Minnesota rail advocates make pitch t...

Minnesota rail advocates make pitch to Ramsey County

There are 951 comments on the TwinCities.com story from May 18, 2011, titled Minnesota rail advocates make pitch to Ramsey County. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

If the state and federal governments help build a Rochester-to-Minneapolis or Rochester-to-St. Paul high-speed rail line, the train would do what few other public transit systems around the country have been able to accomplish without public subsidy, and that's pull a profit.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

“Celebrate Liberty and Freedom”

Since: Sep 09

Mpls

#21 May 20, 2011
ahblid wrote:
<quoted text>
Blame our highways for that fiscal position!
Not only have we borrowed billions to support our highways,$62B in just the last 3 years; but the Federal fuel tax was diverted from its original purpose in 1956 to build the highways. Had Congress and President Eisenhower not diverted the fuel tax to build Ike's dream, it would still be doing what it was supposed to be doing, helping to pay down the national debt.
For that matter, the highway act from 1956 intended the fuel tax to revert back to its original purpose in 1972. Instead, Congress continues the diversion because we drivers refuse to pay fully for that which we use.
Had all that money gone where it was intended, when President Herbert Hoover first imposed it in 1932 to help pay down the debt, our national debt would probably be lower by at least $2 or $3 trillion, if not more.
Want to help start fixing the National debt problem? Start demanding an increase in state gas taxes so that the Fed can stop the subsidies to the highways.
And for that matter, had we not subsidized our roads, trains would probably still be privately owned and not requiring subsidies. Taxing the RR's to help build the highways didn't help either.
moron 99% of commuters use hwys at fraction of the cost of rail which less then 1% of commuters use. Rail make no impact on congestion being a trainload of people is insignificant to traffic.

Private companies would not invest in light rail, its gigantic money loser, without roads we are a third world nation.

“Celebrate Liberty and Freedom”

Since: Sep 09

Mpls

#22 May 20, 2011
ahblid wrote:
<quoted text>
Funny, American's took more 4.473 billion rides on all types of trains in 2008. That represents an awful lot of "nobody's" riding trains.
all cities with rail has mass deficits, moving less then one percent of people with the highest cost.
Whatever

Las Vegas, NV

#23 May 20, 2011
ahblid wrote:
<quoted text>
Funny, American's took more 4.473 billion rides on all types of trains in 2008. That represents an awful lot of "nobody's" riding trains.
2 rides per day, 5 days per week x 50 non-vacation weeks per year = 500 rides.

4.473 billion rides divided by 500 per one user = 9 million train users. That's New York riding the subway.

What about the rest of the country?

I just got all Netanyahu on your a$$.

“Celebrate Liberty and Freedom”

Since: Sep 09

Mpls

#24 May 20, 2011
Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
You are incorrect.
The only reason trains exist is that the steam engine was invented before the internal combustion engine. Trains are a technical anomaly, a throw back to the days of yore when there were no better alternatives.
Today we have better alternatives. For mass transit, buses are superior in every single way except in creating jobs for jack-booted union thugs.
you still need a car,taxi bus to and from the train......rail is insanity inefficiency.
Bob

South Elgin, IL

#25 May 20, 2011
ahblid wrote:
<quoted text>
No Bob, I'm sorry, I'm 100% correct.
Today's trains stop themselves if the engineer has a heart attack, dies, or is otherwise incapacitated. Your car can't do that!
Today's trains will stop themselves before the engineer can even run a red light. Your car can't do that!
Today's trains will stop themselves if the engineer fails to slow down for a curve. Your car can't do that!
Today's trains are far more modern and computerized than your car!
Next, buses are the worst form of mass transit. And if you're a union hater, which is what it sure sounds like, then you've backed the wrong horse; buses are the best way to increase the size of those unions!
Case in point, Salt Lake City. In 2009 they moved 20.6 million rides via buses and 13.4 million rides via light rail. To do that they needed 371 buses on the road every weekday and every one of those buses needs a driver. Two in fact, since you need two shifts to cover the full day. That's 742 bus drivers. They actually own 501 buses, which means about half of the 130 or 65 of the not in service buses are in the shop for work. That means mechanics, at least 1 per bus and in many cases 2 per, but I'll low ball it with 1. That's 65 mechanics, assuming only 1 shift. Odd are good that they have two shifts, but I won't go there either.
A look over at light rail shows that they own 55 light rail cars and they put 43 cars into service each day. Under normal circumstances, 2 cars are coupled together requiring 1 operator. With 2 shifts, that's 44 operators. Put half the cars not running into the shop and I'll even be generous and assign 3 workers per car, that's another 18 workers.
So to review and not including mechanics or backup workers to cover sick & vacation time, light rail has 44 union employees to move 13 million rides. The buses have 742 union employees to move 20 million rides. So they need 698 more employees to move an extra 7 million rides.
Or to put it another way; for every 27,840 bus riders they need 1 driver. For every 304,208 light rail riders they need 1 operator.
And you think that rail creates more jobs? I don't think so! In fact it's the buses that win in that category, while losing in every other category.
For example, in this country according to the National Transit Database for 2009, it costs 90 cents to move 1 person 1 mile on a bus.
Put that person on a light rail train and it costs 60 cents per passenger mile. Put them on a heavy rail train (subways & L's) or a commuter train and it only costs 40 cents per passenger mile.
And a big reason for the way those numbers come out is all the extra employees needed for the buses.
In 2009 bus riders paid 26.72% of their operating costs via the fare box; rail riders averaged 52.04% of their costs.
You don't win an argument because you use the most words.

You win an argument when you are correct.

Now, get on your train, go to the corner store, and get a quart of milk.

Doesn't really make sense does it?

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#26 May 20, 2011
Tank Murdoch wrote:
<quoted text>moron 99% of commuters use hwys at fraction of the cost of rail which less then 1% of commuters use. Rail make no impact on congestion being a trainload of people is insignificant to traffic.
Private companies would not invest in light rail, its gigantic money loser, without roads we are a third world nation.
Tank,

The Long Island RR moves more people into NY City during the 4 hour morning rush than the combined capacities of the LI Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway. Those two highways, the only direct highways from Long Island into NYC have a total of 7 lanes. The LIRR has 4 tracks, one of which always runs outbound, while the other three run inbound.

One light rail line can move the capacity of a freeway lane and then some.

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#27 May 20, 2011
Tank Murdoch wrote:
<quoted text> all cities with rail has mass deficits, moving less then one percent of people with the highest cost.
Most cities have deficits; with or without rail.

However, if anything is making a city's deficit worse, it would be the buses.

It costs 90 cent per mile to move 1 person on a bus.

It only costs 40 cents to move 1 person 1 mile on a commuter train or a subway or an L. It costs 60 cents on light rail.

So if you want a bigger deficit, don't build rail and pay more to put people on a bus!

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#28 May 20, 2011
Whatever wrote:
<quoted text>
2 rides per day, 5 days per week x 50 non-vacation weeks per year = 500 rides.
4.473 billion rides divided by 500 per one user = 9 million train users. That's New York riding the subway.
What about the rest of the country?
I just got all Netanyahu on your ****.
Total ride data from the National Transit Database for 2009 for the NYC subway: 2,358,313,445. Yes, NY is a big chunk of the total, but that still leaves more than 2 billion rides for the rest of the country.

So much for your idea!

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#29 May 20, 2011
Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
You don't win an argument because you use the most words.
You win an argument when you are correct.
Now, get on your train, go to the corner store, and get a quart of milk.
Doesn't really make sense does it?
Well then I won, since I'm correct on everything that I said. You didn't dispute one word of it, especially your false union theory!

Doesn't really make sense to drive your car either for a quart of milk, although I'm sure you do. But unlike you, there are plenty of people who will either walk, take a bus, or a train to go get their milk.
Whatever

Las Vegas, NV

#30 May 20, 2011
ahblid wrote:
<quoted text>
Total ride data from the National Transit Database for 2009 for the NYC subway: 2,358,313,445. Yes, NY is a big chunk of the total, but that still leaves more than 2 billion rides for the rest of the country.
So much for your idea!
You still fail to see the obvious.

If New York alone accounts for half of the 4.7 billion train rides per year, that still means the vast majority of the country doesn't support the train industry enough to make it viable in most cities.

Dope.

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#31 May 20, 2011
Whatever wrote:
<quoted text>
You still fail to see the obvious.
If New York alone accounts for half of the 4.7 billion train rides per year, that still means the vast majority of the country doesn't support the train industry enough to make it viable in most cities.
It's you that fails to see the obvious.

NY City doesn't have any light rail trains, only the subway or heavy rail trains. Light rail costs 60 cents per passenger mile. Buses cost 90 cents per passenger mile.

Why as a taxpayer do you want to pay more?
Whatever wrote:
<quoted text>
Dope.
And if you had any facts, you'd be using them instead of insults. But those without facts always turn to insults as their weapon of choice since they have no other options.

You were wrong in your first post and you're still wrong. Sorry!
Whatever

Las Vegas, NV

#32 May 20, 2011
ahblid wrote:
<quoted text>
It's you that fails to see the obvious.
NY City doesn't have any light rail trains, only the subway or heavy rail trains. Light rail costs 60 cents per passenger mile. Buses cost 90 cents per passenger mile.
Why as a taxpayer do you want to pay more?
<quoted text>
And if you had any facts, you'd be using them instead of insults. But those without facts always turn to insults as their weapon of choice since they have no other options.
You were wrong in your first post and you're still wrong. Sorry!
Try again, joker. The stat given by the earlier poster was 4.7 billion total rides (not unique passengers), including ALL rail transportation - that's lightrail, rubway, and standard train.

You lose. Now go put on a pink dress and make love to a tree, you hippy.
Hawkshaw

Garfield, MN

#33 May 21, 2011
hobie2 wrote:
The object of public transportation is not to
"pull a profit". It is to provide transportation and minimize impact on the existing infrastructure.
Fine, then make it a break even operation by charging ridership fares that are commensurate with the cost of operating the public transportation.
Just Sayin

United States

#34 May 21, 2011
ahblid wrote:
<quoted text>
Most cities have deficits; with or without rail.
However, if anything is making a city's deficit worse, it would be the buses.
It costs 90 cent per mile to move 1 person on a bus.
It only costs 40 cents to move 1 person 1 mile on a commuter train or a subway or an L. It costs 60 cents on light rail.
So if you want a bigger deficit, don't build rail and pay more to put people on a bus!
rail costs trillions while a bus is a small fraction of that cost so that makes no sense.

Any city with rail has mass deficits in good times or bad, because with or without rail you still need bus service to get to and from the track.
Just Sayin

United States

#35 May 21, 2011
ahblid wrote:
<quoted text>
Tank,
The Long Island RR moves more people into NY City during the 4 hour morning rush than the combined capacities of the LI Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway. Those two highways, the only direct highways from Long Island into NYC have a total of 7 lanes. The LIRR has 4 tracks, one of which always runs outbound, while the other three run inbound.
One light rail line can move the capacity of a freeway lane and then some.
we don't have the population congestion of NY plus all those folks still need cars, taxes or buses to and from the track.
Just Sayin

United States

#36 May 21, 2011
ahblid wrote:
<quoted text>
Well then I won, since I'm correct on everything that I said. You didn't dispute one word of it, especially your false union theory!
Doesn't really make sense to drive your car either for a quart of milk, although I'm sure you do. But unlike you, there are plenty of people who will either walk, take a bus, or a train to go get their milk.
If you take a train to get milk you still need another mode of transportation to get to and from the track.

That milk journey takes one to two hrs using rail, while in car it takes 15 minutes.

“I am always right.”

Since: Oct 09

Former MN Taxpayer

#37 May 21, 2011
ahblid wrote:
<quoted text>
This is not to suggest that buses have no role in the public transportation mix. But their primary job should be to serve the small streets and cul-de-sacs as it were and transport the people living there to a train.
Amazing. Given what you said, I bet you would be in favor of outlawing cars owned by individuals and requiring everyone to use government provided transportation.

A question for you, without being too specific, is your job in any way connected to advocating for, promoting, or implementing rail as a means of transportation?

Bottom line: your arguments are polished beyond the point of a casual observer.
Just Sayin

United States

#38 May 21, 2011
Hawkshaw wrote:
<quoted text>
Fine, then make it a break even operation by charging ridership fares that are commensurate with the cost of operating the public transportation.
indeed have all the liberal communist in support of rail, pay the billions up front to install the track and deductions from their paycks thereafter for maintenance

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#39 May 21, 2011
Hawkshaw wrote:
<quoted text>
Fine, then make it a break even operation by charging ridership fares that are commensurate with the cost of operating the public transportation.
Fine; just as soon as you start paying fully for the roads you drive on.

But be warned, currently we drivers only pay 51% of the total expenses of our roads & highways. A UC Davis study conducted a few years ago suggested that the fuel taxes might need to be raised by as much as 70 cents per gallon before we drivers actually fully pay for our roads.

And yes, I own a car and love driving it, but I'm one of those who isn't paying fully either.

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#40 May 21, 2011
Just Sayin wrote:
<quoted text>rail costs trillions while a bus is a small fraction of that cost so that makes no sense.
Any city with rail has mass deficits in good times or bad, because with or without rail you still need bus service to get to and from the track.
Rail costs more up front yes, but less long term!

If one goes to the National Transit Database and pulls the capital (building costs) and operating costs for both buses & light rail for Salt Lake City from for the 12 year period from 1996 to 2007, one finds the following:

SLC spent $1.009 Billion on its buses all in.

SLC spent $715.04 Million, with a M (it's not a typo), on its light rail.

The buses in 2007 moved about 7 million more rides than light rail.

Bus operating expenses were $103.3M; light rail $26.2M.

Bus riders paid 14.02% of that and light rail riders paid 28.18% of their expenses.

Why do you want to pay more in taxes for the buses?

Now in the interests of full disclosure I will tell you that SLC embarked on a major expansion of its light rail system in 2008. As of 2009 the expenses from that have for the moment pushed light rail slightly into the lead. However, once construction stops in 2012, the huge disparity in operating costs will quickly push buses back into the lead.

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