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Fri Jan 4, 2019, 09:31 AM

Why is the west coast doing so well with rail and light rail?

Passenger Trains > Why is the west coast doing so well with rail and light rail?

Date: 01/03/19 18:33
Why is the west coast doing so well with rail and light rail?
Author: Lackawanna484

The NY Times has an article about the envy of NYC's transportation commissioner Polly Trachtenberg, after a visit to the west coast of the US. Los Angeles plans to double the rail mileage,and has vastly expanded its system in recent years. Scooters, bikes, etc. Seattle has a well integrated regional network of rail, light rail, bus, etc

NYT offers two tantalizing clues. One is a better sense of regional needs, and control by the politicians in that region. By contrast, NYC's system is controlled by Albany, and neither the Governor nor the Mayor use mass transit. It's a prop, but not something either uses very often.

The second is the use of the ballot measure to initiate large projects, like the California High Speed Rail. The right of citizens to put a project on the ballot and fund it is absent in most eastern states. (As is the right to recall politicians.) Mayor Garcetti was amazed that the citizens voted a permanent sales tax to fund transportation development.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/01/nyregion/transportation-east-coast-vs-west-coast.html

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Reply Why is the west coast doing so well with rail and light rail? (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jan 4 OP
redstatebluegirl Jan 4 #1
CurtEastPoint Jan 4 #2
JayhawkSD Jan 4 #3
msongs Jan 4 #4

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2019, 09:39 AM

1. Their citizens see the value in it.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2019, 10:24 AM

2. Because CA is always ahead of the curve. Because Dems.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2019, 10:25 AM

3. California's "high speed rail" project is a joke.

It is an utter comedic farce and a complete waste of taxpayer money. All that will ever be built is a thirty mile segment from the city which is home to the main state prison to an avocado grove in Central Valley. A lot of money will be spent on regrading other rail lines to permit train speeds varying from 30mph to as high as 115mph.

The ballot initiative for high speed rail specified that the money could not be spent unless funding was in place for the entirety of the system, and unless the system was to be operated with no taxpayer subsidy. Ten years later neither condition has come anywhere close to being met, and it is clear that neither condition is even remotely possible. And yet the money is being spent, on something that will be utterly useless.

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 4, 2019, 02:12 PM

4. its hijacked and rerouted by the petty political crowd...

the original intention was from LA to SF on the west side of the valley, a straight shot with few if any stops in between to compete with air. then it was rerouted to go up the east side of the valley to serve other cities, adding huge amounts of miles and cost to the project. it went from high speed to just another average speed commuter route,

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