, 2016 at 17:53
    #19
  20. Neil Shea
    Sep 18th, 2016 at 17:49
    #20

    O/T: RIP Rose Pak
    http://m.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Rose-Pak-dies-San-Francisco-reacts-to-passing-9230630.php

    Jerry Reply:

    Ms. Pak was the SF Chinatown Civic Leader/Powerbroker who helped to get the Central Subway built to Chinatown. She knew how to get things done.

  21. synonymouse
    Sep 18th, 2016 at 20:37
    #21

    Rose Pak was involved in moving the route from 3rd & Kearny to 4th & Stockton, a serious mistake.

    The entire pr0oject should have been back-burnered in relation to Geary.

    Joe Reply:

    MUNI Extension services the 4th and King Caltrain and future HSR stop.

    Aarond Reply:

    A mediocre solution to a problem that should have never existed in the first place. Muni should be figuring out how to make the TTC their hub (be it elevated on the upper level currently slated for buses, or closing off Fremont St, etc) so they can be well-integrated with Caltrain like they are with Muni.

    Of course, if BART gets to go down 19th and Geary, there’s no reason to keep Muni LRT around as it would be almost completely redundant. Which is why Muni should be looking at the Bay Bridge and Oakland, two transbay systems is better than one.

    Joe Reply:

    SF not MUNI. SF and just needs billions to extend Caltrain to TTC. That would involve a surcharge on every trip via Caltrain and HSR.

    The MUNI subway appears to be a coincidental solution that will improve access to the HSR stop.

    Light rail across the bay – I can dig it. Just take out a lane.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Harmonics limited the Key on the Bay Bridge to 35mph AFAIK.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Maybe it was just because they were driving those concrete behemoths across it. Modern lighter equipment may not have the same problem although with the new east-side span, why are we even talking about it?

    EJ Reply:

    With the level of congestion on the Bay Bridge, there’s absolutely no way they’re taking away two traffic lanes to run light rail, so the whole discussion is silly.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ J. Wong

    A second bridge should be discussed along with any 2nd BART-Caltrain tube as an alternative.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I suppose in 2050, a new southern crossing proposal with BART on it could be revived. It would actually make the SFO Wye useful

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Muni LRT is not in the same league as HRT subways, and is not an adequate solution. Besides, where would it go once across the bridge.

    Aarond Reply:

    You’re right. Which again begs the question: why even bother with Muni if BART is running down Geary and 19th Avenue? The answer: Oakland. Muni’s short trains are capable of using the lower-deck Fremont St offramp.

    As for a destination, it’d run down W Grand Ave onto Broadway, down to Jack London Square then through the Posey Tube to Alameda Island, and perhaps even to OIA. It’d allow the island to build up (like Jersey City did on the east coast) while also alleviating the TBT crunch.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You want the Key back. They did not want to spend any money on public transit in 1958 – the highway lobby triumphant. And the Southern Crossing was just for autos to my knowledge.

    So you end up with the BART tube – the Key was not Manhattan enough.

    Aarond Reply:

    MTA trains go across the Williamsburg Bridge, though.

    That said yes getting the Key System back is the optimal path forward for Muni. Though, ACT is of no help as they’re not interested in rail at all. So Muni will remain it the awkward position it is until the 2030s when BART is able to get money for a new SF subway.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    How does bart make muni redundant for trips not within 4-5 blocks of a bart station?

    Aarond Reply:

    19th/Geary BART would make N-Judah and L-Taraval completely redundant. At that point there would be a strong argument for converting M-Market into a BART subway as well, leaving just T-third running along the bayside.

    Or, Caltrain could do 280 rail up from SJ could go under 19th/Geary into the new TTC, with BART still taking M-Market or M-Market becoming part of a larger transbay system.

    There’s basically three options: Muni subway, BART subway, or Caltrain subway. I’d argue that the latter is the best but it’s also the one least likely to ever happen.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Muni redundant? There goes TWU 250A.

    Aarond Reply:

    That was the original BART plan, was it not? That said, Muni could at any point beat BART to the punch. SF riders would still have to transfer to get out of the city, but it’d be a huge improvement over what is there now (nothing).

    synonymouse Reply:

    Muni planning and Lee seem to be paralyzed. It is like braindeath. Perhaps MTC’s move to the City has allowed BART to take over. TWU 250A seems to be oblivious as to the number of jobs they would lose to Amalgamated.

    Easy stuff to start touting: extension of the Stubway to Kirkland Yard(presuming the bean counters have given up on selling it); trolley buses on Geary and Noriega; extension of the F thru the Ft. Mason tunnel; extending the Cal Cable to Fillmore. How about a streetcar line off of 11th St.? Trolley bus tunnel under Pacific Heights?

    synonymouse Reply:

    I suggest it might be possible to tunnel West Portal and still save the L by deploying ramps in the general area currently occupied by the West Portal Station. Similarly for the K and M, as at Duboce & Market.

    Worth the extra cost and complexity to save the surface lines. I mean how far could an all subway M line go? BART is already at Daly City. And BART marching down 19th Avenue to Daly City would trash this all subway M.

    Aarond Reply:

    An all-subway M would go to Daly City, then be annexed by BART who would use it as a means to obtain a second tube. Muni would replace L and N with “BRT”, pulling down the wires which is what locals want. Service would be deplorable and BART would then have a raison d’etre to build under 19th/Geary. BART will then turn their attention to 101.

    Given that the only major project Muni is looking at right now is an M Subway, I’d say that the conspiracy is real and it will likely be successful (albeit will take 20-30 more years to see to completion).

    J. Wong Reply:

    And they’re going to find the money where? It’s even more expensive than the Central Subway. It also will surface once past SFSU and it won’t be going to Daly City. (Where would it go in Daly City anyway? BART is elevated in Daly City.)

    synonymouse Reply:

    Perhaps you are both right but it is still senseless.

    I believe the extension to Kirkland Yard will be fairly forthcoming – Muni will have to go thru the motions of considering and rejecting other routes. Without it the Stubway will be underwhelming. With it some ridership will accrue. They probably can secure some car storage at Kirkland, for layovers, etc. That could also serve as an entree to storing some F cars there too.

    Geary is mystifying unless the bean counters are still set on selling off Geary Carhouse-Presidio Yard, insane but that’s what Muni has been doing since 1945. Trolley buses and BART cohabit quite peacefully on Mission so I dunno what is the Geary problem with Muni. Triple section articulated trolley buses with all wheels powered and with onboard storage so they can operate off the wire on lower Market. Eventually a trolley bus or streetcar subway from Cathedral Hill inbound. If the City cannot get a bond issue passed for such an obvious and long-planned project it is hopeless.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Aarond, are you talking about a 2nd BART tube punching thru into the Muni level at the Ferry Building?

    Aarond Reply:

    One of two options. Either BART runs a ramp from the top tunnel to the bottom tunnel, or they punch a second tube adjacent the existing one. If BART ever actually does do a Geary subway, using the M-Market line is the most cost effective means for them to do so as it means a shallower trench.

    That not to say I endorse such an idea, but that’s how things appear to be shaping up.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Sorry to be unimaginative, but how does the M get onto Geary?

    Aarond Reply:

    Geary St runs right into Market St (where the De Young building is) about 300 feet from Montgomery St BART. Muni has a subway right underneath. To be clear, there are two ways a BART takeover could happen:

    – One is to do 19th/Geary first, then annex M as L and J become redundant.

    – Alternatively BART could annex M, causing Muni to replace everything with buses, then get the political capital needed for 19th/Geary.

    The political capital for a second transbay tube could be found using either method.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Joe

    4th & King could be the terminus, not just a stop.

    The cheapass City should have put up the money for the road improvements entailed in retaining the SP Depot at 3rd & Townsend.

    Joe Reply:

    Still no explanation.

    Trains can be turned around without being at a terminus.
    The MUNI extension didn’t plan to but coincidentally adds connectivity at this “temporary” HSR stop.

    J MUNI has a turn around at Church & 30th. Not every train goes to balboa.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Lee may simply abandon the TBT Tunnel project and let Jerry do it if he wants to come up with the money and the lawyers to fight with the various property owners. Lee’s primary interest is getting that basketball arena built and SF grabbing from Caltrain and Caltrains as much real estate it can get away with.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Caltrans

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Not a bad thing.

    Joe Reply:

    Still no explanation for the 3rd street route.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You could cut and cover all the way to the Broadway Tunnel. You cross Market at the mezzanine level and tie into BART at Montgomery St. station. Station at Portsmouth Square.

    This route serves retail area, financial district and Chinatown. I dunno about the engineering, but you might be able to dig out the Broadway Tunnel on one side to reach Van Ness for a station and then in mined tunnel to a station at Fillmore and Lombard. Money permitting you could continue in tunnel on Lombard, thence to the GG Bridge.

    Only upside to the present alignment is the mezzanine level at 3rd – Kearny – Geary is now available for a Geary route. I would go for a trolley bus subway initially to please the merchants on Geary Blvd. You could cut a trolley bus(or streetcar)tunnel from Chestnut & Fillmore to meet up with the tunnel portal at approximately Laguna & Geary. Some #31 runs could be routed express thru the trolley bus subway to downtown also.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    YIMBYs get the projects they want. NIMBYs don’t get the projects they don’t want.

  22. Leroy W. Demery, Jr.,
    Sep 19th, 2016 at 10:24
    #22

    OT:

    “Nearly 9 hours” via freeway, Los Angeles – San Francisco?

    I know I’m a fossil, but I remember the very early ’70s, before I-5 was completed. Gas was $0.29 / gallon in L.A.; $0.41 / gallon along I-5 was regarded as scandalous. You could get from between the fringes of SoCal and the Bay Area as fast as you wished to drive.

    I had a friend who loved to drive as fast as his van would go: 90 mph on flat segments; 100 mph on downgrades. (He could get away with this because “Ponch” and “Jon” did not have radar back then.) Even so, his LA – SF “record” was 5 1/2 hours. The van burned so much gas at “those speeds” that one could see the gas needle move – and he had to make four gas stops en route (total elapsed time about 1 hr).

    (I preferred to drive at relatively low speeds for the sake of fuel economy. When Pres. Nixon announced a cut in speed limits in response to the 1974 oil embargo, I decided to try driving LA – SF at a steady 50. Result: trip time increased from 5 1/2 – 6 hr to 8 hr, but gas mileage increased by about 20 percent. The saving was worth the extra time.)

    I-5 traffic was, in general, fairly light throughout much of the ’70s. I do not remember any major slowdowns or stoppages that were not the result of crashes. I do not remember congestion on I-5 even by the mid-80s, when traffic had grown substantially. By then, I did take “alternate” routes on occasion, but not because of congestion: certain passengers (e.g. my ex, my parents) became visibly unsettled by the “de facto” I-5 minimum speed (75-80).

    I’ve known for some years that LA – SF by I-5 was no longer an “as fast as you can drive” event – but I’m surprised to read that the trip can require up to 9 hours because of congestion.

  23. Roland
    Sep 19th, 2016 at 19:36
    #23

    OT: One of the MANY reasons why BART is falling apart: https://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2016/news20160919-0

    Joe Reply:

    Not enough toilets.

    Roland Reply:

    Did you read the article or do you just type random poop faster than you can think all day long?

    EJ Reply:

    Are you under the impression that BART tunnels are unique in experiencing water intrusion?

    Roland Reply:

    Are you under the impression that I ever stated or suggested anything along those lines?

    Joe Reply:

    “All names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this comment and its links are fictitious. No identification with actual persons, places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.”

    Roland Reply:

    Random pooper strokes again…

    Roland Reply:

    Correction: Make that random spell-checker strikes again.

    EJ Reply:

    Well then what are you on about?

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of steel tubes and electrical conduits immersed in sea water it is that you do not understand.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Steel.

    Definitely steel.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Interestingly no mention of how bentonite is to be deployed.

    Convert to Bechtelian broad gauge rubber-tyre; no rails to crack.

    Roland Reply:

    What could possibly go wrong with bentonite anyway? http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-25862543

    EJ Reply:

    Bentonite and concrete are totally different things. This is really bad trolling.

    Roland Reply:

    Correct and kindly blame the confusion on “reporting for the masses”, not “trolling”.

    I believe that the correct term for the offending gooey in the Victoria signal box case was “cement-bentonite grout”, a technical term deemed unsuitable for mass consumption.

    Roland Reply:

    Moving on to what could possibly go right with bentonite, it should be noted that the leaning tower of Mission Street actually leans towards BART (not Transbay), so this may actually work: http://www.maa.com.tw/common/publications/1995/1995-061.pdf.

    What could possibly go Wong if PBH are in charge of ground monitoring?

  24. MarkB
    Sep 19th, 2016 at 21:14
    #24

    Speaking of the Expo line, Metro says 21,000 people took the Expo or Silver (BRT) lines after the Rams’s opener at the Coliseum. That works out to about 26% of the total attendance.

    http://thesource.metro.net/2016/09/18/a-big-big-mob-of-fans-rides-expo-to-see-rams-smother-seahawks/

    [snark] Too bad people in L.A. won’t take transit. [/snark]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Too bad the Rams will move out of LA in a few years.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    BTW BF: Did you live in the US at some point? I’m assuming Sie Sind Deutscher

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    “Live” would be a grandiose word for a two week vacation.

    But I have family who are American citizens, I follow US media (of pretty much all kinds) and I like me some American Football, so there you go.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Or maybe you’re American

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Or maybe he just speaks good English.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Me English good?

    Well, gracias.

  25. Roland
    Sep 19th, 2016 at 22:56
    #25

    Breaking News: http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/19/palo-alto-car-hit-by-caltrain-driver-hospitalized/

    Roland Reply:

    Who needs VTA’s stupid RIDS when you have the best PSA notices in the nation?

    What is the matter with these people anyway? don’t they read Caltrain Press releases? http://www.caltrain.com/about/MediaRelations/news/Caltrain_Proclaims_September_Rail_Safety_Month_4528.html

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Agree – Press Releases!

    Surprised Palo Alto’s security guard didn’t prevent this since we still don’t want grade seps here

    Roland Reply:

    The Palo Alto security guard was otherwise occupied attending to private matters behind the bushes.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    He could’ve been hurt!

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2016/09/19/caltrain-collides-with-truck-halting-service

    Just got this from Adrian Brandt:

    “The only way quad gates could help with these incidents — essentially all caused by drivers illegally queuing across tracks — is if they were to completely lower so far ahead of the train’s arrival that there was enough time for the train to brake to a stop in response to a signal triggered by a “blocked crossing” sensor. This would of course mean significantly longer gate down-times since today’s gates are typically only fully down for 20 seconds or so before a train going 70 or 79 mph arrives at the crossing. That’s not enough time to brake a ~80 mph train to stop short of impact.

    And, most of all, a blocked crossing sensor would work just as well (actually better) *without* quad gates since the exit path on the far side of the crossing is not blocked by the psychological barrier of a lowered far-side gate (it’s only psychological because gate arms are designed to easily break away so as not to actually trap anyone).

    Quad gates are largely just costly security theater in that they are ineffective in addressing the chronic (daily) illegal queuing-across-the-tracks behavior preceding and leading to essentially all Caltrain vs. vehicle strikes.

    Short of grade-separation, by far the best way to dramatically reduce CVC violations leading to these life-threatening-to-innocent-bystanders (on and off the trains) incidents is deployment of automated enforcement camera systems such as Redflex Rail. A 24/7, 365-days-per-year virtually guaranteed costly moving violation / citation will very quickly improve driver behavior for the better, immediately improving passenger and employee safety and schedule reliability.

    How many of these crashes will it take to justify a pilot/demonstration project at Burlingame’s Broadway intersection? Are we waiting for an Oxnard style derailment with fatalities to innocent bystanders aboard the train? I hope not. Is Caltrain serious about safety? I hope so.”

    Joe Reply:

    . Is Caltrain serious about safety? I hope so.”

    If so then
    Listen to Adrian Brant!!!!!

    Of course Caltrain is serious.

    Ticketing drivers and traffic flow at intersections are city responsibilities and not Caltrain.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Caltrain/Samtrans have dedicated police who, among other things, stop and cite crossing and other violators on or near Caltrain’s ROW

    Neil Shea Reply:

    I share the concern that cities and Caltrain are not serious enough. While cities need to take the lead on enforcement, I agree that Caltrain can communicate with cities and remind them the danger.

    Joe Reply:

    So Caltrain is not communicating the danger toncot governments?
    Meanwhile stop blowing the horns and making so much noise.

    I call bullshit.

    Maybe Caltrain can be allowed to add $1 fare fee per trip so Caltrain can take responsibility with some budget. Then the cities can come hat on hand to Caltrain.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    These vehicle strikes are becoming all too common. It should be a no-brainer for Caltrain to, at the very least, perform a demonstration project with automated enforcement. If it changes driver behavior, an important goal has been achieved.

    Several years ago, while the San Bruno grade separation was under construction, I was on NB train 101, the horn was blaring as we left San Bruno, I looked out of the cab car and there was a big rig stopped on the tracks. The train slowed to a crawl and the big rig finally cleared the crossing. Now what if this were an express train that didn’t stop at San Bruno? Or what if this were one day earlier, when dense fog would have severely limited the engineers’ view of the crossing ahead?

    In Millbrae the intersection of Millbrae Avenue and Rollins Road had numerous accidents, vehicle vs. pedestrians, including at least one fatality. They installed red light cameras, which lead to increased citations, which can change driver behavior and improved safety.

    Joe Reply:

    First, where is it shown this technology works?
    Transit nerds don’t count. Where and how?
    BTW Quad gates are mandatory for faster speeds so all those who have decided quad gates are “theater” need to get over themselves.

    Second, the cities along the right of way are responsible for enforcing traffic laws and traffic flow along the row. Sadly this means pissing off their delicate snowflake citizens who hate traffic and might need to wait longer.

    Can anyone show me that Caltrain is reponsible for traffic cameras?
    Where have these cameras been installed at crossings such that it’s shown they actually reduce violations?

    Mountain view fixed Castro crossing with no cameras or tech. They made it illegal to cross the tracks when the light at central is red. Cops issued tickets and changed behavior. This slows down traffic but it’s safer. They redesigned the light to change traffic flow. Again the city took responsibility and didn’t use tech. It takes some courage which Pennisula cities seem to lack.

    Not Caltrain’s job.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Many years ago, around the time it was relatively new, automated enforcement demonstration project reduced — nearly eliminated — a notoriously high rate of crossing violations on LA’s Blue Line.

    Joe Reply:

    Good example.

    Recently MTView cops started ticketing at Castro st crossing to emphasize safety related changes to traffic flow– prevent cars from crossing tracks when central expressway light is red. This enforced Amtrak reg. and lessens traffic flow at crossing but is far safer.

    Some deaths are due to confusion at crossings so tickets at the funeral wouldn’t help. IMHO Cities need to redesign crossings and enforce with cops to explain ticket. Maybe this will create more traffic congestion and be unpopular with residents.

    Caltrain doesn’t

    Nathanael Reply:

    Honestly the biggest problem is that we have no real driver licensing system in the US. 2/3 of the people driving cars are grossly incompetent and should not have licenses. So they do insane dangerous stuff.

    Roland Reply:

    SamTrans response:

    “Thank you for your email. I know you had been working in the past with Dave Triolo and Jim Castaneda regarding quad gates, however they are no longer with the District. I am forwarding your concerns to Mr. Gilardi and Mr. Brown who are overseeing the Safety and Security Department.”

    Clem Reply:

    In Illinois, quad gates with vehicle detection will be tied into the PTC system, resulting in the requirement to lower gates with enough time to detect a vehicle, signal the train, and brake the train to a complete stop before the crossing. This will result in increasing gate down time from 20-30 seconds to 90 seconds!!!

    A lowered gate with no train for 90 seconds is practically an invitation to drive around the gates, so perhaps that is the real purpose of quad gates.

  26. John Nachtigall
    Sep 20th, 2016 at 09:51
    #26

    Well its again that time of the month….the finance report came out.

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_091316_FA_Operations_Report.pdf

    First the good news, CP1, now called CP1ABC, (slide 11) was green for the 4th month in a row. Of course the baseline plan was 0, so they could only finish green, but 21 parcels in a month is pretty good for them. They should be green for most months going forward just because the plan is 0 for those months because they have blown the schedule and not re-scheduled. Yet another example of poor management, the team has no goals to work towards now.

    After that it all goes downhill.

    CP2/3 (slide 23) had a massively pathetic -90 for the month. Let that sink in, they were 90 parcels short in a single month. There are only 562 parcels total to acquire. The astounding incompetence and the tolerance for that incompetence is mind boggling.

    Similarly, CP4 has moved to the part of the plan with actual goals and started its long slow decline into failure. -27 for the month.

    So the narrative that CP1 was a learning experience and the lessons would be applied to CP 2/3 and CP4 has now been exposed as the lie it always was.

    So in summary, the authority continues to fail in its project management of ROW acquisition. Which in turn delays the project, increases costs, and provides ammo for the narritive that the train is a boondoggle that cant get built.

    Way to go CAHSR, self inflicted wounds still hurt.

    Joe Reply:

    Good project management does this:

    Obtain Critical path parcels first. Then parcels for work close to becoming critical path. This keeps the project on schedule.

    Then obtain Parcels where the cost of construction are highest such as bridges. This improves EVM data, delivered product per dollar spent.

    Buying parcels to get high numbers without considering their priority isn’t good PM.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    As of this month they were supposed to have all parcels for CP2/3. What kind of project management is that?

    Joe Reply:

    You do realize the goal is building high speed rail, not real estate transactions. I would expect some implications for these “incompetent” delays.

    Oh I have one — the failed nimby lawsuit delayed property acquisition and appraisals expired and had to be redone. Tax payers lose. John wins.

    Serious about PM then use PM metics. What does their EVM data tell you?

    Jerry Reply:

    Somewhere in all of the lawsuits is a paraphrase for HSR similar to:
    “Our goal is to make Obama fail.”

    Aarond Reply:

    Obama isn’t the reason why Ruger doesn’t sell Mark IIIs in CA, that’s because of Sacramento. Most rural people throwing hopeless lawsuits and holding up ED takes in court are doing so because of anti-consumerist gun control. Every new bill that passes (such as the bullet button ban over the summer, or Arnold’s microstamping requirement in 2008) is another reason to be obstructionist.

    But it’ll pass. Everyone has a price.

    Nathanael Reply:

    I personally think we should ban lead bullets and then allow anyone to have any sort of gun. Firing the leaded bullets is making the gun owners inhale lead and turning them stupid, paranoid, and violent. If they were all using copper bullets or composite bullets or steel shot… they’d be less crazy.

    Joe Reply:

    Note the summary Earned Value Management report for CP2. That tells how much work is completed in dollars vs the planned work plan. It’s not 1.0, ideal, but very close. If parcels start to impact the work and big dollar items, it will show up in the EVM data.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Only because they have not had time to fall behind yet. The EVM for CP 1 is .45. Pathetic

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2016/brdmtg_091316_FA_CP1_Performance_Metrics.pdf

    Now that ROW is behind on CP 2/3 it will be the same within a matter of months.

    Oh and while you are fact checking me on CP 1 notice the contigency and the other factors in the red.

    Why you continue to defend the Un-defendable is beyond me. They are doing a poor job and their own data proves it

    joe Reply:

    Only because they have not had time to fall behind yet. The EVM for CP 1 is .45. Pathetic

    Opinion trumps fact. When the data are not there you make up stuff. Dishonest!

    Why you continue to defend the Un-defendable is beyond me. They are doing a poor job and their own data proves it

    Failed NIMBY Lawsuits delayed property acquisition, completed appraisals then expired requiring re-appraisal of property. CP1 Defended.

    Project Management prioritize parcels needed for high cost and critical path construction. As they explain (and you edit out) this means they expect to improve on EVM metrics as this high cost work progresses. EVM is sensitive to dollar value of work, not # of parcels. Stop flailing.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Dishonest?? I posted the link. EVM for CP1 is .45. page 4 clear as day That is no opinion, that is a fact

    in 6 months when CP2/3 has a similar ratio I will remind you of this conversation

    joe Reply:

    EVM for CP2 – you failed to note it when trolling. Currently at 0.97, performance target is >1.

    CP2/3 (slide 23) had a massively pathetic -90 for the month. Let that sink in, they were 90 parcels short in a single month. There are only 562 parcels total to acquire. The astounding incompetence and the tolerance for that incompetence is mind boggling.

    0.97 isn’t pathetic.

    joe Reply:

    Construction Package 1 EVM/Planed EVM is improving.

    EVM Actual/ EVM Planned:
    0.34 in July
    0.37 in August
    0.45 in September.

    HSR CP1 which was delayed by NIMBY’s is catching up, not falling behind.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    you picked the metric joe. .45 is awful. Just because they are slightly less awful that before does not excuse the performance

    Nathanael Reply:

    Property acquisition schedule is always a complete crapshoot. ALWAYS. In EVERY country. It’s especially bad in the lawyer-happy US. You can’t complain about the CHSRA based on that.

    Jerry Reply:

    It is without question and without any doubt that the California High Speed Rail project is the most successful High Speed Rail project in the entire United States of America. USA USA USA

    EJ Reply:

    I see what you did there.

    Jerry Reply:

    :-)

    Zorro Reply:

    And this is in spite of Republican obstruction in Congress as to what the USA really needs.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I have no choice but to agree also. Also the best in North and South America I belive so best in this hemisphere

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Go for it. It’s the best outside of Europe or Asia. Until Morocco finishes their line. At the pace California is moving the Brazilians might have something up and running before the first high speed train turns a wheel in California.

    synonymouse Reply:

    TehaVegaSkyRail via base tunnels to PodunkDale the dummerest faux-HSR in the world.

    Ben in SF Reply:

    A compromise route will be found through little-known Tejahappy Pass.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Site of the Lost Dutchman Jerry is looking for.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Brazil is too busy having a coup d’etat and declaring it “totally not a coup”

    Aarond Reply:

    She could have pulled a Nixon, instead she tried to stick it out. The gig was up. Which has implications here in the US, given the constant developments with Hilary’s email scandal. But this is OT.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    C’mon, enough with the Berniebro stuff.

    EJ Reply:

    I’m afraid this one is a terminal case.

    Aarond Reply:

    Thanks to the developments with Mr. Combetta (Hilary’s IT guy), the House will soon have enough evidence for themselves. The GOP are shameless and will do a January Impeachment. A Conviction depends on how comfortable Republican Senators feel in their own party. Though I do think Kaine would do a better job at preserving HSR money.

    Either way ain’t nothing going to be getting done under her. Which is why Brown will have to make a deal with CA Republicans.

    Zorro Reply:

    A conviction/removal from office in the Senate needs a 2/3rds vote, the 2/3rds vote is the minimum required in the US Constitution, that wasn’t going to happen for Pres Obama, and it won’t happen Clinton.

    Brown make a deal? Why? They are a 3rd wheel in CA…

    Aarond Reply:

    Either Combetta goes to jail, or Hilary. The question is if he’ll sacrifice his personal life for the hope of amnesty. Regardless even if the Impeachment doesn’t go anywhere her reputation is ruined and she will not be able to preform the duties of her office.

    Being the optimistic type I am, I like to think Democrats would not defend a criminal even if she was President. But I’ve been wrong before.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Her reputation has been ruined since Travelgate and Hillarycare. Hilary derangement syndrome has been in full flower since.
    Apparently Mr. Combetta arranged for immunity. Apparently idiot lawyers made copies before anything was done to the original. There are always the archives.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The media and Hollywood want Hillary in the worst way and no matter what Trump does in the debates he will be said to have lost. Be nice to Hillary and presidential he will dismissed as a wuss, lost his mojo and not wanting to be Prez any more. Be the old combative Donald and he will be the loose cannon starting WWIII and personally responsible for Global Warming and the heartbreak of psoriasis.

    Hillary will be Prez but entering office with the greatest unpopularity and distrust since Tricky Dicky.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Hillary is eminently qualified to be President.

    You may not like her opinions, but rarely has there been a woman with more experience and more brain power than her.

    I cannot quite understand all the vitriol spewed in her direction. Her politics are not exactly that different from Obama. She might be a bit more hawkish, but Obama’s approach to Syria and Libya has not exactly yielded better results than a more hawkish approach would have or am I mistaken?

    Nathanael Reply:

    “I cannot quite understand all the vitriol spewed in her direction. Her politics are not exactly that different from Obama. ”

    Well, most of the vitriol is from right-wing nuts.

    I have a lot of vitriol saved for or Obama and I think Hillary is almost as bad but not quite. :-)

    Personally, I’m *seriously* left-wing — massively environmentalist — big supporter of progressive taxation — and opposed to the military-industrial complex — Obama’s been on the wrong side of every issue here, Hillary’s been on the wrong side of most of them. Al Gore was on the right side of *everything*.

    Zorro Reply:

    Considering the legislature has historically not given the CHSRA enough money for staff, certain positions within the CHSRA are probably still unfilled, is the legislature in the budget process appropriating enough money for the CHSRA today? I don’t know.

    Roland Reply:

    http://hsr.ca.gov/About/Careers/current_job_openings.html

  27. J. Wong
    Sep 20th, 2016 at 11:56
    #27

    Build it, and they will ride. And this will apply to HSR as it does to the L.A. light rail lines.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    True.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    What happened to the Las Vegas monorail or the Detroit people mover

    They built those…they did not come

    Zorro Reply:

    The Las Vegas monorail is only partly built, taxi and limo companies objected, so the line has no money so far, for expansion beyond the casinos to the airport or anywhere else.

    synonymouse Reply:

    SMART will be a better test of the limits of this purported axion.

    synonymouse Reply:

    axiom. need another drink

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    so it is true…until it is not true.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Okay, let’s all only build single lane interstates with a 20 mph speed limit and take the drop in traffic as “proof” that Americans simply hate driving.

    “Build it and they will come” obviously comes with the asterisk (if you want to call it that and not just be obtuse for the sake of being obtuse) of “If you follow best practices”. The Detroit people mover and the Las Vegas monorail violate best practices in several respects…

    Nathanael Reply:

    The L V Monorail is (a) extremely well hidden, (b) doesn’t really connect the right places. It is also a damn monorail and would have been a lot cheaper if it were a normal train.

    The Detroit Peoplemover is a one-way loop (which is always stupid) and suffers from not going anywhere.

    When we say “build it and they will come” we’re talking trains from point A to point B via point C here. If the LV Monorail had been a more normal train (like Vancouver Sky Train) and had gone from the LV Airport to downtown via the Strip, it would have been a big hit.

    Look at the Kansas City streetcar, which is a wild success. It’s *on the right route*.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ..welll…. putting the passenger train where there are passengers makes it easier for it to be successful.

  28. synonymouse
    Sep 20th, 2016 at 20:45
    #28

    Nice article on the Expo Line, nee the Santa Monica Air Line, which apparently was single track and the original rail?

    Still for sheer vengeance and celebration LACMTA should resurrect the Pacific Electric name. The PE lives and its old enemies sleep with the fishes.

    synonymouse Reply:

    http://laist.com/2016/09/20/a_short_history_of_the_expo_line_an.php

    Sorry

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If only we could have avoided the last 60 odd years of PE’s enemies triumphing.

    Like Germany did. Where the streetcar for the most part never died.

Comments are closed.