Author Topic: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you  (Read 100367 times)

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Offline nacho

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2008, 06:14:38 PM »
Metro's a deathtrap.  They can't afford the quarter billion in repairs that need to be completed or else they'll be shut down... Nobody's talking about that problem.

Offline fajwat

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2008, 09:30:20 PM »
That's what I was lazily quoting the board as saying -- no money for repairs.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

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Offline Tatertots

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2008, 03:47:44 AM »
Amtrak gets veto-proof $15 billion. 1.5 of that is going to D.C.

Quote
House approves Amtrak funding

Bill aims to set aside $14.9 billion for Amtrak over next 5 years
Measure passes by a veto-proof 311-104; Senate has OK'd similar measure
Amendment would give Washington's transit system $1.5 billion over 10 years
White House says bill doesn't hold Amtrak accountable, threatens veto

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A nearly $15 billion Amtrak bill passed the House on Wednesday as lawmakers rallied around an alternative for travelers saddled with soaring gas prices.

The bipartisan bill, which passed by a veto-proof margin of 311-104, would authorize funding for the national passenger railroad over the next five years. Some of the money would go to a program of matching grants to help states set up or expand rail service.

Besides the $14.9 billion provided for Amtrak and intercity rail, an amendment to the bill would authorize $1.5 billion for Washington's Metro transit system over the next 10 years.

The White House has threatened a veto, saying the bill doesn't hold Amtrak accountable for its spending. But similar legislation has passed the Senate, also with enough support to override a veto.

"Nothing could be more fitting to bring before the Congress today, on a day when gasoline has reached $4.05 a gallon across the United States on average," said Rep. John Mica, R-Florida, a longtime Amtrak critic who teamed up with Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar, D-Minnesota, on the legislation.

Amtrak's previous authorization expired in 2002. The railroad's supporters say that a new authorization will allow Amtrak to make long-range plans and take advantage of what they say is a growing appetite for passenger rail.

Unlike the Senate version, the House bill includes a requirement for the Department of Transportation to seek proposals from private companies to create a high-speed service that would take travelers from Washington to New York in two hours or less. The idea has long been championed by Mica, who says the United States must catch up with European and Asian countries on high-speed rail travel.

Critics say the proposal would undermine Amtrak by peeling off its most valuable asset: the Northeast Corridor.

Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania said provisions that open the door to private investment should help ease the concerns of fellow Republicans who have balked at supporting Amtrak.

But those provisions could complicate things when the House tries to work out a compromise bill with the Senate.

Amtrak said it was pleased that both the House and the Senate had acted.

"This reflects strong support for intercity passenger rail service, and we look forward to working with Congress as they move forward to reconcile a final authorization bill," spokesman Cliff Black said.

The Bush administration and other Amtrak critics want to see the company move toward self-sufficiency, but Amtrak supporters say passenger railroads around the globe require government subsidies and point to the large sums of federal money spent on highways.

A bid by Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Kentucky, to send the bill back to committee to add an alternative fuel study was rejected.

"In the areas where American budgets are being hardest hit by gas prices, consuming 16 percent of gross incomes, they have very little access to Amtrak," Davis said. "How does this bill help those Americans deal with our energy crisis?"

Amtrak's boosters say the high cost of driving has made people eager for more and better rail service.

A record 25.8 million passengers took Amtrak in the last fiscal year. The railroad expects ridership to approach 28 million this year, Black said.

May was the biggest month in Amtrak's 37-year history, with total ridership up 12 percent over last year and ticket revenue up 16 percent over last year. Black said Amtrak's marketing research indicates that about half the increase can be attributed to gas prices.

Offline nacho

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2008, 07:44:31 AM »
Well, that bails Metro out.  Now they can do all those safety repairs. We seriously would be without a Metro system come the end of the year if they couldn't scrape together a quarter billion. 

But it still doesn't support expansion.  Nor does that Amtrak 14 billion.  It's patching the hole.

Though, with ridership forever rising thanks to King Oil, now's the chance to start turning profits for the first time in 30 years (which the comments quoted in the article allude to).

Expansion with Amtrak is probably becoming clear to them, and they have room to move.  The Metro has a couple things to juggle... The Silver Line is not a money making line.  Not enough potential ridership to support the cost.  The Purple Line is what they should be focusing on.  And the proposed Blue Line dogleg to include Georgetown.

Yet here's where Metro fails -- the Silver Line gets the greenlight, while the Purple Line (which is being screamed for by the suburbs, as it'll link them all up without having to take a 40 minute ride in a half circle to travel 1 mile) dies in meetings and debates.  And though everyone in Georgetown now takes back their 70's-era Metro hatred and demands a Blue Line extension, you can forget that.  Dig another tunnel?  We don't think so.

The Metro is supported mainly by the ridership, yet it's the government and lobbyists who decide on the routes.  Dulles airport is greatly subsidizing the Silver Line.

Offline fajwat

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2008, 11:33:07 AM »
I'd guess it's the other way around -- silver line could explode ridership in my mind (having worked in VA and had to cross those goddamned forsaken bridges for years) and the purple line would shorten some existing red and green line commutes and would add service to some rich, non-dense homes.  Rich, non-dense homes which are fighting it tooth and nail.  Yes, I'm sure there are some lower income, higher density commuter areas which would be placed on easy rail access by the purple line.  No, I haven't looked at any projected ridership studies.

The Silver line would connect Tysons Corner.  That right there is what, two billion jobs?  It could stop right there and be profitable in 3 years or less, would be my guess.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 11:34:47 AM by fajwat »
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline nacho

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2008, 12:27:33 PM »

The Silver line would connect Tysons Corner.  That right there is what, two billion jobs?  It could stop right there and be profitable in 3 years or less, would be my guess.

Did you just use the words "profitable" and "DC Metro" in the same post?


Offline fajwat

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2008, 02:16:16 PM »
Hah!!  Yeah, well, comparatively at least.

But I was setting the plan up as if it were possible to build out Tysons and stop there.  I dunno how well the rest of the line would do.

The density of Tysons/McLean jobs and the craptacular traffic on the bridges makes me think Tysons metro station(s) could radically alter DC.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline nacho

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #37 on: June 12, 2008, 02:20:13 PM »
Yeah, I'd agree with that.  But the money drain would be the Tysons to Dulles run.  So whatever Tysons Corner produces will simply be paying for that black hole.  And covering the continuing overall loss for all the other lines.  And hardly touching the financial needs to construct the Purple Line or expand the Blue Line.

Also, fuck Virginia.

Offline nacho

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2008, 12:08:41 PM »
Well, glad I took Friday off.  Here's what my morning commute would have been:

Quote
Red Line riders can expect delays of at least one hour — that’s right, people, ONE HOUR — this morning, thanks to a track fire that cut power at some stations.

The fire, which got cooking near Metro Center around 7:20 a.m., forced Red Line trains to share tracks, the transit authority said in a press statement.

The fire was quashed, but it also cut the juice to a couple of stations in The District: Dupont Circle, Farragut North and West, Shaw-Howard U, and McPherson Square. Trains are actually running through those stations, but don’t expect the lights to be on, the transit authority said. Elevators, escalators and vending machines are also dark in those stations.

So that's a derailment and a pretty serious fire all within a 10 day period.  Nice.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #39 on: June 17, 2008, 12:13:43 PM »
DC's (and Southern Maryland's) infrastructure needs billions poured into it.

Offline nacho

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #40 on: June 17, 2008, 12:27:29 PM »
And northern/western Maryland.  That's the water main fiasco -- mains servicing millions of people that date from the 19th Century?  Really?

Offline fajwat

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #41 on: June 17, 2008, 12:43:58 PM »
This is one instance where Larouche has been very correct for over a decade.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline nacho

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #42 on: June 17, 2008, 03:13:59 PM »
Quote
WASHINGTON - How many people will ride?

Like counting jelly beans in a jar, Metro wants you to guess how many people will ride the system Thursday, which is National Dump the Pump Day.

Your online guess could win you a $100 SmarTrip card.

You have until midnight June 19 to enter.

Metro also has created a YouTube video to highlight the impact of riding the subway.

http://www.wmata.com/events/dump_the_pump/dump_pump.cfm

How many people will die in a derailment and unexplained fire?  How many will be stranded for hours in tunnels because a rat took a shit at a distant station?

Offline fajwat

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #43 on: June 17, 2008, 03:15:02 PM »
bwahahahaha
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

-Colin Powell

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you
« Reply #44 on: June 17, 2008, 08:22:57 PM »
I guess the question remains as to why DC has no money to give Metro (or the fucking schools for that matter). It is because the transient politicos don't pay any DC taxes?