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  #3261  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2021, 5:05 AM
Will O' Wisp Will O' Wisp is offline
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
This project is a piece of cake from an engineering point of view, given that the United States has led the planet in military aviation, navy, space, computers - everything with the exception of high speed trains - for the past 70 years. Hell, we have the greatest freight railroad network on the planet and nearly 100% of its equipment is manufactured domestically.

The United States is, by far, the wealthiest country in the world. The S&P is worth 10X in 2021 as compared to 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed. California alone has the cash on hand to build this thing, even without the help of the federal government.

So why aren't we farther along? Politics.
Politics, priorities, and culture to be more precise.

Three days ago CA approved $15 billion in wildfire defense, drought protection, and other climate change funding. That's more than the entire cost of the IOS, spend in just one year. The money is there, the government prefers to spend it on other things.

But even in CA, HSR rolls against the culture. Americans always look at government in terms of taxes raised and money spent, not on societal benefit. Transportation infrastructure is money loosing. From that perspective, roads are a better investment, they cost much less to build and maintain than HSR. I wouldn't be surprised if HSR cost more than an equivalent road system even after you accounted for HSR's income from ticket fees. So you get a lower tax bill with freeways.

But that math doesn't take into account the cost of a car, gasoline, heath effects from an auto based society, and lowered productivity from time spent in traffic. All that doesn't go on a tax bill, even though it can add up to far more per person than the cost of HSR and public transit. So even if they have a lower taxes, your average American probably spends more in total for the ability to get from place to place than people do Japan or western Europe.

Last edited by Will O' Wisp; Sep 25, 2021 at 7:51 AM.
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  #3262  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2021, 8:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp View Post
Politics, priorities, and culture to be more precise.

But that math doesn't take into account the cost of a car, gasoline, heath effects from an auto based society, and lowered productivity from time spent in traffic. All that doesn't go on a tax bill, even though it can add up to far more per person than the cost of HSR and public transit. So even if they have a lower tax bill, your average American probably spends more in total for the ability to get from place to place than people do Japan or western Europe.
Probably? That is an all inclusive verb. What is the reality?
% of Americans owning cars? 75.5%
% of Europeans owning cars?
Portugal 77.8%
Luxembourg 72.7%
Iceland 71.9%
Italy 66.6%
Slovenia 59.8%
France 59.5%
% of Japanese owning cars? 61.2%
https://www.forbes.com/2008/07/30/en...h=12433a92185a

https://www.travelmath.com/cost-of-driving/
USA $127.97 for 100 miles
Europe E119.01 for 1609 kilometers (100 miles)
E119.01 = $139.45
https://search.yahoo.com/search?p=11...&ei=UTF-8&fp=1

Hmmm. Almost as many Europeans owns cars as Americans, and they have to pay to license and insure their cars as well, and pay more in fuel to drive 100 miles. How can their cost of transport be cheaper? Environmental affects will be more dependent upon miles traveled than anything else. There is nothing keeping Americans from buying their homes closer their place of work if they so choose. But I will admit most American cities are spread out less dense than European cities so Americans travel further.

13,476 miles by the averaged American
https://www.google.com/search?q=amer...hrome&ie=UTF-8
12,000 km/year by the averaged European
https://www.google.com/search?
q=europeans+distance+travel+in+cars+per+year&rlz=1C1ASUM_enUS903US903&ei=_t1OYc7zOYP1-gST8IeAAQ&oq=europeans+distance+travel+in+cars+per+year&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EANKBAhBGABQ9ZAGWOSpBmCEsgZoAHACeACAAVyIAZQFkgECMTCYAQCgAQHAAQE&sclient=gws-wiz&ved=0ahUKEwjO6o3X2pnzAhWDup4KHRP4ARAQ4dUDCA8&uact=5
FYI, 12,000 km = 7456.4 miles
Looks like I thought correctly about miles driven.

London Underground fares are based on zones traveled.
New York Subway fares are not based on zones, you can ride anywhere on a single trip for $2.75. Make a transfer, add another $2.75. Most buy fares by the month (30-Day) $121.00 or by the week (7 days) $32.00.
How the math works for commuters, 2 trips x 5 days a week = 10 trips.
$32 / 10 trips = $3.20 per trip. Make 4 trips every day, 28 trips in a week, your cost per trip is now just $1.14 per trip. The more you ride the subway, the cheaper it gets.
Hence, transit is cheaper in New York than in London.

So, is it really cheaper to travel in Europe than in America? Not probable.

It is so easy to express a wrong opinion without backing it up with data.

Last edited by electricron; Sep 25, 2021 at 8:38 AM.
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  #3263  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2021, 2:54 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp View Post

But that math doesn't take into account the cost of a car
This goes for rail transit projects along with intercity rail. The trains themselves are very expensive and need to be staffed. But the trains last much longer - often 30+ years - and travel many more miles than any private vehicle or city or charter bus.

The counter-argument is that owning a car carries a fixed daily cost, and so it only costs incrementally more for someone to drive the car to Point B as opposed to take a bus or ride a train. But that argument - always coming from the Tea Party types - disappears when the matter of air travel comes up. Oddly, they don't disband the argument when the matter of high speed rail comes up, even though the Northeast Corridor and CAHSR are time-competitive door-to-door with jet flight.
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  #3264  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2021, 3:04 PM
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The cars per household number is more striking. Go fetch that for us Electricron.
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  #3265  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2021, 5:17 PM
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The cars per household number is more striking. Go fetch that for us Electricron.
That can be done. You could have done it but decided not to.
Per https://www.cars.com/articles/how-ma...1420694459157/
1.927 cars per USA household

Per https://www.researchgate.net/figure/...fig2_341399861

That graph is about the best I could find, it seems the European Union likes to list everything separately by country and avoids a general European average.
Booooooo!

Never-the-less, not as high as America. Considering almost half the homes in Europe are townhouses without garages, there's not a lot of parking spots by most homes.

Last edited by electricron; Sep 26, 2021 at 4:54 AM.
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  #3266  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2021, 6:21 PM
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It's also becuase they don't NEED two or more cars per household since compact living and sensible urban planning with alternative transportation abounding is the norm. Also teenagers/Y.A.s don't view having their own car as a "right of passage" far far less than N.A. culture does, and even that is diminishing here.
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  #3267  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2021, 1:28 AM
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  #3268  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2021, 9:20 PM
SFBruin SFBruin is offline
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It seems to me that good transit in many mid-sized cities prevents people from needing to own a second car.

You might be able to get around without a car at all in these types of places, but the second car definitely is an easy sacrifice.
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