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... snip
cue ominous background music ...

crescendo
That's outlawed by the Geneva conventions, we can't do it to terrorists, but it's OK to subject regular taxpayers to.

... but the thing is, *he* doesn't care. It's not his building, he has no stake in it. It is the owners trying to get someone into those digs who are the real losers.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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wrote:

Usually it means "bitch and whine about it, but in the end, ultimately accomplish nothing".
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"Lew Hodgett" wrote in message

Here in Houston we are burdened with these extra long, foul smelling, smoke spewing, articulated buses that'll hold around 100, half full.
In 20 years I don't think I've ever seen one with more than 6 passengers, including the driver.
Then again, it's a matter of priorities around here.
Neither Metro, nor the Houston Independent School District are in the business of transportation or education, as you expect, but instead, in the real estate business ... along with the overriding business of insuring that their employee and management benefits far exceed what the taxpayer, who pays for same, can afford for his/her family.
First things, first, after all.
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In NY City, those buses are NOT foul smelling or smoke spewing (anymore). They are very efficient, since now a single driver can and does haul at least 50% more people. One side effect has been that many bus stops now take up most of a short block on the avenues.
Economically, I can take a bus from 23rd & 1st to 68 & 1st, then a subway from 68 & Lex to Penn station on a single fare ($2 or less). Those crazy routes happen when I need to drop something off uptown before going home.
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Witnessed that myself on many a time. But I always thought the billows of unburned fuel were to help with the mosquito population.. no?
The only time I saw a lot of folks on public transportation there in Houston was when they opened the downtown rail. Jeez... I remember how hard some fought that. I was actually there when they ticketed a lady and towed her car because she parked on the tracks and wouldn't move her car - not even for the train.
Robert
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Certainly would change how we look at things. Now the government screws us, with the extra revenue fro $10 gas, they can royally screw us. FREE MONEY, grab all you can.
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On Sat, 26 May 2007 18:22:56 GMT, Lew Hodgett

While I have no need to ever use public transit, especially since everything I ever need is local, it's really irrelevant. However, I can think of two examples where it might have been useful and was completely worthless.
Last year, we were going down to San Diego and looked into taking the train down. It was much, much more expensive to take the train than it was to drive and the only way to even get to a train that was going that way was to drive 60 miles down into Orange County, leave our car somewhere I wouldn't park if my life depended on it and hope nobody vandalized it. Then I would have had to pay for bus or taxi service in San Diego the whole weekend since ht train station is nowhere near where we were going and it would have cost 2-3x as much as driving in the end. Is this supposed to be reliable, useful public transportation?
Secondly, my best friend was teaching at Cal State Fullerton. He would have taken the Metrorail to work but they stop running at 6pm, long before he'd be heading home. The only way to take the train would have left him stranded every night with no way to get home. It is faster, cheaper and more convenient to drive.

No, it still wouldn't make public transit any more convenient or even possible for anyone. It would just make things more expensive.
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Brian Henderson wrote:
> > While I have no need to ever use public transit, especially since > everything I ever need is local, it's really irrelevant. However, I > can think of two examples where it might have been useful and was > completely worthless. <snip>
As someone once said, "There are no problems, only varying degrees of challenging opportunities".
It is the opportunities that need to be exploited.
Lew
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I can walk to the train station in Fair Lawn, NJ (5 min or so), take the train (with a transfer) into Penn Station NY, then take Amtrak to Boston South station. Then it is a single ride on the T to Porter Square, walking distance to my son's place (6 min). The car would be faster if there is not much traffic, but there is no guarantee that will happen. It is more expensive by train, certainly for 2 people, but it is much more relaxing by train. Have you driven through Connecticut lately?
--
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Han
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Han wrote:
> Have you driven through Connecticut lately?
Trying to compare SoCal transportation requirements with those of the North East corridor of the US is a little like comparing oranges and apples.
SoCal basically consists of basically 6 counties, one of which, San Bernardino, is larger than the entire state of Connecticut.
The population of SoCal is approaching 18 million, which makes it larger than 24 of the 50 US states.
People here drive 100+ miles each way from home to job, every day, for many reasons including either the lack of time it takes or lack of availability of public transportation.
IMHO, SUBSIDIZED public transit is one of those things the gov't should be doing.
The benefits of this type infrastructure are almost to enormous to calculate.
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Public transit is subsidized.....locally each bus ride costs the taxpayer approx. $25.00 but the ticket is about a buck......across the Columbia river in Portland Max (light rail) costs about $40.00 per ride.......with a ticket price of around $2.00. Other than having zero riders at actual cost how does one justify such a subsidy? Rod
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Rod & Betty Jo wrote:
> > Public transit is subsidized.....locally each bus ride costs the taxpayer > approx. $25.00 but the ticket is about a buck......across the Columbia river > in Portland Max (light rail) costs about $40.00 per ride.......with a ticket > price of around $2.00. Other than having zero riders at actual cost how > does one justify such a subsidy? Rod
As someone once said to me, taxes are the price we pay to live in an organized society.
Simply for the sake of discussion, consider the following:
A locality spends $25,000,000/year to operate a public transit system that cost $10,000,000,000 to build.
During the year, only one person took one ride on that system.
You could make the argument that the cost of that ride was $10,000,000; however, there is a benefit to the local community of just having a transit system, regardless of it's usefulness that reduces the cost of that $10,000,000 ride.
How much? Who knows?
What is the value of having a convention in your town, or securing a business that brings new jobs, etc, etc, because the local transit system was available?
Who knows, but there are think tanks out there that can answer those questions.
The point is that good infrastructure investments usually provide great rewards over long periods of time that are best measured directly.
The last major bricks and mortar infrastructure project in the US was probably the interstate highway system that is now over 50 years old.
Eisenhower wanted a highway system built to quickly deliver military goods across the country.
The result was the interstate highway system.
Guess the military got some benefit; however, with out the interstate system, where would we be today?
Did the US make a good infrastructure investment?
You tell me.
Lew
ride cost the
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I can't tell you - it's a question of opinion. An improved railway system would have been a possible good alternative or addition.
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Enough with the railway system talk. Railways make great sense in densely populated areas. Eurpoe and Japan come to mind. If we had Europe's population density, we'd have over a billion people in the US. Christ, if we had Japan's density, we'd have over 3 billion people. When we reach a billion people or so, I imagine an interstate rail system will make a lot more sense. I live near Chicago, and the regional commuter railway system is pretty good, as long as you're going to/from the city. The east and to a lesser extent the west coast are good places to have passenger rail. Other than that, there isn't much point right now to have it anywhere else besides a few places.
todd
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todd wrote:
| I live near | Chicago, and the regional commuter railway system is pretty good, | as long as you're going to/from the city.
Do you remember when it was possible to travel from any point in Chicago to any other and to/from the suburbs by rail?
Do you remember being able to travel from Chicago to any other city by rail in comfort? I remember traveling from Chicago to NYC in a clean, well-furnished private room.
| The east and to a lesser | extent the west coast are good places to have passenger rail.
Ok...
| Other than that, there isn't much point right now to have it | anywhere else besides a few places.
What "few places" are you talking about?
And what "many places" are you excluding?
I think I might want to disagree with you, but I'm not quite clear on what you're saying ;-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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No. When was that? I'll admit that you can get from many suburbs to another via Metra, you just have to go through Chicago first to do it.

Well, you can do that now with Amtrak. But it's a) extremely expensive and b) slow.

Houston and Dallas come to mind. Two population centers of several million people within relatively close proximity. Unlike Europe and Japan, that covers a very small part of the US.

Most of the rest of the US. Say, between Topeka, KS and Idaho Falls, ID.

Perhaps answering this question will help. Does the Chicago-area Metra have a line to Rockford?
todd
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todd wrote:
| || todd wrote: || ||| I live near ||| Chicago, and the regional commuter railway system is pretty good, ||| as long as you're going to/from the city. || || Do you remember when it was possible to travel from any point in || Chicago to any other and to/from the suburbs by rail? | | No. When was that? I'll admit that you can get from many suburbs | to another via Metra, you just have to go through Chicago first to | do it.
It has been a while. I remember taking the South Shore into the city from northern Indiana, then using the L and streetcars to get around the city and surrounding 'burbs. It was easier and faster than my much later trips through bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Dan Ryan. My decision to leave the area was significantly affected by that twice-daily ordeal.
|| Do you remember being able to travel from Chicago to any other || city by rail in comfort? I remember traveling from Chicago to NYC || in a clean, well-furnished private room. | | Well, you can do that now with Amtrak. But it's a) extremely | expensive and b) slow.
It took full day the last such trip I made. It was cheaper than flying, and provided an opportunity to unwind, relax, catch up on some correspondence, and to arrive refreshed.
||| The east and to a lesser ||| extent the west coast are good places to have passenger rail. || || Ok... || ||| Other than that, there isn't much point right now to have it ||| anywhere else besides a few places. || || What "few places" are you talking about? | | Houston and Dallas come to mind. Two population centers of several | million people within relatively close proximity. Unlike Europe | and Japan, that covers a very small part of the US. | || And what "many places" are you excluding? | | Most of the rest of the US. Say, between Topeka, KS and Idaho | Falls, ID. | || I think I might want to disagree with you, but I'm not quite clear || on what you're saying ;-)
Now I don't think I do - we were each thinking of a different type of service. I /would/ like to see more complete long-distance service (a la Amtrak), but my primary interest is in local commuter service from which even relatively small cities like Des Moines could benefit.
| Perhaps answering this question will help. Does the Chicago-area | Metra have a line to Rockford?
Darned if I know - I haven't needed to get around in Chicago for a long time.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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Maybe it's been a long time since you made that trip. It's currently a 20-hour train ride from Chicago to NY. If you have a "roomette", it runs $482 one way. I have family in San Antonio, TX. I've looked into taking the train with my wife and our 2 little ones. It would take 32+ hours and cost about $1600 round trip with the "family bedroom". I can fly for about half that. I wouldn't mind the time so much, but I can't pay double just for the pleasure.
todd
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todd wrote:
| Maybe it's been a long time since you made that trip. It's | currently a 20-hour train ride from Chicago to NY. If you have a | "roomette", it runs $482 one way. I have family in San Antonio, TX. | I've looked into taking the train with my wife and our 2 little | ones. It would take 32+ hours and cost about $1600 round trip with | the "family bedroom". I can fly for about half that. I wouldn't | mind the time so much, but I can't pay double just for the pleasure.
It has been quite a while. I don't remember what the fare was - but am reasonably certain it was a _lot_ less than $482 :-)
Coincidentally, my last domestic train trip was to Killeen, Texas from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Definitely a different level of comfort on a troop train - but it'd be difficult to beat the fare...
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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I dunno, Morris. With what the USMC paid me, the time lost was a big cost. IMS, I got $78 a month when I got to Parris Island. Long time ago, but it didn't go far even then.
One of my uncles bitched that he made about that as a tech sgt. in the S. Pacific during WWII. True? I dunno. He wasn't much of a BS artist.
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