Tuesday, December 20, 2011

UPDATE-The Dulles Rail Dream is a Joke- Billions for What?

 Metro meltdown: Normal service resumes after hundreds get stuck.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/capital-land/2011/12/metro-service-melts-down-orangeblue-lines/2018591#ixzz1hBZ6zodg

Metro is a black hole of subsidies, never enough money. WMATA predicts a $6.5B capital deficit through 2020.

    Here is a fun video that hints at why so few people actually use commuter rail. So tell me, why spend any money on expanding an outdated transit mode that so many leaders see as a loser?

Get some cool new buses, that is where transit is headed. Note that with bus transit, there is no pay-out to the fat cat developers!

This study puts forward a transit option that works for the way people want to live, not one that requires that we reshape our way of life to include crowded, crime filled, broken down bus stations. Spending big bucks on passenger rail is definitely an outdated idea. Some pretty smart people say bus rapid transit is the way to go. Check it out here:   "Recapturing Global Leadership in Bus Rapid Transit".  

Quoted portion written by the late Christopher W. Walker who was the founder of the Dulles Corridor Users Group and a developer of mixed use projects in the Dulles Corridor and published in the Washington Examiner. Read the full article here
posted by David LaRock

"Historians will be hard put to explain why politicians in the 21st century wanted to pour so much money into mostly 19th century rail technology that, in urban areas, operates at 25 mph at best. Recently elected Republican governors around the country have blown the whistle on wasteful passenger rail projects. Will Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell join them, or will he let the Dulles Rail train wreck run over his conservative credentials?

In Florida, Rick Scott refused $2.4 billion in “free” federal money because it would entail a state investment of $200 million - less than half of the projected 2040 annual tolls on the overburdened Dulles Toll Road (DTR).
In Ohio, John Kasich refused $400 million of federal money for a Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland rail line because it would require a $17 million annual subsidy - two months worth of current DTR tolls.
In Wisconsin, Scott Walker refused $810 million in federal funds for a Madison-to-Milwaukee rail line that would have obligated his state for $9 million a year – just one month’s worth of tolls on the DTR today, and less than one week’s worth of tolls by 2040.
In New Jersey, Chris Christie turned down $3 billion in federal money for the Access to the Regional Core rail project because of undefined state obligations. Christie called the use of zero coupon and capital appreciation bonds—one financing mechanism for Dulles Rail Phase I—“Wall Street trickery.”
In Virginia, the so-called “free” $900 million federal grant for Phase I actually ends up costing Virginians since it requires Davis-Bacon labor contract obligations that inflate the project cost by more than that amount."

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