Federal Government Begging Florida to Take High-Speed Rail Money

When it comes to spending your tax dollars on trains in Florida, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood doesn’t want to take no for an answer.

Last Friday, Secretary LaHood announced he's giving Florida Gov. Rick Scott yet another week to accept $2.4 billion in federal funding for the Orlando-to-Tampa high-speed rail line. Yes, that is the same $2.4 billion that Scott already turned down twice. The Miami Herald reports:

The saga began more than a week ago when Scott said he was rejecting $2.4 billion the federal government was providing for the 84-mile line connecting Orlando and Tampa.

Last Sunday he opened the door a crack, or so it seemed, by saying he’d look at an alternative proposal to take it out of state hands. On Thursday, a day before a federal deadline to come up with a deal, Scott rejected the plan, which called for the cities of Orlando, Tampa, Lakeland and Miami to form a coalition to put the project out to bid.

Then came Friday’s shocker. At 2 p.m., U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood issued a statement saying he had given Florida one more week to work out the deal.

“This morning I met with Governor Rick Scott to discuss the high speed rail project that will create jobs and economic development for the entire state of Florida,” LaHood said. “He asked me for additional information about the state’s role in this project, the responsibilities of the Florida Department of Transportation, as well as how the state would be protected from liability....“He has committed to making a final decision by the end of next week. I feel we owe it to the people of Florida, who have been working to bring high speed rail to their state for the last 20 years, to go the extra mile.”

Scott said he did not ask for additional time.

Still, in an interview with the Herald/Times, he said he would meet with local leaders to hear their plan. He was reminded the proposal was shared with his office Wednesday.

“Yeah,” Scott conceded, “and the state is still taking risk.” Asked if anything had changed, he replied, “No, nothing’s changed.”

Yesterday on CNN, Scott reiterated he doesn’t plan to take the money, saying:

What I have said all along is our taxpayers aren't going to take the risk of the cost overrun in building it. It could be $3 billion, the operating costs.

The Orlando Sentinel suggests LaHood’s offer may be part of a lawsuit strategy:

The sudden shift may have been triggered by a possible lawsuit against Scott contending he has overstepped his authority by killing the train. The suit, which could be filed as soon as Monday, is expected to argue that a law passed by the Legislature during a special session in 2009 compels Scott to pursue the train.

Two sources close to the situation said the suit likely would be filed with the state Supreme Court in Tallahassee. It was unclear who would sign on to it.

Meanwhile Andy Kunz, who promotes trains for the U.S. High Speed Rail Association, has taken to the Sentinel to try to smear Reason Foundation’s analysis of the Orlando-to-Tampa rail plan.

The Reason study, authored by Wendell Cox, found Florida taxpayers could be on the hook for as much as $3 billion in construction cost overruns plus operating subsidies if the Orlando to Tampa medium-speed rail system is built.  But Kunz complains that our study shouldn’t dare compare Florida’s train plan to California’s first rail segment. His reasoning is that the two segments “are hardly comparable because the California project has difficult right-of-way, land-use and terrain issues.”

If Kunz had actually read the Reason report, he would know that right-of-way and terrain differences were factored into the comparison all along. As Cox wrote : “The Tampa-to-Orlando line has two things going in its favor in the comparison to California: Right-of-way has largely already been obtained, and there will be less construction on viaducts.” The Reason report compared the cost per mile for the flat, rural, 64-mile starter segment of the California with the cost per mile of the flat, suburban 84-mile Florida project. But Kunz tried to mislead readers into thinking the Reason report compared the per-mile cost of the entire California project with that of Tampa-to-Orlando.

Kunz also laughably tries to massively inflate the potential ridership numbers of the Orlando-Tampa train by claiming that Orlando’s tourist attractions make Fantasyland ridership numbers possible.  He suggests ridership estimates based on Amtrak’s Acela Express—the only medium-speed train in the United States—are far too low and absurdly claims that the Orlando-Tampa ridership estimates should instead be based on the number of riders on all Amtrak trains in and around New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DCcombined.

Even the pro-rail group America 2050 knows this ridership dream is ludicrous. They ranked potential high-speed rail corridors and found that  out of 100 potential U.S. corridors, Orlando to Tampa ranked at the bottom of suggested routes. Their study promoting high-speed rail concluded that “the high number of jobs in tourism and accommodations [in Orlando] alone is not enough to lift their overall scores to compete with corridors in the Northwest, Midwest, and California.”

And yet Orlando-to-Tampa is the rail project that the feds are literally begging to pour billions of taxpayer dollars into.

It is clear at this point that many rail advocates just want to get a semi-high-speed train system, any system, under construction. They figure once it starts it will be hard to stop. So they’ll worry about deficits, cost overruns, and ridership numbers later.

The two routes being pursued right now - Orlando-to-Tampa and Fresno-to-Corcoran-- are two of the absolute worst options for potential high-speed rail ridership. Fresno, Corcoran, Tampa and Orlando aren’t huge population centers and don’t possess central business districts that account for large percentages of their metropolitan area’s employment. As a result, both of those segments are likely to be unmitigated ridership failures that could really sour the general public on high-speed trains.

As Secretary LaHood pleads with Gov. Scott to take taxpayers’ money for the train, he and other high-speed rail advocates are making it increasingly clear that they value ribbon cutting ceremonies and construction starts more than useful infrastructure that moves as many people and goods as possible, as cost-effectively as possible.  Hopefully, Gov. Scott will continue to protect his state’s taxpayer’s from this bad investment.

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  • Spoonman.||

    Maybe they should build one between Dallas and Ft. Worth.

    Oh wait, the TRE already exists.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Yes, that seems to be the problem for rail proponents. Where it makes sense to have public mass transit between cities or between suburbs and downtown, it already exists for the most part.

  • Mr Whipple||

    I wouldn't sing the praises of Gov Scott. He said he would rather have the money for the ports. Maybe they can split the difference.

  • foamer||

    Ridership projections on this line are nonsense. While the population in Tampa area is large, how many of them are going to Disney World on any given weekend? Even if they are, the easiest way is to bundle the kids into the car, leave when everyone is ready, and drive to Kissimmee. Who the heck is going to drive to the Tampa hi-speed station, park, go through the inevitable security, buy tickets for three or more passengers, wait for the next train, get off at Kissimmee, wait for the shuttle to the park? Total nonsense.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Exactly. Who in hell is going to ride this thing? Florida has the best highways in the nation. Why would somebody take a train from Orlando to Tampa or vice versa when they could just drive there in less than two hours? And what are you supposed to do once you arrive? You still need a car!

  • ||

    Prediction: the rail operator will rent cars....cars which people will use to traverse the orlando-tampa corridor.

    "Hey kids, waive at the train. We rented our car from them, isn't that fun kids?"

  • JoshINHB||

    The obvious solution will be tearing up the highway.

    Problem solved.

  • Obama Administration||

    This will allow us to implement what this country needs, a 19th century transportation solution.

  • ||

    1) Drive to station: 20 - 40 minutes
    2) Buy tickets and board train 30 - 40 minutes. (Assuming TSA doesn't make everyone wait in line for a security check. If they do, add 30 minutes)
    3) 84 miles @ 200 mph. (It won't average that speed, but let's assume it does) 28 minutes.
    4) Leave train and get on shuttle bus: 10 - 15 minutes.
    5) Shuttle bus to DW: 20 minutes

    Total time 1 hr 48 min to 2 hr 23 min.

    Driving the same trip (assuming slow traffic at an average speed of 45 mph): 1 h 52 min.

    Note that I have not allowed the "delay" time most people build in if they have to catch a plane or train.

    And, of course, you have to plan your trip on the train's schedule, not yours. Leave for the train 1 minute late, and you have to wait for the next one; leave in your own car one minute late and you get to your destination one minute late.

  • ||

    I've driven from Tampa to Orlando many times. I think it's important to note that the real destination that is supposed to justify all of this on the "Orlando" side is Disney, not Orlando. Disney is closer to Tampa than Orlando and is an even shorter drive. I've done it in an hour, on a good day.

    I-4 can be a pain, but it usually moves at interstate speeds for most of the trip.

    This whole business sounds like a crack salesman. Here, take this dose--it's on the house!

    Good for Scott.

  • ||

    I've done it in an hour, on a good day.

    OK, so I overestimated the drive time.

    I still think I did pretty good eyeballing from the other side of the continent.

  • ||

    No, that's not bad. Orlando is, as I said, a little farther away.

  • Kolohe||

    Disney is closer to Tampa than Orlando and is an even shorter drive.
    Um, no it's not.

  • ||

    Disney is closer to Tampa than Orlando is to Tampa is what he is saying, not that Disney is closer to Tampa than Disney is to Orlando.

  • ||

    Nick is correct. Orlando is another 10-15 minutes from Kissimmee coming from Tampa. Obviously, Orlando is much closer to the Disney properties than Tampa, which is why all the hotels are over there and not over here.

  • Kolohe||

    Ah got it.

  • ||

    I think I'm glad they're closer, because the Mouse seems to crush the life out of Orlando.

  • old lefty||

    Who the heck is going to drive to the Tampa hi-speed station, park, go through the inevitable security, buy tickets for three or more passengers, wait for the next train, get off at Kissimmee, wait for the shuttle to the park? Total nonsense.

    I haven't seen such a beautiful description of a properly regimented life since the Soviet union fell. Dare to live the dream!

  • ||

    Thattaboy Ricky! I am liking him more and more as governor. I think this is evidence that background in business is extremely helpful in running a government.

    This high-speed rail would be the worst thing to happen to Florida. After spending millions (billions?) of dollars expanding I-4 to three lanes wide on either side, they want to spend even more to build a little used toy? This is America, where having your own car is not only "part of the American Dream" but also a huge indicator of personal freedom. Nobody gives 2 shits about trains except for liberals, who even then won't actually ride the thing.

  • Haggard Lee||

    The need some way to get to the camps.

  • KPres||

    Are you saying politicians, unlike businesspeople, don't really grasp that there's a difference between projected and realized costs, and that only the second one really matters?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I think it's more that they don't care.

  • J_L_B||

    And yet, where consistent high-speed rail could reasonably work well, Boston-NY-Washington, the trains continue to run on decades-old track. It's as if we use our dozens of firetrucks to put out the lit match and not the forest fire.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It's most likely to work when you want to connect one heavily used mass transit system to another, if there is a lot of travel between the two. That's relatively rare, though, would mean extremely high land and construction costs, and I still think that security costs and delays would eventually offset and exceed any positives.

  • ||

    Well we can't compare the cost and benefit to the status quo but also to the costs to maintain the status quo. There is a lot of traffic on the I-95 corridor in the Northeast and depending on the costs, it might be very useful to find ways to encourage people out of their cars.

  • ||

    "Here's $2.4 B for a new rail system".
    "No".
    "OK, we'll give you another week to change your mind".

    LOL. Next, they'll want to confer with the "sales manager" to see if they can get him a better deal. If that doesn't work, they'll try to throw in the undercoating for free.

  • Mike Laursen||

    "OK, but I just want to let you know there was a nice young couple of states in here this morning looking at this same rail system. Said they were coming back this afternoon. And it's the only one we have. Hard to get them from D.C."

  • Mike Laursen||

    "Now, I can tell you're a governor who can appreciate the little details in a fine rail system. Just let me show you this stereo..."

  • Jerry||

    Here take this free money, and if you don't, we sue your ass off. High-speed rail becomes make-work-project for FL lawyers.

  • ||

    LaHood is serious about creating Jobs for Floridians. Why aren't you? Why do you hate children and apple pie?

  • Brett L||

    The Obama admin must be pretty worried about this. If FL doesn't take this money, what is Obama going to claim that he did for this swing state in '12? Shit, BP is going to have more friends in the state by 2012 at this rate.

  • Joe M||

    Brilliant point.

  • ||

    What everyone is missing is how this just another part of Disney's scheme to achieve perpetual copyright.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Sorry, I have to blog pimp in reply to that.

  • rather||

    blogwhore!

  • ||

    To be fair, at least one Hit & Run editor links to Urkobold. So it's a little less sleazy when BP does it.

  • rather||

    So BP is your pimp and he sent you out to take care of business? defend the whoring? Pro Lib, it is so much easier to work for yourself ;-)

  • ||

    But not as profitable. Besides, like BP, I'm merely another underpaid minion.

  • rather||

    Urkobold crashes my computer-I'm not familiar with who you have in the stable

  • ||

    It's just a Blogger site with images. Not sure what would crash your computer.

  • Colin||

    I bet Kunz never even read the Reason report. Just another sloppy left-wing apparatchik.

    George Will just wrote a good column at Newsweek on how high-speed trains is another means for the left to collectivize us.

  • Tolly||

    Good on Scott for actually weighing the cost realities VS the rose-colored nonsense that the pro-rail crowd here keeps pushing.

    The St. Pete Times is doing a pretty shameful job addressing nothing but opinions and not digging up the readily-available real facts and numbers from rail projects around the country.

    It's disheartening to see that the populace falls for the myth of the magic train that will sprout jobs and ridership instead of cost overruns. And LaHood is doing a great job of showing why the govt is still asleep at the fiscal switch. Christ.

  • ||

    Typical Times. They want their dreams to come true and don't care about who pays for them.

  • ||

    Surprisingly, Troxler has been anti-rail for awhile. Troxler actually writes some good Tallahassee anti-corruption pieces.

  • Reformed Republican||

    As a result, both of those segments are likely to be unmitigated ridership failures that could really sour the general public on high-speed trains.

    One can only hope.

  • ||

    One thing that really makes it impossible for them to achieve their high speed rail dreams is the National Environmental Policy Act, along with all the other environmental regulations and stakeholder input regulations-- mostly put in after the Interstate Highway System bulldozed houses and insisted on quickly implementing a plan formulated in Washington DC regardless of local consequences.

    Widening an existing highway requires a much lower level of regulatory hurdles to meet, but substantial changes, like putting in new train tracks, require ten plus year multiple Tier Environmental Impact Statements before you can do anything.

    The Obama Administration didn't want to appropriate some funds for sitting around and waiting until the EISes were done after he'd be out of office. They also don't want all the money to go to relatively quick to achieve incremental upgrades of existing rail to moderate 89 to 110 mph speed traffic. They really wanted something "true high speed."

    But the only things that are true high speed available to fund are things that were studied by states before and then rejected for being too expensive and impractical, like in Florida.

    Every time some progressive asks why we don't build as much infrastructure as we used to, the answer is the same. Progressive planning and environmental laws make it much more expensive and time-consuming to build infrastructure, so we get less of it.

  • ||

    None of the following should be considered advocacy of this boondoggle. It is merely offered as background information that some might find useful.

    ...substantial changes, like putting in new train tracks, require ten plus year multiple Tier Environmental Impact Statements before you can do anything.

    IIANM, the Environmental Impact Statements have all been approved for this corridor. That, I believe is what makes it so attractive too its cheering section.

    Much of the infrastructure preparation has already been done too. The I-4 corridor master plan which has been in place since the early nineties or so requirs that all new construction on I-4 allow for a railbed in the median and that all overpasses have the required vertical clearance. Much of the corridor between Tampa and Orlando have been completely reconstructed to these standards over the last fifteen years or so.

    These sunk costs are going to be touted by advocates of this project as the fight goes forward. One of the problems is that while these costs are substantial there's still a lot more to be spent.

    This project looked stupid while I watched all the extra expense going into reconstructing I-4 (building an overpass six feet higher than it needs to be adds a lot to its cost) to accomodate it.

    Spending another cent on it is even stupider.

  • ||

    IIANM, the Environmental Impact Statements have all been approved for this corridor. That, I believe is what makes it so attractive too its cheering section.

    Yes, exactly, that was my point. That's why, even though there are projects that make more sense from any reasonable standpoints, they're pushing Florida's. The projects that make more sense don't have their Environmental Impact Statements done, but Florida's is done.

    The Administration wants something (fast) built now, so they're going with a project that, even judging high-speed rail projects solely on a relative standard, is a real waste.

    The whole EIS process is an enormous sham anyway, since I've never seen it actually change anything. The government spends a lot of time nad money calculating all the impacts of several different options, then does what it wanted to do all along.

  • prolefeed||

    The EIS allowed Hawaii's Republican governor to stall the rail system for Honolulu until her term ran out, whereupon the jackass Democrat who replaced her and the jackass RINO mayor of Oahu have pushed to get that initial rail segment built -- starting in an empty field and ending in a low-density near-rural residential area.

  • Just sayin||

    Actually, Honolulu is one of the few places mass transit makes sense. Tourists can't take their own cars there, and it's a pain in the ass to drive around Honolulu anyway. A train from the airport to Waikiki (which I believe will be the first part of the system built) could be a good investment.

  • sevo||

    Just sayin|2.28.11 @ 1:05PM|#
    "...A train from the airport to Waikiki (which I believe will be the first part of the system built) could be a good investment."

    If it was, I have a feeling it wouldn't take the government to build it.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    "Now, Mr. Scott, just lie back and think of Florida."

  • ||

    Who the heck is going to drive to the Tampa hi-speed station, park, go through the inevitable security, buy tickets for three or more passengers, wait for the next train, get off at Kissimmee, wait for the shuttle to the park?

    Patriotic Americans, that's who.

  • Joe Biden||

    Including me, since I'll soon be spending more time with my family.

  • Chupacabra||

    In fact, if you don't purchase high-speed rail tickets, we'll have to fine you.

    Interstate Commerce, bitches.

  • ||

    But this train is running from one Florida city to another...oh fuck it. Sure.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Maybe what we need is to somehow make the states directly liable for the federal deficit. You always read about how much debt we have for every person - but what if, in a very real sense, each state was on the hook for their portion of it? Suddenly the largesse from the federal government wouldn't look so free.

  • ||

    Jeebus, you'd think the feds would be glad to cut the deficit by a couple billion.

    A couple billion here, a couple billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money.

  • Brett L||

    I'll say it again. Swing state. If I were running Obama's operation I'd be pointing out the following: NASA is being hugely reduced in 2012, BP crashed the tourism business, FL unemployment is 11%, and there are no Dems in the FL Cabinet (elected positions) for the first time since Reconstruction. The administration is desparate for some positive federal action to talk about on the stump next year.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Yes, he's undoubtedly in trouble in Florida. Even if the economy begins to rebound, tourism will be one of the last industries to recover.

  • ||

    Maybe LaHood will threaten to throw himself off the Washington Monument.

  • Ted S.||

    Who's going to stop him?

  • ||

    "Somebody is going to get this jackpot! Why not you?"

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Here's a good George Will column on liberal's love of high speed trains:

    http://www.newsweek.com/2011/0.....vency.html

    And here's the best part:

    " the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism."

    "To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends. Automobiles go hither and yon, wherever and whenever the driver desires, without timetables. Automobiles encourage people to think they—unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted—are masters of their fates. The automobile encourages people in delusions of adequacy, which make them resistant to government by experts who know what choices people should make."

  • ||

    I live near Albany. I like going to NYC. Put a high speed train from here to Penn or Grand Central, make the round trip cost (for three people) cheaper than a tank of gas and parking, and schedule it around the times I want to go to the minute...I'd ride it. Shy all that, I'm driving.

  • Spoonman.||

    Exactly. I have some family in Dallas and go there occasionally, so I'd take a train maybe twice a year from Houston. But if the train leaves from Conroe, the north end of Houston's urbanization, that's already a quarter of the way there, and if it stops in Waxahachie, the south end of Dallas's, well, I might as well drive because I have to do all of the urban driving anyways. Trains have to be convenient to convince anyone to use them.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    And that's the problem. In almost every case, they can only be convenient for a small number of people.

  • Mike Laursen||

    He's overanalyzing. Choo-choos are cool. High-speed choo-choos are even cooler. Europeans have them. They're good for the environment in some vaguely-thought out way. So, we must have them no matter what the cost!

  • bilbo||

    And they will be forced to hire unionized labour, both private and public......

  • R||

    Not really. I've actually heard that rationalization straight from the horses mouth. Now, whether or not ALL progressive feel that way isn't certain, but at least SOME of them do.

  • ||

    Which parts of what George Will wrote? I have heard anti-automobile talk straight out of environmentalists mouths, but you know somebody who came right out and said they want to diminish invidilualism, etc?

  • foamer||

    The latest issue of "Trains," a magazine for rail fans, is dedicated to paens for hi-speed rail around the world compared to the woeful state of U.S. hi-speed. Among all the rent-seeking for their hobby, one can find a few nuggets of why this might be a bad idea. For example, the New Mexico railrunner from Santa Fe to Belen, through Albuquerque is in trouble as ridership - already lower than projected - has dropped since 2009.
    It is noted that the hugely successful Osaka-Tokyo trains connect two metropoli each of which has twice the population of Los Angeles and San Francisco together! Defund Amtrak,
    improve the highways through gasoline and user taxes, let Greyhound develop luxury buses for long haul service for those two scared to fly or timid to drive.

  • SlowioHorrin||

    hate trains, hate trains, hate trains... got it.

  • waffles||

    WTF! That's not how you Win-the-Future!

  • ||

    You suckers do realize one of my biggest investments is in intercity buses andd Bus Rapid Transit, right?

    Now do you realize why I pay these reason mouthoieces a few pennies to alwyas write against high speed rail and light rail respectively?

    Suckers....more money in my swiss bank account, baby!

  • Old Mexican||

    "When in doubt, question their motives"

    Old Statist Proverb.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I am fascinated by your views and would like to be on your secret payroll.

  • A Gore, W Buffet, TBone Picker||

    However, OUR motives are totally pure and must remain unquestioned.

  • Really?||

    TBone Picker would be a great name for a porn star.

  • wackyjack||

    And he looks like Max Hardcore in 10 years. The hat and everything.

  • ||

    Is Max in jail or is he out on appeal or something? They prosecuted him here in Tampa. Community standards-- I own a lot of his earlier work; ya know, before he started pissing on girls.

  • wackyjack||

    According to his wiki, he's being held in Texas, and should be released this June.

  • George Soros||

    Mine too!

  • Concerned Citizen||

    What happened to the trains that are in all the Westerns? Seems like we had a thriving rail industry at one time. Where did it go?

  • Brett L||

    We still do. It just doesn't carry people.

  • Old Mexican||

    Rail suffered a great deal of competition from air travel systems, but it was still far more reliable than road travel (cars and busses) especially for short range travel. So what happened? Blame the unions.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Concerned Citizen,

    What happened to the trains that are in all the Westerns? Seems like we had a thriving rail industry at one time. Where did it go?


    "Destroyed by the Empire"

    Actually, destroyed by: regulation, taxation and (what else?) unions.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    But, but, all my lefty friends believe that everything unions touched turned to gold!

    By the way, who won the 1994 World Series?

  • Rock Action ||

    And with that, much (well...about three thousand voices) cursing in French ensued.

  • ||

    Destroyed by cars and planes.

    Planes get people across great distances quickly and for not much money and cars get people from exact location to exact location.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Nick,

    Planes get people across great distances quickly and for not much money and cars get people from exact location to exact location.


    The point about air travel was made above by me. Rail SHOULD be more economical overall for short to medium range travel where speed (and being cramped in a tiny seat) is not of the essence, as car or bus travel is still very uncomfortable and dangerous (especially due to fatigue); however, the government conspired to pretty much destroy passenger rail service for good, driving people into the highly dangerous Interstate road system or the air travel system. Winners: The few suppliers with the cozy relationship with government (air travel companies, unions, teamsters, oil companies.) Losers? Us.

  • ||

    The best use of rails is transporting cargo overland, especially long haul. Passenger trains interrupt the flow of rail cargo and were far less profitable, even in the late 1800s.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Aersen,

    How much less profitable at the end of the 19th Century, however? It is clear in today's world, and especiall with the heavily unionized cartels people have to face, passenger travel cannot be profitable enough. It may be already too late for rail, especially because of part of the revenue (in the form of taxation, or stolen money) going into subsidizing road travel in the form of interstate highways. One can only imagine the balance beween air, rail and road travel had market forces decided - maybe we would all be flying to work, maybe we would all drive SUVs to go camping and rail to visit granma... who knows?

  • ||

    I would prefer to travel by transporter.

    ;)

  • Old Mexican||

  • DADIODADDY||

    where's my flying car?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "Planes get people across great distances quickly and for not much money and cars get people from exact location to exact location."

    All thanks to massive subsidies and regulation.

  • Old Mexican||

    "Only government could have built the Interstate Road System! Behold the achievement!"
    "Ok, if you say so... so why hi-speed rail?"
    "Because we should use mass transit instead of roads!"

    The logical consistency of the leftoid mind.

  • KPres||

    You mean the interstate system which devastated inner city blacks, created urban sprawl, directly and indirectly decimated local ecosystems, and dramatically increased carbon emissions?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: KPres,

    Precisely! The Leftoids highly tout the fact that "only government gave us" the highway system, a system that practically destroyed for good the passenger rail business, which makes their sudden preoccupation with high speed rail that more comical.

  • DADIODADDY||

    yeah , yeah, that's the one...

  • Stretchy||

    “This morning I met with Governor Rick Scott to discuss the high speed rail great big mound of dog poop project that will create jobs and economic development for the entire state of Florida,”

  • Ray LaHood||

    Look, Florida, I just want to sink a huge federal black hole of taxpayer dollars in your back yard. I'll give you one more week to say YES. If not, I'll ask you again.

    Rinse. Repeat.

  • Rich||

    I feel we owe it to the people of Florida, who have been working to bring high speed rail to their state for the last 20 years, to go the extra mile.

    *85* miles, then?

    Seriously, would any Floridians here "who been working to bring high speed rail to their state" please chime in?

  • Joe Biden||

    Well, I'll soon be residing there.

    And aren't we all Floridians in a very real sense?

  • Captain Sarcasm||

    Yeah, like the retirees are really going to Orlando, with all the kids and the crying and standing in line and the pushing and the shoving and the killer robots.

    Wait. You didn't mention the killer robots. YET.

  • DADIODADDY||

    refering to Amtrak employees as Killer Robots is very demeaning and hurtful...a real blow to their self-esteem.

  • DADIODADDY||

    same for the Disney employees except worser...

  • ||

    The taxpayers subsidize lots of different nerds' hobbies: the opera, the symphony, the library, the art museum, the natural history museum, and on and on. Why shouldn't the taxpayers subsidize my hobby?

  • Car Fan||

    Seconded. They subsidize mine, why wouldn't they subsidize my friend Railfan's?

  • ||

    The feds . Try this table as well, along with that whole report.

    Well, until the stimulus came along, where highways were subsidized by the Democrats.

    You're probably just unbearably ignorant, but you might be a lying troll, it's hard to tell.

  • ||

    The feds don't subsidize cars. States do somewhat, and local governments do.

  • Really?||

    Kasich's rejection of the similarly retarded "3C" rail project alone made holding my nose and voting for him worth it.

  • ||

    Planes get people across great distances quickly and for not much money

    Best of all, if ridership projections don't pan out, routes can be changed at essentially no cost.

  • Captain Sarcasm||

    Yeah, we'll just move the track CLOSER to where the people are. BRILLIANT!

  • ||

    What I'd really like are planes that can carry me and my family along with our car from Albany to Charlotte in 3 hours for under $400.

  • ||

    Round trip.

  • ||

    I'm petitioning the government to fund my high-speed telegraph. I figure they're suckers for 19th century technology.

  • George Soros||

    "I figure they're suckers for 19th century technology."

    Forget 19th century technology.

    It's still too efficient.

    We need to go all the way back to the stone age wehre there are no machines of any type.

    Just thinks of all the jobs that'll be created replacing all those mechanical functions with human labor - all unionized of course!

  • KPres||

    I recently spoke with one of these people who was denigrating nuclear power as outdated 20th century technology, while in the same breath gushing over windmills.

  • Brett L||

    Who knew Cervantes was so prescient?

  • shorter Ray LaHood||

  • GroundTruth||

    LaHood is like a pusher trying to get one more kid hooked on his particular drug.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Re: cost.

    Passenger rail is part of an integrated transportation system that includes hiways, air travel, buses, etc...I haven't looked at the details of this project at all, but when people talk about cost, they need to think of the whole system, not just the individual project.

    I do wonder about people projecting 30-40 minutes to buy tickets and get on a train. While there might be a park and wait for the train to arrive factor...I have never had it take more than a few minutes to get tickets and get on a train anywhere in the world I have taken one. If the trains run on time, you can pretty much step out of your car, walk to the platform and get aboard.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Neu Mejican,

    Cost overruns - don't forget cost overruns, the bogeyman of all government projects.

    Government can't do ANYTHING right - that has to be kept in mind at all times.

  • Stretchy||

    The problem with that is traffic and parking on the way to the station. I can't plan to just arrive 5 minutes before the train leaves because if I suffer any delays on my trip to the train station, I have to wait for the next train.

    A few years ago I penciled this out for the Amtrak service from Portand to Seattle and back. If I'm riding solo, the cost and time are roughly equal. There are non-monetary advantages and disadvantages to both. However, if two people are traveling together, it's far more economical to drive.

  • ||

    I do wonder about people projecting 30-40 minutes to buy tickets and get on a train. While there might be a park and wait for the train to arrive factor

    If you read his actual breakdown of the time, it's pretty clear that he's including parking and waiting for the train in that. If the train doesn't run every couple of minutes, you want to get there ahead of time rather than risk missing it.

    There may be places where high speed rail is worth it. As noted in the post, even high speed rail boosters admit that the Florida high speed rail project is not one of the most promising. The only reason it's being done is because of the immense regulatory burden of planning, permitting, and EIS for NEPA (not that an EIS ever changes what gets done) is done for Florida and not done for the places where it would be more reasonable to build.

    The Administration doesn't want to only spend money on 89-110 mph trains, and it doesn't want to wait until out of office in order to start building really fast trains. So they're insisting on building stupid trains first.

  • sevo||

    "I haven't looked at the details of this project at all, but when people talk about cost, they need to think of the whole system, not just the individual project."

    Yep, bury the details in a pile of irrelevant other costs and no one will ever be the wiser.

  • ||

    The Orlando-Tampa segment is just the first segment. The most profitable and used segment will be Orlando through to Miami. But, you have to start somewhere, and the permitting, groundwork and other environmental impact studies were already completed for Tampa-Orlando segment.

    Rick Scott is a fool for jumping to conclusions based on partisan think tank clap trap...especially when companies bidding on the project will pick up Florida's 10% contribution tab AND have said they will guarantee subsidies and ridership projections!

    NO infrastructure project makes a profit! Rick Scott hates federal government money unless he's making his fortune off government subsidized healthcare!

  • ||

    Putting aside arguments against rail, is it even remotely close to the best investment during a bad economy? Of course not. So even accepting the idea of a perpetual addition to our subsidy list being a good thing, this "investment" makes little sense.

    Florida doesn't need high-speed rail. Period. If it did, we'd have built the thing already.

  • Jason||

    > Putting aside arguments against rail, is it even remotely close to the best investment during a bad economy?

    Yes. Because now labor is cheap. Four years ago, you couldn't hire a contractor to pour concrete if your life depended on it, because they were all too busy building skyscrapers. Now they're largely unemployed, and will work for a lot less money.

  • Doktor Zombie||

    they will guarantee subsidies and ridership projections

    How? Do tell!

  • ||

    But, you have to start somewhere, and the permitting, groundwork and other environmental impact studies were already completed for Tampa-Orlando segment.

    Why not start in an intelligent place once the regulatory crap is done there? What makes you think that spending money on a low priority, unsuccessful project is going to provide the momentum to build the relatively better ones?

    It is nice to see some people admit that the biggest thing holding back their liberal dreams are their own liberal regulations.

  • Scruffy Nerf Herder||

    Companies guaranteeing ridership projections and subsidies is total BS unless they are going to purchase insurance policies for it.

    Individual LLCs will be created to construct the rail line. Once it's done and they've collected their money, I guarantee you that those LLCs will be shut down and the state will have no recourse on any guarantees.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: RickScottDestroysMoreJobs,

    especially when companies bidding on the project will pick up Florida's 10% contribution tab AND have said they will guarantee subsidies and ridership projections!


    "guarantee ridership projections"? You mean the government will move people against their will to ride the thing, at bayonet point? Because, otherwise, I don't see that happening...

  • ||

    Train ridership has an effect on the cost of health care, so mandatory train rides are OK.

    Oh, and, interstate commerce.

  • ||

    Rick Scott is a fool for jumping to conclusions based on partisan think tank clap trap...



    Yes, it would be so much smarter to jump to conclusions based on self-interested rent-seeking unions, consultants, contractors and the think tank clap trap that they pay for.

    One reason this and Sunrail is going nowhere (just as light rail went nowhere) is that Central Florida does not have any offices of any of the big national consulting engineers and contractors that design and build these things.

    For this to go forward you need those plus a high union presence in the construction industry.

  • Scruffy Nerf Herder||

    we have a winner

  • Scruffy Nerf Herder||

    You did forget one large segment of rentseekers. The attornies and consultants involved in the eminent domain process. Their fees are significant (see Norfolk, VA light rail for an example of those costs almost running a 1/3 of total costs), and Florida has got plenty of attornies.

  • ||

    Almost all of the right of way is already acquired. It's in the median of I-4.

    The only additional parcels required will be for stations and maintenance and storage shops.

    But you do make a valid point in general. Land acquizition has become a serious part of the overal cost of infrastructure projects.

    Eminent domain is not cheap.

  • Scruffy Nerf Herder||

    Eminent domain and acquisition have become quite lucrative consulting opportunities for well-connected lawyers here. The whole process stinks of corruption, yet the left still loves it because it fulfills their fantasies.

  • ||

    companies bidding on the project will pick up Florida's 10% contribution tab AND have said they will guarantee subsidies and ridership projections!

    Let me guess; they crossed their hearts and hoped to die when they said they'd never, ever ask for a bailout.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Pinky promise.

  • ||

    you have to start somewhere

    Well, yeah, but why not start with a route which actually makes some sort of sense? Could it be that these guys already know their projections are so full of holes and unjustifiable assumptions the thing couldn't make money break even no matter where you put it?

  • ||

    They're relying on the power of the Mouse.

  • ||

    Even the Mouse didn't build monorails connecting Animal Kingdom and The Studios to the existing EPCOT/Magic Kingdom lines because buses were more cheaper and more efficient. If the Mouse didn't do it for their paying customers, the govt definitely shouldn't do it with coercion.

  • ||

    More cheaper? Ugh. I fail at the Internet.

  • ||

    It's more cheapilier.

  • mr lizard||

    Gov Scott controls FDOT. so even after a successful lawsuit, he could probably bog the project down indefinitely. I hope he makes it painful for then

  • ||

    As a lifelong libertarian (I'm 54) I find it fascinating to watch as a new breed appears: The Neo-Libertarian. We have NeoCons and now we have the Johnny-Come-Lately libertarians. They know ALL about this stuff ya know?
    Here's some Florida history....this project has been under way for over 30 years. Long before most if not ALL of the above listed rants about it were even known. Much less the myriad of 30 something libs who just recently jumped on the bandwagon. Outside of healthcare and taxes I've never seen such an abundance of "experts" on a subject matter all in one place before. We have blow hard Democrats....Blow hard Republicans...and now Blow hard Libertaians. Tsk tsk.

  • ||

    The project has not been "underway." People have been pushing for light rail for quite some time, and there's been a more recent push for high-speed rail. Neither is needed and, when it comes to spending the money, neither is wanted.

    Most of the people I know here--even proponents--don't think we actually need the rail. The proponents have goals in mind other than whether the rail has a practical application, of course.

  • ||

    You are incorrect. The Florida legisalature in 1974 appropriated monies to conduct a "second" feasibility study for high speed rail.
    Several major Florida highway realignments were undertaken with HSR in mind.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Florida Corey,

    The Florida legisalature in 1974 appropriated monies to conduct a "second" feasibility study for high speed rail.


    A "second" one you say? They didn't believe the first one?

    Several major Florida highway realignments were undertaken with HSR in mind.


    Futher evidence that government types are not good at economic calculation.

  • ||

    Underway to me means they're taking steps to build the thing. Talk and studies are cheap.

  • ||

    One question for all of you "liberetarian experts": Why are you fawning over Florida's governor when he wants to take 800 million dollars from our budget and spend it on "corporate welfare"?

    Oh I'm sorry I meant to say "economic development".

  • Scruffy Nerf Herder||

    please enlighten us. we are equal opportunity haters

  • ||

    How would I enlighten "you"....I posed a question. Do any neo-libs have an answer?

  • Scruffy Nerf Herder||

    Post links. It's not hard.

  • ||

    No problemo...of course shouldn't you guys already KNOW about this?

    http://letsgettowork.state.fl......i=31000000

  • pancakes||

    let us ghetto work? No thanks.

  • wackyjack||

    I don't see 800 million anywhere in that link. What the future are you talking about?

  • ||

    ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS $366,516,866.

    For two years (his proposed budget)
    $ 733,000,000.00

    Please notice the number of new positions needed to spned that cash. None because Scott wants full control of it. Nice.

  • Scruffy Nerf Herder||

    In response to your first comment, it is worth investigating as economic development programs are quite often political quid pro quo slush funds or just wasted money. Based on what I've read at Reason, I don't think you'll find anyone here who says otherwise

  • Doktor Zombie||

    THAT'S your beef? He's not hiring more people on his staff? "New" positions appear to be unnecessary. Perhaps he already has staff that can perform these duties.

    Why do you hate business development?

  • ||

    I love business development. They can do it with thier own money. Not taxpayer money.

  • ||

    And people who love trains can build them with their own money. Not taxpayer money.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Total Issue: GRANTS AND AIDS - BLACK BUSINESS INVESTMENT BOARD $2,750,000

    Tell us, Corey, why do you hate Black people?

  • ||

    No one is "fawning" over the governor. We agree with him on this one point.

    I, for one, am reserving judgment on other matters.

    And I covered the extent to which "this project has been under way for over 30 years" in my comment above at 11:31AM.

    I'd suggest you read all the comments, and pay attention, before bloviating.

  • ||

    Few of you have any facts or history regrding this project. Hell I have not even made the case for it or against it...I'm simply providing facts to help the experts here make a more informed decision!

  • ||

    I gave facts and history above. Working as I do on transportation projects in Central Florida, much of it is known to me.

    The fact that money has already been sunk into this is no reason to sink any more.

    Your statements don't bother me. Your shitty knowitall attitude does.

  • ||

    I am not a know-it-all at all. But everbody HERE knows everything about this project and all of the ramifications of it. It simply amazes me! Just like health care!

  • Really?||

    It does not take an expert to figure out why projects such as these are a bad idea.

    1. They require an initial output of funds that cash-strapped states do not have.
    2. They will incur future upkeep/maintenance obligations on aforementioned broke states.
    3. They do not seem to, in any way, fill a need, at least not to the level where the project makes any kind of fiscal sense.

    The rest is just details.

  • ||

    I agree!!! But there is not one single mode of public transportation that does make fiscal sense. None! Nothing Nada! Public transportation is our number one loosing proposotion as tax payers!

  • Really?||

    Automobile/Highway funding comes much closer than rail.

    By your logic, I may as well play slots instead of blackjack - I mean, both games' odds favor the house, right? While superficially true, one is exponentially better than the other.

  • sevo||

    Florida Corey|2.28.11 @ 12:47PM|#
    "Few of you have any facts or history regrding this project."

    Bull.............
    shit.
    Here's a fact: If this thing were worth doing, the market would find a way to do it right now.

  • ||

    Partially right! The problem is buying the land to do it. All of us already own the land.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The problem is buying the land to do it.

    Eminent Domain. Have a nice day.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Florida Corey,

    Why are you fawning over Florida's governor when he wants to take 800 million dollars from our budget and spend it on "corporate welfare"?


    I'm not from Florida, I am not living in Florida, and I could not give even a fly's drop of shit about Florida or her governor. What is being discussed here is just another case of government giving away stolen money (from the taxpayer) to fund someone's wet dream.

  • ||

    Good point. As A Floridian I contribute 15 cents a gallon to other states highway project each time I buy fuel. Last year alone Florida sent 300 million dollars to states like Alaska and Montana. REAL CASH....not funney money. When does Florida get some back?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Florida Corey,

    When does Florida get some back?


    The moment Florida decides to secede. otherwise, you're stuck with the leviathan.

  • ||

    Ok. That is IMHO a honest and truthful answer. Thanks

  • ||

    Mr. Poole,

    I have not yet read the full Reason study that Mr. Scott has based his decision on, and that Mr. Kunz has criticized. I will, but while your article is fresh, I would like to respond.
    First of all, about the ridership projections. If you used population comparisons as the only point in your projections, why should all of the passenger rail service in the Northeast corrider be included?
    The ridership projections are a huge issue; that is why it is so amazing that Mr. Scott made his decision strictly on your report, rather than wait for the results of the ridership study that he himself requested.
    What many of your readers may not know is that there are/were about eight different teams of companies that were preparing to bid on this project, and some were so confident about the ridership (based on their own experiences in other countries) that they were willing to take on the risks of operating subsidies for the first 30 years of the project. So if you are so sure this is going to be a boondoggle, then you are basically saying the people at companies such as GE, Bechtel (Hoover Dam), Siemens, and Alstom are a big ol' pack of dummies.
    No one knows for sure what the ridership will be, but the biggest factor will probably be the cost of gasoline. For the rail haters out there, are you really that sure that the price won't rise to summer 2008 levels? Mr. Poole, how can you answer Mr. Kunz's observation that the Reason Foundation receives large donations from ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil? My big concern is that the oil industry has a monopoly on transportation energy that is running un-checked. It isn't consolidated into one company the way it was back in the Standard Oil days, but it is still strictly limited to crude oil. If those costs rise, we have to pay whatever they charge us because we have NO CHOICE. For a libertarian group that is supposed to stand for freedoms, I am angry that you seek to limit choices and eliminate competition in the transportation marketplace.

  • Scruffy Nerf Herder||

    then you are basically saying the people at companies such as GE, Bechtel (Hoover Dam), Siemens, and Alstom are a big ol' pack of dummies rentseeking pieces of camel dung

    FIFY

  • Brett L||

    What fuel does your imaginary railway use? Does it come from a barrel of oil? Also, there are only 3M people in the area of the proposed rail, but ridership projections are 8x higher than the NE corrider which has 8M people AND lower per capita car ownership. Don't slight the research without reading it.

  • Rhywun||

    8M? Probably closer to 30 million.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: jmj4trains,

    For the rail haters out there, are you really that sure that the price [of gasoline] won't rise to summer 2008 levels?


    The moment people - regular folks - start investing in rail projects, THEN you will have evidence of a preference towards rail.

    For a libertarian group that is supposed to stand for freedoms, I am angry that you seek to limit choices and eliminate competition in the transportation marketplace.


    Funding someone's wet dream through stolen money (what you would call with a very sick sense of humor "taxes") is not evidence of a free market or competition, but of profligacy for political profit.

  • Really?||

    Come on, OM, if you are not funding every particular pet project and peccadillo of every person, you must be ANTI-FREEDOM!

    This Tony-level concept of freedom is stunning: it reminds me of people who think that their freedom is abridged whenever a property owner permits something they don't like.

  • ||

    I'm game. Let all energy and transportation subsidies cease today and see if the HSR people give it a chance. If they think it will succeed on it's own, let them pay for it since they're so confident it will have the ridership to make a profit. If the price is right and it went where I wanted to go I'd ride it. I don't think it will, but I'm open to it.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Mr. Poole, how can you answer Mr. Kunz's observation that the Reason Foundation receives large donations from ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil?

    Dude, that's awful.

    You forgot to mention the Koch brothers!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    some were so confident about the ridership (based on their own experiences in other countries) that they were willing to take on the risks of operating subsidies for the first 30 years of the project. So if you are so sure this is going to be a boondoggle, then you are basically saying the people at companies such as GE, Bechtel (Hoover Dam), Siemens, and Alstom are a big ol' pack of dummies.

    Fantastic. So, if they're so confident in the project and projected ridership, let them fund the entire thing with no subsidies or assurances from the government. I have no doubt their shareholders will rejoice. Really, what are they waiting for? Strike while the iron is hot! Billions in profit are there for the taking!

  • cynical||

    "What many of your readers may not know is that there are/were about eight different teams of companies that were preparing to bid on this project, and some were so confident about the ridership (based on their own experiences in other countries) that they were willing to take on the risks of operating subsidies for the first 30 years of the project. So if you are so sure this is going to be a boondoggle, then you are basically saying the people at companies such as GE, Bechtel (Hoover Dam), Siemens, and Alstom are a big ol' pack of dummies"

    I've heard this, but A) it doesn't include the initial overruns, which is part of the issue, and B) are we sure their lawyers haven't already figured out how to force the state to bail them out when it goes sour? It would be nice to see someone on the Reason side address that question, however.

  • ||

    "It's free money; take some! FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE, dammit! What's wrong with you people?"

  • Scruffy Nerf Herder||

    Ray LaHood, new spokesman for Credit Counselors of America.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I love free money! But what are all of these tiny strings doing attached to the bills? And why do they lead to that handbasket? And why is Hell routed on your portable GPS?

  • ||

    For a libertarian group that is supposed to stand for freedoms, I am angry that you seek to limit choices and eliminate competition in the transportation marketplace.

    Dizzying.

    [and- DRINK!]

  • ||

    Why are you fawning over Florida's governor when he wants to take 800 million dollars from our budget and spend it on "corporate welfare"?

    Asks the guy who wants the governor to spend $2.4B on corporate welfare he approves of.

  • ||

    Now now...that's a deflection...not an answer. All the folks here on Reason LOVE Gov Scott...yet they base this on ONE freaking issue.

  • Really?||

    Refusing to accept a white elephant such as High Speed Rail is responsible stewardship of the State's finances. It may be sad that we consider such actions "heroic", rather than merely expected, but given the freewheeling spending most politicians do, that is a reflection on them, not us.

  • ||

    That's ridiculous. Most of us have said something at time or another about approving of what Scott has done here, not issued a general acceptance of all things Scott.

    He's been right on two issues so far--this, and some of the directions he's taking on education. Otherwise, time will tell.

  • ||

    One time or another, that is.

  • ||

    Good answers. Thanks

  • Fatty Bolger||

    LOVE for a politician not named Paul? Hee hee hee. You're not a regular on this site, obviously.

  • ||

    Huh? What does this mean?

  • cynical||

    That we hate politicians here. We just sometimes give grudging kudos to Republicans, lately. Also, there was that one time with the Democrat, on the cop video bill.

  • ||

    OK is this a reference to Ron Paul?

  • ||

    Several major Florida highway realignments were undertaken with HSR in mind.

    Yes, and I already pointed one, the I-4 corridor (a reconstruction not a realignment), out nearly an hour before you showed up to bloviate.

    What pisses me off is that it really sounds like you have something meaningful to contribute but all you did was show up with a superior and obnoxious contentious attitude.

    I find it hard to believe you're really 54 years old. You sound more like an impressionable 19 year old college freshman who's two weeks into his first sociology class with a Marxist professor.

  • ||

    ...and you're missing my point.

    Above all else I would expect libertarians to do thier home work. Reason has put politics above issue. As a libertarian I am disturbed by the influence by the far right in our objectivity and sense of pride in how we construct our opinions. They are attempting to use the same "emotion" injected garbage that the right and left use. None of us are experts at this subject. The real issue has been bastardized into a argument about politics.

  • Really?||

    What homework is really necessary? I outlined why the objections to certain HSR projects are pretty elementary.

  • ||

    The real issue has been bastardized into a argument about politics.

    The political bastards who are shovelling out $2.5bill subsidies and lying out their asses are the ones that did that, not anyone at Reason or Hit and Run.

    We're just calling them on it.

    What homework is really necessary? I outlined why the objections to certain HSR projects are pretty elementary.

    Bingo.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The real issue has been bastardized into a argument about politics."

    And just exactly what IS the "real issue"?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "I find it hard to believe you're really 54 years old"

    It's even harder to beleive he's a libertarian.

  • ||

    All of your replies are emotional political statements just like the far right and the far left. I still want answers on how we make our public transportation better.

  • ||

    The fact is no one knows how to make it better. Just screaming and yelling that the other guy is wrong and and an idiot and bloviates. How about some suggestions instead of "newbie" libertarian idealism?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "All of your replies are emotional political statements just like the far right and the far left"

    Says you.

    Scroll up to the orignal article that references a Reason study on the matter.

  • ||

    Reason made thier case. I disagree. What is your proposed solution for the transportation needs of Florida for the next 30 years?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Reason made thier case. I disagree"

    Yeah?

    Then explain why.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Monorail! of course.

  • ||

    Private vehicles call cars, private flying thingamajiggies called airplanes, and if someone is willing to finance their construction and operation, trains, hoverboards, jetpacks, transporters...sky's the limit.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Who says we need more "public" transportaion at all?

    If FL has already acquired the right of way to to rail line, the state can sell the land to those supposed private parties who claim it's such a good deal and let them bear the entire cost of it financing it, constructing it and operating it.

  • ||

    Gilbert good point but...the line would run right down the middle of 1-4.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Says who?

    Unless the state owned land ends right at the edge of the highway - which I seriously doubt, I imagine there is physically room to lay railroad track on state land.

  • ||

    Fine then lease it.

    Better yet sell I-4 to investors who will turn it into a self-supporting toll road and they can decide whether to lease the median or build their own HS rail.

  • ||

    Now THAT is actually a idea that has possibilities.

  • Jason||

    Great. So some politically-connected entity can buy it for a pittance, then impose rent-seeking tolls on Florida drivers for the next hundred years.

  • ||

    What's the population of Florida?

    If the Federal government is so fucking hell-bent on getting money into the hands of "Floridians" why don't they just cut their taxes?

    Or doesn't that satisfy the liberal compulsion to spread the wealth around (while ensuring it winds up in the "right" hands)?

    ps- take your Lifelong Libertarian lapel pin and stick it up your ass.

  • ||

    What are we at now, 18 million?

  • ||

    18,537,969 as of 2009 July.

  • ||

    I stand corrected. The growth here has been crazy.

  • ||

    BEHOLD THE POWER OF TEH GOOGLE!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    For decades there were about 1000 people moving in every day. Not being born, but moving in from somewhere else.

  • ||

  • ||

    My God, the population has increased one million since 1:01 p.m.!

  • ||

    It's all those elderly people having sex.

  • ||

    Viagra is the most powerful substance ever created. When they look back at the 21st century, it will be known as the Viagra Era. The 20th will be known only for Armstrong stepping on the Moon, after killing Hitler, who tried to stowaway on the Apollo Enterprise.

  • ||

    Viagra will be recognized as only half-a-miracle once the SFTU pill is invented.

  • ||

    STFU... sigh. Stupid typing. grumble

  • ||

    SugarFree Taint Unwinder?

  • ||

    I'm going to patent that.

  • ||

    Better get a license from the Urkobold first. He'll do it, for money.

  • ||

    I will do so proudly!!

  • ||

    18,537,969 as of 2009 July.

  • ||

    Fucking squirrels.

    Using fifteen million as a population number, I get a $160.- per head cost for this boondoggle. Give every man, woman and child a check for a hunnert bucks, and use what's left to retire debt.

  • ||

    Or give it all to me.

  • floreda||

    I wanna hunnert bux plox!

  • ||

    Of course, sending everybody a check (or, more horrible yet, just letting them keep what they have earned) doesn't satisfy the liberals' need to spread the wealth around while ensuring it ends up in appropriately appreciative hands.

  • ||

    Or give it all to me.

    What the heck, why not?

  • ||

    That's right. Why not give it to me? I'm a dedicated Floridian, and I spend most of my money here. When I start my own space program with part of the money, I'll very likely base the operation in Florida.

  • ||

    I still want answers on how we make our public transportation better.

    Get rid of the public part.

    Duh.

    Lifelong Libertarian, indeed.

  • ||

    Precisely.

  • ||

    Ok.How would go about privatizing our transportation infrastructure. I'm all ears. Really I am listening.

  • ||

    I don't have a total comprehensive plan and even if I did it wouldn't fit in the space allowed for a Hit&Run; comment.

    However Step one is easy.

    Step 1. Stop handing out zillion dolar subsidies for boondoggles to rent seekers.

  • ||

    Another arm chair anarchist with nothing to say.

  • Teen Dream||

    DRINK!

  • ||

    Wanting to but the kibosh on subsidies does not an anarchist make.

    Wanting to put a guy in a cage for the rest of his life for being John Wayne Gacy and passing out federal tax revenues for projects deemed "worthy" are not similar levels of government intrusion on society.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    You left out Somalia there, buddy.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    What's been done is a sunk cost.

    It's no rationale for digging the hole deeper.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Get rid of all energy subsidies, taxes, and most regulations. Deregulate highway, air, and rail transportation related businesses. Stop subsidizing them. SELL THE FUCKING INTERSTATE SYSTEM AND THE AIRPORTS. Deregulate land use and stop trying to influence where people live. Final step: all local roads become the property of adjacent landowners, protected as defacto easements for public use, as it used to be. Owners or users maintain as they see fit.

  • ||

    Conceptually not bad ideas...until of course some one wants to build a dump or junk next door to YOU! Then I can't guess who would be screaming!

  • ||

    BTW "boys"....I've seen "newbies" come and go decade after decade. The "anarchy" thing is cute and all....but keep that for playground time.

  • ||

    Whereas being a condescending jackass is apparently the "adult" thing to do.

  • ||

    You guys rant like a bunch of school girls. NO solutions just talk. Give me some solutions. Yes I am a THE condescending jackass.

  • pancakes||

    Well admitting it is the first step to recovery. What problem does billions of dollars to maybe get HSR from tampa to orlando solve? My solution is to admit that we have a train-fetish problem not a transportation problem. We can make a bitchin' high-speed model railroad for 1/1000 the cost.

  • ||

    We need real world solutions for real world problems. All I see and hear from this forum is a bunch of disgruntled guys whining. What are your suggestions for future transportation in Florida?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Lets hear YOU make the libertarian case for the rial line.

    You haven't posted anything of any substance yet.

  • ||

    Gilbert....there are three general categories of libertarians:
    1) The anarchist. The government is good for nothing.
    2) The idelealist. The govenment is good for nothing unless it affects me.
    3) The pragmatist. Thats obvious.

    Of course except for number one the others will be accused of being a "sellout".

    There is no good case for ANY transportation project. Only the special interests that support it. I'm sure most people on this forum fly but I also bet that none would give up a modern airport to fly from. Talk about boondoggles.
    This project is not a good one...yet alternatives are non-existant. We have to move people in different ways. I hate this as much as anybody but unless we have a truly viable alternative and not political one I see no other route. I have asked people here to post new ideas...they have none because there are none. Rants are not solutions. Screaming ObamaRail makes you feel better but it does not address our problems.

    That money is ours here in Florida. Washington OWES us this money.

    I posted on another fourm that I don't care if Washington stuffs Florida's excess gas tax into rotting whale carcasses and straps them to tankers full of monkey piss I want that money coming back HERE!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Alternatives are non-existant?

    Funny, I've traveled all over the state of Florida, between every major city, without incident. How did that happen?

  • ||

    U.S Taxpayers built the Interstate system and the highways. That's how.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    U.S Taxpayers built the Interstate system and the highways. That's how.

    So what you're saying is, you're wrong, and there really are alternatives to HSR?

    Thanks for clearing that up.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "3) The pragmatist. Thats obvious."

    People all over the spectrum claim to be "pragamtists". The "no labels", who are most liberals, are the latest group trying to spin that.

    "This project is not a good one...yet alternatives are non-existant"

    Says who?

    Exactly what is the problem that this is supposed to be a solution for in the first place?

    "I posted on another fourm that I don't care if Washington stuffs Florida's excess gas tax into rotting whale carcasses and straps them to tankers full of monkey piss I want that money coming back HERE!"

    Then rebate it back to drivers by cutting the state gas tax rate. After all, to be precise, it isn't "Florida's" money. It is the specific folk's driving in Florida's money. Including all those out of state tourists who drive through Florida and buy gas there.

  • ||

    I'd love a rebate!! I'd love to cut the gas tax!!

    But I'll continue to claim there is no alternative until a pragmatic one is presented.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "But I'll continue to claim there is no alternative until a pragmatic one is presented"

    You aren't the arbiter of what is "pragmatic" nor have you proven that there is any "problem" to be solved to begin with.

  • ||

    "You aren't the arbiter of what is "pragmatic"

    Yes I am and yes there is.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Yes I am and yes there is."

    Prove it and prove it.

  • ||

    You have a solution (high-speed rail) in search of a problem. People trying to get from Tampa to Orlando are doing just fine with their cars. Why is it so hard for you to understand this?

    I lived in Florida for 10 years. I rode the light rail from a station in WPB to one near the Miami Arena once. Other than that I have been from Key West to Pensacola and almost everywhere in between, all by car and once from Tally to Stuart by bus (never again, I swear to Science). I've driven from Tampa to Disney at least a half a dozen times. Not once in all those years did I think, "Damn, everyone in this state would be so much better off with a fast train that connects two stations I'm not near." Cars work. For longer distances, air travel works. The HSR solution doesn't actually solve an existing problem. It simply costs too damn much.

  • ||

    Nick....You're having so much luck traveling around Florida because we
    (as a state and nation) built the Interstate system and state highways. Another "socialist" project I guess. We need more means of transportation.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "We need more means of transportation."

    Based on what?

  • ||

    Uh let's see...between 1970 and 1990 Florida's population increased from 6.8 million people to 13 million people. There are 18 million here now and 21 million by 2020. Ten years away. Better get to work!

  • Gilbert Martin||

    None of which proves this rail line needs to be built.

  • sevo||

    FloridaCorey|2.28.11 @ 6:09PM|#
    "Uh let's see...between 1970 and 1990 Florida's population increased from 6.8 million people to 13 million people. There are 18 million here now and 21 million by 2020. Ten years away. Better get to work!"

    Pure statist drivel.
    Your presumption is that people will continue to move to an area which (you claim) hasn't sufficient transportation.
    Ever hear of 'revealed preferences'?

  • Jason||

    > People trying to get from Tampa to Orlando are doing just fine with their cars.

    Tampa and Orlando... maybe. Add Miami (and South Florida in general) into the equation and HSR route, and it's very, very untrue. Absolutely, positively NOBODY -- Republican OR Democrat -- geuninely LIKES driving from Miami to Orlando or Tampa. It's a miserable drive from hell that's boring, gridlocked, subject to road-closing accidents with fatalities nearly every major holiday weekend, or some combination.

    This isn't about Tampa-Orlando. It's about Tampa-Orlando-Miami. Tampa-Orlando just happens to be the one that was ready to grab the pot of federal cash right now. The intention has ALWAYS been for the line to continue from Orlando to Miami, with preparation of the plans taking place immediately, and having it shovel-ready for funding by 2014.

    Don't even TRY mentioning planes. Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports are *completely* dysfunctional for regional air travel (in fact, MIA is dysfunctional for domestic air travel in general... FLL's a tiny, tiny bit better, but not much). Statistically, NOBODY buys a plane ticket to fly from Miami or Fort Lauderdale to Orlando, and there are VERY FEW direct flights between MIA/FLL and TPA. So we endure a 4-5 hour drive from hell instead, hating every inch of it.

    For those of us down in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, this isn't a "conservative" or a "liberal" issue... it's a "driving to Orlando & Tampa totally sucks" issue. Moreover, Florida has gotten the short end of the federal funding stick for... well, basically, forever. Now it's finally OUR turn to claw back some of the tax dollars that went to build new roads and rail systems in other parts of the country.

    You can even make a halfway sane argument for federal funding, on the same grounds as funding the Washington Metro -- Florida is a place where just about everyone in America goes at least once during his or her life, so if Florida builds HSR between Miami, Orlando, and Tampa that's useful to both residents AND visitors, those visitors will get to enjoy the direct benefits of the rail system their tax dollars helped to build as well.

    Libertarianism is a good idea that, like everything else, becomes absurd and tedious if you insist on blindly taking it to its zero-tolerance extreme, and demanding accountability for every single penny as a direct cost with point of use payments along the way.

    In the real world, people don't WANT to spend their lives negotiating every single transaction they engage in on a daily basis as though they're buying a new car. Sometimes, people want things to Just Work, Work Well, and Be Nice. People only gripe about subsidies for things they don't use. You could stand on a street corner yelling that taxpayers subsidize every car driving on I-95 to the tune of $10 per day (made up for example), and PEOPLE WON'T CARE, because nearly EVERY SINGLE PERSON in South Florida depends on its existence one way or another. HSR will be the same. When kids from Miami grow up thinking of Orlando as a cool place to head for the afternoon (and vice-versa), the very idea of not being able to casually travel there in a little over 2 hours will be unfathomable.

    Is there a dire need for convenient, pleasant travel between Miami and Tampa or Orlando? No. But then again, there's not a dire need for travel between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, either, yet somehow everyone can agree that I-80 is worth having anyway. It's worth noting that back when they were proposed and first built, both Alligator Alley and the Florida Turnpike were proclaimed to be boondoggles of the worst kind that "EVERYBODY" knew would never, ever make enough in tolls to pay for their construction costs. There really WERE people arguing that (two-lane) US-41 and US-27 were more than good enough for anyone who wanted to drive to Naples or Orlando from Miami. It sounds utterly insane now, but there actually were people who believed it back then.

    If anything, people who think HSR is destined to fail should be cheering for Miami-Orlando-Tampa HSR. Why? Limited scope for damage. $10-12 billion (the estimated cost for Miami-Orlando-Tampa) isn't pocket change, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to what USDoT spends in a given year. Compared to most of the country, Florida is a dirt-cheap place to build HSR, because we don't have (real) hills or earthquakes to worry about. If HSR gets built from Miami to Orlando and Tampa and succeeds, great! The costs and likely ridership will be less of a complete mystery, and intelligent decisions about it can be made elsewhere in the country where it won't be nearly as cheap to build. If it fails miserably, well... at least everyone will know it before spending TOO much more money on it. The truth is, you can only predict so much. Eventually, you have to build something real and see what actually happens. The smart thing to do is to do it in a way that limits the scope of damage should it fail.

    At the end of the day, cars aren't evil, and air travel basically sucks for everyone. While Orlando-Tampa might not quite be the ideal test case standing on its own, it's just about perfect when you add Miami into the equation. The end to end distance (200-400 miles) is right smack in the middle of HSR's idel range. And the nice thing about trains is the fact that you don't have to pack riders in like sardines and run 98% full just to break even on the fuel costs. An airline that runs half-full jets will quickly go bankrupt. A HSR line that runs half-full trains can charge premium prices for walk-up fares and advertise the convenience of just showing up at the station whenever you're ready to leave, instead of having to plan your day around a fixed timetable.

    In many ways, rail travel today is like flying was before its transformation into cheap, nasty public transportation of the worst and most unpleasant kind. Trains make travel fun again. When's the last time you saw ANYBODY genuinely smile on a jet? Try taking a high-speed train sometime... when you travel by rail, the trip is half the fun, instead of a hellish marathon that's now almost bad enough to turn people off of travel entirely.

  • ||

    If it's worth it, why hasn't the market provided it already, or at least gotten the plans underway? Oh yeah, because it costs, by your number $12 billion. Just because Miamians are too fucking lazy to drive 5 hours means the entire country should fund a choo-choo for you? Pay for it your damned self. In case no one told you, we're broke. If you live in big boy cities Miami or Tampa, the only reason to go to O-Town is for theme parks, in which case, suck it up and drive. If you live in Orlando, you're 90 minutes from the dozens of beaches. Pick one. I guarantee the really fast choo-choo ain't going to one if it ever gets built.

  • Jason||

    > If it's worth it, why hasn't the market provided it already,
    > or at least gotten the plans underway?

    Honestly? Because excessive regulation vis-a-vis the Federal Railroad Administration makes it damn near impossible to deploy HSR in the US for less than the cost of the Apollo space program by imposing requirements that every other country on earth regards as positively outrageous. Germany has no problems running 180+mph ICE trains at 60mph for the last mile into big-city stations alongside freight trains and commuter rail. In the US, it's illegal unless you turn the passenger train into an armored tank built to requirements 100% unique to the US rail market.

    Other countries can buy railcars "off the shelf" from multiple suppliers, and German railroads have a long tradition of going a step further and demanding complete interoperability. In the US, we're forced to either build a brand new parallel rail network from start to finish at staggering cost, or buy trainsets that literally cost 5-20 times as much as trainsets sold everywhere else in the world, because they have no market beyond the US & Canada (and I think Canada only humors us because their railroads buy our used railcars and refurbish them).

    Instead of blindly calling HSR socialist and trying to banish it from the earth, Libertarians should be trying to get the FRA to adopt European train regulations so private companies in the US could buy off-the-shelf European hardware and deploy it here without completely breaking the bank. It would probably still require the cooperation of a government to establish the corridor (if not own & operate it like a toll road, with open access to private rail operators to promote competition), but at least it would get the cost down to levels that private companies WOULD regard as sane, even without subsidies.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    In the real world, people don't WANT to spend their lives negotiating every single transaction they engage in on a daily basis as though they're buying a new car. Sometimes, people want things to Just Work, Work Well, and Be Nice.

    As long as the trains run on time, fuck all else?

  • cynical||

    Until you stop looking for solutions, you're going to continue to be lost. Once you start talking about other people's lives (and on this subject, that's precisely what you're doing), it isn't just your problem to fix, so stop treating it as such.

  • ||

    Oh, and I suppose you want the kids to get off your lawn too.

  • ||

    Another cute pithy comment. Yet not a single solution. Just cry baby bitching.

  • ||

    Good points in Scott's budget proposal.

    DRUG CONTROL COORDINATION $0

    FLORIDA ENERGY AND CLIMATE COMMISSION $0


    Drug control coordination was a Jeb Bush creation. It's good to know that at least some bad things get reversed.

  • ||

    BTW "boys"....I've seen "newbies" come and go decade after decade.

    I'm older than you, dumbass. Not mature, just old.

    And I have learned to be deeply suspicious of anybody who claims to be a "lifelong" anything, because I wonder about the true depth of their understanding.

  • ||

    You may be older than me but it's more than obvious you are a newbie to libertarianism. We welcome all of you Republicans but please...we offer solutions not endless rants.

  • ||

    Ok, what the fuck. I'm fucking tired of being polite.

    Just go fuck yourself.

  • ||

    While a novel idea...that would not solve any of our transportation problems. Let's hear some soltutions from you.

  • ||

    Since when is my responsibility to solve your transportation problems?

    Finally, you have given us all an insight.

    You clearly do not have a clue what libertarianism is.

  • ||

    Hmmm....good point. Do you own a car?

  • ||

    Isaac....Please tell me what libertarianism is! PLEASE

  • sevo||

    "Isaac....Please tell me what libertarianism is! PLEASE"

    Has to do with a trust that the est solutions are incremental, and come about because people are willing to pay for them.
    I have a feeling you really have no interest in that sort of activity.

  • cynical||

    You have yet to actually specify a problem to solve, you know. There is a status quo. Whatever faults it may have, it succeeds in its basic function -- allowing people and goods to move from point A to point B. So, if you want to "fix" it, you need to explain what exactly you would like to improve, and what you're willing to sacrifice to get it.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    I get the feeling that you'll get nothing but chirping crickets from that guy.

    He has posted absolutely nothing of any substance yet.

  • sevo||

    "you are a newbie to libertarianism"

    WIH is this supposed to mean?

  • ||

    Libertarianism is about compromises, sevo. If you don't want to discard your principles, you are just fundamentally unserious. You "newbies" haven't figured that out yet, with your new-fangled passion for life and interests and whatnots. When you are 52 going on 93, you'll figure that outr. Now get on board the train train, youngster!. Traffic problems in Florida are so bad we don't have time to see if Florida could spend our money on better or cheaper ideas. The Feds have MY MONEY, I'd rather it be spent on nonsense boondoggles than let it go to ALASKA. Armchair anarchists can't figure out that's it's better to waste money than advocate for low taxes! Go back to your video games!

  • ||

    A great Saturdauy Night Live skit...but more (comical at least) whining.

  • ||

    FAIL.

  • ||

    You clearly do not have a clue what libertarianism is.

    I think maybe he's a Bob Barr Libertarian.

  • ||

    No, it keeps calling us Republicans, so it's probably shrikeiod.

  • ||

    He sounds like a Noam Chomsky libertarian to me.

  • ||

    I love all of the soft pastel colors of what kind of a liberetarian one is.
    It's so freaking funny!

  • ||

    The troll gullibility in this thread is strong.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Probably. Hard to believe a "lifelong libertarian" took a decade to find Reason.com. Still, you never know. Gregory Smith is just as confused, but no troll, I think.

  • ||

    Wow I'm called a troll...a jack ass..a dumb fuck...I'm told to go fuck myself and all I'm asking is......What solution do YOU propose? Put down your video game and answer the question.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    What's the PROBLEM you want solved? Define it.

  • ||

    How does Florida continue to move people through out the state in the most effecient means possible for the next 50 years?

  • ||

    Fee-based roads? I'm assuming you mean if the government got out of the road business, which I doubt it will, even if things get more libertarian.

  • ||

    Why is Florida (or more specifically, the state government) responsible for getting people within it's borders from one place to another? You make it sound as if there is a person somewhere in the state who is incapable of getting from Point A to Point B, and apparently that person lives at a still non-existent HSR station in Tampa who desperately NEEDS to get to another not-yet existent HSR station in Orlando...and back again.

  • ||

    Nick...If someone didn't PLAN AND PAY for the roads YOU drive on now....how would your argument sound?

  • sevo||

    "If someone didn't PLAN AND PAY for the roads YOU drive on now"

    Which roads?

  • ||

    Any and all of them.

  • sevo||

    "Any and all of them."

    Fail. Specifics.
    I'm not wasting time addressing thirty things you claim you don't 'mean'.
    Put up or shut up.

  • ||

    Gas taxes and tolls pay for all the roads I drive on, so my expenditure is mostly calculated based on my usage, give or take the gas mileage I get in my car. So to answer your stupid question, I pay for it and a contracted firm that greased the palm of an elected official I most likely didn't vote for planned it, probably before I was born. Hopefully they did so out of some perceived travel patterns, perhaps on top of old dirt roads built by colonists or King George (I live and spend most of my time in Upstate NY). But, regardless of the roads in existence in this country, you've still failed to indicate why THIS PARTICULAR BOONDOGGLE IS NEEDED. They'd be better off using the $12 billion to invent a way to make my '02 Mitsubishi Galant airborne.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Why only 50 years? Surely we need to plan at least 100 years in advance.

    Anyway, that's not a "problem" per se. A problem might be if it was becoming clear that future transportation needs could not be met using current technology. There is no indication of that. A problem might be if projected costs were spiraling out of control. There is no indication of that, either (unless you throw HSR into the mix).

  • ||

    Buses beat trains hands down.

  • floreduh||

    keep hitting that strawman lol!!!!

  • ||

    An image has leapt into my head of a lifelong libertarian (the spitting image of Oliver Hardy) sitting at a table with a large plate before him, knife and fork clutched in his chubby little paws, napkin tucked under his many chins. A bit of drool slowly wends its way down his porcine jowl. He eagerly awaits a heapin' helpin' of Corporate Welfare Slumgullion. All is right with the world, but suddenly... The plate is snatched away!

    "None for you, Sirrah."

    He weeps, he wails, he blubbers. Oh, ignominy! It burns; pleads with the cook, the serving girl, the stableboy, the master of the hounds; anyone at all who might have some influence, however meager. Those who cannot (Nay, WILL NOT!) help him, he spurns, heaping petulant calumnies upon them as he waddles forlornly off, snuffling.

  • ||

    If only your solutions were as colorful and sincere as your humor!

  • ||

    Ya know....I have not been back to this site since the last presidential race but it appears to have turned into "Red State for Pot Smokers".

  • ||

    Have you ever noticed libertarians have never won any major race anywhere? I guess the reasons are obvious.

  • sevo||

    NotaLib|2.28.11 @ 3:11PM|#
    "Have you ever noticed libertarians have never won any major race anywhere? I guess the reasons are obvious."

    Yep. Too many brain-deads hoping for free stuff.

  • ||

    Redstate for pot smokers. I love it!

  • Old Mexican||

    What the.... I left for only an hour to have my lunch and a haircut, and this post already has 281 fucking comments on it????

    Guys, please: Get a life!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Florida Corey,

    How would go about privatizing our transportation infrastructure. I'm all ears. Really I am listening.


    a) Get the government out of the business of controlling air traffic.
    b) Get the government out of the business of regulating and permiting airports
    c) Get the government out of the business of running a passenger train service
    d) Get the government out of the business of licensing/regulating trucking companies.
    e)Get the government out of the business of licensing/regulating air travel companies
    f) Get the government out of the business of doing ANYTHING the Constitution does not grant a specific power for.

    You start with these, not necessarily in that order.

    Next question?

  • ||

    U.S.Constitution Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 and Clause 18

    Our government does have the business to do what you hate.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Commerce clause!

    Gotta be a troll, right?

  • ||

    Nope just printing the truth.

  • ||

    Sorry I hit the submit button too soon.

    I don't disagree with doing any of the things you listed! The feds have the right to do them but many of those things could be done better.

  • ||

    How does Florida continue to move people through out the state?

    Keep trying, Grasshopper.

    (HINT: FLORIDA is PEOPLE!!!!)

  • ||

    What?

  • sevo||

    Florida Corey|2.28.11 @ 3:04PM|#
    "How does Florida continue to move people through out the state in the most effecient means possible for the next 50 years?"

    Dunno.
    For someone who claims a libertarian outlook, you seem to be very ignorant of this thing called a "market".
    I don't know what the 'solution' to your 'problem' is; maybe it's people moving to other locations.
    Regardless, It's a damn sure bet that 'planning' some cock-a-mamie pork project *isn't* going to solve it.
    Please, go back to your video games and quit pestering the adults.

  • ||

    Of course you "dunno" that's the problem here. Most know how NOT to do it...but few have any ideas HOW to do it.
    As you drive home on the many roads in our state...remember...somebody else did in fact think about the problem and came up with the solution you're driving on. I'm sure at the time many of the roads you travel on were considered "pork" or a "boondoggle"

    The "free market" is only interested in things it can make a profit on. Transportation is not one of them.

  • sevo||

    FloridaCorey|2.28.11 @ 5:43PM|#
    "Of course you "dunno" that's the problem here."

    Nope. The problem here is that you *think* you do.
    I'm sure urban planning was right up your alley. Conceited ignoramuses who are convinced they can predict the future are always with us, and we (taxpayers) have to live with their mistakes.

  • ||

    Nope no urban planning here. But you are correct that we all have to live with their mistakes...as well as their successes! After all you wouldn't want a dump, a junkyard or a drug rehab near your house would you?
    Sorry..of course you would...you're a liberatarian!!!

  • sevo||

    FloridaCorey|2.28.11 @ 8:19PM|#
    "Nope no urban planning here. But you are correct that we all have to live with their mistakes...as well as their successes! After all you wouldn't want a dump, a junkyard or a drug rehab near your house would you?"

    Gee, sleazybag, you left out the part about all the people dying in the streets.
    How much lefty cant can you shovel and still claim some acquaintance with libertarianism?

  • ||

    You guys must have monthly meetings on how to "deflect' answers". You are obviously a newbie-anarchist who offers no solutions just pithy and angry retorts.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    The "free market" is only interested in things it can make a profit on. Transportation is not one of them.
    Dulles Greenway

    It receives no public funds, was built with no subsidies, and is policed at its own expense, competing as a wholly private enterprise with the state-built and -maintained roads

    Additionally, airlines are interested in transportation and last time I checked they don't intend to run things without at least attempting to earn a profit. Also, bicycle, motorcycle, automobile, and other related companies are very interested in combining the concepts of transportation and profit.

  • Mouth Piece||

    Tell that to Southwest's shareholders.

  • sevo||

    "The "free market" is only interested in things it can make a profit on. Transportation is not one of them."

    Define "transportation".

  • ||

    It's also not true.

    The free market is interested in investments the investors can get a return on investment on. While that return is normally measured in dollars and cents, it isn't always.

    Religious organizations began building hospitals to further the causes of their religions. George Steinbrenner spent more money than was profitable on his baseball team because it was worth it to him to win baseball games. Guys like Gates and Buffet donate money to causes because it's worth it to them to feel like they're helping out.

    Considering all of that, a system of interconnecting private roads is extremely foreseeable. How efficient it would be and how much we'd like it is a matter for debate, but they'd almost certainly exist.

  • ||

    You have got to be kidding me.

  • ||

    What part are you having trouble with?

    The part where people are often concerned with non-monetary benefits when they invest? That seems uncontroversially true?

    The part where the roads would exist even if the government didn't build them? Hard to know since that option hasn't been on the table for a long time, but it was true before and I know that in modern times private folks with a need have been known to patch and repair roads that the government has otherwise abandoned without expecting (or getting) a check from the government.

    I'm not saying it would be better or preferable, but the idea that we wouldn't bother ever building roads without the government strikes me as extremely silly. Even if someone involved would lose money, they'd probably gladly lose the money in order to have access to the road. The same way folks gladly lose money on DVD players, food and furniture in return for the benefits of their use.

  • ||

    Ok....so why do developers race to get the roads they build for their own profit....turned over to the local government? Because THEY know what the cost are to maintain them. I don't disagree wiht you on a conceptual basis at all. There is no history of making transportation profitable.

  • sevo||

    FloridaCorey|2.28.11 @ 8:15PM|#
    "You have got to be kidding me"

    Oh, oh! That, well, doesn't say anything.

  • ||

    Reading replies to my posts I see one weird thing here...I keep hearing
    "define this or define that"...what kind of tactic is this? Some ideas are worthy of consideration but the majority of this tripe is the same old tired liberetarian anarchy dribble.

    Red State with pot smokers!

  • sevo||

    "Reading replies to my posts I see one weird thing here...I keep hearing
    "define this or define that"...what kind of tactic is this?"

    Uh, a tactic that requires you to actually state specifics instead of waving your arms and making vague claims? That sort of a 'tactic'?
    Sorry, put up or shut up. We've all heard about the pie in the sky bye and bye; statists fail on details.

  • ||

    NO....I answer your questions and you come back with a banal "define roads".
    I swear some of your guys are liberal trolls.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    I don't see how you can conflate anarcho-capitalism* with RedState beliefs, the military aspect alone would cause most Red Staters to faint.

    *although I'm but a mere minarchist

  • sevo||

    "Red State with pot smokers!"

    Asshole with cliche'!

  • ||

    Here's another hint, Grasshopper.

    Florida doesn't move citizens around the state. Millions of individuals make decisions based on their needs and desires. They travel to places they want to go, when they want to go there.

    Top-down technocratic solutions won't fix anything, however much it might satisfy whatever "Glory of the Homeland" fetish you might have. As for the actual topic at hand, high speed rail (for the low low price of only $2.4 BILLION, plus incidentals) between Tampa and Orlando is a gargantuan idiotic boondoggle.

  • ||

    Yes they do travel to places they want to go on roads and infrastructure that was built by the taxpayers. Any transportation project can be called a boondoggle. Most airports come to mind.

  • ||

    Ideological drivel. The simple truth is that ALL forms of public transportation are subsidized. The feds provide the air traffic control system for the nation's airlines and states and municipalities provide the airports. Why are interstate highways built with thick reinforced concrete? Certainly not for my Toyota Tercel. Are you proposing toll boths on bike lanes? And should sidewalks be paid for by the businesses and homeowners that benefit from them? Despite steadily increasing demand and all the social and environmental benefits, you start foaming at the mouth and call passenger rail a boondoggle because it's subsidized! But logic and facts are of no concern to Reason's Cox, who has made a career (not to mention numerous fees) from knee-jerk opposition to anything rail. Mark Twain said it best: Better to say nothing and let people think you're a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  • sevo||

    The default position of lefties:
    "The simple truth is that ALL forms of public transportation are subsidized. The feds provide the air traffic control system for the nation's airlines and states and municipalities provide the airports."

    We already blow the paycheck, so we need to blow next month's rent, too.
    .....................
    "Despite steadily increasing demand"

    Prove it.
    .....................
    "Mark Twain said it best: Better to say nothing and let people think you're a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

    You should take your own advice.

  • sevo||

    Jim Loomis|2.28.11 @ 9:10PM|#
    "....The feds provide the air traffic control system for the nation's airlines"

    Yes, the fed does. And shouldn't:
    http://reason.com/archives/1996/04/01/o-canada

  • ||

    Ahh, Jim Loomis, another dipshit talking out his ass.




    The simple truth is that ALL forms of public transportation are subsidized.


    And at this site we actually have the temerity to ask, "Why?"

    Give me a reason.




    The feds provide the air traffic control system for the nation's airlines and states and municipalities provide the airports.

    Give me a reason.


    "Why?" If people want to fly places, perhaps they should pay the full market price for doing that.




    Why are interstate highways built with thick reinforced concrete? Certainly not for my Toyota Tercel.


    Actually, your and everybody else's Toyota Tercel do require thick reinforced concrete for repeated high volume use. Also, the interstates carry high volumes of truck traffic carrying everything from orange juice from Florida to the northeast and Canada to goods from one coast to the other.

    And they are also designed for carrying heavy military loads in case a national emergency requires it. This (and a liberal interpretation about the clause dealing with "postal roads") are the one justification for a federal system of highways. (So the legitimate question here is, why does so much federal aid go to local freeways etc - and the response is, "indeed, why?" and the answer is because idiots like you have never questioned it).

    And my reply has nothing to do with ideology. I'm a highway engineer and my answers are based on the latest engineering standards, whether I agree with the methods of funding this necessary infrastructure or not.




    Are you proposing toll boths on bike lanes?



    Why not?

    This is one of the areas where I part company with some Reasonoids. Cyclists are not entitled to a free ride.

    Neither are pedestrians. The Golden Gate Bridge Authority should most certainly charge people for the privilege of walking out on what is unquestionably one of the engineering marvels of the world.



    And should sidewalks be paid for by the businesses and homeowners that benefit from them?


    Time was that appurtenances like sidewalks were paid for out of local taxes. In fact, in many cases they still are.

    If local authorities want to fund such improvements with borrowed money they need to get voters' approvals and go to conventional lenders not dip into the feds bottomless pit of deficit financing.

  • sevo||

    Isaac Bartram|2.28.11 @ 10:09PM|#
    "Ahh, Jim Loomis, another dipshit talking out his ass..."

    Hey, when "free" money is involved, ass-talkers proliferate!

  • ||

    Indeed.

  • ||

    You guys dont answer the important question first: DO YOU HAVE A CAR AND DRIVE ON PUBLIC ROADS?

    If you do you are a part of the problem and are highly hypocritical.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Somalia!

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The simple truth is that ALL forms of public transportation are subsidized"

    Some are subsidized to a greater extent than others - and for no quantifiable reason.

    Highway trust funds paid by drivers have been siphoned off to pay for rail and other mass transit boondoggels.

    There are plenty of car drivers being forced to subsidize rail.

    There aren't ANY rail passengers that are subsidizing car drivers.

  • ||

    Gilbert, maybe we ought to levy a tax on train tickets to subsidize rail travel.

    Oh, and a tax on top hats and opera glasses to subsidize live theater.

    Dang, I think I'm onto something here.

  • ||

    Every mode of transportation today has additional taxes per traveler. Have you looked at an airline ticket lately? Maybe a BUS ticket?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    In fact, when you consider that drivers have been subsidizing labor unions for about 75 years or so by being forced to pay artificially high labor rates on construction jobs courtesy of the Davis-Bacon Act, I'd say on a net basis drivers are and have been subsidizing others.

  • ||

    Despite steadily increasing demand and all the social and environmental benefits, you start foaming at the mouth and call passenger rail a boondoggle because it's subsidized!


    I don't care how may people demand anything. If they're not prepared to pay the full market price they can kiss my ass.

    And we're not calling it a boondoggle because it's subsidized, we're calling it a boondoggle because it's a boondoggle.

    So keep on pretending that the corporate subsidies that you want for rentseekers like Bechtel and Parsons Transportation are for our own good. After all, it's "for the workers", isn't it?

    Side note to Bechtel or Parsons. Please ignore this outburst, if you're ever looking for an experienced engineer I'm your man. I love building shit, no matter how much you manage to overrun costs or falsify the ridership/traffic numbers or cost/benefit data. :)

  • ||

    Oh, I missed this.

    Name these "social and environmental benefits".

  • ||

    Oh, I missed this.

    Name these "social and environmental benefits".

  • ||

    Just in case you missed it, I asked twice. :)

  • sevo||

    "I don't care how may people demand anything. If they're not prepared to pay the full market price they can kiss my ass."

    Simple solution: Revealed demand. If there *is* a demand, people will pay for it.
    If they won't pay, there is no "demand", just bullshit.

  • ||

    Exactly.

  • ||

    Kreel Sarloo|2.28.11 @ 2:08PM|#

    Fine then lease it.

    Better yet sell I-4 to investors who will turn it into a self-supporting toll road and they can decide whether to lease the median or build their own HS rail.


    ______________


    reply to this
    FloridaCorey|2.28.11 @ 5:07PM|#

    Now THAT is actually a idea that has possibilities.


    Oh, so you're willing to listen to a libertarian alternative if it's offered by someone from another galaxy.

    (Sorry, can't remember where Kreel Sarloo came from, I just know he's a Heinlein character. Need to go back and do some rereading, I suppose.)

    But , as to the actual response, that is the kind of thing that you would know to expect if you were a regular Hit&Runner;, or is it a Hitter&Runner;? :)

  • ||

    Private sector investment is welcome and encouraged. It does not change the fact that there has been no business model dveloped that would make any of that possible (profitbal).

  • Bingo||

    Is this another waffles character? Even resident liberal Tony isn't as stupid as this life-long libertarian shmuck, jesus fucking christ.

    If you want to call yourself a fucking libertarian then maybe you should read up on what it means first. The philosophy you espouse is the antithesis of libertarianism. You come off as ignorantly condescending and blind to the very label you ascribe yourself.

    You are significantly older than me and I hope to god I don't end up as stupid as you are when I am your age.

  • ||

    Wow!!! Yet ANOTHER High Priest of Libertarianism!!

    Which Libertarain Bible would you suggest I read first?

  • ||

    Is this another waffles character?

    That thought occurred to me fairly early on, but I kept whacking the bejesus out of the Tar Baby anyway.

    It's not like you win a cash prize for unmasking Waffles.

  • ||

    Wow...the anger and frustration here is outrageous!! So much hate and potty language.
    Name calling, anger, profiling,anger, rage and more anger.

    Oh I'm sorry I forgot about all the newbie-anarchists out there. You guys ROCK!

  • ||

    Also the lack of honesty among these anti-establishment libertarians is astonishing!
    None will admit to owning cars and driving on roads and highways susccesfully planned, designed, constructed and utitilized by all of us. (We won't even discuss the gross costs of airports)

    Costing all of us sums of money that make this deal seem like a grain of sand.
    It an infinite regression of "define this" and "fail that".

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    None will admit to owning cars and driving on roads and highways susccesfully planned, designed, constructed and utitilized by all of us.

    If they're so successful, building choo-choos to take their place is kind of a waste of time and resources, n'est-ce pas?

  • ||

    They have served their purpose well...within the parameters of the population growth of that time period. We are in a new time period with many more people and fewer resources.

    Do you guys sit around and make these banal talking points up?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Old Mexican|2.28.11 @ 11:45AM|#

    Re: Neu Mejican,

    Cost overruns - don't forget cost overruns, the bogeyman of all government projects.

    Government can't do ANYTHING right - that has to be kept in mind at all times.

    These are only an issue if the government negotiating the contract gets suckered into paying for overruns. For an example, the I25-I40 interchange in Albuquerque came in under budget because the contract was written so that the company doing the work had to cover cost overruns, but got to a bonus if they went under budget.

    Why wouldn't a project like this have a similar contract?

  • ||

    Your boy Scott is going to have some trouble keeping that train from coming now:

    http://www.floridasupremecourt....._Scott.pdf

  • ||

    Where have all the hippies gone...
    Logics beat them one by one...
    When will they ever learn...
    When will they ever learn!

    (Hey you can always join the Constitution Party)

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    What logic? Your whole MO seems to be trying to score unwarranted self-high fives by stating that any libertarian that drives on a road is a hypocrite. Not even Tony is pedantic enough to argue that libertarians should logically refuse to adapt their living habits to current societal infrastructures.

  • ||

    The point is there would BE no "Current societal infrastructures" using the exact same logic you guys spew here. We'd probably still ne riding "private sector horses" on our own property. Don't you get it?

    Your thinking isn't libertarian...it's anrachist.

  • ||

    BTW...."libertarian" is not easily defined. Not by a long shot. I consider myslef a libertarian, but from what I see here I must be considered a LINO.

    I am however (and with no second thought) addressing the anarchists here as first class hypocrites. You want YOUR stuff and you want to tell others what they should and should not have. Wow...just like the flaming liberals and the flaming neocons.

  • The Fartin' Spartan||

    "The Reason Foundation supports high speed rail in Florida."

    This, according to the US High Speed Rail Association. Talk about spin.

    http://www.ushsr.com/

  • ||

    The three political divisions of craziness on the web:

    A) RedState
    B) Daily Kos
    C) Reason

  • ||

    You don't have to be a libertarian - or even a conservative - to figure out that the Orlando-Tampa high-spend rail line is a pile of crap. 3 million riders a year my ass.

    The whole Obama high-spend rail plan was some old relic dusted off from the Carter era. No surprise, since Obama is turning out to be nothing but a dusky urban hipster version of Carter.

  • ||

    You don't have a CLUE what you're talking about!

    This project was conceptualized around 1970 and EVERY Florida legislature since then has funded R&D on it! In 1985 it was added to the states 20 year FDOT Transportation Plan. Florida knew 40 YEARS AGO we needed additional modes of transportation.

    BTW American Idol President Ray-gun also provided funding for this project.

  • ||

    "This project was conceptualized around 1970 "
    Ok, my bad - this is a Nixon-era project, not a Carter era project

    "EVERY Florida legislature since then has funded R&D on it!"
    public funded R&D here = payoffs to politically connected universities and research firms. BTW, 40+ years of R&D, and not a thing to show for it. Brilliant "investment" - why not just build the damn thing already, if it's so important?

    "In 1985 it was added to the states 20 year FDOT Transportation Plan"
    and since then - what? Oh, still working on that R&D thingy, I guess

    "BTW American Idol President Ray-gun also provided funding for this project"
    SFW - one more piece-of-crap spending buried deep in the 1000s of lines of BS federal spending that he had to approve because presidents lack a line-item veto.

  • ||

    Here are daily auto traffic counts on Interstate 4 the route of the proposed rail. I know all of you folks have thoroughly have researched this prior to posting your opinion....but please before you follow some idealogical orthodoxy get some facts.

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