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Old Posted Oct 21, 2021, 7:56 PM
nito nito is offline
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
So true. But generations ago, almost all of these transit companies were private enterprises. Which is usually the case in America, private enterprises seeking profits usually provident greater services. Once government stepped in to regulate the private enterprises for the greater good, i.e. keeping fares as low as possible, that's when the private enterprises started to go bankrupt. Eventually, the various local governments had to step in to save the services, and as usual were terrible at managing it. So services declined over time.

What's so new about that? Why are so many surprised that governments can not compete with private enterprise providing goods and services?
It is too simplistic to place blame on public versus private.

The Japanese market has a slew of highly successful private operators providing incredible services. At the other end of the scale, privatisation of the railways in the UK has been a very mixed bag; government subsidies went up and there was very limited appetite from the railway operators for extensive change because of restrictions by the government. The most disastrous aspect of privatisation was the creation of Railtrack, a listed firm which owned and maintained the railway infrastructure. Unfortunately, the prioritisation of profits led to a spate of disastrous crashes and massive overruns. Railtrack was subsequently nationalised two decades ago (creating Network Rail), but only just this week, the Southeastern franchise (640,000 weekday passengers pre-Covid-19) was terminated and transferred to government oversight due to a £25mn fraud.

With further turbulence created by Covid-19, the whole system is going to be overturned with a Transport for London style concession model with the prospect for further devolved regional services from 2023.

Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
^ A return to prioritizing ground up electrified suburban heavy rail like BART and DC Metro but that costs a lot more $ coin $ .

Part of the appeal of traditional loco hauled commuter rail on freight tracks (outside of historic hub/spoke operations like Chicago's Metra) is that it has a relatively low start up cost as compared to a much more involved intentional routing using S-Bahn or metro style electric equipment. The trade off of that less desirable routing is of course lower utility and thus lower ridership.
Electrified rail operation has a wide range of benefits but isn’t necessarily going to spark a massive growth in passenger numbers. Taking an unelectrified line with low frequencies and ridership, the sensible approach is to focus on increasing access, making the service more attractive and competitive relative to the car, minimising delays, and fast all-day service. Having an electric service is pointless if there are conflicts with freight services, or frequencies are low or intermittent.

Several European countries operate bi-mode trains, and with advancements in battery technology, BEMU’s are now a reality, especially for dark-spots in the absence of catenary or third rail.
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