It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The stupidity of light rail in the USA

page: 1
4
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 7 2018 @ 01:13 PM
link   
This is sort of a rant, but I just am amazed at how the discussion, funding, and political nonsense happens in regard to light rail in the USA.

Here is how it starts, it starts with a genuine need. The need of an American city to solve the problem of congestion of highways and the pollution they create by attempting to get some of those drivers off the road and onto a train to and from work.

Great, that is all good, let's do it!

Then the politicians get involved. And in nearly EVERY SINGLE CASE the train is sent through the most blighted areas of the city in some vain attempt to get "the poor" to work.

Hey, guess what? Some of the poor are poor because they don't want to work.

Why isn't light rail dedicated to the neighborhoods that have a high amount of skilled workers that might actually use them?

So after the initial love affair the media has with the system it starts getting lower and lower ridership due to crime on the trains and physical assaults on the riders.

Then it becomes a tax burden to the local communities they shouldn't have been built through in the first place.

Is there a word for this sort of lunacy? Like this odd need to pretend that all that matters is to help the "down and out" at the astronomical expense of the tax payer?




posted on May, 7 2018 @ 01:25 PM
link   

originally posted by: Fools

Is there a word for this sort of lunacy? Like this odd need to pretend that all that matters is to help the "down and out" at the astronomical expense of the tax payer?


Yes, it's called Progressive, as in progressive politics, as in the crazy end of the liberal spectrum, as in we must do it for the poor and do it for the children. They keep raising taxes on businesses and employees and so there are more poor and more children that have some issues at home. Then they dream up another "solution" that always involves more spending and more taxation, that they use to line the pockets of themselves and their friends and they say look we must do it for the poor and you are a heartless bastard that hates children if you are against it. I have gotten down to where my only hope is that Amazon gets big enough to devour all the governments. Jeff Bezos may take all my money, but at least I will get something for it and when he says something will be done, something gets done.


edit on 7-5-2018 by MRinder because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-5-2018 by MRinder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 01:29 PM
link   
That's a pretty accurate description of Seattle about now. Except the tax burden is falling on neighborhoods that will never use it because they are too far away. they increased car license fees EXPONENTIALLY to pay for this costly system that runs through crime-ridden areas. If you live in the affected counties, even if it is 100 miles away from light rail. you're screwed.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 01:36 PM
link   
IMO light rail also fails because nobody want one in their back yard. They love the idea then vote no when it's near their property.

Then it drops you off in one location and there are no other rails to travel around the city.

You would think they would start in the city so you can park outside the city knowing you can get anywhere downtown you need and then add spokes.


It's also probable the poor areas don't fight as hard as they aren't the property owners in many cases but renters. So the train goes in those neighborhoods.

If the train doesn't go anywhere once you get to the destination and you still have to sit on a bus to get to a job it isn't very helpful to save commute times.

edit on 7-5-2018 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 01:36 PM
link   
a reply to: Fools

Do you have any stats to back up your claims? I'm asking because I have my own gripes against a lot of light rail proposals. But those gripes have nothing to do with what you're saying. Then there's this:


Hey, guess what? Some of the poor are poor because they don't want to work.

"Some" is less than half. By your own words, your accusation applies to less than half of the poor in these cities, which implies that more than half of the poor in these cities are indeed looking for work. So how is it a bad thing to implement a program that will help more than half of a city's poor residents get cheaper and easier transportation to potential jobs?

Your response also ignores the reality that some cities with light rail proposals also have sales taxes. This means that the poor citizens in those cities would still be contributing to the funding of the light rail projects every time they pay sales tax on a purchase. So what sense does it make to have poor residents pay taxes towards a program that they can't use?

And of course, you're making the weird assumption that light rail networks only go through poor areas. Where is the proof of that? From my experience, these networks go through a lot of areas in the cities, including the tourist friendly areas. That means that they also help outsiders navigate the city, which makes it easier for them to spend money in the city. They also typically go through business friendly areas so that tourists who come to the city for conventions and meetings can have an easier time navigating the city (meaning that they can also easily get from one place to spend money to another place to spend money).



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 01:45 PM
link   

originally posted by: enlightenedservant
a reply to: Fools

Your response also ignores the reality that some cities with light rail proposals also have sales taxes. This means that the poor citizens in those cities would still be contributing to the funding of the light rail projects every time they pay sales tax on a purchase. So what sense does it make to have poor residents pay taxes towards a program that they can't use?


In the case of Seattle, the funding comes from car licensing because, don't you know, we "shouldn't" drive cars. And given that the system DOES go through some of the poorest areas, "poor" people will, indeed, use them. The people with the greatest burden of paying for light rail live nowhere near the system and will NEVER be in a position to use it. Costs have soared, but what did you expect? Basically the system will be paid for by millions of people who are in no position to benefit and those who will benefit are not those people who will pay for it.

I can't speak to other systems, of course, and I do agree with some of your points, but OP has pretty well nailed the Seattle issue.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 01:54 PM
link   
You are spot on, OP.

This stupidity hit Cincinnati and now we have a light rail system that is always broken, costs a fortune to maintain and worst of all no one uses.

We have a subway system here that was started, but never finished. We would have been better off finishing that then wasting money on this light rail fiasco.

Of course, our city is run by Democrats so it is amazingly dysfunctional and can’t ever find the money for anything because they waste it on everything.

Light rail is a fools errand at best

edit on 2018/5/7 by Metallicus because: Sp



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 01:55 PM
link   
a reply to: schuyler

Are you sure nicer areas haven't voted it down?

I know in Austin that is the case. People votes it down because it would devalue their property.

Also maybe they want it to fail...like Henry ford paving over train tracks.

Wtf wouldn't you make the train run to the all parts of downtown first and add spokes when that is done? I just don't get the "planning". And the voters are often hypocrites.

Looks like it is the case most homeowners voted no..

www.seattletimes.com...
edit on 7-5-2018 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 01:58 PM
link   
a reply to: enlightenedservant

I am just wondering why it needs to be light rail, on a fixed track? They invented this thing they call a bus. Its amazing. It can go on almost any road. Even better yet, if people don't ride it on one route you can change the route to whatever you like. I know, it sounds to good to be true so maybe it's some sort of pseudoscience or some sort of lie made up by those evil children and poor haters.

The crazy thing is that roads already exist and are already paid for because they are also used by these things called cars and trucks. So all you have to buy is the actual bus.

So Seattle is adding an 8 mile stretch to their existing light rail, and could you ever quessed that its already $500 milllion over its $2.5 billion budget? Of course this is only a small part of the Sound Transit 3 initiative to add more light rail. That overall project budget is $54 billion, with no chance of coming in on budget. Just the Sound Transit initiative 3's $54 billion dollar budget comes to around $75,000 for every man, woman, and child in Seattle. So let's assume that 10% of Seattle is poor.. thats $675,000 for every poor man, woman, and child. So for the average poor family of 3 thats over $1.8 million. Maybe it would have been wiser to give them the money in some sort of annuity that pays out monthly and then on they wouldn't be a bit poor.

At a bare minimum, with a properly ran bus system they could have given them free bus rides for life. Not that any government is capable of running a bus system cost effectively.


edit on 7-5-2018 by MRinder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 01:59 PM
link   
a reply to: MRinder

It also appears home owners vote it down....



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:00 PM
link   
No, because the first line was ran through the worst neighborhoods. After that then some communities voted them down. The few that didn't did get lines but at the cost of petty crimes on businesses near the rail stations going up unbelievable percentages. Also ridership goes down over time because of petty crime (and at times felony crimes) that happen on the actual train itself.

I am in the Saint Louis area.

The sad thing about Saint Louis is that it had a wonderful streetcar system until the late 1950's. There is talk about bringing some of those back between downtown and the west end of the city - but I doubt it will happen because it actually makes sense.

edit on 7-5-2018 by Fools because: adding more



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:01 PM
link   
a reply to: MRinder

My metro has a bus system. The point of light rail is to pull drivers off the highways. As I stated in the first post.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:01 PM
link   
It seems a cure for traffic congestion, and I'm sure throngs of people would use it. Others would prefer their own conveyances and avoid the unwashed masses. I read of business's in high density places not being able to hire people, mostly in the service industry or fast food. Wages do not provide the amount needed to afford housing and a life there, hence no employees available, hence business's going out of business.

Demographics and economies are changing, perhaps lunch boxes will be in vogue once again. Certainly expanding freeways has not been successful in So Cal. And perhaps it would be too costly to even attempt such bold measures ? And who knows blight and decay may make the Rail System moot in the near future.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:06 PM
link   

originally posted by: Fools
a reply to: MRinder

My metro has a bus system. The point of light rail is to pull drivers off the highways. As I stated in the first post.


Well it may be the point, but the fact is it is not realistic. So after the first 6 months the only people that will ride it are the poor, the tourists, and the environmentalists. When people are given the option to sit in traffic by themselves (as opposed to random strangers of which half are a little shady looking) and get right by work vs getting in the general ball park of work and having to take another form of transportation the last mile they choose the car and the traffic. By driving a car they can come and go as they please as opposed to on someone or something else's schedule.
edit on 7-5-2018 by MRinder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:07 PM
link   
Light rail never works because of NIMBYs and it cost to much too build it out so that it is truly convenient. Cities with excellent public transportation usually have it because the city was built around it from the start... the subways/light rail weren't added after the fact.

I think governments are not thinking out of the box when it comes to alleviating congestion.

As a motorcycle rider, I wish lane splitting/filtering were legal in every major city in the US. Right now, it is only legal in CA. This is where scooter and motorcycle riders can ride down the middle between cars that are moving slowly or stopped. It allows people on motorcycles to get where they are going faster and results in one less car on the road.

Cities should be encouraging people to get out of their cars and one way to do is make it advantageous to ride motorcycles/scooters. Free street parking. Lane filtering/splitting. These small changes would cost a fraction of putting in light rail, but I'd venture would have just as much of a positive impact.

Another thing I've seen is some communities encourage golf cart usage. Golf carts have the benefits of driving a car (doesn't feel as dangerous as a motorcycle) but still don't take nearly as much space as full sized cars. Cities could also encourage ATVs. Cops in Chicago ride them downtown.

People prefer cars because they don't feel stuck if their plans change. You also don't have to deal with the "public" part of subway systems - homeless, drug addicts, and the rest of the bottom feeders.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:07 PM
link   
a reply to: Fools

If I were the planner I would say downtown and business district is first. Then an airport line, then spokes.

In Austin it dropped you off in so few places it was the dumbest idea ever. They didn't even have commuter bike rentals for you to get the other 15 blocks you probably had to go in 100 degrees.

edit on 7-5-2018 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:07 PM
link   
a reply to: Fools


NJTransit's light rail goes through mostly developed and affluent communities. They did this properly here at least.




edit on 7-5-2018 by AugustusMasonicus because: networkdude has no beer



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:09 PM
link   
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

People in the NE are used to the idea. Imagine the amount of violence if everyone had to drive in Boston.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:10 PM
link   

originally posted by: luthier
People in the NE are used to the idea. Imagine the amount of violence if everyone had to drive in Boston.


Good point. The traffic is so bad there they let you drive on the shoulder.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 02:11 PM
link   
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Soccer mom's in suburbans are very dangerous in Boston. Worse than whitie Bulger ever was.



new topics

top topics



 
4
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join