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Comments made by mfedder

High-Speed Rail Gets Roughed Up

Tom, you seem bent on presenting only the perspective of those criticizing the project. I suggest reading the rebuttal at:

It's a blog run by enthusiasts, so of course it's one sided, but the main contributor typically posts point-by-point rebuttals within a day of these attacks, and would provide a balance lacking from your reporting. There is so much false information being spread around, and I hate to see you suckered in by groups fronted by NIMBYs and Alan Lowenthal to covertly push their agendas using talking points cut from whole cloth.

May 11, 2011 at 11:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

High-Speed Rail Has A High-Profile Critic

I didn't mean to suggest that KPBS ought to edit readers' comments - rather, I was expressing shame at some of my typos and oversights, that I would have revised myself if I had the chance. Thanks!

February 20, 2011 at 3:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

High-Speed Rail Has A High-Profile Critic

(Wow, these comments REALLY need to allow paragraphs. Edit would be nice, too...)

February 16, 2011 at 9:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

High-Speed Rail Has A High-Profile Critic

"You need feeder transit lines that connect high-speed rail stations to the places people really want to go."
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An interesting aspect to the debate has been that some of the most vocal opponents to the proposed high speed rail system have argued that it can built cheaper by avoiding the centers of cities. They want to run it along the 5, terminate in San Jose or even Fremont on the north end, and Qualcomm Stadium on the southend. When you look at the comparative advantages of the proposed system, you start to realize just how well it has been integrated with other, existing forms of transit: The critics' system would lack integration
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* Fresno light rail<br />
* Monterey's light rail system, under construction<br />
* Only the most distantly connected element of the Bay Area transportation <br />network, as opposed to bringing passengers right to the major hubs of the largest
* In San Diego, terminating downtown gives direct access to all four trolley lines, upwards of 60 busses, the Coaster, and the airport - and not just the Mission Valley Special green line.
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Remember, even the smaller cities along the central valley have bus systems that connects to its urban core. Even lowly Hanford benefits from some level of bus service.
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Taken together, I see integration with regional transit systems as the primary advantage of the system as designed. That level of integration will help both systems to expand and thrive.
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By the way, LA has begun building a light rail line directly from Union Station to LAX:

February 16, 2011 at 9:14 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Should California Move Forward With Plan To Build High-Speed Rail System?

Purpledesoto, the early routes suggested along interstate 5 would bypass a population greater than that of San Diego Country. Yet the cost to construct along the Union Pacific and SR-99 corridors is not significantly higher than constructing along the I-5, and is easily offset by additional ridership and the economic value of connecting these remote areas to the major population centers of the state.
<br/><br/>Your enamoration for Southwest Airlines is mysterious. Most major airports in California are at or near capacity - they won't be able to grow to meet California's continuously increasing population on their own. But a high-speed rail system that services intra-state travel will allow airlines to focus on interstate travel, a market where they enjoy a comparative advantage. Remember the oil spikes? Those prices would have made intrastate air travel economically infeasible - without oil hedges, the best ticket you'd see on Southwest would have been in the range of $150. At that price, demand would diminish to the point that in-state flights would become economically unfeasible altogether. The damage to our economy would be incalculable.

January 19, 2011 at 8:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

The Gospel Of High-Speed Rail Still Has Many Doubters

High-speed rail systems around the world have a net positive cash flow from operations, including recent systems like the AVE in Spain (incidentally, also a country with a low population density and two major population centers situated about 400 miles apart - sound familiar?) and Taiwan's system.

Public subsidy is required to finance initial construction, but name one mode of transportation where that isn't true? Yet we continue to build highways, because the cost of doing nothing is economic stagnation.

January 19, 2011 at 8:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )