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-   -   California High Speed Rail Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180558)

mthd Feb 17, 2019 7:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8477458)
But HSR is competing with the airlines. Driving from LA to SF is *much* cheaper driving than flying. It will also be much cheaper than HSR. ...

at any published or estimated rate for the cost of car ownership, it's actually not cheaper to drive. those estimates range from 50 to 70 cents per mile. or 400-500 dollars round trip. only cheaper with three people in the car.

if you assume you already own the car, and only factor depreciation, wear and tear, and gas, it still requires two people in the car to make it cheaper.

it's a tragedy the way HSR has gone down here; two regions with 26 million people total and another couple million between them in one of the richest places in the world ought to be able to build a 400 mile rail line. :(

jtown,man Feb 17, 2019 8:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8477481)
And when will the O'toole's and Kotkin's of the world realize that many of those things are only true becuase the federal government made a conserted decision to subsidize automobile mode choice, automobile land use and automobile infrastructure above all others, all the while failing to set automotive fuel taxes high enough to sufficiently maintain said infrastructure, let alone all the other social ills unleashed and perpetuated by such an absurd and imbalanced arrangement.

I am not here to say things are right or wrong, but they are what they are. Most people have cars. It gets you anywhere in the country.

jtown,man Feb 17, 2019 8:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mthd (Post 8477490)
at any published or estimated rate for the cost of car ownership, it's actually not cheaper to drive. those estimates range from 50 to 70 cents per mile. or 400-500 dollars round trip. only cheaper with three people in the car.

if you assume you already own the car, and only factor depreciation, wear and tear, and gas, it still requires two people in the car to make it cheaper.

it's a tragedy the way HSR has gone down here; two regions with 26 million people total and another couple million between them in one of the richest places in the world ought to be able to build a 400 mile rail line. :(

Yeah but poor people don't care about depreciation and long-term cost. They can't afford to worry about those things.

And yes, most people travel with more than themselves. In the real world many people have families.

If I fly from Norfolk to Memphis, it will cost me between 300-500 for a RT ticket. If I drive it will cost me about 120 in gas. Even if you add in an oil change(60 bucks) I am up to 180 dollars. Most people will take this if the timing makes sense.

SFBruin Feb 17, 2019 8:26 PM

[delete]

BrownTown Feb 17, 2019 8:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 8477390)
It's not about money, it's about political will and political priorities.

Except there WAS a political will to build HSR in California and that will was broken because of money. If CAHSR has done what it said it was going to do the IOS would already be complete and support for the project would be sky high. Indeed delegations from other states would probably be touring California to see it and to try and set up HSR in their own states. Only the most tight-pursed fiscal conservatives would still be opposed. But instead of that possible future we got a decade of delays and cost overruns and so it's no wonder this is the eventual outcome. CAHSR shot itself in the foot, you can't blame the federal government or the opposing political party for this one.

SFBruin Feb 17, 2019 9:12 PM

Good. Now I am hoping that the money from this project can go to something more useful, like better transit within each metropolitan area or, idk, electric self-driving aircraft high speed rail in 10 years when I can afford to move to the PNW / Midwest / Texas.

BrownTown Feb 17, 2019 9:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SFBruin (Post 8477620)
Good. Now I am hoping that the money from this project can go to something more useful, like better transit within each metropolitan area or, idk, electric self-driving aircraft.

Except there is no money for this project. The funding is already all used up (or being used currently in the Central Valley). That was the most fundamental issue with this whole project; they started building without enough money to complete it and no plans on where to get it.

numble Feb 18, 2019 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8477637)
Except there is no money for this project. The funding is already all used up (or being used currently in the Central Valley). That was the most fundamental issue with this whole project; they started building without enough money to complete it and no plans on where to get it.

25% of the cap-and-trade auction proceeds (each quarter there is $800 to $1 billion in revenue), which means about $800 million per year, had been dedicated to CAHSR. The issue wasn’t that the money was used up. It was that it was not enough even if financing against future cap-and-trade revenue to raise the full $77 billion.

https://www.enotrans.org/wp-content/...ost.png?x43122

Most recent auction:
https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local...222204730.html

green_man Feb 18, 2019 3:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mt_climber13 (Post 8477476)
Driving is cheaper than flying when carpooling (again, you're not from California so you don't know about airline commuter sales and prices where you can fly from Norcal to Socal for $100 or so). But when you factor in the actual costs of driving: maintenance on your car and the tax dollars, bonds, and compounded interests and costs paid to build and maintain said freeways- is it really cheaper?

And airports are very expensive to maintain but people use airplanes all the time. Amtrak is also popular (and doesn't turn a profit). HSR would be another form of transportation alongside all of these highly subsidized and expensive modes of transportation- with freeways being the most expensive, hands down.

And hopefully hyperloop as well

Not only are airports are expensive to maintain, but even in an era when major infrastructure projects are a tough sell in the US (blame it partly on lack of political will), airport expansion/construction is especially problematic. Case in point: DIA, the last major airport to be constructed in this country, is almost 25 miles from downtown Denver. Another case in point: One proposal for a brand-new San Diego airport would put it about 50 miles from SD.

Owing to both increasingly constricted airport facilities and the desire to reduce CO2 emissions, I could see HSR (if implemented correctly) taking over many short/medium-haul trips while airlines focus more on longer-haul and transcontinental trips.

accord1999 Feb 18, 2019 7:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8477481)
And when will the O'toole's and Kotkin's of the world realize that many of those things are only true becuase the federal government made a conserted decision to subsidize automobile mode choice, automobile land use and automobile infrastructure above all others,

And yet Europe when they do all the things you want the US Federal Government to, cars still dominate modal share. The car did not win because of Government Intervention, it won because it's the best form of ground transportation. It brought fast transport over wide areas to the masses.

Quote:

all the while failing to set automotive fuel taxes high enough to sufficiently maintain said infrastructure
Even in the US, government revenue from the use of cars come far closer to paying for the operating and capital cost of infrastracture (especially if you stop the funds from being used for other purposes) than mass transit, which struggles to pay for a fraction of just the operating costs. It doesn't take much higher gas taxes to pay for all roads, but there's absolutely no fare that will have transit users pay for the full costs of their system.

To say nothing of Europe where fuel taxes account for upwards of 60% of the total cost of gas and registration and use fees approach the value of the car.

Will O' Wisp Feb 18, 2019 7:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by green_man (Post 8477902)
Not only are airports are expensive to maintain, but even in an era when major infrastructure projects are a tough sell in the US (blame it partly on lack of political will), airport expansion/construction is especially problematic. Case in point: DIA, the last major airport to be constructed in this country, is almost 25 miles from downtown Denver. Another case in point: One proposal for a brand-new San Diego airport would put it about 50 miles from SD.

Owing to both increasingly constricted airport facilities and the desire to reduce CO2 emissions, I could see HSR (if implemented correctly) taking over many short/medium-haul trips while airlines focus more on longer-haul and transcontinental trips.

That's actually underselling how difficult it is to build a new international airport in America, if you can imagine that. In the past 50 years there have only been two major airports built in the US, DFW in 1969 and Denver International in 1995. When nearly every moderately sized and above city already has jet capable airport within spitting distance of its downtown, it's always a better option to squeeze every last bit of capacity out of them rather than building a vast new mega-hub out in the hinderlands.

The difficult part is that although the overall cost per rider might be higher, for a local government an airport is far cheaper than an HSR system. The federal government grants airports over $3 billion dollars a year for capacity improvements and major renovations, in addition to the $2.5 billion dollars a year it spends maintaining navigation aids (which include systems serving singular airports like glide slopes and approach lighting) and control towers. Not to mention the $7.5 billion dollars a year for ATC services, and the untold billions the US military gives aircraft manufactures to develop new aviation technology (for example the development of the jet engine was a military project, the 707 and 747 both started life as military projects, and the military funded development of carbon fiber components used on the 787). And the feds have been funding aviation at this level or even higher for over 70 years, which means all this infrastructure is already in place and earning cash. Unlike mass transit or roads most commercial airports in the US are major profit centers, and that sets a high bar for a new HSR system which isn't going to receive any of these benefits.

jmecklenborg Feb 18, 2019 7:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by accord1999 (Post 8478047)
And yet Europe when they do all the things you want the US Federal Government to, cars still dominate modal share.

Yeah because a ton of Europe is rural, just like how a ton of the United States is rural. Way to lift a Cato Institute "argument".

accord1999 Feb 18, 2019 7:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8478052)
Yeah because a ton of Europe is rural, just like how a ton of the United States is rural.

Europe must be incredibly rural in order for the car to have 4.8X the passenger-km of buses and trains. How rural must the UK be to actually use less mass transit now than it did 60 years ago.

The reality is Europeans don't actually use the train all that much, it's basically the same magnitude as Canadians traveling by car in passenger-km.

jmecklenborg Feb 18, 2019 8:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by numble (Post 8477753)
25% of the cap-and-trade auction proceeds (each quarter there is $800 to $1 billion in revenue), which means about $800 million per year, had been dedicated to CAHSR. The issue wasn’t that the money was used up. It was that it was not enough even if financing against future cap-and-trade revenue to raise the full $77 billion.

Most recent auction:
https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local...222204730.html

California did not raise taxes on its companies or populace to build high speed rail. This contrasts directly with Ohio's HSR plan from 1983, which would have financed construction and operation with a 1% statewide sales tax and built the first 200mph high speed rail line in the United States between Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. That plan involved tunnels and 10+ mile viaducts over freight railroad tracks to get the line through the suburbs with zero trade crossings, a corollary to the dilemmas faced in California. The Republican takeover of Ohio politics toward the end of Dick Celeste's reign drove a stake through future HSR plans with construction of the new Federal Courthouse in the direct path of Cleveland's HSR approach.

People on these sorts of forums haven't worked in politics and don't understand what hardball these transit and rail projects are. Logic doesn't work when the Koch's and other players are out there relentlessly harassing logic. Take a look at where the Republicans succeeded in getting a federally-owned skyscraper built in Cleveland, OH -- in the former space occupied by the Terminal Tower passenger concourse, precluding that space's use by passenger rail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_B...tes_Courthouse

In Cincinnati, in the late 1980s the wealthiest family in town (which, incidentally briefly owned Grand Central in New York after the gigantic Penn Central/NY Central bankruptcy) built an Omnimax theater in the space where HSR was to have served the historic Cincinnati Union Terminal (https://www.cincymuseum.org/omnimax). So now big-time passenger rail can't return to the facility without the region's wealthiest family giving the thumb's up, which means they get something and get something big in exchange. Because being born into a $1+ billion fortune is never enough.

I don't think people here understand how much people are working behind the scenes to undermine this project in California because they know it ushers in a sea change and will work to delay or scuttle the whole thing if they themselves are not set up to profit from it. They don't care about the money needed to build it because Californians are not being taxed directly. It's about CAHSR determining real estate winners and losers. With Pacheco Pass, San Jose is the winner to SF's detriment. With Altamont, the East Bay for certain gets service but SF does not get high quality service unless the second Transbay Tube is built. That's what this is all about, people. San Francisco blue bloods -- just like those in Ohio back in the 1980s -- are working to protect their interests.

Korey Feb 18, 2019 5:16 PM

A few disparate thoughts:

I'm assuming all Prop 1A, ARRA funds, and Cap & Trade allocations will be fully used. Will those funds be enough to get to Bakersfield proper and Merced proper, not Poplar Ave to Madera (and is that indeed the new plan's phase 1)?

Will ACE get state funds beyond the current funding to extend track to Merced? It would make sense to electrify and do a couple short tunnels in the Altamont and Sunol. Dumbarton if we're feeling spendy.

How would the trainsets work, especially if ACE/NorCal Unified Service remains un-electrified? If I'm going Bakersfield to Fremont or Sacramento am I travelling at 220mph then switching trains at Merced or just dropping speed? Same question in reverse. Is the current San Joaquins track and service remaining or are the sections made redundant by the new track shut down?

I wonder if this means whenever we throw the next big batch of funds (whether state or federal) at the project, if it goes to the San Gabriel tunnels before Pacheco? I don't doubt that Pacheco will get it's HSR, the political power structures in Silicon Valley/NorCal are too strong for it not to, but with upgraded Altamont service maybe the Bakersfield to LA connection becomes the next priority.

jmecklenborg Feb 18, 2019 6:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Korey (Post 8478347)

I wonder if this means whenever we throw the next big batch of funds (whether state or federal) at the project, if it goes to the San Gabriel tunnels before Pacheco? I don't doubt that Pacheco will get it's HSR, the political power structures in Silicon Valley/NorCal are too strong for it not to, but with upgraded Altamont service maybe the Bakersfield to LA connection becomes the next priority.


Yeah this is definitely a battle royale between San Jose being on the mainline -- and getting 12 trains per hour per direction - vs. the Altamont route, which at-best puts San Jose on a spur.

If HSR is rerouted via Altamont to a new Transbay tube from Oakland, the possibility exists for HSR spurs to both San Jose and to Palo Alto via a rebuilt Dumbarton Bridge. They could do a train split where two half-length trains, one originating in Palo Alto and another from San Jose join to form a full-length train in Fremont and then head downstate as a full double-length train.

Car(e)-Free LA Feb 18, 2019 7:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8478469)
Yeah this is definitely a battle royale between San Jose being on the mainline -- and getting 12 trains per hour per direction - vs. the Altamont route, which at-best puts San Jose on a spur.

If HSR is rerouted via Altamont to a new Transbay tube from Oakland, the possibility exists for HSR spurs to both San Jose and to Palo Alto via a rebuilt Dumbarton Bridge. They could do a train split where two half-length trains, one originating in Palo Alto and another from San Jose join to form a full-length train in Fremont and then head downstate as a full double-length train.

Or just run it Modesto-Tracy-Pleasanton-Fremont-Redwood City-SFO-Transbay, take the $3 billion in savings, and give ~$1 billion to VTA for LRT along Stevens Creek or something as compensation.

SIGSEGV Feb 18, 2019 9:21 PM

The Altamont option makes the most sense, starting with the Dumbarton and maybe eventually a new transbay tunnel (how stupid the new Bay Bridge can't support rail) from Oakland. San Jose is a glorified suburb, Oakland/Berkeley will be a greater trip generator imo as those are actually cities. SJ will have two good options in BART to Fremont or upgraded Caltrain to RWC. Oakland/Berkeley will have BART to Fremont until the new Transbay is ready.

plutonicpanda Feb 19, 2019 3:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mt_climber13 (Post 8477441)
How many hundreds of billions do freeways cost? And they are a 100% loss leader. At least HSR would make up some of the cost in ticket sales. The next Dem president should declare a national emergency on climate change and build it.

How many hundreds of billions does transit cost? Should we bring we bring up the second ave. subway line? Busybee wants to complain about the Big Dig while it created a more walkable city and solved the issue of dividing communities that freeways tend to create and he's against that? Par for the course.

Let's be real, 25 billion compared to a project that would likely cost well over 100 billion can't be compared. This project takes the crown of the biggest boondoggle in American history and is an utter failure in every which way. That does not mean I don't want to see HSR in California, but we need to go back to the drawing board from scratch and reform our infrastructure building process to reduce costs. US transit advocates just seem so hell bent on getting HSR here they are loosing grips on realities and willing to pay 10 fold over what other countries would pay for the same thing.

jmecklenborg Feb 19, 2019 4:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 8478646)
The Altamont option makes the most sense, starting with the Dumbarton and maybe eventually a new transbay tunnel (how stupid the new Bay Bridge can't support rail) from Oakland. San Jose is a glorified suburb, Oakland/Berkeley will be a greater trip generator imo as those are actually cities. SJ will have two good options in BART to Fremont or upgraded Caltrain to RWC. Oakland/Berkeley will have BART to Fremont until the new Transbay is ready.

There is a way (a very, very expensive way, no doubt) to build a new transbay tube that serves Capitol Corridor, ACE, and HSR and brings them all into the new Transbay Terminal.

But then another huge tunnel or tunnels would be necessary to get to I-5 and the central valley, plus dozens and dozens of grade separations. So we're talking a solid 45 miles of extremely complicated construction to make this possible *after* building the new tube.

For those advocating for big improvements to the east bay commuter rail situation in lieu of building HSR through the Central Valley, be aware that just getting the 45 miles of construction done between Oakland and the east side of the Alameda Pass (none of which would travel much faster than 100mph) is going to cost many times what the current 150~ miles of HSR is costing in the Central Valley.

jmecklenborg Feb 19, 2019 6:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8479007)
This project takes the crown of the biggest boondoggle in American history

Bigger than the Iraq War? Which by all estimates cost at least $1 trillion, and some peg much higher? And for which no tax was raised (instead, Bush actually cut taxes)?

Crawford Feb 19, 2019 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by accord1999 (Post 8478047)
And yet Europe when they do all the things you want the US Federal Government to, cars still dominate modal share. The car did not win because of Government Intervention, it won because it's the best form of ground transportation. It brought fast transport over wide areas to the masses.

There's a huge difference in modal share between Europe and the U.S. That difference is a major reason HSR works in Europe and probably won't work in U.S. (excepting NE corridor).

Busy Bee Feb 19, 2019 2:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 8479007)
How many hundreds of billions does transit cost? Should we bring we bring up the second ave. subway line? Busybee wants to complain about the Big Dig while it created a more walkable city and solved the issue of dividing communities that freeways tend to create and he's against that? Par for the course.

Actually just for the record that wasn't me that brought up the Big Dig.

jmecklenborg Feb 19, 2019 4:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8479221)
There's a huge difference in modal share between Europe and the U.S. That difference is a major reason HSR works in Europe and probably won't work in U.S. (excepting NE corridor).


Yeah, why would anyone ever fly between LA and San Francisco when they can just drive?

caligrad Feb 19, 2019 4:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8477458)
But HSR is competing with the airlines. Driving from LA to SF is *much* cheaper driving than flying. It will also be much cheaper than HSR.

When will urbanist realize drivers represent the vast majority of Americans. Most people on here that use public transport also have a car. The majority wins.

Not necessarily. If you buy tickets early enough, You can get a round trip ticket with southwest for around 55 with taxes and fees. getting a full tank in a comfortable sized car going one way is about 60. Then tolls, parking, depending on how long you're staying, gas again. Taking a car can quickly end up being 180 for gas (60 going, 60 while you're there, 60 on the way back), most hotels in SF have a 20 dollar average daily parking fee that that's another 60, then paying for parking if you decide to drive to places, then the tolls that you will most likely hit if you decide to travel over the bay. Even if you go with another person, splitting that in half, Flying is still cheaper. LA isn't as bad but it'll still be cheaper to fly, granted a bigger hassle since LAs is more spread out.

202_Cyclist Feb 19, 2019 4:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caligrad (Post 8479432)
Not necessarily. If you buy tickets early enough, You can get a round trip ticket with southwest for around 55 with taxes and fees. getting a full tank in a comfortable sized car going one way is about 60. Then tolls, parking, depending on how long you're staying, gas again. Taking a car can quickly end up being 180 for gas (60 going, 60 while you're there, 60 on the way back), most hotels in SF have a 20 dollar average daily parking fee that that's another 60, then paying for parking if you decide to drive to places, then the tolls that you will most likely hit if you decide to travel over the bay. Even if you go with another person, splitting that in half, Flying is still cheaper. LA isn't as bad but it'll still be cheaper to fly, granted a bigger hassle since LAs is more spread out.

Flying can be affordable if you know you when you're traveling and you purchase your ticket sufficiently far ahead of time. I looked at sample fares for Burbank - SFO for next Monday, February 25. Flights are between $138 - $178, with most flights priced at $146 (taxes and fees included) for the cheapest fares on Southwest. If you are a business traveler and want a flexible ticket that you can change, the fares are between $256 - $265.

accord1999 Feb 19, 2019 4:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8479221)
There's a huge difference in modal share between Europe and the U.S. That difference is a major reason HSR works in Europe and probably won't work in U.S. (excepting NE corridor).

Even with significantly higher mass transit share, over 80% of ground passenger-km in the EU-28 is provided by cars. Even if not to the same level as North America, I would still consider that domination.

jmecklenborg Feb 19, 2019 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by accord1999 (Post 8479468)
Even with significantly higher mass transit share, over 80% of ground passenger-km in the EU-28 is provided by cars. Even if not to the same level as North America, I would still consider that domination.

Relatively few people live in the large cities served by high speed rail. The majority of people in the United States and Europe live in small cities and towns or out in the country on farms.

Crawford Feb 19, 2019 4:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by accord1999 (Post 8479468)
Even with significantly higher mass transit share, over 80% of ground passenger-km in the EU-28 is provided by cars. Even if not to the same level as North America, I would still consider that domination.

HSR is exclusively transport between major cities. If Western Europe has (say) 80% car share (which I doubt), that means a gigantic share of urban residents (probably like half) rely on modes other than cars.

In the U.S., cars have like 95% share, and in every metro but NYC are like 90%+ auto share, so HSR is a longshot.

And then you have to consider that intercity driving in Western Europe generally doesn't make much sense. It's often tolled, it's generally much slower, with much more congestion, gas costs more, and there's nowhere to put your car. North America has none of these issues.

accord1999 Feb 19, 2019 4:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8479483)
HSR is exclusively transport between major cities. If Western Europe has (say) 80% car share (which I doubt), that means a gigantic share of urban residents (probably like half) rely on modes other than cars.

Sure, but my original comment was not in reference to HSR but to Busy Bee's assertion that cars only uniquely dominate in the US because the US Federal Government wanted it to and subsidized it.

And yes Western Europe is over 80% share for cars.

https://i.imgur.com/CPRxDOT.png

Crawford Feb 19, 2019 5:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by accord1999 (Post 8479509)
Sure, but my original comment was not in reference to HSR but to Busy Bee's assertion that cars only uniquely dominate in the US because the US Federal Government wanted it to and subsidized it.

But this is true. Outside of a few small petro-states, cars are uniquely dominant in the U.S. If you put aside NYC, basically no major U.S. metro has significant transit share in global terms. This is a huge reason that HSR is a longshot in the U.S. context.

Quote:

Originally Posted by accord1999 (Post 8479509)
And yes Western Europe is over 80% share for cars.

https://i.imgur.com/CPRxDOT.png

No, it isn't. It's 80% if comparing PT vs private autos. But that isn't modal share, because you aren't including walking and biking (both of which are generally very high in Western European cities).

accord1999 Feb 19, 2019 5:30 PM

I'm using modal share in terms of passenger-km. Walking and biking (in some countries) may have relatively high trip share but they aren't significant in terms of distance (other than perhaps the Netherlands). UK as an example:

https://i.imgur.com/aoMa3uY.png

Crawford Feb 19, 2019 5:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by accord1999 (Post 8479548)
I'm using modal share in terms of passenger-km. Walking and biking (in some countries) may have relatively high trip share but they aren't significant in terms of distance (other than perhaps the Netherlands). UK as an example:

https://i.imgur.com/aoMa3uY.png

Here's a link to modal share in Western European cities:

http://www.epomm.eu/tems/

Looking just at Germany (because that's what I'm most familiar with), car modal share in the bigger cities averages around 30-45%. And Germany is unusually prosperous and car-crazy, with less developed bike infrastructure than the Nordics.

In contrast, excepting NY, I don't believe any U.S. metro is below 80% car share (remember this isn't commuting share, it's all trips). So it's a huge difference.

Basically, the typical U.S. metro is 90% car-oriented, while the typical European metro is maybe 40% car-oriented.

Busy Bee Feb 19, 2019 6:18 PM

All this auto data seems to leave out one glaring variable. No doubt the vast majority of trips are made via auto. But that doesn't really tell the whole story. Where is the percentage of trips tied to distance? I don't know about you, but personally I don't make a habit of boarding a intercity coach or high speed bullet train to go to Target to buy laundry detergent. It's for that reason that these findings seems quite skewed.

Crawford Feb 19, 2019 6:33 PM

I don't see why distance matters. The point is whether or not someone is living a transit-oriented lifestyle.

If they're wedded to the auto, they aren't likely to start using HSR, which pretty much only works in concert with robust PT and walkability.

Busy Bee Feb 19, 2019 6:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8479651)
I don't see why distance matters. The point is whether or not someone is living a transit-oriented lifestyle.

If they're wedded to the auto, they aren't likely to start using HSR, which pretty much only works in concert with robust PT and walkability.

See this is one of the criticisms that I just do not understand. Why is there such a strong belief that the variables of ground transportation and walkability, while obviously also strong goals, are the highest caliber requirements in order for HSR to gather sufficient and impressive ridership? If optimal HSR planning is designed to be an equal competitor and/or surpass air trips on the same corridor, that seems to suggest that it would only be a success if PT and walkability were realities on the ground for each endpoint. Where is the requirement for that with air? Why would in theory it be any different? I refuse to believe that somehow people wouldn't use a bullet train to take a trip they otherwise would fly or begrudgingly drive. I also refuse to believe the very premise that people's current patterns wouldn't change if given the option to take a fast train. I have no doubt HSR can and will be a success in the United States if developed. An entire industry has been created to prevent competition to the car and the plane. We know this by now, or at least we should.

BrownTown Feb 19, 2019 7:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8479686)
See this is one of the criticisms that I just do not understand. Why is there such a strong belief that the variables of ground transportation and walkability, while obviously also strong goals, are the highest caliber requirements in order for HSR to gather sufficient and impressive ridership? If optimal HSR planning is designed to be an equal competitor and/or surpass air trips on the same corridor, that seems to suggest that it would only be a success if PT and walkability were realities on the ground for each endpoint. Where is the requirement for that with air? Why would in theory it be any different? I refuse to believe that somehow people wouldn't use a bullet train to take a trip they otherwise would fly or begrudgingly drive. I also refuse to believe the very premise that people's current patterns wouldn't change if given the option to take a fast train. I have no doubt HSR can and will be a success in the United States if developed. An entire industry has been created to prevent competition to the car and the plane. We know this by now, or at least we should.

Because airplanes are much faster than HSR so if it requires the same level of inconvenience then it won't have any advantages over airplanes and will therefore have no market.

Crawford Feb 19, 2019 7:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8479686)
If optimal HSR planning is designed to be an equal competitor and/or surpass air trips on the same corridor, that seems to suggest that it would only be a success if PT and walkability were realities on the ground for each endpoint. Where is the requirement for that with air? Why would in theory it be any different?

HSR is downtown-focused and presupposes strong pedestrian and transit linkages within a centralized environment. In contrast, flying favors autocentricity.

For instance, the NYC-DC market share isn't dominated by Acela because Acela is "better" than the competing air shuttles, it's because the market meets the requirements for HSR (for pathetic American standards). If you ran the exact same Acela trains between, say, Dallas and Houston, the market share would be pitiful.

jmecklenborg Feb 19, 2019 7:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8479699)
Because airplanes are much faster than HSR so if it requires the same level of inconvenience then it won't have any advantages over airplanes and will therefore have no market.


From Downtown LA to SFO, the CaHSR door-to-door speed will be much higher as compared to flying from LAX to SFO.

The CaHSR travel time is even faster for DTLA to San Jose - just 2 hours. And again, therein lies the "problem" with CaHSR -- the huge advantage enjoyed by San Jose and Silicon Valley as compared to DT San Francisco if the Pacheco Pass tunnel is built.

Busy Bee Feb 19, 2019 8:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8479699)
Because airplanes are much faster than HSR so if it requires the same level of inconvenience then it won't have any advantages over airplanes and will therefore have no market.

You are leaving out all the time consuming steps to air travel. Parking, terminal shuttles, check in if checking baggage, security, waiting waiting and more waiting. And then do much of the reverse once you land. That's a far cry from being dropped off and getting to board a hsr train that departs every 15 minutes or so. Your time savings over air with the lower average speed figured in is at the endpoints.

Busy Bee Feb 19, 2019 8:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8479715)
If you ran the exact same Acela trains between, say, Dallas and Houston, the market share would be pitiful.

It should seem obvious, but you don't actually know this because no hs train exists between Dallas and Houston.

Crawford Feb 19, 2019 8:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8479826)
You are leaving out all the time consuming steps to air travel. Parking, terminal shuttles, check in if checking baggage, security, waiting waiting and more waiting.

Again, if the region isn't transit-oriented and centralized, it's HSR that has "all the time consuming steps". You lose all the advantages if potential riders aren't already based around the stations.

There is no point to, say, a downtown San Jose hub, when it isn't the focus of the Bay Area.

Crawford Feb 19, 2019 8:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8479827)
It should seem obvious, but you don't actually know this because no hs train exists between Dallas and Houston.

Well, yeah, but we know existing Amtrak (and bus) ridership in non-transit oriented corridors, and it's horrible. There's no reason to think it would become massively popular just because you sped it up.

The NE Corridor didn't have some ridership boom as the train speeds increased. They already had the captive market.

BrownTown Feb 19, 2019 9:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8479826)
You are leaving out all the time consuming steps to air travel. Parking, terminal shuttles, check in if checking baggage, security, waiting waiting and more waiting. And then do much of the reverse once you land. That's a far cry from being dropped off and getting to board a hsr train that departs every 15 minutes or so. Your time savings over air with the lower average speed figured in is at the endpoints.

No I'm not, those things are literally the entire point of my post. But without transit those same sort of issues apply to high speed rail too because you have to drive into traffic-congested downtown, find a parking spot (which don't exist near either station in question) and then walk to the train station.

I'll try to spell it out more simply:
Airplane: High fixed time delay but fastest travel speed.
HSR: Moderate fixed time delay and moderate speed.
Car: No fixed time delay but slow speed.

In order for HSR to be effective it has to fit somewhere in the middle there between Airplanes and cars. If your city has no transit then that fixed time delay is increased because of all the time associated driving and parking at the station and then getting an uber at the other end. Plus these things all increase your costs.

Busy Bee Feb 19, 2019 10:52 PM

Everyone is severely underestimating how many people would prefer to stay on the ground especially if offered a valid option that allowed travel at a comparable amount of time and comparable cost to air travel between two points like SF-LA. There are many many closeted and uncloseted people who simply do not like to fly. So when a very fast alternative is developed within an endpoint-endpoint (and intermediate stops ) range like the California program, I believe you will see a very healthy ridership baseline that would make the line a success. Also with all this talk of how people choose to drive the journey or to destinations in between, no one ever, ever, says anything about what other motives may be at play besides economic. This is a large oversight in the data that's always being thrown around. Everyone seems to assert that the only reason for making the decision to drive vs fly or vs taking a train or bus is for simplistic economics. Set aside the fact that all the hidden cost of auto travel never seem to make it into the equation - that's been reminded time and time again. People, most people I would say, make decisions for more reasons than just economic. While many will in fact choose to drive because the costs after considering multiple passengers in the vehicle, are in fact the lowest. But that does not account for all those that wind up flying when they would actually likely choose the high speed train if it existed and was very compaetitive in cost and time. And this is true of everywhere, not just the California program.

BrownTown Feb 20, 2019 12:29 AM

The Department of Transportation has canceled all funding for CAHSR and is looking into suing to get the money already spent back:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...d-rail-project

k1052 Feb 20, 2019 1:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownTown (Post 8480163)
The Department of Transportation has canceled all funding for CAHSR and is looking into suing to get the money already spent back:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...d-rail-project

Looking into suing is the least impressive kind of suing.

plutonicpanda Feb 20, 2019 2:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8479150)
Bigger than the Iraq War? Which by all estimates cost at least $1 trillion, and some peg much higher? And for which no tax was raised (instead, Bush actually cut taxes)?

While I won't agree or disagree with that statement; I should have been more clear. I was specifically referring to infrastructure initiatives.

plutonicpanda Feb 20, 2019 2:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8479318)
Actually just for the record that wasn't me that brought up the Big Dig.

I understand that. I originally brought it up, but my point remains valid.

SIGSEGV Feb 20, 2019 2:49 AM

Sweet, maybe he can give some of that money to Illinois to not upgrade the CHI-STL line.


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