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Default Are we the only ones getting screwed ?????

In article ,
"HeyBub" wrote:


As for using increased tax revenues to fund, say, mass transit. It takes
five years to lay track. So 100% of the drivers in my town would be charged
extra amounts so that five years from now, 2% of the population will have
the opportunity to use rail transit? Really bad trade-off. Really bad.


Five years to lay track, but 10 years to do the engineering studies, 5
to do the enviornmental impact statements, 5 years to get the right of
way figured out.
One of the first things I did in '76 when I was a freshly minted
newspaper reporter was attend the first public hearing for a bypass
around the city I worked in. The final section was opened up 3 years
ago. Took 'em '76 to 95 to put the first shovel in the ground and '95 to
'05 to get it done.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:
In article ,
"HeyBub" wrote:

As for using increased tax revenues to fund, say, mass transit. It takes
five years to lay track. So 100% of the drivers in my town would be charged
extra amounts so that five years from now, 2% of the population will have
the opportunity to use rail transit? Really bad trade-off. Really bad.


Five years to lay track, but 10 years to do the engineering studies, 5
to do the enviornmental impact statements, 5 years to get the right of
way figured out.
One of the first things I did in '76 when I was a freshly minted
newspaper reporter was attend the first public hearing for a bypass
around the city I worked in. The final section was opened up 3 years
ago. Took 'em '76 to 95 to put the first shovel in the ground and '95 to
'05 to get it done.

About the only 'mass transit' you can do in a hurry is buses, either
conventional ones or privately run gypsy/jitney ones. Unlike Europe or
the old dense urban areas of east coast, most of US is not mass-transit
friendly. Too spread out, and peoples schedules vary too much. Around
here, they cut the bus routes back to the old part of the city. The
routes to the burbs and large apartment projects were money holes, even
with a buttload of federal subsidies. At work, I suggested they get with
the city bus folks, and try 4-trip a day (early and late to the office,
then the same thing the other way at quitting time) shuttle service from
where employee homes were concentrated to the office complex. The idea
went nowhere, even though several apartment complexes probably account
for a third of the junior-level employees.

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"aemeijers" wrote in message
About the only 'mass transit' you can do in a hurry is buses, either
conventional ones or privately run gypsy/jitney ones. Unlike Europe or the
old dense urban areas of east coast, most of US is not mass-transit
friendly. Too spread out, and peoples schedules vary too much. Around
here, they cut the bus routes back to the old part of the city.


Schedules are not a problem. Years ago companies and workers adapted to
available transportation or they walked because they lived near the mill
That is probably the only easy part to overcome. The automobile allowed
us to use many other options. Used to be, people did not complain about
taking two busses and a trolley to get to work. Now we complain if our
parking spot is more than 25' from the door. If a train dropped 100 people
off at the entrance to an industrial park, chances are they'd still have to
travel a quarter mile to a mile to their workplace along roads with no
sidewalks.

The last time I took public transportation to work was in the 1960's and
where I park at work is only 10' from the door.


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europeanvic wrote:
On Mar 28, 7:01 pm, Brian wrote:

It is not in US only, the prices in Europe are doubled and it is not
because of Gorge Bush war, gas prices in Europe have been always 2 - 3
times higher. Actually the cost of living in Europe is 3 times more
expensive than here in US, if you don't believe just try to live 3
years in Europe and will see:-)

http://www.planorealestateadvisor.com
http://www.planorealty.blogspot.com


It's all tax in Europe that causes the double gas price.
There are politicians that would like to emulate this in the US.
Personally I do not like "sin" taxes as they make the government
dependent on the sin for their income.
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On Sat, 29 Mar 2008 07:02:11 -0700, wrote:

feds should loosen smog regulations on gasoline and additives, to help
bring price down a little

temporarily suspend the federal gasoline tax

feds should allow cheap dirty econo car sales in the US for a limited
number of years. low power they wouldnt be allowed on some roads, lower
safety. but say 50 MPG minimum. such cars are sold in other countries
thru out the world


Oh yeah, that's a great idea, because short-sightedness is in such short
supply already! Let's make sure to remove any financial incentive to
actually get away from our dependence on foreign oil. We also get the
lovely side benefits of more pollution and less safety. Fantastic.

Frankly, what's happening now is a reckoning that's been long in the
coming. If we as a nation had maintained the focus on reducing oil
consumption and dependence we had in the seventies, even in a toned down
fashion, we wouldn't be in the straits we are now.

The solution now is to explore alternatives. I'm looking into building a
zero-energy home right now and I'm amazed at how cheaply and practically
it can be done, depending of course on what part of the country you're
living in. Geothermal heat pumping (e.g.
http://rebeeco.com/content/
view/15/15/ ) works pretty much anywhere in the U.S. and would greatly
reduce our environmental footprint. With fuel oil as high as it is, this
will greatly reduce our fuel costs as well.

Basically we've been lucky, spoiled and short-sighted for the last 30
years, and now we're paying for it. In order to solve the problem we need
less short-sightedness, not more. Or we could use your solution, and
leave the problem to our kids.

and most importandly change funding of all national elections
completely. limit 100 bucks per person, no corporate giving to
candidates.

so our representives arent bought and sold anymore


I agree with you in principle on that one.


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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
"aemeijers" wrote in message

Schedules are not a problem. Years ago companies and workers adapted to
available transportation or they walked because they lived near the mill
That is probably the only easy part to overcome. The automobile allowed
us to use many other options. Used to be, people did not complain about
taking two busses and a trolley to get to work. Now we complain if our
parking spot is more than 25' from the door. If a train dropped 100 people
off at the entrance to an industrial park, chances are they'd still have to
travel a quarter mile to a mile to their workplace along roads with no
sidewalks.

The last time I took public transportation to work was in the 1960's and
where I park at work is only 10' from the door.


Reminds me of years ago I was transfered downtown where I would have to
pay parking. I investigated taking the bus and got all the brochures
from the bus company. Of major interest to me was their giving their
total passenger miles and fuel consumed. A simple calculation revealed
that one gallon of gasoline transported one passenger nine miles - less
than half the mileage I was getting on my car at the time
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In article , gas
wrote:



Frankly, what's happening now is a reckoning that's been long in the
coming. If we as a nation had maintained the focus on reducing oil
consumption and dependence we had in the seventies, even in a toned down
fashion, we wouldn't be in the straits we are now.

I agree, with the addition that I did not see any real focus to
maintain. A short-lived talk about maybe doing something, but other than
producing a few years of Vegas and Pintos, nothing of any real
consequence.



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On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 05:01:26 +0000, aemeijers wrote:

Kurt Ullman wrote:
In article ,
"HeyBub" wrote:

As for using increased tax revenues to fund, say, mass transit. It
takes five years to lay track. So 100% of the drivers in my town would
be charged extra amounts so that five years from now, 2% of the
population will have the opportunity to use rail transit? Really bad
trade-off. Really bad.


Five years to lay track, but 10 years to do the engineering studies,
5
to do the enviornmental impact statements, 5 years to get the right of
way figured out.
One of the first things I did in '76 when I was a freshly minted
newspaper reporter was attend the first public hearing for a bypass
around the city I worked in. The final section was opened up 3 years
ago. Took 'em '76 to 95 to put the first shovel in the ground and '95
to '05 to get it done.

About the only 'mass transit' you can do in a hurry is buses, either
conventional ones or privately run gypsy/jitney ones. Unlike Europe or
the old dense urban areas of east coast, most of US is not mass-transit
friendly. Too spread out, and peoples schedules vary too much. Around
here, they cut the bus routes back to the old part of the city. The
routes to the burbs and large apartment projects were money holes, even
with a buttload of federal subsidies. At work, I suggested they get with
the city bus folks, and try 4-trip a day (early and late to the office,
then the same thing the other way at quitting time) shuttle service from
where employee homes were concentrated to the office complex. The idea
went nowhere, even though several apartment complexes probably account
for a third of the junior-level employees.



Buses aren't a bad solution in a places, but your opinion is poorly
thought out. Huge amounts of fuel consumption could be saved by replacing
the most heavily traveled air commute routes (e.g. L.A. to New York, L.A.
to Las Vegas...) with high speed rail solutions. We wouldn't have to
develop the tech ourselves either, we can look to Germany, France,
Switzerland, China and Japan for examples, and attempt to improve on their
designs. Significant fuel use (and human lives) can be saved by allowing
people to place their cars on trains for transport (this is done is areas
of Switzerland).

For commuting distances less than 50 miles, another solution is
alternative modes of personal transportation. I personally want a Twike
(www.twike.com). In high sun states, e.g. Utah, Arizona, Nevada,
California, you could commute entirely on solar energy (charging when
parked, not solar cells on twike), _without any new tech_. If more money
gets pumped into such vehicles, improvements will come rapidly. In high
population density areas, improved Bike infrastructure will help. Better
health of the populace, reduced traffic congestion, reduced noise and air
pollution. It would be wonderful. For longer commutes, ride-sharing and
car-pooling can make significant impacts.

In areas where traditional vehicles are needed (farming, development), bio-
diesel is a practical solution, and stricter efficiency regulations are
needed.

We're stuck in a rut, and we need to get out of it. Culturally, we seem
to want a simple one-shot magic bullet that cures our woes without any
change of behavior on our part. On the other hand, a few common sense
tactics and a minor shift in our way of thinking, can make huge
differences while we work on further improvements.

Removing our dependence on fossil fuels is an eventual necessity. We can
already make huge dents in it now. The approaches needed will have both
immediate and long term benefits. No one solution is going to work in
every area of such a diverse land mass as the United-States, so regional
approaches have to be taken. What's most important is to avoid knee jerk
'oh that can't work' reactions. Apply careful analysis, and use what
works where it works.

Of course, there's a lot of propaganda out there to sabotage these
efforts, and most of that propaganda comes from the energy and automobile
industries, who are worried about shifting power structures and reduced
profits. The worst nightmare for America's energy industry is more self
reliant America, where the citizens produce a large portion of the energy
they consume themselves. It would reduce their power and profits
drastically.
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Not on subject, looks like investing in rail transportation maybe a good
long term strategy. Trains are coming back.


I agree here. In the long term I think it'll also be good for truckers.

I used to hitchhike a lot. B/c of regulations I only rarely got picked up
by truckers, and when I did it was usually because they were just dying
for someone to talk to and give them some company (sometimes to keep them
awake).

On the average, most of them didn't seem to like doing long distance
hauls. This was always the case for the married, divorced, and with
children truckers. They only rarely got to spend time with their families.

On the other hand, shifting distribution to send freight by train to major
population centers (or freight centers), and the serving local areas by
truck from these freight centers would drastically improve energy
consumption, mean more time at home for the truckers, reduce traffic on
the highways, reduce pollution...

Okay, it might take a bit longer. Then the overnight delivery just gets
significantly more expensive. I think this is a good trade-off. Also,
with automazation technology, and improved routing and tracking, I think
we can expect an improvement on the shipping times we used to see.

This could also be combined with high speed shipping of people along major
flight-commute routes.

If we keep tacking on %1 - %5 percent reductions in fuel usage, eventually
we could be an energy neutral company (produce what we consume). Wouldn't
that be great!
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On Mar 29, 7:16*pm, Smitty Two wrote:
In article ,

wrote:
On Sat, 29 Mar 2008 05:23:50 -0700, Smitty Two
wrote:


According to Environmental Attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, senior
counsel for the National Resources Defense Fund:


Would that be he same RFKjr that blocked Cape Wind, the wind farm off
Nantucket? (along with his drunken uncle Ted, John Kerry and Mitt
Romney)


Does that disqualify the cited calculations? Maybe you don't like him,
or you think he's a hypocrite, but that doesn't invalidate the message.
I doubt he obtained those numbers from throwing darts in a pub.



No, it doesn't totally discredit the obviously bogus number that
should set off anyone's BS detector. But it is a start. Let me
finish the discrediting process:

http://www.pollutionissues.com/A-Bo/...fe-Refuge.html
"The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that ANWR likely holds
enough oil to supply six months of U.S. consumption, and that these
reserves would take ten years to develop. Conservationists point out
that the United States could easily save more oil than can be
extracted from ANWR by increasing automobile fuel efficiency
standards. For example, a one-mile per gallon increase in U.S.
automobile fuel efficiency for a thirty-year period would save more
oil than the projected yield from ANWR. "

The bogus claim is off by a factor of 30. Now it is totally
discredited. And that assumes that the US Geological Survey estimate
is right. How about if ANWR has an actual field the size of Saudi
Arabia or Kuwait? But, the Kennedy clan would rather go around with
a cup begging for oil from their buddy Hugo Chavez, blocking offshore
wind if it's off their shore, and spreading nonsense.


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On Mar 30, 11:22�am, wrote:
On 30 Mar 2008 14:36:45 +0200, gas wrote:

Huge amounts of fuel consumption could be saved by replacing
the most heavily traveled air commute routes (e.g. L.A. to New York


Yeah people would be lining up to pay more for a 2 day train ride.

When air fare was 10 times the price of the train people still took
the plane.


mag lev can do it at 300 miles per hour, with flight delays etc speed
would be a wash.

once terrorists shoot some commercial airliners out of the sky mag lev
will surge.........

they could build a mag lev system with bus sized vehicles leaving
hourly sharing a rail guideway running continiously. all coputer
controlled for spacing

when you want to travel it would be like a bus just go and get on.....

if you want timed reservtions pay a bit more.

capital building costs high, operating costs low, very flexible.

no air pollution except for international flights.

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taxpayers pay for roads...........

railroads have to pay for rails........

made rail cost more for many years.

rail lines should be electrified
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
"aemeijers" wrote in message
About the only 'mass transit' you can do in a hurry is buses, either
conventional ones or privately run gypsy/jitney ones. Unlike Europe or the
old dense urban areas of east coast, most of US is not mass-transit
friendly. Too spread out, and peoples schedules vary too much. Around
here, they cut the bus routes back to the old part of the city.


Schedules are not a problem. Years ago companies and workers adapted to
available transportation or they walked because they lived near the mill
That is probably the only easy part to overcome. The automobile allowed
us to use many other options. Used to be, people did not complain about
taking two busses and a trolley to get to work. Now we complain if our
parking spot is more than 25' from the door. If a train dropped 100 people
off at the entrance to an industrial park, chances are they'd still have to
travel a quarter mile to a mile to their workplace along roads with no
sidewalks.

The last time I took public transportation to work was in the 1960's and
where I park at work is only 10' from the door.



I'm not sure, but I think we are agreeing with each other. Until July
05, I lived in the apartments about a mile west of here, which was the
turnaround point for the end of that particular bus route (before it was
cancelled.) So, in theory, I could have ridden the bus to work, assuming
I got my lazy ass out of bed in time. However, it was a 20 minute
meandering ride from their to the central bus stop downtown, and then a
20 minute wait for a transfer for the bus that stopped in front of my
office. Call it 50 minutes to an hour, minimum, twice a day.

I'm 51 years old. The insurance company tables say I have maybe 35 years
left, if I'm lucky. I can DRIVE to work in 10-12 minutes. Am I going to
use up 2 hours sitting on a bus every day? Would you? Would anyone
rational, unless they were flat broke and had no other choice? If my
employers and the city had come up with a express shuttle for the
federal installation where I work, so no transfer was involved and it
only took, say, 20 minutes twice a day, the bus would suddenly look a
whole lot more interesting. The apartments where I lived could have
filled half a bus with just the federal employees that lived there. Add
in the other apartments up and down the main drag on this side of town,
it could have worked out. The main drags in the other 3 compass
directions would have similar numbers- hit the big apartment complexes,
and maybe certain subdivisions where you know the employees live.

Hey, I LIKE buses. I rode them a lot in college. But they were cheap,
and went directly from where I slept, to where I needed to be, and there
was one every 15 minutes.

--
aem sends...
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gas wrote:

On the other hand, shifting distribution to send freight by train to
major population centers (or freight centers), and the serving local
areas by truck from these freight centers would drastically improve
energy consumption, ...

snip

Another possibility too: ship the trailers by train (like ship containers),
off load where needed, pick up a tractor and driver.

--

dadiOH
____________________________

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....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico



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dadiOH wrote:
gas wrote:

On the other hand, shifting distribution to send freight by train to
major population centers (or freight centers), and the serving local
areas by truck from these freight centers would drastically improve
energy consumption, ...

snip

Another possibility too: ship the trailers by train (like ship containers),
off load where needed, pick up a tractor and driver.

Don't watch many trains go by, do you? Around here, that is already
dirt-common. There are sea-train boxes delivered to factories and
industrial parks around here that haven't been opened since they left
China or wherever. Don't know the handling steps on that end, but here
in CONUS they are offloaded in a port, many times directly to
purpose-built rail cars, and go cross-country by train to nearest rail
yard set up to pull them off and drop them on a matching semitrailer. I
understand some big factories with their own rail spurs can even offload
the containers directly from the trains.

--
aem sends...


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On Mar 29, 7:04 pm, "HeyBub" wrote:
wrote:
On Mar 29, 5:14?pm, wrote:
On Mar 29, 7:02 am, " wrote: feds
should loosen smog regulations on gasoline and additives, to help
bring price down a little


temporarily suspend the federal gasoline tax


That gas tax isn't enough to make a difference. ?RAISE the tax, and
use it for alternative development, efficient mass transit, etc.


unrestrained higher costs of gasoline means less spending on
everything else.............


Exactly. Fuel use is virtually inelastic. Price goes up, people pay it or
starve, lose their jobs, or suffer other dire consequences. Gone are the
days when people "went for a drive." Virtually all travel is a necessity.

As for using increased tax revenues to fund, say, mass transit. It takes
five years to lay track. So 100% of the drivers in my town would be charged
extra amounts so that five years from now, 2% of the population will have
the opportunity to use rail transit? Really bad trade-off. Really bad.


The alternative is that in 5 years, you'll still be paying huge
amounts for gas, but you WON'T have mass transit. That's even worse.
We screwed up mass transit a long time ago, and correcting that will
be costly, but not impossible.
Furthermore, you don't have to have rails for MT. You CAN use busses,
which don't take anywhere near 5 years to implement, and the routes
can be changed immediately at no cost as situations warrant. Not the
best answer, but it is and answer.
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"dadiOH" wrote in message

Another possibility too: ship the trailers by train (like ship
containers), off load where needed, pick up a tractor and driver.


It is done often, stacked two high. Check out the show "Railroads" on
Modern Marvels.


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On Mar 29, 3:55 pm, " wrote:
On Mar 29, 5:14�pm, wrote:

On Mar 29, 7:02 am, " wrote: feds should loosen smog regulations on gasoline and additives, to help
bring price down a little


temporarily suspend the federal gasoline tax


That gas tax isn't enough to make a difference. �RAISE the tax, and
use it for alternative development, efficient mass transit, etc.


unrestrained higher costs of gasoline means less spending on
everything else.............

its killing our economy.

might be better to take the hit on lost gas tax revenue, than pay tons
more for unemployment welfare etc


The gas tax revenue is fairly small, but is supposed to be used to
fund roadways and improvements. Kill the tax, and in a few years the
roadways are in bad shape, at which time you pay more for repairs,
detours, etc. Dropping the tax is a short-term answer that creates a
long-term problem.
Anyway, if you kill the tax, and stop funding needed roadwork, you now
have roadworkers out of work, which adds to the unemployment. The gas
tax hasn't kept up with inflation and increased road needs for many
years now.
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In ,
wrote:
On Mar 29, 7:04 pm, "HeyBub" wrote:
wrote:
On Mar 29, 5:14?pm, wrote:
On Mar 29, 7:02 am, " wrote: feds
should loosen smog regulations on gasoline and additives, to help
bring price down a little


temporarily suspend the federal gasoline tax


That gas tax isn't enough to make a difference. ?RAISE the tax, and
use it for alternative development, efficient mass transit, etc.


unrestrained higher costs of gasoline means less spending on
everything else.............


Exactly. Fuel use is virtually inelastic. Price goes up, people pay it or
starve, lose their jobs, or suffer other dire consequences. Gone are the
days when people "went for a drive." Virtually all travel is a necessity.

As for using increased tax revenues to fund, say, mass transit. It takes
five years to lay track. So 100% of the drivers in my town would be charged
extra amounts so that five years from now, 2% of the population will have
the opportunity to use rail transit? Really bad trade-off. Really bad.


The alternative is that in 5 years, you'll still be paying huge
amounts for gas, but you WON'T have mass transit. That's even worse.
We screwed up mass transit a long time ago, and correcting that will
be costly, but not impossible.
Furthermore, you don't have to have rails for MT. You CAN use busses,
which don't take anywhere near 5 years to implement, and the routes
can be changed immediately at no cost as situations warrant. Not the
best answer, but it is and answer.


Keep in mind where some transit tax money goes...

1. In many older big cities, the transit workers get big union benefits
that most other workers have no hope of getting. Such as health insurance
for entire family 100% paid by the employer or close to that.

In Philadelphia, it was some big union giveback around 2005 for the
employees with over 24 or 28 or whatever months seniority to pay 1%
or whatever pittance towards family health insurance premiums. (Covered
are employee and "qualifying dependents").
Despite this "giveback", cost increases in health insurance premiums
for employees with over 2 years seniority are 99% paid by the employer.

During the first 2 years, employees pay 30% of premiums during the first
year, 20% during the second year (as of 2005 and the following contract).

I managed to find an agreement for the current TWU Local 234 labor
contract, though I cannot quite guarantee that this is the actual current
contract as opposed to a proposed one:

http://www.twu.com/intstaff/contract...TDContract.pdf

The workers also get pensions!

Any corrections to any misinterpretations by me of this, please post or
e-mail to me at
(I will post all factual corrections to anything I said regarding this
labor contract as a result of any private e-mails I receive regarding this
labor contract.)

2. I do remember ongoing proposals for a rail line to be built (or
upgraded) along where one already ran, northwest from Philadelphia along
the Schuylkill river past Norristown. A big part was electrifying that
route. Price tag was a billion or two as of a few years ago.
The dollar amount sounds to me awfully high to get a nice little light
rail line up and running. I suspect this was going to be a big pork
barrel public works project to keep employed for a little while many
people in the politically powerful building construction trades unions at
their top dollar rates.

************

I think we need more open debate as to who the politically powerful few
of the unions nesting in older big cities are fighting for, and who they
are fighting against!

This does manage to tie in to political battling for more-vs-less
spending of tax dollars towards mass transit, as well as the battles to
get these tax dollars spent towards where they will do the most good vs.
towards where the political powers that be exert force to spend *our*
money on!

***********

I am a fan of mass transit, and I am a bit "socialist". I do see
fairness in "to each according to their needs, from each according to
their abilities". However, I also believe that people earning a living
largely deserve to not be taxed from most or even half of what they work
for or otherwise earn, and that their productivity and increases thereof
should reward those that successfully strive more than those who don't!

So I see existence of need to subsidize mass transit, but not with tax
dollars being spent to give its workers a hugely better deal than that
achieved by most of the workers riding mass transit or workers paying for
it through taxes!

I see need for more open debate in this area!

***********

- Don Klipstein )
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On Mar 30, 5:19 pm, (Don Klipstein) wrote:


snip of some good stuff

- Don Klipstein )


I can't disagree with most of what you said.
The efficiency with which tax money is spent is a major issue,
somewhat separate from the encouragement of fuel efficiency by raising
its cost.
Two problems, two solutions that might be related.
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On Mar 31, 3:25 pm, "Stormin Mormon"
wrote:
The environmental people closing wells, that hasn't helped. Think Alaska,
and offshore. I do believe we have oil in the USA that isn't being used.


The enviros have helped a lot.
If the oil isn't pumped now, and energy costs therefore rise, we will
have that finite oil a bit longer, while alternatives and efficiency
are encouraged.
If we pump it all quickly and cheaply, we will run out that much
sooner and with fewer alternatives on line.
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On Mar 30, 8:19*pm, (Don Klipstein) wrote:
* I am a fan of mass transit, and I am a bit "socialist". *I do see
fairness in "to each according to their needs, from each according to
their abilities". *However, I also believe that people earning a living
largely deserve to not be taxed from most or even half of what they work
for or otherwise earn, and that their productivity and increases thereof
should reward those that successfully strive more than those who don't!


You must spend a lot of time arguing with yourself.


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On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 16:29:19 -0500, gfretwell wrote:

On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 09:42:54 -0700 (PDT), "
wrote:

mag lev can do it at 300 miles per hour, with flight delays etc speed
would be a wash.


What is the real average speed? 100? 150? What path will the train have
to take? 3500-4000 miles? so it only takes 24 hours. Still not much of
an option

Who will buy the land? How much do you figure that ticket is going to
cost?

Trains make sense in urban environments but when you start getting out
in the boonies they don't attract many passengers. You can't confuse
things that work in Europe where countries are the size of congressional
districts here with what works in the US.



You don't actually need a maglev train. The TGV travels at 320 km/h (200
mph), using traditional train tracks. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TGV
.. And they've been running since 1974, the maximum speed they have
reached was 515 km/hr.

I'm not denying it would be a major engineering and legislative feat, but
it wouldn't be any bigger than the U.S. interstate system. Such projects
have been very beneficient in the past.

I live in Europe, where traveling by train is an option. I have to travel
to scientific conferences and such, which is paid by the university. So I
don't worry about whether the train or the plane is more expensive (It can
go either way, but only because air travel is so heavily subsidized).
Train travel uses less energy and less labor to deliver people, so on an
even playing field, train travel is cheaper.

Now, here is my algorithm for deciding which to take:

0. Can I take a train?
Obviously I can't take the train everywhere. So if I'm going to
the US or sardegnia, I fly.
1. Less than 6 hours by train?
-take the train. It's less hassle with the security, and for
works out to be time and energy saving, since I have to add
arriving 2 hours early at the airport, plus the time to travel to
the airport, etc. Also the trains are WAY more comfortable than
planes.
2. More than 8 hours: Is there an overnight train? Then take the train.
For travels of 8+ hours on the train, I can get a sleeper car, and wake up
refreshed at my destination. Usually for the price of a plane ticket.

Otherwise I take the plane.

So even in a world where energy isn't YET massively expensive, the train
is a valuable alternative to have. Now, if you incorporate the rising
costs of energy production the train becomes a more and more viable
alternative.


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On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 00:00:54 +0000, aemeijers wrote:

more where they could share existing freight
ROWs. The interstates just have too much of a head start.


Don't forget that interstates are completely subsidized. Taxes pay for
the wars to guarantee the oil flow. Taxes pay for the interstate system.
Why shouldn't taxes pay to maintain railway lines? Especially if the
railway lines can save the nation some wars and pollution?
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In article ,
glen stark wrote:

On Mon, 31 Mar 2008 00:00:54 +0000, aemeijers wrote:

more where they could share existing freight
ROWs. The interstates just have too much of a head start.


Don't forget that interstates are completely subsidized. Taxes pay for
the wars to guarantee the oil flow. Taxes pay for the interstate system.
Why shouldn't taxes pay to maintain railway lines? Especially if the
railway lines can save the nation some wars and pollution?


Interstates are largely (especially in the beginning before
earmarks) paid for by fed gas taxes, various excise taxes, in other
words user taxes. Hardly "completely subsidized".
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On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 16:37:03 -0500, gfretwell wrote:

On Sun, 30 Mar 2008 09:46:11 -0700 (PDT), "
wrote:

taxpayers pay for roads...........

railroads have to pay for rails........

made rail cost more for many years.

I guess you missed the creation of Conrail and Amtrack Uncle sam has
been maintaining rails since the Carter administration

rail lines should be electrified


They are in the places that make sense to do it. Mostly the NE corridor



You should read the wikipedia entry on Amtrak. Amtrak is held to much
more stringent self sufficiency requirements than either the airline
system or the automobile systems, which are very highly subsidized.

glen
www.glenstark.net
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Interstates are largely (especially in the beginning before
earmarks) paid for by fed gas taxes, various excise taxes, in other
words user taxes. Hardly "completely subsidized".


From the Wikipedia entry on Amtrak (please check wikipedia.org for
original citations):

Critics claim that gasoline taxes amount to use fees that entirely pay
for the government subsidies to the highway system and aviation. In fact
this is not true: gas taxes cover little if any of the costs for "local"
highways and in many states little of the cost for state highways.[43][44]
They don't cover the property taxes foregone by building tax-exempt roads.
They also don't cover policing costs: Amtrak, like all U.S. railroads,
pays for its own security, the Amtrak Police; road policing and the
Transportation Security Administration are paid for out of general
taxation.
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In article ,
) says...

How fast do they really run?

I know the Metroliner DC-NYC always talked about fantastic speeds, it
ran about 70 most of the time.


I spent 3 months in Europe on a Eurail pass in 1986. I never got on the
high speed trains, but the typical commuter train ran about 80 in
between stations. Express trains didn't go much faster, they just
didn't stop as often. The real advantage of rail travel over air is the
comfort. Air travel is an ordeal, rail travel is a pleasure.

You couldn't build the interstate system today. It would never get out
of the environmental impact phase.


In areas with expanding population, they are building new freeways all
the time.

Trains make sense here where the right of way already exists, the
track is in reasonable condition and the population centers are very
close together. That eliminates about 90% of the US geography.
The reality is the US has a lot more airline infrastructure in place
than railroad infrasructure. I doubt we have really laid any new track
on new right of way since WWII. Except for some passenger rail in the
NE corridor, most of the track in place is the old bolted rail, not
the precision welded rail you need for fast trains. Whenever we have
really tried fast trains they end up crashing and the US citizens have
little tolerance for crashes.
I doubt security would be much different than the airport as soon as
the first guy blows up or derails a train.


The USA is still running on the remnants of 19th century rails. I
believe about 40% of the rail lines that existed in 1900 have been
abandoned. Even the main rail corridors are, in many places, a single
pair of rails.

The impetus to rebuild US rail structure will not come from passenger
service. Long haul motor trucking is convenient, but uses several times
as much energy and labor as rail shipping. At current energy prices,
motor freight is only surviving because rail capacity is not available.
Terminals were designed for men using hand trucks, and switching yards
are a congested mess where cars can get lost for a month at a time.
When the system gets rebuilt to handle freight efficiently, adding
passenger service will be a minor upgrade.

--
For email, replace firstnamelastinitial
with my first name and last initial.
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Larry Caldwell wrote:
....
I spent 3 months in Europe on a Eurail pass in 1986. I never got on the
high speed trains, but the typical commuter train ran about 80 in
between stations. Express trains didn't go much faster, they just
didn't stop as often. The real advantage of rail travel over air is the
comfort. Air travel is an ordeal, rail travel is a pleasure.

....

We took the "Chunnel" across the channel to/return Paris/London in '99 I
believe was last time.

It runs max of 100+ but on the time we were on had speed restrictions of
30 for track conditions in an area (I forget just where). So, even
there they still have maintenance issues...

--
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In article ,
wrote:

On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 19:50:02 -0700, Smitty Two
wrote:

In article ,
wrote:

On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 10:57:02 -0700, aspasia wrote:

I generally fly first class and they treat me fine.

Apres toi, le deluge!

Aspasia

A first class train ride will cost a lot more than a first class plane
ride.
The discount price on a train will be more than the discount price on
a plane and you will be in the cattle car for 3 days to get across the
country. I'm sure Americans who think the microwave is too slow will
be linng up for the train.


The key AISI is using appropriate technology for the task at hand.
Taking a train across the country may not have many advantages. But for
some shorter trips, a train may be the fastest, easiest, and least
expensive way to get from A to B.

California is planning to build a high speed rail line from San Diego to
San Francisco. A trip from LA to SF will take less than 2 1/2 hrs. You
could scarcely get to LAX, find a place to park, check-in, go through
security, board a plane, and wait for it to take off in that amount of
time. The trains will also help to relieve congestion on the freeways
and airports.



Why do you think going to the train station, finding a place to park,
checking in, going through security and getting on a train will be
faster?


I'll answer your rhetorical question: Because the high speed rail
project has been well engineered. The trouble with the freeways and
airports is that they were designed for about 1/10 of the traffic that
they have now.

As soon as somebody uncovers a plot to bomb a train we will be talking
our shoes off at the train station. I also bet that 2 1/2 hours is a
pipe dream that never really happens.


I think it will happen. It's a finite distance, and the speed of the
train is known. The track will be on a separate grade, so there's no
crossings to slow things down.

Trains in the north east work
well, as long as you are not going very far and light rail is a very
successful way to renovate slums. At least close enough along the
route to get to easily but far enough away so you don't hear the
train.

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In article
,
Smitty Two wrote:


I'll answer your rhetorical question: Because the high speed rail
project has been well engineered. The trouble with the freeways and
airports is that they were designed for about 1/10 of the traffic that
they have now.


The well-engineered part is the problem. The Interstates have always
been publicized as being what is needed to keep traffic moving smoothly
for 20 years. Yet traffic tends to rise immeditaely to fill all that
empty space. Nature abhors a vacuum and motorists abhor a empty inch of
traffic lane at rush hour.


As soon as somebody uncovers a plot to bomb a train we will be talking
our shoes off at the train station. I also bet that 2 1/2 hours is a
pipe dream that never really happens.


I think it will happen. It's a finite distance, and the speed of the
train is known. The track will be on a separate grade, so there's no
crossings to slow things down.


But that many more bridges or overpasses also increases the number of
things that can dynamited and do nasty things to the trains. Also much
more bang (so to speak) for the buck smashing around a train carrying
100s of passengers than a few tens of people spread out around on a
freeway.
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On Apr 12, 7:44�pm, wrote:
On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 10:57:02 -0700, aspasia wrote:
I generally fly first class and they treat me fine.


Apres toi, le deluge!


Aspasia


A first class train ride will cost a lot more than a first class plane
ride.
The discount price on a train will be more than the discount price �on
a plane and you will be in the cattle car for 3 days to get across the
country. I'm sure Americans who think the microwave is too slow will
be linng up for the train.


no a mag lev train can rival the speed of a aircraft. run with no
grade crossings etc.

it can be completely computer controlled with individual cars leaving
for different places continually........

like every hour 39B leaves for chicago with just 2 stops.

pay more for reservations or just show up and take next avaliable
spot.

all powered by electric for minimum pollution

speeds of 350 MPH have been achieved.
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wrote:
On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 10:57:02 -0700, aspasia wrote:

I generally fly first class and they treat me fine.

Apres toi, le deluge!

Aspasia


A first class train ride will cost a lot more than a first class plane
ride.
The discount price on a train will be more than the discount price on
a plane and you will be in the cattle car for 3 days to get across the
country. I'm sure Americans who think the microwave is too slow will
be linng up for the train.


Per Amtrak, a round trip from Cleveland to Chicago Union station is $118
and you start and end up downtown.

Per expedia, a tourist flight from Cleveland to Chicago O'hare is $137,
plus fees, and you start and end up in a field far removed from downtown.

Per expedia, the first class flight is $1102, from cowfield to cowfield,
so with either flight you have additional time and cost to get downtown.

The train is slower, but the seating and accommodations are superior to
any plane, including first class.

It is true that there are more expensive tickets on the train, such as
if you want a bedroom or suite (but none as expensive as a first class
airline ticket), but I think generally a train is a better bargain for
all but very long trips. And with fuel prices soaring and airlines
falling out of business, this should be even more true in the future.

So if I want to go to Chicago, I'll take the train. If I want to go to
San Diego, I'll fly, although there is something to be said for the
adventure of taking a transcontinental train, which is probably why the
Canadian transcontinental is consistently oversubscribed.

The main problem with train travel in this country is that routes are so
limited. In other countries, they have better train services, due no
doubt to their very high cost of gasoline and cars, and very limited
parking.
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In article ,
"[email protected]" wrote:


Per expedia, the first class flight is $1102, from cowfield to cowfield,
so with either flight you have additional time and cost to get downtown.


Most of the time on the outbound trip you are substituting a trip
from your cornfield to another for a trip from your cornfield to
downtown. So, I am not all that sure that trains save you anything on
that part. Although this is not always a viable alternative, probably a
comparison with flights to Midway (downtown) would be better.


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