Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Nice to hear Jimmie Rodgers, anyhow. But the train horn is the least of San Rafael's worries about the SMART train. When the system starts running, it will back up traffic on Mission Avenue and on an already busy Third Street all the way back to the Highway 101 turnoff, which is already backed up during commute hours.

From Planning for Reality

The reality of the future impact of the SMART train on San Rafael is beginning to sink in: See San Rafael wants a delay in SMART trains to Larkspur. Reading the comments to the story is entertaining, even with pronounced thread drift.

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This is a pretty objective account of why we have the rail system we have now. The advent of the automobile is primarily responsible for the decline of passenger rail in the US. 

Passenger rail is simply no longer profitable here while freight rail is doing well in the private market, which is why Warren Buffett invested in freight rail, not passenger rail. 

Amtrak admits that it needs $227 million a year in federal subsidies to operate its system, which is why it will never have the capital to expand the system.

One objection to the video---the "suck" usage. Seems like Millennials introduced this vulgar language: Something is either "cool" or it "sucks." Not a great addition to our critical vocabulary [Later: Sorry to see even a smart guy like Kevin Drum using it today.]

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