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Another Look at Florida's Bullet Train


CapeFish
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I was originally for this project. I thought it would be a good proposal and something we needed, but as the final plan came out...I began to see things I did not like.

 

1) Raise the gas tax and dip into possible road budgets to help pay for this.

2) Abandon Florida's historic, existing rail system.

3) Ignoring of the Governor's plan for Amtrack expansion of service in Florida for a cheaper cost than this.

 

I like the Governor's alternative plan better and I hope that this does indeed get repealed. 4 years ago...heck 3 months ago....this seemed really nice and advancing to have...but with reality finally coming forth as we start the real work...it becomes quite ugly.

 

Here is a look at both sides and post your comments:

For The Florida Bullet Train

Derail The Bullet Train

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Here's a tip..It's not 1940, people don't take the train on long trips. If it's too long to drive then people will fly. That simple.

599124[/snapback]

Au contraire! In the Northeast, the experiment has worked and Florida's largest Metropolitan areas have plenty of travelers to supports flights between the cities, but not enough to have regular flights several times a day. After 9/11 we saw why we need to keep Amtrak and our nation's rail system alive and well. Florida has the rails down, they just need to be double-tracked, rights to right-of-way bought, modernization of signals, and that would allow for trains to travel faster and be on time much more often. The double-tracking between Miami and Palm Beach is well underway and doing well. The cost is also taken by private freight companies who use the tracks as well. It is a win-win to keep the rails up to date and for customer service.

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Here's a tip..It's not 1940, people don't take the train on long trips. If it's too long to drive then people will fly. That simple.

599124[/snapback]

Au contraire! In the Northeast, the experiment has worked and Florida's largest Metropolitan areas have plenty of travelers to supports flights between the cities, but not enough to have regular flights several times a day. After 9/11 we saw why we need to keep Amtrak and our nation's rail system alive and well. Florida has the rails down, they just need to be double-tracked, rights to right-of-way bought, modernization of signals, and that would allow for trains to travel faster and be on time much more often. The double-tracking between Miami and Palm Beach is well underway and doing well. The cost is also taken by private freight companies who use the tracks as well. It is a win-win to keep the rails up to date and for customer service.

599130[/snapback]

 

Ummm...no. There is a gajillion reasons out there why the northeast isn't an optimal exemplar as to why any form of public transportation works. Read this week's New Yorker...Good example.

 

As for 9/11... I can live without a couple days of air service everytime a massive attack comes down the pipe.

 

Oh, and as a guy that flies over 120K miles a year, I can tell you there are plenty of commuter flights throughout florida......except in between cities that are so close that the airlines (and the rails too) can't compete with driving.

 

And no, we don't need to keep the rail system alive and well, at least as far as long distance commuter trains are concerned. You'd be better served to argue the benefit of maintaining hitching posts everywhere, b/c riding a horse is just as relevant (and convienient) as riding a train, bullet or not.

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Here's a tip..It's not 1940, people don't take the train on long trips. If it's too long to drive then people will fly. That simple.

599124[/snapback]

No way. People dont take the train because its not an option. Florida is ripe with so many cities that people could travel anywhere under a well constructed system. You just as well assume that everyone can afford to plop down the ticket to fly. If the option were well available, Id take the train to south Florida from Brevard and back again without having to go throuh the hassle of driving or flying. Yeah its a few hours but so is the Metra trip from North Chicago subarbs to South Chicago subarbs...people get through it and enjoy the trip. Its just not very well established. Im with cape on this. With enough thought..this could happen in this state.

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Trains in Florida have 1 distinct and useful advantage over driving or flying...the train stations are in the middle of the cities and served by other forms of transit. Amtrak also has an association with Hertz to allow you to rent on site in many places or be driven to Hertz if you need a car for several days just like an airport.

 

An example is going from Miami to Jacksonville. Driving on I-95 is going to take you about 6-7 hours and is boring. Flying costs $493 roundtrip from MIA to JAX on AmericanAirlines according to Expedia.com and takes at least 1 hour and 43 minutes not counting security checks and gate lines.

 

We need an expansion of service to make it easier for someone to use Amtrak for the ride. Currently it takes too long to do this trip by train because the service is not in place, but the tracks just need some updating and to be double-tracked and you have a very valuable service that costs less than flying and not much more than driving.

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