Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Trickle-Down High-Speed Rail Benefits

Why didn't the rail authority think of this justification?  

Call it "trickle-down high-speed rail benefits." 

The rich, the CEOs and other top executives need to have a high-speed rail built for them between San Francisco and Los Angeles so that their employees -- those who can't afford to ride this train -- will be able to keep their jobs.

As we've learned recently, the full build-out of HSR in California is now priced at $240 billion.  That's all going to have to come from taxpayer dollars, regardless how crappy the economy is.  But, won't it be worth it if all those affluent bosses get to ride the train and thereby make the deals that will keep their employees on the payroll?  Unless, of course, their jobs go overseas.

If we haven't made that point clear yet.  High-speed rail is not for EVERYBODY the way that the Interstate Highway System is.

HSR is only for the AFFLUENT, the WELL-TO-DO, the RICH.  Got it?  Check ticket prices for Acela, and then check for Europe, or Japan.  HSR is the most expensive train ticket on their menu.  The fact is, no train ride is really inexpensive.  Not even local, urban public mass transit light-rail. But, that's not our subject. The Nation's poor take buses, even for inter-city travel.

British Transportation Secretary  Philip Hammond is correct: High-Speed Rail travel is for the rich.

Why doesn't our Transportation Secretary admit that?

Rail travel is for the rich, says Transport Secretary

By AOL Travel, Sep 14, 2011

Rail travel is for the rich, says Transport SecretaryPA

British railways are a 'rich man's toy', Transport secretary Philip Hammond has told a committee of MPs.

Increases in rail fare prices mean that customers on lower incomes have been priced out of travelling by rail, he said at a meeting of the Transport Committee.

'People who use the railway on average have significantly higher incomes than the population as a whole - simple fact,' he said.

The minister described ticket prices on the West Coast Mainline as ranging from 'eye-wateringly expensive to really quite reasonable if you dig around and use the advance purchasing ticket options that are available'.

He also said that the planned new high speed link would probably be out of reach to factory workers.

But he insisted that even those who are too poor to enjoy rail travel would still benefit from projects like the planned HS2 high speed rail link between London and northern England - because their bosses will be able to get around easier.

'If you are working in a factory in Manchester you might never get on HS2 but you would certainly be benefiting from it if the sales director from your company is routinely hopping on it to jet round the world from Heathrow in a way that brings in orders that keep you employed,' he said.

Last month, the government announced it was changing the formula for calculating fare increases from the rate of inflation according to the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 1 per cent to RPI plus 3 per cent.

With July's RPI remaining unchanged at five per cent, it means season ticket holders face a hike in fares of an average 8 per cent in the new year.

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