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Old 02-25-2011, 09:06 PM  
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High Speed Rail, Jobs and the Governor

The US Dept of Transportation has extended by one week the timeframe for Florida to agree to accept $2.4 Billion. Rick Scott's attitude on this matter looks alot like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's approach to their budget bill: "My way or the highway." In state politics, that approach may win a battle, but it will lose the war. Leaders need to be able to sit at the table with stakeholders and fashion a democratic (note the small "d") outcome. Failure to do so will lead to Scott's (and Walker's) demise.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:25 PM  
Traveler

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I'm not from the area, and I know we are having budget debates, but I have my opinions on this.........
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:48 PM  
Kevin

Tarpon Springs, Florida
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I will throw in my 2 cents in on this, just try to realize, I am not complaining, arguing, or anything like that, I am debating. Here's the scenerio: We are supposed to accept 2.4 billion dollars from the federal government so that we can build a "high speed railway from Tampa to Orlando." Now, here's my take on it. Who in tampa wants to go to orlando? You can drive for much less than $50/ticket, plus, if you have any other people in your car, that's another $50/ticket. Most, and by most, I mean about 80% or more of the people that "visit" orlando are going for universal studios or disney. Why do we, or the federal govt have to pay for them a train system? Let me give you an example from me- My brother is married and has 2 kids, say he wants to go to disney. He would have to get his wife and 2 kids into the car, drive to Tampa, pay to park (probably around $10/day) then pay $50/ticket which is $200 for 4 people, then get to orlando, and he will be lucky, disney was going to offer free shuttle service from the train station to the front gates. so all in all, he spent gas from his house to tampa, then had to pay to park, then pay to get on the train.... or he could have just drove there, it would have taken about 30 minutes longer, and saved about 150 bucks or so, all while not costing the tax payers 2.4 billion dollars for the initial investment, as well as millions in maintenance every quarter.... just my 2 cents
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:56 PM  
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Fallacies: 1) Not accepting the money would save federal taxpayers money. In fact, the money is allocated and will be spent in another state if not here. 2) The project would have left taxpayers holding the bag for maintenance. In fact, the private sector contractors had agreed to fund deficits. 3) Anecdotal, armchair hypothesizing, based on a few minutes "thought" trumps the published ridership studies (true, they are often not completely accurate, but if I'm going to rely on something, it'll be a carefully constructed study rather than armchair 'common sense' which is more often common than sense). Where did the $50 come from, by the way? I wasn't aware (and doubt) that final fares had been established.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:09 PM  
mohel
 
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Keizer, OR
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High speed rail itself makes sense or at least until lately. You can't ensure the safety of miles of RR track so even some cunning underpants bomber can figure out how to derail such trains.

Why would anyone go to Orlando anyway. I can see mice anywhere.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:57 PM  
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Georgia
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High speed rail proponents didn't do a good job of selling the merits of the proposed system to Floridians or taxpayers nationwide. Would it connect Disney to Busch Gardens for tourists? Would it help commuters? How much would a ticket cost? How would it connect to local mass transit? Did the Tampa-Orlando area give conventional commuter rail a try? What is the cost delta between conventional and high speed rail? I think that many public sector infrastructure investments are worthwhile, but I'm not sure that many of the current administration's ideas are full through out.
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:04 AM  
mohel
 
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Keizer, OR
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Quote:
Would it connect Disney to Busch Gardens for tourists? Would it help commuters? How much would a ticket cost? How would it connect to local mass transit? Did the Tampa-Orlando area give conventional commuter rail a try? What is the cost delta between conventional and high speed rail?
Valid questions.

Another problem is even if there are Federal funds covering much of a project cities and states have to pass because of current deficits.
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:45 PM  
Kevin

Tarpon Springs, Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilgarlic View Post
Fallacies: 1) Not accepting the money would save federal taxpayers money. In fact, the money is allocated and will be spent in another state if not here. 2) The project would have left taxpayers holding the bag for maintenance. In fact, the private sector contractors had agreed to fund deficits. 3) Anecdotal, armchair hypothesizing, based on a few minutes "thought" trumps the published ridership studies (true, they are often not completely accurate, but if I'm going to rely on something, it'll be a carefully constructed study rather than armchair 'common sense' which is more often common than sense). Where did the $50 come from, by the way? I wasn't aware (and doubt) that final fares had been established.
I am not trying to be rude, but I have no choice. It's people like you with this mentality that sets forth in motion these policies that this money has to be spent. That is absolutely asinine. We owe china trillions, while giving out over 50 billion a year in foreign aid, and spending retarted amounts here for things like the high speed rail is just horribly wrong. We are one of 50 states that turned down the money, maybe the others will follow in our footsteps, then they will have to find something else to do with it, hell, maybe they will give it to our ever growing deficit. Why did $823,000 of our "Economic stimulus" money go to africa to fund a genital washing facility? That money, as well as things like the high speed rail thing, could be better spent paying off our debt so that we can do what we want, not have other countries pull the strings for us Americans.

That price that I put as a ticket price was an estimate, and I was estimating low, since I was just in Japan and the normal price for a high speed rail ticket is over 1500 yen which is well over $150 USD, and the high speed rails in europe are well over $50/ticket also. The private sector agreed to fund deficits because it's for them, we (the tax payers) would essentially be paying 2.4Billion dollars to pay for a train for epcot and universal... I personally don't want to do that, and I am gonna go out on a limb and say most of america would not want that. If you think it's a good idea, maybe you could start a donation program to get it to happen, just don't make the donations mandatory.

It sickens me to know how much of our hard earned money the govt is wasting on things like this.

-Kevin
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:07 PM  
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Riverview, Florida
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Quote:
It sickens me to know how much of our hard earned money the govt is wasting on things like this.
Very well said.

In my opinion the Federal Government shouldn't be collecting tax dollars that they can skim and then give us back some of it to make us feel like we just received a big gift.

Where is Earl Pitts when we need him???
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:22 PM  
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Orlando, FL
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Rick Scott claims that if the rail loses money after it's built, then FL taxpayers will have to supplement it. He also said that we would have to keep it running or repay the federal government. I never believe anything a politician says 100% (considering they all seem to lie), but there is a good chance it won't be profitable since it isn't profitable in many cities that have similar trains.

Disney and Universal would not likely support a train between the parks, Disney fought a local rail program here for years. They wanted it to run straight from the airport to Disney, skipping the I-drive tourist zone. It died because of that.

Mel has some good points about the challenges of getting from the train station to your final destination. Many times it's just easier to drive. I even drive to Miami instead of flying, even though the cost is comparable if you factor high gas prices and turnpike tolls ($15 or so each way). By time I leave the house, go to the airport, park, go through the molestation chamber then arrive and rent a car/catch a cab, I can just drive. Americans are unfortunately addicted to driving and generally hate waiting in lines.

I'd love to have a big project to get Floridians back to work, but $2.4 billion to create a few hundred $10-$15/hr construction jobs for a few years isn't a very good deal.

On a side note regarding government waste, I saw a bunch of perfectly good roads being repaved with stimulus money. One of them was in front of a school with a billboard announcing sport program cuts due to budget shortfalls. I also see roads with overcrowding and major damage being ignored. The stimulus didn't cover major improvements, so the only roads that got "fixed" were the ones that didn't really need to be fixed! Perhaps they could have found a way to switch that unneeded road money over to the schools to improve education....
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