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)

DJM19 Jan 17, 2018 2:48 AM

demands by stakeholders for mitigation of myriad issues
If they could solve this, the whole project would probably be 20 billion cheaper.

BrownTown Jan 17, 2018 7:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eightball (Post 8049289)
They need to figure out a better way to control costs but this expenditure is not that big in the context of the world's sixth largest economy stop saying that

$200,000,000,000 is a lot by any calculation. That's the number we're trending at right now. You think the cost overruns are bad in sparsely populated and mostly flat Central Valley? Just wait until it starts going through big cities and mountains. CAHSR will never be completed. I'm sure some segments will open up as commuter rail or what not, but the idea that there will be high speed rail from LA to SF is a pipe dream even the most ardent supporters must secretly know will never happen.

phoenixboi08 Jan 17, 2018 11:45 AM

I’d generally hold off on even commenting before I’ve read the analysis, myself, but something about the Times’ analysis here seems off - some context is missing (for example, part of the original budget being increased to cover contingencies or increase the scope of work to be completed isn’t really an overrun, and continuing to measure % increases from the old baseline rather than the current baseline seems a bit inconsistent). That is to say, I don’t think this new information even supports what Vartabedian breathlessly continues to say - moving goalposts in the process.

Anyways, it’s been clear the decision to award the first 1-2 construction packages before they had acquired all the necessary parcels to begin construction - and anticipating they could meet an aggressive schedule in doing so - was the main issue. The authority was always rather transparent on that front and managed to dramatically improve the schedul; although, the fact that they are still behind lay with the original mistake, not the corrective measures.

The cost estimates (tentatively projecting overruns, and warning adequate mitigation be taken) have been trending down - again, clearer analysis from the article would be helpful in figuring out by how much - as have actual estimates/bids for CPs.

But if Chicken Little is what you’re after, Ralph is certainly your guy.

Ragnar Jan 17, 2018 2:31 PM

^^^The cost estimates have been trending down???

Not from anything I’ve seen.

As mentioned by BrownTown, this will end up being a fancy commuter rail from the Central Valley to the Bay Area.

I’m a “train guy” but this project is such a colossal, expensive boondoggle.

And for those thinking this is not that “expensive” think of what $200 billion could do for local infrastructure projects.

pizzaguy Jan 17, 2018 5:34 PM

Everything is a boondoggle until it's finished. Let the chicken littles have their fun.

CastleScott Jan 17, 2018 8:58 PM

I've been following this from the get-go and from following high-speed rail in Europe and Japan there's lots of projects where they used public-private partnerships to get er done and it worked! Don't know why California can't seem to do a similar scenario-another thing higher-speed rail would work well too-I'm sure a Brightline type of service would be a bit hit in Cali (lets do a Brightline type service from the Bay to Sacramento for a demo and I bet it would be a big hit! Btw the Siemens trains are built here in Sacramento too.). Just my 2 cents here..

Busy Bee Jan 17, 2018 11:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pizzaguy (Post 8049933)
Everything is a boondoggle until it's finished. Let the chicken littles have their fun.

This.

Especially these days. Conservatives don't believe in public spending for anything unless its underneath their car tires or shoots a missile.

CastleScott Jan 18, 2018 12:08 AM

^ This is true because they've long been bought and paid for by the big Oil, trucking, airlines and defense lobbies..

Ragnar Jan 18, 2018 12:20 AM

You do realize you don't have to be a "Conservative" to think that this is a horribly managed project and huge waste of money, right?

Busy Bee Jan 18, 2018 12:39 AM

Would you prefer myopic?

electricron Jan 18, 2018 3:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8050575)
Would you prefer myopic?

One side isn't as myopic as the other side is being oblivious.

It's been over 10 years and they still haven't chosen the exact route through the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles. It's impossible to accurately estimate that section's building costs until the footage of tunneling is known.
They can't commence the HSR service between Los Angeles and San Francisco until that section is finished.

The term boondoggle was first in vogue during the construction of the Panama Canal. Another excellent example of construction starting before the final design was finished, and how deep the canal would need to be. But at least the route across the mountains had been fixed before the route across the river was.

In California, they still haven't decided where to route across the mountains yet!

Selecting a final route first is an important step that shouldn't be skipped if you don't want your project called a boondoggle. All Aboard Florida may be building it's Brightline train service piecemeal, section by section, but it had settled on and gained access to the entire route first. Texas Central may not have started construction yet but it is finalizing its routing before construction starts. DesertXpress may not have turned one blade of dirt, but it has finalized it's routing, and has gained access to its entire route first.

CHSR has started building before finalizing and gaining access to the entire route. Apparently it is too much to ask for a final routing and final cost estimation after far more than 10 years of study. There will always be penny pinchers, but that doesn't make them myopic.

Busy Bee Jan 18, 2018 4:10 PM

There is absolutely no reason a project of this scale could not start construction in an area where engineering was finalized while specific decisions about segments years away from construction where still being decided. There is nothing unusual about that. It would be more unusual if final design was 100% before a shovel hit the ground. This isn't an office building, its a multi phase ground transportation system.

Parkway Jan 18, 2018 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8051335)
There is absolutely no reason a project of this scale could not start construction in an area where engineering was finalized while specific decisions about segments years away from construction where still being decided. There is nothing unusual about that. It would be more unusual if final design was 100% before a shovel hit the ground. This isn't an office building, its a multi phase ground transportation system.

Particularly in a county that loves killing projects half way through. Look at how many false starts the ARC/Gateway tunnel project has had. Spend the money before someone takes it away.

northbay Jan 19, 2018 2:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Parkway (Post 8051616)
Particularly in a county that loves killing projects half way through. Look at how many false starts the ARC/Gateway tunnel project has had. Spend the money before someone takes it away.

Exactly. Many of the Federal grants had stipulations that the money be spent by a certain date. CAHSR HAD to start construction as soon as possible or they would lose the money.

BrownTown Jan 19, 2018 3:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by northbay (Post 8052532)
Exactly. Many of the Federal grants had stipulations that the money be spent by a certain date. CAHSR HAD to start construction as soon as possible or they would lose the money.

Like my old teacher used to say, "there's a difference between an explanation and an excuse". Yes, we all know why they had to go off half-cocked, but it's still stupid. Pointing out the political rational doesn't change the fact that it's a bad idea. If anything I'd say most people should be able to agree that letting politics dictate your plans instead of engineering is a terrible idea.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ragnar (Post 8050558)
You do realize you don't have to be a "Conservative" to think that this is a horribly managed project and huge waste of money, right?

Exactly! I don't want to see this money spent on bombing some Muslims, I want to see it spent on infrastructure projects that actually MAKE SENSE. Think how many new subway lines could be built in LA and SF for the cost of this boondoggle! Those two cities could be completely transformed. Something CAHSR will never do even IF it were to be built.

eltodesukane Jan 20, 2018 7:28 PM

"Q. The High-Speed Rail Authority was established 23 years ago. During that time China has built 16,000 miles of high-speed rail. We are still working on the first 119 miles. What are we doing wrong?"

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/u...peed-rail.html

Busy Bee Jan 20, 2018 7:41 PM

A. Electing Republicans

BrownTown Jan 20, 2018 10:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8054336)
A. Electing Republicans

Yeah, California sure is a state totally dominated by Republicans..

The fact of the matter is that the real issue is all the onerous regulations pushed for by Democrats which drives prices through the roof. Obviously it's oversimplifying the issue, but generally speaking you can't build anything in Red states because they won't spend money and you can't build anything in Blue states because they bend over backwards for environmentalists, NIMBYs and unions which means 10+ years of worthless studies and lawsuits before anything can be built along with massive price increases due to generous handouts to appease unions and absurdly expensive design modifications to appease NIMBYs and environmentalists. CAHSR is an example of the latter.

Busy Bee Jan 20, 2018 11:14 PM

Quote:

Obviously it's oversimplifying the issue
Indeed it is.


Quote:

Yeah, California sure is a state totally dominated by Republicans..
I was referring to Republicans on the national level. As in the GOP doesn't believe the federal government should even fund high speed rail if it was completely up to them. The less GOP in power the better if your goal is a modern sane nation.

CastleScott Jan 20, 2018 11:25 PM

Quote:

The fact of the matter is that the real issue is all the onerous regulations pushed for by Democrats which drives prices through the roof. Obviously it's oversimplifying the issue, but generally speaking you can't build anything in Red states because they won't spend money and you can't build anything in Blue states because they bend over backwards for environmentalists, NIMBYs and unions which means 10+ years of worthless studies and lawsuits before anything can be built along with massive price increases due to generous handouts to appease unions and absurdly expensive design modifications to appease NIMBYs and environmentalists. CAHSR is an example of the latter.
BrownTown:
This is a big reason I mentioned about the idea of doing higher-speed and do this stuff doing public-private partnerships like they do in Europe (its actually called a design-build-turnkey process were governments work with private companies like railcar builders, large construction companies, transportation consultants, large banks, etc to get er done, I've seen lots of articles on this in trade publications as I was once a consultant). There's nothing wrong with doing higher-speed to say Sacramento from the Bay or Fresno and they sorta are in the process of doing this between LA and San Diego now as they are able in spots to run Amtrak, Coaster and some Metrolink trains at 90 mph. Another example is the higher-speed Amtrak/Union Pacific line from Chicago to St Louis-in many places they will run between 90 up to 110 plus this was also part of a public-private partnership that involved the State of Illinois, local communities, the Feds, Union Pacific and some construction contractors. Yes I also agree a lot more can be done for transit in LA and SF-frankly I believe they can and should build more third or heavy rail in both places as it hauls heavier loads of people (an example of third rail is BART, LA's Red and Purple Lines, Washington DC's WMATA Metrorail Chicago's El, Miami's Metro rail and NYC's subways)..

Just my 2 cents on this.:)

BrownTown Jan 21, 2018 1:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8054466)
I was referring to Republicans on the national level. As in the GOP doesn't believe the federal government should even fund high speed rail if it was completely up to them. The less GOP in power the better if your goal is a modern sane nation.

The Feds have already put $8,000,000,000 into this boondoggle, how much more do you expect? This service is located 100% inside California so I'm not sure why it's up the the Federal Government to pay for the majority of it? So far as I know the Federal Government isn't paying a huge chunk of any of the new roads Texas is building for instance..

numble Jan 24, 2018 3:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8054541)
The Feds have already put $8,000,000,000 into this boondoggle, how much more do you expect? This service is located 100% inside California so I'm not sure why it's up the the Federal Government to pay for the majority of it? So far as I know the Federal Government isn't paying a huge chunk of any of the new roads Texas is building for instance..

In 2016, Texas received over $8,367,000,000 in federal funding for its roads..
http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/Documents...rimer_2016.pdf

pizzaguy Jan 24, 2018 3:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by numble (Post 8058361)
in 2016, texas received over $8,367,000,000 in federal funding for its roads..
http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/documents...rimer_2016.pdf

those roads are all boondoggles!

The golden gate bridge is a boondoggle!

The trans-continental railroad is a boondoggle!

CastleScott Jan 24, 2018 3:42 AM

^ Throw in the Panama Canal, the entire Interstate highway system (which was really intended to move military convoys at high speed much like the German Autoban) and of course whole transport system.

pizzaguy Jan 24, 2018 3:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CastleScott (Post 8058372)
^ Throw in the Panama Canal, the entire Interstate highway system (which was really intended to move military convoys at high speed much like the German Autoban) and of course whole transport system.

Don't forget the Roman Aqueducts! That money should've been used on tax cuts!

Sun Belt Jan 24, 2018 5:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CastleScott (Post 8058372)
^ Throw in the Panama Canal, the entire Interstate highway system (which was really intended to move military convoys at high speed much like the German Autoban) and of course whole transport system.


The interstate highway system of 47,856 miles cost $499 billion in 2016 dollars.

Almost 48,000 miles in all 50 states and in complex urban areas cost less than 500 billion dollars.

Latest estimate to connect SF to LA is $70 billion and is rising. It'll probably cost $100 billion to connect two cities within one state.

electricron Jan 24, 2018 8:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8058449)
The interstate highway system of 47,856 miles cost $499 billion in 2016 dollars.

Almost 48,000 miles in all 50 states and in complex urban areas cost less than 500 billion dollars.

Latest estimate to connect SF to LA is $70 billion and is rising. It'll probably cost $100 billion to connect two cities within one state.

To add the math:
500,000,000,000 / 48,000 = $10.4 million /mile (Interstate Highway)
70,000,000,000 / 800 (per Wiki) = $87.5 million /mile (California HSR)

USDOT has been funding that $500 Billion over 60 years, averaging $8+ Billion/year for the entire country.
CHSR projects to spend around $70 Billion over more than 10 years. If they built in within 10 years, they would average $7 Billion/year; if within 20 years, they would average $3.5 Billion/year; if within 40 years, they would average $1.75 Billion/year. That's using 2016 dollars, not 2046 dollars - and not including interests paid to people buying the government bonds some government would have to sell to raise this amount of cash over and beyond traditional government spending programs.
History of the federal tax on gasoline and other petroleum products:
https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/gastax.cfm

CastleScott Jan 24, 2018 8:02 PM

I'll say this:
When you get an over zealous govt authority involved in a mega project like this things like this happen-like I said time and time again they should have did they're homework early on and gone with a public-private partnership like what's a common thing that's done in Europe, Japan and other countries (this involves the govt and private interests like construction companies, large banks, consultant firms and rail car manufactures like Siemens, Bombardier which do whats called a design/build/turnkey process, btw even the railroads could be a part of this). This helps lessen impacts on taxpayers and is MUCH more efficient than just a govt only operation (which can easily FUBAR stuff (if some of you were in the military FUBAR is F*cked Up Beyond All Recognition). Public-private partnerships are a bit new in America sadly though. At least do a whole full route assessment before starting construction..

Btw something similar to Florida's Brightline could work very well on some routes in California-of course this is a private entity.

Just a quick 2 cents on this..

Busy Bee Jan 24, 2018 9:52 PM

This was posted by someone named aquaticko over on SSC. I thought I would post it here because I couldn't have said it any better:

Quote:

To put these numbers in perspective, the entirety of the first phase of the project could double in cost--go from $64B to $128B--and still cost less than 5% of one year of California's GDP (~2.7 trillion in 2017). Considering that construction is projected to take about 13 years, and 13x2717=35,321, and 128/35,321=.0036, and therefore the annual cost of the project over the duration of construction will cost less than one-half of 1% of California's GDP, the state can easily afford this.

And this is only really a "cost" if one assumes that the alternative is to not spend anything on California's transportation infrastructure over the next 13 years--which is not actually an option.

I'm politically biased, but not geographically biased (I'm from faraway NH), and I can't help but think, over and over again, that opposition to this project is based far more on ideology than practicality.

jtown,man Jan 25, 2018 1:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by numble (Post 8058361)
In 2016, Texas received over $8,367,000,000 in federal funding for its roads..
http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/Documents...rimer_2016.pdf

How are you going to compare a huge road network to one HSR line?

Busy Bee Jan 25, 2018 2:14 AM

^Economic benefit?

jtown,man Jan 25, 2018 3:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8059719)
^Economic benefit?

Sure. But when dealing with taxpayers money you have to consider a lot of things. With this project my questions would be:

1. Could we spend this money elsewhere in a more wise way?
2. Who will be the primary users of this system?

My answer to question one would be that we could pump this money into the major metros in California to get a lot more bang for our buck. (LA/Bay/Sac/SD). Each city would receive billions, with obviously more going to the larger two.
To the second question, I believe the main users will be rich people. Poor people drive or take a bus. Local metro improvements and expansions help the poor and middle class in a real way.

Crawford Jan 25, 2018 4:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8059396)
This was posted by someone named aquaticko over on SSC. I thought I would post it here because I couldn't have said it any better:

That post doesn't make much sense, though. GDP is irrelevent. This isn't being paid through GDP, but through public monies, which are a tiny fraction of GDP.

I know this a pro-transit forum, but let's get real. This project, so far, is a huge boondoggle. The costs are insane, there's a good chance it will never be finished, passenger and revenue projections sound absurd, and it looks like Southern CA is gonna be bypassed whatever happens. The state could end up with a $60 billion elevated rail line in the middle of nowhere, connecting nothing.

That doesn't mean the project isn't salvageable, but I don't think anyone can look at the project at this juncture and not conclude it hasn't been an enormous mess. And this is not an anti-transit position. Just think what $100 billion could do for LA and SF transit. Instead it's going to tunnels and bridges in interior wastelands.

Crawford Jan 25, 2018 4:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8059768)
To the second question, I believe the main users will be rich people. Poor people drive or take a bus. Local metro improvements and expansions help the poor and middle class in a real way.

How many people, rich or otherwise, would even use this service?

Let's assume it's built exactly as the biggest optimists have dreamed, with superfast service between downtown LA and downtown SF. Won't happen, but let's pretend.

How many rich people need to get from downtown LA to downtown SF? Both the Bay Area and especially LA are massively decentralized metros. LA's wealthy are overwhelmingly on the Westside, nowhere near downtown. The majority of office space, fancy hotels, upscale retail, attractions, are all on the Westside. Even in the Bay Area, while SF is the most important node, the region's wealth and business centers are hugely decentralized.

Why would a rich person in, say, Santa Monica, head downtown to take a fast train to SF, when airports are closer and the freeway drive is a straight shot? This train would still take 3 hours. We aren't talking hyperloop here. Plane would still be faster, door to door. Car would be far more convenient. We'll have self-driving cars long before the first phase opens. And it only works if your destination is downtown SF.

Eightball Jan 25, 2018 5:56 AM

Who would possibly take a HSR train between a 19 million person metro and a 8 million person metro that are approx 380 miles apart? Is that a serious question? Come on

electricron Jan 25, 2018 8:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8059868)
That post doesn't make much sense, though. GDP is irrelevent. This isn't being paid through GDP, but through public monies, which are a tiny fraction of GDP.

I know this a pro-transit forum, but let's get real. This project, so far, is a huge boondoggle. The costs are insane, there's a good chance it will never be finished, passenger and revenue projections sound absurd, and it looks like Southern CA is gonna be bypassed whatever happens. The state could end up with a $60 billion elevated rail line in the middle of nowhere, connecting nothing.

That doesn't mean the project isn't salvageable, but I don't think anyone can look at the project at this juncture and not conclude it hasn't been an enormous mess. And this is not an anti-transit position. Just think what $100 billion could do for LA and SF transit. Instead it's going to tunnels and bridges in interior wastelands.

California's FY2015 GDP was $2.46 trillion.
California's total tax revenues was $124 billion.
California's tax revenues was just 5% of its GDP.

Sources of data:
http://www.businessinsider.com/calif...veryone-2016-6
https://www.statista.com/statistics/...nd-expenditure
And per the latest pie charts posted at:
https://www.usgovernmentspending.com...ding_pie_chart
Health Care 43%
Pensions 17%
Education 15%
Welfare 7%
Protection 6%
Transportation 3%
General Government 3%
Other Spending 3%
Interest 3%
So the total amount of transportation funds available from California's budget every year is $3.72 billion.
Take the projected 70 billion costs for CHSR, and divide it by the entire CDOT yearly budget, it will take 18.8 years to fund it and only it. All other transit and highway projects will just have to wait. Since asphalt turns to gravel in 15 to 20 years, most of the highways in California will turn into gravel roads.

Good luck!:tup:

numble Jan 25, 2018 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8059708)
How are you going to compare a huge road network to one HSR line?

I didn't make any comparison, I was directly responding to this assertion:
Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown
So far as I know the Federal Government isn't paying a huge chunk of any of the new roads Texas is building for instance..

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 8060024)
California's FY2015 GDP was $2.46 trillion.
California's total tax revenues was $124 billion.
California's tax revenues was just 5% of its GDP.

Sources of data:
http://www.businessinsider.com/calif...veryone-2016-6
https://www.statista.com/statistics/...nd-expenditure
And per the latest pie charts posted at:
https://www.usgovernmentspending.com...ding_pie_chart
Health Care 43%
Pensions 17%
Education 15%
Welfare 7%
Protection 6%
Transportation 3%
General Government 3%
Other Spending 3%
Interest 3%
So the total amount of transportation funds available from California's budget every year is $3.72 billion.
Take the projected 70 billion costs for CHSR, and divide it by the entire CDOT yearly budget, it will take 18.8 years to fund it and only it. All other transit and highway projects will just have to wait. Since asphalt turns to gravel in 15 to 20 years, most of the highways in California will turn into gravel roads.

Good luck!:tup:

SB1 raises $5.2 billion per year in new revenues for transportation:
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-p...406-story.html

Its also disingenuous to say that CDOT budget is all that will fund transit and highway projects. Local funding, like Los Angeles sales taxes, raises more funding. Los Angeles sales taxes have something like over $3 billion per year dedicated to transportation.

Your usgovernmentspending.com source says that California spends $35.4 billion per year in transportation between state and local spending, by the way.

Crawford Jan 25, 2018 2:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eightball (Post 8059940)
Who would possibly take a HSR train between a 19 million person metro and a 8 million person metro that are approx 380 miles apart? Is that a serious question? Come on

Population is irrelevent. LA could have 200 million people and it wouldn't make a difference, if the service doesn't make sense.

LA and San Diego already have heavy train service, and there are barely any riders. Southern CA has like 24 million people. European or Japanese cities of 200k will have higher ridership than LA-SD.

LA has 19 million in its CSA, and the current commuter rail service (which is pretty extensive) has like 35k daily riders. That's absurdly low. I mean, if they cancelled all service tomorrow, it would barely register.

It's likely tied to the fact that the region is so decentralized, so rail between fixed points is an inconvenient proposition for the vast majority of people. I mean, traffic is already horrible, so you would think people would be open to transit.

Eightball Jan 25, 2018 5:42 PM

LA to SD is the second busiest Amtrak corridor in the country with about 3 million riders per year. Hardly no one.

Also tons of people fly from SF to LA ... the airports are located in worse locations than the train stations. Why wouldn't people take HSR? You are wrong.

Also @jtown not sure you are familiar but LA is currently in the midst of the biggest transit expansion happening in the country. Plus California is large and wealthy and can afford to fund long distance rail and local transit. We do need to get a handle on our pensions tho, those are a mess.

Sun Belt Jan 25, 2018 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eightball (Post 8060608)
LA to SD is the second busiest Amtrak corridor in the country with about 3 million riders per year. Hardly no one.

Also tons of people fly from SF to LA ... the airports are located in worse locations than the train stations. Why wouldn't people take HSR? You are wrong.

When I fly in to SF-OAK I take BART into the city. It's pretty easy. Now LAX and a rail connection is currently a nightmare and spending $100 billion to not have a HSR connection with LAX is a major lapse in the alignment. Could you imagine one stop at LAX and the next stop in Downtown 10-15 minutes later?

Eightball Jan 25, 2018 6:21 PM

Yeah a LAX stop seems like it would be highly utilized. Not sure if that is in the cards, tho. They do have a rail extension to LAX u/c at the moment but that will require a transfer to get to Union Station I believe

Pedestrian Jan 25, 2018 8:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eightball (Post 8060608)
Also tons of people fly from SF to LA ... the airports are located in worse locations than the train stations. Why wouldn't people take HSR? You are wrong.

In the late 1990s, during the "dot-com" boom in the Bay Area, when they wanted to expand SFO by filling a bit of the Bay for a new runway, it was said that 50% of SFO flights were to or from Southern California (I assume that was all airports, LA, San Diego, Inland Empire etc).

It seemed to me a massive argument for HSR because SFO is never going to have a new runway: Filling the Bay will always be a non-starter. If anything like 50% of the SFO passenger traffic--call it 25%--could be shifted to rail, there would be no need for expansion (meanwhile, for a time at least, recession accomplished the same goal).

Due to the fact that runways close to the urban centers of both SF and LA are at close to capacity and can't practically be expanded, I am confident HSR (or Hyperloop or some alternative to flying in fixed wing airplanes) will happen and if we do it later rather than sooner it will cost more. Crawford simply doesn't understand California--there are mountains unlike anything in the East that have to be tunnelled through (3 ranges between SF and LA)--which runs up the cost but it will ultimately have to be paid.

M II A II R II K Jan 25, 2018 8:53 PM

Makes you wonder if it'll be cheaper to build a tube that runs in the sea in some sections.

jtown,man Jan 26, 2018 3:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eightball (Post 8060608)
LA to SD is the second busiest Amtrak corridor in the country with about 3 million riders per year. Hardly no one.

Also tons of people fly from SF to LA ... the airports are located in worse locations than the train stations. Why wouldn't people take HSR? You are wrong.

Also @jtown not sure you are familiar but LA is currently in the midst of the biggest transit expansion happening in the country. Plus California is large and wealthy and can afford to fund long distance rail and local transit. We do need to get a handle on our pensions tho, those are a mess.

Absolutely, but is LA spending around....20 billion over 10 years? Imagine what that could do.

jd3189 Jan 26, 2018 4:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 8060986)

Due to the fact that runways close to the urban centers of both SF and LA are at close to capacity and can't practically be expanded, I am confident HSR (or Hyperloop or some alternative to flying in fixed wing airplanes) will happen and if we do it later rather than sooner it will cost more. Crawford simply doesn't understand California--there are mountains unlike anything in the East that have to be tunnelled through (3 ranges between SF and LA)--which runs up the cost but it will ultimately have to be paid.


The rail connection will have to happen. No matter how car-centric most of California (and other parts of the nation) may be, people are eventually going to have to consider their options. Driving is fun and gives you independence, but the traffic and long distances can be a pain. Airplanes require more money on average. Plus, it can be a pain to go through security and maneuver in some of the larger airports. And like you said, many airports in dense built-up metro areas can't expand anymore.


HSR is the best way in the long run. Self-driving cars are alright, but like the existing sharing programs like Uber and Lyft, they will only do so much while sometimes adding to the traffic. As American cities get bigger, more urban, and more interconnected, we more options to get people around. Ridership may not be high at first, but as things get more congested, everything will follow.

Eightball Jan 26, 2018 4:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8061559)
Absolutely, but is LA spending around....20 billion over 10 years? Imagine what that could do.

120 billion over 40 years

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/livab...317-story.html

Pedestrian Jan 26, 2018 7:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 8061011)
Makes you wonder if it'll be cheaper to build a tube that runs in the sea in some sections.

But a tube in the sea couldn't provide service to inland cities up and down the Central Valley. As a matter of political necessity, CA HSR has to be about more than connecting SF, LA and SD. Certainly Sacto and SJ have to be in the mix and so do CV towns like Fresno and Bakersfield because another justification for HSR is to connect these places without much air service to the major airports in the Bay Area and the LA basin. Many people don't realize--Fresno, with half a million people, is California's 5th largest city (bigger than Oakland or Sacramento).

jtown,man Jan 27, 2018 2:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eightball (Post 8062049)

Impressive. Now, of course, wouldn't the area love another 20 billion over the next decade? For 140 billion, or 3.5 billion a year, the city could build an insane transit system that includes zero BRT or other cost-saving options?

pizzaguy Jan 28, 2018 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8062898)
Impressive. Now, of course, wouldn't the area love another 20 billion over the next decade? For 140 billion, or 3.5 billion a year, the city could build an insane transit system that includes zero BRT or other cost-saving options?

Why not both?

Busy Bee Jan 28, 2018 1:26 AM

^
http://images.memes.com/meme/1008131


All times are GMT. The time now is 7:15 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.