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#3 Sorry, guys, no connection here, except for the fact that high-speed rail connects big cities filled with Democrats.
Five or ten years ago, Florida DOT committed one interchange a year - $75 million - for 30 years to high speed rail, Miami-Orlando-Tampa. The Governor shot it down, then the people got it voted on as a constitutional amendment, and that was overturned. Southwest Airlines killed it in Texas in 1993, on the premise there was no need for it. Then.
I know there's a lot of anti-HS Rail sentiment here, but this is hardly a political connection.
Posted by Bobby 2010-02-05 06:00||
#4 there's a lot of anti-HS Rail sentiment here
No, there's a lot of anti-Government funded anything. Sell AMTRAK and make the Interstates toll roads and I'd be happy. If HS rail can make money, by all means let venture capitalists fund it. But I'm not a VC and I don't want my tax money spent that way by someone who can't find their way to Sand Hill Road.
Posted by Nimble Spemble 2010-02-05 06:55||
#5 and make the Interstates toll roads
Technically, you pay for the interstate every time you fill up. Those federal and state taxes were rationalized as being to pay for the roads [before, of course, the pols stole redirected the money elsewhere].
Posted by Procopius2k 2010-02-05 08:40||
#6 Bobby makes a fair point here and in the other high-speed rail post today: all forms of transportation are subsidized. It's just a question of how you spread it around.
For the interstates, I have no problem making all of the toll roads. Put in an EZ-Pass or similar system, make the highways open-road tolling compatible, and have people carry transponders in their cars.
You want to get somewhere quickly? Pay the toll.
You don't want to pay the toll? Take the side roads.
I'd re-introduce market principles to the traffic grid and get people to see the indirect subsidies that are all around us.
I also agree with Nimble: there is, indeed, a lot of anti-government funded anything right now. It's the price government pays for decades of stupidity, graft, mistrust and cavalier arrogance. High-speed rail might be a good idea, but it's going to get whacked if for no other reason that it's a convenient target right now.
Posted by Steve White 2010-02-05 08:47||
#7 You want to get somewhere quickly? Pay the toll. Posted by: Steve White
No argument there Doctor. But if you're commuting from say Rockford, IL to O'Hare... count on paying somewhere around $1500. per year in tolls. Chalk up another 57.9 cpg tax for gas. Add on another 12.5 cpg if you make the mistake of going downtown and buying fuel in Chicago.
Anyone looked that Illinois Tollway books in a while, ie, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, D&T, Ernst & Young, KPMG? No, and they never will either.
Posted by Besoeker 2010-02-05 08:59||
#8 Beso has it right. It's not just the anti-funding it's the anti-accountability problem. All of the roads and tolls are a major source of graft, pork and corruption in general. Look at the Mass Turnpike. Something like 2/3rds of the toll takers have direct connections to the statehouse polls.
Posted by AlanC 2010-02-05 10:55||
#9 Actually, the project I'm working on now is HOT Lanes. High Occupancy (the old HOV concept) or Toll. Three folks in the car ride free, buses can mantain a schedule on the Beltway, and soccer moms in a hurry to get to the game can pay the toll. Tolls will be varied to maintain a speed (45 or 55, I forget). At 3 am, the toll might be two cents a mile; at 5 pm it might be a dollar a mile. Opening on 14 miles of the DC Beltway 12/20/2012. Unless the Mayans were right.
Posted by Bobby 2010-02-05 16:21||
#10 Our gov, Jim Doyle, quacked his way through the latest State of the State, the high point of which was the unveiling of the high speed rail line between Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison. It'll go through our town, but we'll have to drive into Madison to use it.
$820 million dollars for this line. Using what for money?