Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Who is High-Speed Rail For?

(High Speed Rail Isn’t A Commuter Train)
(Apr 16th, 2012) 
(Posted by Robert Cruickshank)


There you have it. High-Speed Rail is not a commuter train. That means, although Cruickshank, who worships high-speed rail doesn't say so, it is not public mass transit.  It was never intended to be public mass transit. It is not public mass transit in other countries, with one or two exceptions, and there it serves, such as in Japan, "salarymen;" that is, mid-management type guys. Likewise in Spain. 

Look at it this way: The government creates a water distribution system, operated by private utility services, that provides every household with water.  Should the government also, at taxpayer expense, create a piped champagne distribution system? It would not only cost much more to create than the water system, but the very high user costs would limit this service only to the most elite households. Most of us would have no choice.  We're lucky we can afford the water. 

No, that champagne service is not intended for everyone.  Likewise, High-Speed Rail is not a commuter train that takes people to and from work. It's not a commuter train. It's a luxury train for those who can afford to go from San Francisco to Los Angeles at 220 mph.  And, those are the people who can afford to fly, and fly first-class.  It's not for the rest of us.

You really have to ask why the Democrats, the Party of the common people, are building this train and being so desperate about it.  

The Governor wants those $3.5 billion from the FRA and those dollars can only be spent in the Central Valley, where they will lay a bunch of "useless" track, not eligible for high-speed trains.  But, he's happy to look like a Democrat by pulling additional funds out of Proposition 1A bonds (although it's illegal) to pay for commuter train upgrades in the two population regions.

Our elected officials in Sacramento, starting with the Governor, are such that if you shake their hand, you have to count your fingers later to make sure they are still all there.

Have we all had enough yet?  If HSR isn't a proposition on the State ballot this November, are there other ways we can express our concerns through this election?


So, let me give you some good news.  It's from our Man in Washington, Ken Orski.  This just in!

To Our Readers:

It may be of interest to you that the Democrat-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee, which usually marches in lock step with the White House, has disallowed all of the Administration's FY 2013 request for high speed rail ($4 billion).  

Of the total $1.75 billion federal rail budget , the Senate Committee has allocated  $1.45 billion for Amtrak and $100 million for the High Performance Passenger Rail  grant program to assist  with the improvement of existing intercity services  and mult-state planning initiatives.  

The House appropriators , of course, have never intended to vote any  money for HSR in FY 2013, but the Senate action puts an end to any hopes  that a House-Senate conference  might  provide even a token amount for high-speed rail in the FY 2113 federal budget.   

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