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A Desire Named Streetcar

Several of you have asked for the report I cited on the show yesterday promulgating buses over rail as a superior solution.  Here it is.

Posted on Jun 9 by Registered CommenterLEO GOLD | Comments3 Comments

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I did not hear your show on transportation, so I don't know where you stand on the issue - But I did read the CATO report and feel it is unfounded in that its assessments are biased against rail transportation. It seems another example of shaping the facts to suit a faulty pre-conceived notion - in this case,that rail is a bad investment. It is the poor decisions made around how to implement rail (or for that matter, any form of mass transportation) that present problems. For example, of course bus ridership dropped in California when rates were raised to cover costs for overages in building rail lines - a clear example of poor planning, poor execution and poor response to the problems that resulted. If people do not have enough money to pay for bus ridership because rates are raised, ridership will drop. In terms of rail ridership, take the metro rail any day of the week in Houston - You will see that ridership is very high. Is this because it travels a heavily traveled route that offers poor parking options? Absolutely! Is it because the rail line is relatively fast without excessive stops, unlike many bus routes? Absolutely! Do planners tend to plan bus routes so that there are few stops and quick rides? No, they don't. Common sense tells you that when you plan the right routes with the right planning for costs and outcomes, and create the right funding, rail can be a major success. Look at Washington D.C., New York City, Europe, and many other locations for excellent examples. However, when greed, corruption, poor planning, special interests that are self serving rather than addressing the needs of the big picture, and overly-generalized approaches to analysis like the CATO report take over in the credibility department, instead of using common sense and objective evaluation, then we get poor decision making and bad outcomes.
Jun 15 | Unregistered Commenterm. baun

Thanks for these excellent comments. I do not say that the report is conclusive. Rather, I found it informative for its historical perspective, as well as for its analysis of the poor returns resulting from transportation investments that arise out of lobbying.

Leo Gold
Jun 15 | Unregistered CommenterLEO GOLD
It is a well known historial fact that GM OR A SUBSIDERARY CREATED by GM bought out
the public Transportation rail systems of many American citis such as LA, St. Louis and others to make them convert to all buses. This has resulted in American decades behide Europe in rail
in cities public transportation.

Another topic: If a Harrier Boeing-McDonell Douglas aircraft can carry 20,000 lbs. of bombs, why can't it be converted to a bus configuration to carry people and releive the congestion of urbon sprawl to downtown commutes??.
Jul 6 | Unregistered CommenterRonald

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