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Thread: California Senate vote keeps bullet train alive(edited)

  1. #151
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    Re: California bullet train still a go

    Quote Originally Posted by TitusAndronicus View Post
    Within the very quote you cite, I posted the numbers and the performance report. What more could you possibly want? It's there in black and white. Acela is the profitable wing of Amtrak.
    IFF you do not count the capital costs of equipment and track maintanence costs yes. This is true of many transporation systems. AMTRAK plays accounting games to MAKE this "true", as it puts ALL of the equipment and track costs in OTHER budgets, making this "miracle" happen. Were the tracks really free? Did the trains come from Santa Claus? The fares do cover the bare minimum "operating" costs for ONLY this train, yet what maintains the SHARED tracks that it rides on? Do the basic math, including buying the land, building the tracks, buying the trains and operating and maintaining them, then compute the REAL fare required to pay ALL of those costs. Hmm...
    Last edited by ttwtt78640; 07-11-12 at 05:32 PM.
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  2. #152
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    Re: California bullet train still a go

    Quote Originally Posted by TitusAndronicus View Post
    Within the very quote you cite, I posted the numbers and the performance report. What more could you possibly want? It's there in black and white. Acela is the profitable wing of Amtrak.
    $449,900,000 (YOUR reported monthy revenue) divided by the $115 per person fare, means that MONTHLY ridership of 3,913,174 round trip passengers must use it, which I really doubt. ;-)
    Last edited by ttwtt78640; 07-11-12 at 05:48 PM.
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    Re: California bullet train still a go

    Quote Originally Posted by TitusAndronicus View Post
    The ridership and revenue data is all reported on their website. They anticipate an operational profit.

    The need is 23M more people in California by 2050.
    No ding on you, but I couldn't find where they anticipate an operational profit. And again,, more people coming to the state is not an adequate indicator of need. Are there sufficient people who need to get there from here (wherever here and there are) and will the HSR rail be less or more convenient/expensive to do so?

    Our experience with commuter rail shows us (at least here in the West where we're a little more spread out) that people take into account convenience as well as the cost of ridership. For instance, I can drive to downtown Portland (where many folks work) in under 25 minutes (figuring time for parking), and I can leave anytime I wish. If I want to take MAX, I have to drive (or walk) 5 miles to the nearest Park & Ride, catch the right train (every 30 minutes during the work day) and the total trip takes nearer to 45 minutes to an hour. Then I have to walk from the terminal to wherever I'm going.

    Add to this, the cost of the fare pretty much exceeds the gallon of gas I would have to buy if I drove. Parking fees are the difference, but most employers provide free parking for employees.

    So, altogether, pretty much a wash - and that's why people only take the MAX when they don't have a car. Alot of those folks take the bus instead as there is no need of going to Park & Ride and the stops are more varied. MAX is always running severely in the red and is heavily subsidized.

    Now, if you're a night or swing shift worker relying upon MAX, you're boned.

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    Re: California bullet train still a go

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    IFF you do not count the capital costs of equipment and track maintanence costs yes. This is true of many transporation systems. AMTRAK plays accounting games to MAKE this "true", as it puts ALL of the equipment and track costs in OTHER budgets, making this "miracle" happen. Were the tracks really free? Did the trains come from Santa Claus? The fares do cover the bare minimum "operating" costs for ONLY this train, yet what maintains the SHARED tracks that it rides on? Do the basic math, including buying the land, building the tracks, buying the trains and operating and maintaining them, then compute the REAL fare required to pay ALL of those costs. Hmm...
    The the support for your contentions is where?
    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

    -- Adam Smith

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    Re: California bullet train still a go

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    $449,900,000 (YOUR reported monthy revenue) divided by the $115 per person fare, means that MONTHLY ridership of 3,913,174 round trip passengers must use it, which I really doubt. ;-)
    The figure I cited was year to date, not monthly. Divide that by nine, please.

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    Re: California bullet train still a go

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    No ding on you, but I couldn't find where they anticipate an operational profit. And again,, more people coming to the state is not an adequate indicator of need. Are there sufficient people who need to get there from here (wherever here and there are) and will the HSR rail be less or more convenient/expensive to do so?
    See 5-18 and 6-5. In the 2012 business plan, the revenue and operations/maintenance are listed in separate chapters. But for example, the 2035 medium level projection for revenue is $1,717M and for O&M is $744M. This leaves $973M left over to pay back on the initial investment.

    The idea that in 40 years the transportation capacity of California will be the same seems unlikely. There is demand. SFO-LAX is the busiest air passenger route in the country. I see no reason that demand wouldn't increase significantly with a 62% increase in population.

    As for the expense of HSR, the projection scenarios I saw in their documents was for 55% or 77% of average airfare cost. As for convenience, I find a scenario in which it is less preferable to air travel hard to fathom. More station locations, frequent service, larger windows, larger seats, room to move, last minute ticket purchases...
    Last edited by TitusAndronicus; 07-11-12 at 08:57 PM.

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    Re: California bullet train still a go

    Quote Originally Posted by TitusAndronicus View Post
    Why? The California HSR system isn't a commuter rail system. Commuter rail is 20-50 miles long and radiates from downtown to the suburbs. It is just as profitable as the highways that parallel it.

    Now...a high speed rail system in the United States that makes a profit, sure. Out of the one we have, one is profitable...Acela.

    From one of their monthly performance reports (C-1):

    For September 2010 YTD:
    Revenue: $449.9M
    Expenses: $349.3M
    Profit: $100.6M

    You'll find the same thing in Spain, Germany, Taiwan, Japan...
    Amtrak Office of Inspector General

    EVALUATION REPORT E-08-02

    Public Funding Levels of European Passenger Railroads

    April 22, 2008

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    There have been numerous claims made about the relative financial performance of European Passenger Train Operations and the amount of Public Funding they require to remain operationally viable. This review examines the Public Subsidies that have been provided for European Passenger Train Operations and then compares these funding levels to that of Amtrak.

    Overall Conclusions

    After examining a representative sample of European Passenger Train Operations over a multi-year period, we found that:

    a) When all revenues and expenses for the entire passenger train system are taken into consideration, European Passenger Train Operations operate at a financial loss and consequently require significant Public Subsidies, and

    b) The average annual subsidies for European Passenger Train Operations are much higher than those for comparable Amtrak services.

    http://amtrakoig.gov/sites/default/f...-02-042208.PDF
    We will make a profit? Is that with or without taxpayer subsidies?
    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams

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    Re: California bullet train still a go

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post
    We will make a profit? Is that with or without taxpayer subsidies?
    If it were going to be profitable, investors would pay for it and the taxpayer wouldn't have to.
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

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    Re: California bullet train still a go

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    it's quite smart
    another french idea which we should adopt
    Yeah cause nuclear reactors along a fault line would be just dandy?!? Cmon.

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    Re: California bullet train still a go

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    If it were going to be profitable, investors would pay for it and the taxpayer wouldn't have to.
    Maybe you should tell TitusAndronicus.
    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams

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