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The stupidity of light rail in the USA

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posted on May, 7 2018 @ 11:31 PM
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a reply to: TonyS

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I think you have the answer.




posted on May, 7 2018 @ 11:35 PM
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originally posted by: enlightenedservant
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).


The problem is that when it becomes a failure in making ends meet, which it will, the neighborhoods that have bigger problems than light rail then also have funding light rail as a problem.



posted on May, 7 2018 @ 11:56 PM
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They bungled this in Florida despite high voter demand for it since the early 2000's. Voters even amended the state constitution to make it happen, they wanted one that badly down there. The prospects for a commuter job boom criss-crossing the state from folks just riding the train from say, Orlando to Miami instead of dealing with the drive burn-out got everyone pretty damn giddy.

It would have connected Tampa & Orlando, and both of them with other metros around the southern end of the state, which I guess they're finally be getting around to doing under the name Brightline. The first leg opened earlier this year, connecting Ft Lauderdale & West Palm Beach (don't sell me that BS of they don't run these things through Big Money areas, those towns are absolutely loaded)
And I think a line to Miami from WPB opens this year, too. The Orlando connection I think is slated for either 2020 or 2021. Not sure about other areas beyond these, I don't live down there anymore and don't actively follow any LR news anymore.

But hey, it didn't get stonewalled for years despite voter demand because of Democrats. Thank Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist and Skeletor. I mean Rick Scott. All Republicans (although you can argue Crist is an Indie all you want, I guess)



posted on May, 8 2018 @ 07:00 AM
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a reply to: Nyiah

"don't sell me that BS of they don't run these things through Big Money areas, those towns are absolutely loaded"

I think then that your state (if what you are saying is true) might be the only example that I know of. With the exception of cities that had existing light rail, NYC, Chicago, DC.

Also, your rail system seems to be more of an city connector between metros opposed to an inter city light rail system.



posted on May, 8 2018 @ 07:52 AM
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a reply to: Fools

But light rail isn't generally funded by any specific neighborhoods. It's funded by the entire city or county as a whole. In fact, usually the city or county will pay for the project by issuing bonds. The subsequent taxes and fares are then used to pay off the bonds (interest payments and then eventually the principle). It's never intended to put all of the financial burden on any specific neighborhood.

Of course, there are plenty of different existing and proposed light rail projects. So perhaps I'm wrong in regards to some specific projects. But if so, I'd like to see some data proving it because I clearly haven't seen any that supports that view yet.

I generally don't support light rail projects because they're overly expensive and I'd prefer the money go directly to the supposed problem. As in, why spend $30 billion on that rail project in order to supposedly help the poor when we can instead spend that money more efficiently on social services that directly help the poor?

(For what it's worth, those deals are really meant to help the contractors and to boost the values of specific businesses that lobby for them. The "help the poor" argument is just a potential secondary benefit that's used as a pretext to get more public support for the project. That's why I don't understand why you're focusing your criticisms of light rail on the poor while completely absolving the primary beneficiaries of those projects.)
edit on 8-5-2018 by enlightenedservant because: found a typo. grrr...



posted on May, 8 2018 @ 08:05 AM
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originally posted by: Fools
With the exception of cities that had existing light rail, NYC...


New York City does not have light rail.



posted on May, 8 2018 @ 09:17 AM
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originally posted by: enlightenedservant
a reply to: Fools

But light rail isn't generally funded by any specific neighborhoods. It's funded by the entire city or county as a whole. In fact, usually the city or county will pay for the project by issuing bonds. The subsequent taxes and fares are then used to pay off the bonds (interest payments and then eventually the principle). It's never intended to put all of the financial burden on any specific neighborhood.

Of course, there are plenty of different existing and proposed light rail projects. So perhaps I'm wrong in regards to some specific projects. But if so, I'd like to see some data proving it because I clearly haven't seen any that supports that view yet.

I generally don't support light rail projects because they're overly expensive and I'd prefer the money go directly to the supposed problem. As in, why spend $30 billion on that rail project in order to supposedly help the poor when we can instead spend that money more efficiently on social services that directly help the poor?

(For what it's worth, those deals are really meant to help the contractors and to boost the values of specific businesses that lobby for them. The "help the poor" argument is just a potential secondary benefit that's used as a pretext to get more public support for the project. That's why I don't understand why you're focusing your criticisms of light rail on the poor while completely absolving the primary beneficiaries of those projects.)


I used to think throwing money at the poor could solve poverty. But so many years of the government doing so has actually made things much worse. Consider what a "bad neighborhood" was in the 1960's when the "war on poverty" began to what is considered a "bad neighborhood" now.

It is as if most human beings get more dejected and depraved the less work they do to support themselves. And that is not a race issue to me. It is a human issue. Some of the rural white areas in my state are just downright depressing. Single mothers, drug addiction, desperate poverty, you name something bad about the human condition, it is there in full view.

I can tell you with total honesty that if a train could take me from somewhere close to my home to within a short walk or busride to my work I would take it. However in my city, the main line is almost unusable due to crime and general thug BS that exists on the train. Because of that alone, I would never ever ride it. Why risk getting mugged or even hassled?

Keep in mind that the northern corridor of Saint Louis county and city have one of the worse crime/murder/rape rates in the entire country. So maybe the problem is worse here. But you do have to wonder why they built the first and the main line through that corridor. It really doesn't make much sense.

Say if you were a tourist and wanted to go downtown from the airport. That would be the quickest way to get there, but you will also get hassled at the very least by some dysfunctional carbon unit as well. It just isn't worth the trouble. And they definitely could have choose much safer routes by shifting the path southward maybe 3 miles and it would have taken that element out of the picture.

It's just insanity. The reason they used that route was under the progressive mythology that throwing money at the poor would make things better. Just in this case the money came as a train to give them a ride to expand their criminal territory.



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