Freedom 
Keys
a collection of amusing, 
fascinating, insightful, or 
maybe even useful information

Department of Nutty-ideas-
which-have-already-been-
proven-nutty

Ideas "whose time has come" (and gone) Section
(FIXED RAIL FOR COMMUTERS)
To move 1 person 1 mile it costs $0.06 for freeways, $2.75 for light-rail.
See: "It's enough to make one ponder exactly how expensive light rail would have to be before local governments consider other alternatives." HERE
Here's a quick IQ test:  If a city has a commuter rail line and a bus line, and both have too few riders, WHICH ONE OF THOSE TWO LINES IS IT EASIER TO CHANGE THE ROUTE OF OR ELIMINATE?
"There are just two problems with mass transit. Nobody uses it, and it costs like hell.  Only 4% of Americans take public transportation to work. Even in cities they don't do it. Less than 25% of commuters in the New York metropolitan area use public transportation. Elsewhere it's far less--9.5% in San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, 1.8% in Dallas-Fort Worth. As for total travel in urban parts of America--all the comings and goings for work, school, shopping, etc.--1.7 % of those trips are made on mass transit.

"Then there is the cost, which is--obviously--$52 billion. Less obviously, there's all the money spent locally keeping local mass transit systems operating. The Heritage Foundation says, "There isn't a single light rail transit system in America in which fares paid by the passengers cover the cost of their own rides." Heritage cites the Minneapolis "Hiawatha" light rail line, soon to be completed with $107 million from the transportation bill. Heritage estimates that the total expense for each ride on the Hiawatha will be $19. Commuting to work will cost $8,550 a year. If the commuter is earning minimum wage, this leaves about $1,000 a year for food, shelter and clothing. Or, if the city picks up the tab, it could have leased a BMW X-5 SUV for the commuter at about the same price."
   -- P.J. O'Rourke in "Mass Transit Hysteria," The Wall Street Journal 3-16-2005

There's NO "silver bullet" for curing traffic congestion.
Busway vs. Rail Capacity: Separating Myth from Fact
Supporters of rail regularly argue that it has higher capacity than buses.
According to Reason Adjunct Scholar Peter Samuel, this rhetoric is based
on false comparisons and distorted data. In this Policy Update, Samuel
separates fact from fiction in the capacity debate and demonstrates that
when it comes to performance, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and service
to riders, high-performance bus systems beat rail hands down.  See it at: 
http://web.archive.org/web/20060927141958/http://www.rppi.org/pu16.html
          "I stood by a VTA (Valley Transit Authority) line in San Jose recently. I could also see highway 101 which is a six lane expressway that runs north and south between south of San Jose and San Francisco. I could easily count the light rail cars as they passed - at a rate of one three-car unit every 15 minutes with a total of 20 - 30 passengers. During that 15 minutes, more cars went past me on a single lane of the interstate than I could count. Even at one person per car, the single lane of 101 carried THOUSANDS more people than the light rail. ... Based on the San Jose example, a single light rail line is worth less than 1/6 of a lane of interstate in actually moving people ... The justification for light rail given by the Hood Administration (and Congressman John Mica) is, purely and simply, fraudulent." -- Devon Price
NEW URBAN TRANSIT RAIL LINES AMOST ALWAYS DRAMATICALLY PROJECT OUTRAGEOUS COSTS PER PASSENGER AND THEN TURN OUT TO EXCEED THEM AS WELL.  NONE OF THESE PROJECTS SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WORTH THE RISK.  ONE REFERENCE IS HERE.
IN THE END, "LIGHT" RAIL ALWAYS MEANS "HEAVY" TAXES.
 13 Myths About Urban Sprawl


This is an excerpt from the 6/29/98 issue of REASON Express (Vol. 1 No.7):

- - Rail Quitter - -

Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan publicly called it "insanity" and "bullshit."The USís World Cup performance? The Magic Johnson show? Windows98? Try the city's multi-billion dollar experience with light rail transit.

"Fixed rail is not the answer to the transportation needs of our city," Riordan said. "I don't believe there will ever be any more subways," he added.

The system has cost $300-million-per-mile, yet the city is committed to finish work on a line to North Hollywood before the project can be halted.

Riordan blew a gasket when he learned the transit system's board was handing out grants to local businesses while piling up its own debt.

The mayor also prefers that scarce dollars be spent on more flexible bus service and smart highways. That represents a huge shift by Riordan toward more market-oriented solutions. 

- - Quote of the Year - -

"I wish we had never started the whole thing," said a wistful Los Angeles Mayor Riordan, reflecting on life with light rail. 
 

         NEWS FLASH!!! DAIMLER & BENZ INVENT HORSELESS CARRIAGES!!
Can trackless trollies be far behind??? 
SPEAKING OF "PROFESSIONAL URBAN PLANNERS"
See: "...they are committed in their heart of hearts to central state collective solutions for their communities in direct conflict with the American system of free choice. And the best example of their political desires is the movement to stop growth, (under the epithet "sprawl") by hindering road projects and imposing mass transit on the community. While on the surface it doesn't look like force-marching ethnic groups across the tundra to Siberian work camps, the principle is the same." HERE
QUESTION: WHY IN HELL SHOULD WISE TAXPAYERS BE FORCED TO SUBSIDIZE
THE UNWISE (THE ONES WHO MAKE BAD CHOICES ABOUT WHERE TO LIVE OR
WHERE TO LOCATE THEIR BUSINESSES OR WHEN TO MOVE OR NOT MOVE) ????

One Orange County required a grand jury to dig out the truth...

The introduction to the Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 162: "FALSE DREAMS AND BROKEN PROMISES: THE WASTEFUL FEDERAL INVESTMENT IN URBAN MASS TRANSIT" is at http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-162.html.

The Reason Foundation policy reports wherein Reason Shatters the Transit Myths are located at http://www.rppi.org/transitmyths.html.
 

In 1996 the Reason Foundation explained "Why Rail Will Fail" HERE (scroll down) and it proposes what to do next at http://www.rppi.org/092497.html.

Reason interviewed car culture defender and urban-planning scholar Peter Gordon at http://www.reason.com/9806/fe.gordon.html

See the Reason Public Policy Institute study, "Unearthing the True Cost of Public Transit" at http://www.reason.org/ps243central.html
 

Many of the reasons people even consider light rail in the first place 
would disappear if most of the legal obstacles to jitney cabs were 
wiped off the books. See: Anti-Jitney Laws Take People for a Ride
Hailing Cabs, Killing Enterprise, Transformation and 
Regulations Shut Out Entrepreneurs

As usual, government is the problem, NOT  the solution.

Keep up to date with Wendell Cox's The Public Purpose .

For one of the Ax the Tax! pages about light rail, click here.

For more insight and commentary on light rails' "track record," click here.
 


"But there must be a train station, right? Otherwise why would there be a train? 
Unless there was a train station, but it got stolen, and the train just goes back 
and forth with no passengers on it, like [Miami's]Metrorail." -- Dave Barry

[Note: metropolitan Miami has 2.5 times the population of metropolitan Orlando] 

Orange County (FL) rejects light rail for the FOURTH time. 
Doug Guetzloe of AxTheTax asks, 
"What part of 'NO!' don't they understand????
One brief story HERE

"A (Compulsive-Obsessive's) Desire Named Streetcar": See "The Quest for the Holy Rail"

Rail Proposals Make Little Sense For Cincinnati

Columbus transportation problems will not be solved by light rail

Great Light Rail Disasters

For the transcript of John Stossel's light-rail-bashing "Give Me a Break!" segment on ABC-TV's 20/20, click here


Questioning the Basic Idea of Urban Planning by Government Bodies: 
"Planning and the Two Coordinations, With Illustration in Urban Transit"
by Daniel B. Klein 

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Reason Express is the weekly e-newsletter from Reason magazine. Reason Express is written by Washington-based journalist Jeff A. Taylor and draws on the ideas and resources of the Reason editorial staff.

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What is it about control freaks that makes them so obsessed about butting into your life and planning it all for you whether you like it or not? Does the chaos of freedom make them hysterically psychotic?  Thank goodness there was unplanned chaos in the computer industry for 30 years -- you wouldn't be reading this now if it were not for that !!!!  DON'T BE AFRAID OF FREEDOM!!!!  It's what makes the good life possible -- after you learn your personal-responsibility lessons.
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a
degree of it." -- Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart, 1791. 


 

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