SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/index.php)
-   Transportation (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=25)
-   -   California High Speed Rail Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180558)

mfastx Apr 18, 2012 8:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5669877)
I didn't say it was different from highways; but this is immaterial because the ones that perform the functions of HSR (connecting LA to Bay) are aleady built. I would vigorously object to a 55B additional road building project connecting areas already well served.

Well, many, many flights per day peform the "same functions" as highways (connecting LA to Bay) don't they? So you're advocating that all flights between LA and the Bay area cease to operate!?

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5669877)
I hate to remind you again, but HSR passed on the claim it would take peanuts to build and would run a profit. And not one auditor (seriously, NOT ONE) has believed that there is the slightest chance this will happen.

Costs have gone up because of delays in construction and NIMBY's.

SnyderBock Apr 19, 2012 4:52 AM

So, do you think they will approve the go ahead? Are they also allowing unsolicited bids, in hopes of landing private financing in the form of a DBFOM?

M II A II R II K Apr 25, 2012 4:26 PM

Debunking NIMBY Math on California HSR


April 25, 2012

By Angie Schmitt

Read More: http://streetsblog.net/2012/04/25/de...alifornia-hsr/

Quote:

“California High Speed Rail will forever need an operating subsidy.” That is the latest claim from an anti-HSR group called the Community Coalition on High Speed Rail. The group recently assailed CAHSR’s estimates that the system will cost 10 cents per passenger mile to operate, saying the figure is far too low and questioning the official math that the $81 San Francisco-to-LA fare would cover the costs of the trip.

- CC-HSR extrapolated a 10-cent operating cost per passenger mile based on the the published $81 LA-SF premium fare, and assuming 50% profit. They compared this 10-cents number to a study done in 2007 that reports a per-mile operating cost of around 30-50 cents per mile for European high-speed rail operators. So according to the CC-HSR, the LA-SF fares are too low, and would have to be at least triple the $81 fare just to break even. Does this argument make sense?

.....



SNCF fares for Paris-Avignon, which is exactly same distance as LA-SF.

http://streetsblog.net/wp-content/up...sncf_fares.png

jg6544 Apr 25, 2012 6:45 PM

Article on Huffpo about how the San Joaquin Valley contains several of the most polluted regions in the country. Do we really want more cars on the 5 and the 99?

pesto Apr 25, 2012 7:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mfastx (Post 5671143)
Well, many, many flights per day peform the "same functions" as highways (connecting LA to Bay) don't they? So you're advocating that all flights between LA and the Bay area cease to operate!?



Costs have gone up because of delays in construction and NIMBY's.

Without belaboring the distinction between operating costs and capital expenditures, please note that the analogous argument is that I am arguing that no new airport infrastructure would be needed. And this is essentially true (Burbank, Ontario, OC, Oakland, SJ have plenty of excess capacity; LAX is undergoing huge expansion as is).

The real reason for the changes in estimates is easy to find if you read the auditors comments: bad estimates, over-estimation of private investment, etc.; more than one auditor has commented that there was no plan to audit, just invention and guesswork. That's why is has gone through two major revisions.

pesto Apr 25, 2012 7:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5678883)
Article on Huffpo about how the San Joaquin Valley contains several of the most polluted regions in the country. Do we really want more cars on the 5 and the 99?

Cars driving form LA to Bay consitute a percent of total CV traffic so small as to be well beyond unimaginably small. The 10M or so people living there plus ag business are the real polluters; don't try to give them lame excuses.

In any event, the LA to Bay drivers are going to be using ELECTRIC cars by the time that HSR is done (except for trucks, emergency vehicles and people going to the mountains, etc., who obviously wouldn't use HSR in the first place).

jg6544 Apr 25, 2012 9:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5678922)
the LA to Bay drivers are going to be using ELECTRIC cars by the time that HSR is done

I always admire youthful optimism.

jg6544 Apr 25, 2012 9:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5678911)
Without belaboring the distinction between operating costs and capital expenditures, please note that the analogous argument is that I am arguing that no new airport infrastructure would be needed. And this is essentially true (Burbank, Ontario, OC, Oakland, SJ have plenty of excess capacity; LAX is undergoing huge expansion as is).

The real reason for the changes in estimates is easy to find if you read the auditors comments: bad estimates, over-estimation of private investment, etc.; more than one auditor has commented that there was no plan to audit, just invention and guesswork. That's why is has gone through two major revisions.

The "massive" expansion at LAX consists principally of a new terminal for international flights and making some of the terminals less cesspoolish than they are now. And for the umpteenth time, the biggest obstacles to LAX growth, after the neighbors, are getting there and finding a place to park your car when you do.

How do you feel about building the runway in the Bay at SFO?

fflint Apr 25, 2012 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5678922)
The 10M or so people living there plus ag business are the real polluters; don't try to give them lame excuses.

Stop diverting attention from the huge role petroleum-based transportation plays in Central Valley pollution:

"Cutting through the valley are the state's two main north-south highway corridors, the routes for nearly all long-distance tractor trailer rigs, the No. 2 source of particulate pollution in the valley." http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/r...tland-15311690

Quote:

In any event, the LA to Bay drivers are going to be using ELECTRIC cars by the time that HSR is done (except for trucks, emergency vehicles and people going to the mountains, etc., who obviously wouldn't use HSR in the first place).
You employ such interesting and self-serving double-standards: one rigorous and unforgiving standard for any claim made about any aspect of HSR, and then another standard of unquestioning acceptance for any claim that you think can work against HSR, like this faith-based conjecture about 'the electric future' you're promoting. Maybe that won't happen. And maybe you're okay with that--because above all, you are against HSR no matter what--but the rest of us aren't.

It is a bad idea to today commit our state's future to a petroleum-based transportation system because we really, really believe the unenforceable but feel-good promise that full electrification is just around the corner. Remember when everyone said we'd have flying cars? Sometimes the promises aren't kept, which is why it's a bad idea to gamble our future on them.

DJM19 Apr 25, 2012 10:12 PM

Dont tell LAX they are expanding...they will shoot that argument down. They are renovating.

jg6544 Apr 26, 2012 4:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJM19 (Post 5679180)
Dont tell LAX they are expanding...they will shoot that argument down. They are renovating.

The new international terminal is an expansion; everything else is renovation. The new terminal will also be the final expansion at LAX unless they decide to raise the parking structures by another four or five levels (which would be a waste of money because the road structure is already at near capacity).

pesto Apr 26, 2012 6:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5679100)
The "massive" expansion at LAX consists principally of a new terminal for international flights and making some of the terminals less cesspoolish than they are now. And for the umpteenth time, the biggest obstacles to LAX growth, after the neighbors, are getting there and finding a place to park your car when you do.

How do you feel about building the runway in the Bay at SFO?

Population growth ii on the outskirts of SF (East Bay, South Bay). SF County and SM County and the 2 slowest growth counties. And Oakland already has the most daily flights to LA (per their advertising).

But, to be fair, I assume there will be some need for expansion of terminals here and there. But, again, recall that LAX and SFO are overwhelmingly national and international airports, not intra-state focused. And Southwest has a TON of excess capacity at LAX most times of the day.

jg6544 Apr 26, 2012 6:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5680210)
Population growth ii on the outskirts of SF (East Bay, South Bay). SF County and SM County and the 2 slowest growth counties. And Oakland already has the most daily flights to LA (per their advertising).

But, to be fair, I assume there will be some need for expansion of terminals here and there. But, again, recall that LAX and SFO are overwhelmingly national and international airports, not intra-state focused. And Southwest has a TON of excess capacity at LAX most times of the day.

Basically, unless you live in Long Beach or Los Feliz or east, if you want to fly to San Francisco, you fly out of LAX. Travel time to the other airports is too long and that's on the rare occasions when traffic is decent.

Southwest may have excess capacity at LAX; unfortunately the routes to and from the airport don't; neither do the parking lots. Basically, if there were HSR, they could limit LAX to interstate and international flights and that might help. But there's no other way to build ourselves out of the problem.

pesto Apr 26, 2012 6:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 5679178)
Stop diverting attention from the huge role petroleum-based transportation plays in Central Valley pollution:

"Cutting through the valley are the state's two main north-south highway corridors, the routes for nearly all long-distance tractor trailer rigs, the No. 2 source of particulate pollution in the valley." http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/r...tland-15311690


You employ such interesting and self-serving double-standards: one rigorous and unforgiving standard for any claim made about any aspect of HSR, and then another standard of unquestioning acceptance for any claim that you think can work against HSR, like this faith-based conjecture about 'the electric future' you're promoting. Maybe that won't happen. And maybe you're okay with that--because above all, you are against HSR no matter what--but the rest of us aren't.

It is a bad idea to today commit our state's future to a petroleum-based transportation system because we really, really believe the unenforceable but feel-good promise that full electrification is just around the corner. Remember when everyone said we'd have flying cars? Sometimes the promises aren't kept, which is why it's a bad idea to gamble our future on them.

I agree 100 percent that we should get cargo off of trucks and onto trains. But the politics and economics of this is nasty and I am not expert enough to comment.

Electric is not even considered debatable. In 30 years it will be the overwhelming winner in small vehicles. Every serious investor (including the oil companies) agrees.

Air is going to be oil based indefinitely, but like "LA to Bay traffic in family cars through the CV" is so small as to not show up in statistics.

I'm not against HSR no matter what. I'm against it because it is a waste of money that could go to local transit, schools, social welfare, etc.; and because no one has put together a plan any auditor believes has any likelihood of being accurate.

jg6544 Apr 26, 2012 8:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5680232)

Electric is not even considered debatable. In 30 years it will be the overwhelming winner in small vehicles.


It is until they have an electric vehicle that will cruise safely at highway speeds with the air conditioner running and it's possible to recharge the battery in 5 minutes.

In 30 years, a lot of us will be dead.

202_Cyclist May 4, 2012 5:42 PM

High-speed rail sets Valley route, gets $1 billion offer (Fresno Bee)
 
This availability-payment method of financing proposed for the maintenance yard is being used to finance the new state courthouse in Long Beach, CA.

High-speed rail sets Valley route, gets $1 billion offer

By Tim Sheehan
The Fresno Bee
May. 04, 2012

"The California High-Speed Rail Authority took a key step toward developing its proposed passenger-train system Thursday, certifying environmental reports and formally approving the first portion of the line between Merced and Fresno.

Skeptics remain even as the authority pushes forward on building as soon as this year. But Thursday, a new booster stepped forward -- Madera real-estate developer Ed McIntyre, who said that he and partners are ready to spend $1 billion developing a maintenance yard and more if the authority puts it on their property in Madera.

McIntyre told the board before its vote that his group believes high-speed rail pencils out as a money-maker. In his group's case, he said, they're certain they can secure financing and recoup their investment through a lease-buy deal with the authority..."

http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/05/03/...ley-route.html

pesto May 4, 2012 6:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5680229)
Basically, unless you live in Long Beach or Los Feliz or east, if you want to fly to San Francisco, you fly out of LAX. Travel time to the other airports is too long and that's on the rare occasions when traffic is decent.

Southwest may have excess capacity at LAX; unfortunately the routes to and from the airport don't; neither do the parking lots. Basically, if there were HSR, they could limit LAX to interstate and international flights and that might help. But there's no other way to build ourselves out of the problem.

Clarification: HBO is closer coming from the SFV and north, Ventura Cty., and the High Desert. It is also closer from Hollywood, DT LA, Glendale and Pasadena. From the IE and SGV, Ontario is closer. From the OC, John Wayne is closer. That accounts for about 12M people. The rest go to LAX and LB.

SFO and LAX are expensive to park and the roads often crowded. But, again, LA to Bay flights are a very small portion of the total passenger traffic. In any event, taking HSR just shifts parking to downtown SF and Union Station, which are equally crowded and more expensive.

pesto May 4, 2012 6:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5689957)
This availability-payment method of financing proposed for the maintenance yard is being used to finance the new state courthouse in Long Beach, CA.

High-speed rail sets Valley route, gets $1 billion offer

By Tim Sheehan
The Fresno Bee
May. 04, 2012

"The California High-Speed Rail Authority took a key step toward developing its proposed passenger-train system Thursday, certifying environmental reports and formally approving the first portion of the line between Merced and Fresno.

Skeptics remain even as the authority pushes forward on building as soon as this year. But Thursday, a new booster stepped forward -- Madera real-estate developer Ed McIntyre, who said that he and partners are ready to spend $1 billion developing a maintenance yard and more if the authority puts it on their property in Madera.

McIntyre told the board before its vote that his group believes high-speed rail pencils out as a money-maker. In his group's case, he said, they're certain they can secure financing and recoup their investment through a lease-buy deal with the authority..."

http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/05/03/...ley-route.html

I guess you would call this non-news. Of course they approved the EIR and of course it's not a problem to hire someone who (at a profit) will provide services.

Of course, you have to laugh at the gratuitous comment that the private developer, who is about to land a huge contract, believes that HSR is going "to pencil out as a money-maker". Ask him if he'd buy their bonds or front them some loans? The Chinese and Japanese alread said no way without Federal guarantees.

JDRCRASH May 5, 2012 4:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5690028)
I guess you would call this non-news. Of course they approved the EIR and of course it's not a problem to hire someone who (at a profit) will provide services.

Of course, you have to laugh at the gratuitous comment that the private developer, who is about to land a huge contract, believes that HSR is going "to pencil out as a money-maker". Ask him if he'd buy their bonds or front them some loans? The Chinese and Japanese alread said no way without Federal guarantees.

So first you said nobody is investing capitol in this project... and now you say this guy that might is foolish? :shrug:

pesto May 5, 2012 6:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5680397)
It is until they have an electric vehicle that will cruise safely at highway speeds with the air conditioner running and it's possible to recharge the battery in 5 minutes.

In 30 years, a lot of us will be dead.

But that's when HSR is scheduled to be completed so it makes no sense to compare it to today's technology. (It's like having a 2 year old and worrying about the cost of diapers 30 years from now.) Check out the oil company and car company websites: they uniformly believe that smaller commuter cars will be largely electric by that time. And they are putting up billions to back up their beliefs.

This is immaterial for environmental purposes since so few passenger cars commute non-stop LA to Bay (HSR is not competing against minivans, SUV
s, vans, trucks, anyone stopping in Yosemite, Sequoia, Santa Barbara, Big Sur, etc., who are going to drive in any event.). But it is material for cost purposes, since the predictions for the cost of solar and other renewables is MUCH lower than gasoline currently is.

pesto May 5, 2012 6:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5690688)
So first you said nobody is investing capitol in this project... and now you say this guy that might is foolish? :shrug:

No, I'm saying he is not investing. He is presumably entering into a contract with a government agency to do repair work for them. I would assume that he will get payments in advance to support his capital needs or negotiate sufficiently high profits to offset his perceived risk.

This is different from taking an equity position in the tracks, trains, stations, or operations generally. He has no investment upside, just the payments from the services he provides. Possibly this is time and materials plus.

But he could be a sort of an investor in this sense: if he does not obtain some level of up-front funding (or guarantees from the state) for his capital expenditures, he would become a creditor, which can be similar to an investor. This would be very foolish given the lack of upside, unless his expected profit margins were enormous (which they might be).

202_Cyclist May 6, 2012 4:02 PM

pesto:
Quote:

This is different from taking an equity position in the tracks, trains, stations, or operations generally. He has no investment upside, just the payments from the services he provides. Possibly this is time and materials plus.

But he could be a sort of an investor in this sense: if he does not obtain some level of up-front funding (or guarantees from the state) for his capital expenditures, he would become a creditor, which can be similar to an investor. This would be very foolish given the lack of upside, unless his expected profit margins were enormous (which they might be).
Availability payments, which is being proposed for the maintenance facility, is one of the innovative financing strategies proposed for infrastructure. As mentioned above, this financing method is being used to finance the Long Beach courthouse. This form of public-private partnership (PPP) has also been used to finance and build schools in Puerto Rico and used to finance the maintenance of London's subways.

With availability payments, the private company builds and operates the asset for a very long time (usually 20-30 years) and the government agency provides a stream of payments over that system.

This system has the advantage that the government agency doesn't have to pay for the entire upfront cost of infrastructure in one fiscal year and can instead spread the financing out over the life of the asset. Additionally, if the contract is well-written, periodic payments are made based on a certain level of performance being met. This encourages the concessionaire to build a better asset that will last for the life of the contract.

Availability payments can also be advantageous when there is no direct income stream necessary for more traditional public-private partnership (i.e. tolls or other user-fees). A courthouse, public schools, and a maintenance yard all can't be tolled easily, if at all.

There is a good paper, "Introduction to Public-Private Partnerships With Availability Payments," by Mike Parker if any of you are interested in reading about this financing method. Here is the link: http://www.transportation-finance.or...ments_0709.pdf

jg6544 May 6, 2012 8:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5690024)
taking HSR just shifts parking to downtown SF and Union Station, which are equally crowded and more expensive.

Ah yes, but you won't have to deal with the cesspool that is LAX or the flying toilets that are airplanes.

jg6544 May 6, 2012 8:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5691097)
But that's when HSR is scheduled to be completed so it makes no sense to compare it to today's technology.

Of course, I have some degree of confidence that HSR will be completed in under 30 years and the technology already exists. I have no confidence whatsoever that battery-powered cars will ever be good for more than going to the supermarket and back.

pesto May 6, 2012 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5691802)
pesto:


Availability payments, which is being proposed for the maintenance facility, is one of the innovative financing strategies proposed for infrastructure. As mentioned above, this financing method is being used to finance the Long Beach courthouse. This form of public-private partnership (PPP) has also been used to finance and build schools in Puerto Rico and used to finance the maintenance of London's subways.

With availability payments, the private company builds and operates the asset for a very long time (usually 20-30 years) and the government agency provides a stream of payments over that system.

This system has the advantage that the government agency doesn't have to pay for the entire upfront cost of infrastructure in one fiscal year and can instead spread the financing out over the life of the asset. Additionally, if the contract is well-written, periodic payments are made based on a certain level of performance being met. This encourages the concessionaire to build a better asset that will last for the life of the contract.

Availability payments can also be advantageous when there is no direct income stream necessary for more traditional public-private partnership (i.e. tolls or other user-fees). A courthouse, public schools, and a maintenance yard all can't be tolled easily, if at all.

There is a good paper, "Introduction to Public-Private Partnerships With Availability Payments," by Mike Parker if any of you are interested in reading about this financing method. Here is the link: http://www.transportation-finance.or...ments_0709.pdf

I'm sorry, I got as far as "innovative financing strategies" and images of failed sports stadiums, civic centers, new develoopments, convention centers, highway projects, airports, etc., flooded over me.

The short answer is that there are many ways to fund the service provider and keep him from having risk. But they always to reduce to being equivalent to absurdly high interest rates and profit margins. But this might be a better discussion after the terms are reviewed by the appropriate state audit committees.

In any event, I have no reason to believe that this service provider wants to take any entrepreneurial risk, which is the main point that the Chines and Japanese investors made with HSR as well (payment in advance or guaranteed by the federal government).

202_Cyclist May 6, 2012 11:09 PM

pesto:
Quote:

I'm sorry, I got as far as "innovative financing strategies" and images of failed sports stadiums, civic centers, new develoopments, convention centers, highway projects, airports, etc., flooded over me.

The short answer is that there are many ways to fund the service provider and keep him from having risk. But they always to reduce to being equivalent to absurdly high interest rates and profit margins. But this might be a better discussion after the terms are reviewed by the appropriate state audit committees.
Of course with these innovative financing arrangements, the private sector partner is going to want to recover its cost of capital and a certain amount of economic profit. They aren't investing in new roads, bridges, or other transportation assets out of the goodness of their hearts. These public-private partnerships would not be necessary, however, if the Ayn Rand-disciples in the Republican party in Congress didn't think the only investment worth making was endless Middle East wars and yet more tax cuts for hedge-fund managers and oil company executives. If we raised the federal gas tax (which hasn't been raised in two decades) or found some other source of revenue to pay for investments in modern, efficient, infrastructure, we wouldn't have to pay private sector firms the capital costs and profits expected in such deals. Instead, the Republican party in Congress is committed to the Somali-style strategy of economic growth: let our infrastructure crumble, don't provide any money for research or education, and hope that through trickle-down economics, we'll somehow enjoy prosperity.

M II A II R II K May 11, 2012 4:24 PM

VIDEO: Obama administration tells California it's time to vote on high-speed rail

Read More: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalert...#storylink=cpy

Quote:

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned the California Legislature today that the Obama administration will not wait until fall for a vote on high-speed rail, urging its approval in a budget vote next month. "We need to make sure that the commitment is there to obligate the money," LaHood told reporters at the Capitol, where he was meeting with lawmakers and with Gov. Jerry Brown. The state's commitment, LaHood said, will be demonstrated when lawmakers "put it in the budget and take a vote on it."

Brown and the California High-Speed Rail Authority want to start construction on a $68 billion rail project by early next year, proposing initially to use $2.6 billion in state rail bond funds and $3.3 billion in federal funds. Lawmakers considering allocating that money remain skeptical, however, and the Legislative Analyst's Office has recommended against it. LaHood said he was at the Capitol to reiterate the Obama administration's commitment to high-speed rail, while "checking signals" in the Legislature. He said the suggestion by some lawmakers that they may need more time to consider the proposal - perhaps pushing an up or down vote into the fall - is unacceptable.

.....

Jebby May 13, 2012 11:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5692088)
pesto:


Of course with these innovative financing arrangements, the private sector partner is going to want to recover its cost of capital and a certain amount of economic profit. They aren't investing in new roads, bridges, or other transportation assets out of the goodness of their hearts. These public-private partnerships would not be necessary, however, if the Ayn Rand-disciples in the Republican party in Congress didn't think the only investment worth making was endless Middle East wars and yet more tax cuts for hedge-fund managers and oil company executives. If we raised the federal gas tax (which hasn't been raised in two decades) or found some other source of revenue to pay for investments in modern, efficient, infrastructure, we wouldn't have to pay private sector firms the capital costs and profits expected in such deals. Instead, the Republican party in Congress is committed to the Somali-style strategy of economic growth: let our infrastructure crumble, don't provide any money for research or education, and hope that through trickle-down economics, we'll somehow enjoy prosperity.

The previous post you made about PPPs was great at explaining it, but with all due respect, this post was nothing but frivolous partisan vitriol. Republicans in congress are just as eager to spend on every domestic program, including welfare and entitlements, as the Democrats. No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, refusal to reform SS and Medicare, and massive corporate welfare with no actual spending cuts to pay for them are establishment GOP positions just like overseas intervention, corporate bailouts and welfare, restrictions on civil liberties and no real solutions to any problem are part of the establishment Democrat play book.

If you think there's any substantial difference between either party on monetary, fiscal and foreign policy, civil liberties, and willingness to make tough decisions you're either blinded by your partisanship or just blind to policies in general. Both parties use distractions such as social issues and scare tactics ("grandma won't get her SS check", "republicans hate women", "democrats want to abort every baby", etc) to try and create an illusion that there is any substantial difference between them.

fflint May 14, 2012 12:24 AM

Folks, partisan politics and broad statements about political ideology belong in the Current Events subforum, not in Transportation threads like this one.

Quote:

Originally Posted by galeforcewinds (Post 5699902)
The previous post you made about PPPs was great at explaining it, but with all due respect, this post was nothing but frivolous partisan vitriol. Republicans in congress are just as eager to spend on every domestic program, including welfare and entitlements, as the Democrats. No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, refusal to reform SS and Medicare, and massive corporate welfare with no actual spending cuts to pay for them are establishment GOP positions just like overseas intervention, corporate bailouts and welfare, restrictions on civil liberties and no real solutions to any problem are part of the establishment Democrat play book.

If you think there's any substantial difference between either party on monetary, fiscal and foreign policy, civil liberties, and willingness to make tough decisions you're either blinded by your partisanship or just blind to policies in general. Both parties use distractions such as social issues and scare tactics ("grandma won't get her SS check", "republicans hate women", "democrats want to abort every baby", etc) to try and create an illusion that there is any substantial difference between them.


pesto May 14, 2012 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 5699932)
Folks, partisan politics and broad statements about political ideology belong in the Current Events subforum, not in Transportation threads like this one.

fflint: we finally agree on something! But let's see how long this lasts.

202_Cyclist May 30, 2012 2:51 PM

Bullet train agency names new chief executive (LA Times)
 
Bullet train agency names new chief executive
"Jeff Morales, an executive with the contractor working on the project, will fill the position that has been vacant since January. Some cite possible conflict."


By Ralph Vartabedian
Los Angeles Times
May 30, 2012

"The California High-Speed Rail Authority on Tuesday named Jeff Morales, an executive for a contractor working on the bullet train project, as its chief executive, filling a position that has been vacant since early January.

Morales, a former Caltrans director, had been working on the project as an executive of Parsons Brinckerhoff, the project manager for the rail authority.

The authority has come under increasingly tough criticism by the Legislature for its thin management, operating without a chief executive, a chief operating officer, a chief financial officer or a risk manager as it seeks to start a $6-billion segment of the rail system later this year..."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,6750237.story

pesto May 30, 2012 7:30 PM

Will someone please put this ghastly zombie out of its misery? Or is that the point by bringing on a for-hire "yes-man" and bureaucrat as the CEO?

Seriously, is this the best CEO for ANYTHING?

Nexis4Jersey May 30, 2012 7:34 PM

delete

Nexis4Jersey May 30, 2012 7:35 PM

delete

Nexis4Jersey May 30, 2012 7:36 PM

I think its time will just kill this project and give all the funds to NE which will show the country how to build a HSR network.

electricron May 30, 2012 7:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 5717815)
I think its time will just kill this project and give all the funds to NE which will show the country how to build a HSR network.

The NE already has a HSR network, of which I'm not very impressed with. It's Amtrak's NEC.

Nexis4Jersey May 30, 2012 7:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5717823)
The NE already has a HSR network, of which I'm not very impressed with. It's Amtrak's NEC.

I mean't our Next Gen Network ,which will take 40 years to build in segments...and cost upwards of 125 Billion $. And Amtrak's NEC is not a Network its one line and its not really HSR...

aquablue Jun 5, 2012 1:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 5717834)
I mean't our Next Gen Network ,which will take 40 years to build in segments...and cost upwards of 125 Billion $. And Amtrak's NEC is not a Network its one line and its not really HSR...

Sorry to be rude, but 40 years is just a pathetic time line and an indictment of the status of infrastructure development in this country. This just emphasizes the fact that we are extremely disorganized and unenthusiastic when it comes to planning large rail projects. This is ridiculous, 40 years to ride HSR when Japan and France have both had it since the 70's or so. They might as well not bother if they can't muster enough funds to bring this project to fruition in a civilized time frame, like any other developed nation, since this just reeks of mismanagement or poor planning. Again, 40 years for 1 HSR line, just absolutely ludicrous, no matter what the difficulties or challenges that lie along the projected route. This is a figure worthy of the most epic 'face palm' in the history of mankind and one that would evoke jeers from countries where HSR has been in place for decades. The US needs to decide if it wants to build HSR or NOT, and if so, do the damn thing properly once and for all!! Stop stringing the project on for years, just make a commitment to build it PROPERLY or cancel it outright and devote all funding to higher priority projects.

Nexis4Jersey Jun 5, 2012 3:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 5723448)
Sorry to be rude, but 40 years is just a pathetic time line and an indictment of the status of infrastructure development in this country. This just emphasizes the fact that we are extremely disorganized and unenthusiastic when it comes to planning large rail projects. This is ridiculous, 40 years to ride HSR when Japan and France have both had it since the 70's or so. They might as well not bother if they can't muster enough funds to bring this project to fruition in a civilized time frame, like any other developed nation, since this just reeks of mismanagement or poor planning. Again, 40 years for 1 HSR line, just absolutely ludicrous, no matter what the difficulties or challenges that lie along the projected route. This is a figure worthy of the most epic 'face palm' in the history of mankind and one that would evoke jeers from countries where HSR has been in place for decades. The US needs to decide if it wants to build HSR or NOT, and if so, do the damn thing properly once and for all!! Stop stringing the project on for years, just make a commitment to build it PROPERLY or cancel it outright and devote all funding to higher priority projects.

Its not just one line , there are 6 feeders....

electricron Jun 6, 2012 12:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 5717834)
I mean't our Next Gen Network ,which will take 40 years to build in segments...and cost upwards of 125 Billion $. And Amtrak's NEC is not a Network its one line and its not really HSR...

The line to Harrisonburg nor the line to Springfield don't count as a feeders? The line to Harrisonburg is electrified with the same voltage and frequency as the NEC as well, although I'll admit I don't know if the line to Springfield is electrified or not. There's other Metro North, NJT, SEPTA, MARC, and VRE branches extending off the main NEC.

Nexis4Jersey Jun 6, 2012 2:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5724192)
The line to Harrisonburg nor the line to Springfield don't count as a feeders? The line to Harrisonburg is electrified with the same voltage and frequency as the NEC as well, although I'll admit I don't know if the line to Springfield is electrified or not. There's other Metro North, NJT, SEPTA, MARC, and VRE branches extending off the main NEC.

When lines are rebuilt , they clear space for future Electrification if they beleave the line will need it. Which might be the case for the Knowledge corridor by 2030...and Lackawanna corridor...

110-125mph Feeder routes
Keystone line - PA
Empire / Hudson line - NY
Knowledge Corridor - CT / MA / VT
Downeaster / Coastal New England Corridor - MA / NH / ME
Lackawanna line - NJ / PA / NY
Lehigh line - NJ / PA
Downstate line - DE
Virginia Regional Network? - VA


140-180mph
Shoreline NEC
Long Island NEC route
Newark NEC Bypass
Center City Philly NEC Alignment
Wilmington NEC Alignment
Downtown Baltimore NEC Alignment
NYP - GCT - Northern suburbs New NEC


180-220mph
New England NEC (HSR only)

fflint Jun 6, 2012 2:46 AM

Folks, this thread is specifically about California High Speed Rail. Please don't hijack the thread.

Zapatan Jun 6, 2012 4:57 AM

I thought the whole Cali high speed rail project had already been cancelled...?

Zapatan Jun 7, 2012 6:36 AM

I'll take that as a yes...

202_Cyclist Jun 7, 2012 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zapatan (Post 5725838)
I'll take that as a yes...

No, it has not been cancelled. Some teabaggers state senator tried to qualify a ballot initiative for this November to try to repeal high speed rail but couldn't get the signatures. Governor Jerry Brown, US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and tens of millions of Californians still support this.

northbay Jun 7, 2012 4:53 PM

This project is just encountering the usual NIMBYs and naysayers...
except as the single biggest infrastructure project in California it is encountering an exponentially high amount of them

Yankee Jun 7, 2012 5:04 PM

Okay, so when is construction starting? It is imperative that we get to a point of no return as quickly as possible, so at least the initial SF to LA stretch gets built. Once that happens people will realize how awesome it is and we'll have the other branches built.

M II A II R II K Jul 2, 2012 6:12 PM

Some senators want dramatic shift in bullet train plan


June 27, 2012

By Lance Williams

Read More: http://californiawatch.org/dailyrepo...ain-plan-16794

Quote:

Three months ago, Gov. Jerry Brown hit the reset button on the California bullet train, slashing $30 billion from its $98 billion budget and promising to reorder the controversial project’s priorities. Now, some Democrats in the state Senate want to hit the reset button again. They have proposed dramatically shifting the high-speed rail project’s focus by cutting back on planned construction in the Central Valley and instead spending billions on immediate rail improvements in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

It is not clear whether what lawmakers call “Plan B” – a proposal devised by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, chairman of the Transportation and Housing Committee – has a real chance of being substituted for the governor’s proposal. The issue will be settled soon, as the Legislature is expected to vote this week or next on whether to issue $6 billion in bullet train construction bonds. The Senate Democrats’ skepticism about the present high-speed rail plan was first reported by the Los Angeles Times. Boosters say Plan B would spend money now to achieve high-impact upgrades of rail service in the state’s busiest transportation corridors while building infrastructure that would accommodate bullet train service later on.

According to rail advocates who have been briefed on the idea, Plan B’s top priorities include:

• A $2 billion tunnel through downtown San Francisco to bring commuter rail service – and, eventually the bullet train – into the city’s new Transbay Transit Center from the Caltrain station more than a mile away.

• $1.5 billion in Los Angeles-area rail improvements, including a redesign of Los Angeles Union Station's rail access and construction of rail overpasses. Together, the projects would speed rail service for hundreds of Amtrak and Metrolink trains each day and end chronic traffic bottlenecks.

• A $1.5 billion Central Valley bullet train line between Fresno and Madera – but with no immediate connections to Merced or Bakersfield.

.....

pesto Jul 5, 2012 7:19 PM

What's really going on here is that everyone (except a few people on this site) are agreed that the current HSR proposals are ridiculous. So now the vultures are gathering to help kill it of and grab as much of whatever money there actually is for their own areas.

The SF tunnel is more or less zero useful to the public; but it wouldn't surprise me if this is what the proponents of HSR had in mind all along, since they have always seemed to have a connection to SF real estate development. The LA expenditures are a very mixed bag; some look legit and some pure pork. The CV piece is utterly without use or benefit (except to create union jobs) and is obviously done to win votes for the other pieces.

Never thought I would say it, but by comparison Jerry Brown's proposals are almost rational.

Sorry if I've offended anyone but what else can you say?

mfastx Jul 5, 2012 8:15 PM

There is something else to say...
 
I'd say that too many people in this country are uninformed of the benefits of HSR for any serious proposal to get enough support to move forward.


All times are GMT. The time now is 7:56 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.