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tricia

Conductor
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Aug 23, 2011
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Spring Creek, NC
.... Private enterprise ALWAYS does it better than government when there is a chance for profit.
I call BS on this. For just one example, consider the sizable armies of workers employed by private-enterprise health insurance companies to seek ways to deny claims--and the similar amount of worker hours on the other side, trying to get health-care providers paid for work they've already done. IIRC, they add something like 1/3 to the cost of health care in the US. Although Medicare is far from a perfect role model, it's vastly more efficient than that.
 

joelkfla

Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
179
No, not correct. He was afraid of sticking operating losses to the taxpayers, because they were protected to be huge. Invested in Brightline because that is what you do - invest in private enterprise, taking a fiduciary RISK with your own money. Private enterprise ALWAYS does it better than government when there is a chance for profit.
So ... what specifically is not correct?
 

McIntyre2K7

Train Attendant
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Tampa, FL
No, not correct. He was afraid of sticking operating losses to the taxpayers, because they were protected to be huge. Invested in Brightline because that is what you do - invest in private enterprise, taking a fiduciary RISK with your own money. Private enterprise ALWAYS does it better than government when there is a chance for profit.
Yes, I am correct.

Brighline's plan includes real estate around it's stations:

Quote from the article which can be at this link

Fortress investors seem poised to make a bundle on its Florida real estate, leading some observers to wonder if the private equity firm is just using its rail operation to increase the value of its property deals. Last year, for instance, the Fortress-sponsored development company sold the ground-floor retail space at Miami Central Station and two nearby office building for $159 million.


The FDOT study that came out a few months after Rick rejected funds said the line would have been profitable:

From the study:

According to the findings, the $2.7-billion system would have generated $62.9 million in revenue in 2015, its first year of operation, along with an estimated $10.24 million in profit. By its 10th year of operation, the latest estimates indicated $91.75 million in revenue and $28.6 million in profit.
 

VentureForth

Conductor
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Jan 23, 2007
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Richmond Hill, GA
Yeah. So the railroad is the loss leader for real estate development. That's how railroads are profitable in Japan. Government shouldn't be in the business of running failing businesses.
 

Siegmund

Service Attendant
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Nov 19, 2018
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northwestern Montana
Private enterprise ALWAYS does it better than government when there is a chance for profit.
As Bill Clinton would say, it comes down to what "it" means.

Private enterprise is very good at maximizing its own profit when allowed to do so. By any means possible, including pocketing government handouts, minimizing safety and maintenance expenditures, and squeezing every penny it can out of the paying customers.

Problem is, maximizing profit very rarely coincides with minimizing pollution, minimizing accidental deaths, or even maximizing number of customers served (its often better for the bottom line to jack up fares and artificially limit the number of seats, than increase service when the plane is full - lots of similar examples with everything from cell service to network speed to how private contractors (mis)manage hotels and campgrounds in national parks.)
 

chrsjrcj

OBS Chief
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Mar 24, 2011
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West Palm Beach, FL
Amtrak has released their July 2020 performance report and we get our first look at the Silvers since service was reduced on July 6th. And results are as expected. Every long distance route saw a decent increase in ridership (most in the 20% to 30% range) from June to July except for the Silver Star (-18%), Silver Meteor (-3%), and Auto Train (-19%). Not sure why the Auto Train dropped so much (Hurricane Isaias canceled some service the first week of August).

And no, these weren't seasonal factors. I checked June 2019 vs July 2019 and the Silver Star and Silver Meteor saw an increase of 14% and 15% respectively, while the Auto Train saw an increase of 10%.

Here are my calculations based off Amtrak's monthly performance report:

Amtrak Ridership.PNG
 
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McIntyre2K7

Train Attendant
AU Supporter
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Tampa, FL
Not sure why the Auto Train dropped so much (Hurricane Isaias canceled some service the first week of August).
I wonder if some of the people who would have used the Auto Train just decided to fly due to cheap flights. I know Jet Blue had really cheap flights out of the northeast to Orlando International ( From Newark $28 RT, From Philadelphia $32 RT). I guess spending 2 to 3 hours on a plane and renting a car in Orlando would be cheaper than just using the auto train if flights are that cheap.
 

niemi24s

Conductor
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Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,291
Here are my calculations based off Amtrak's monthly performance report:
Thanks for taking the time to create and post that chart. It's refreshing to see some meaningful data.....

.....rather that the customary blather seen on this board in lieu of it.
 

joelkfla

Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
179
Amtrak has released their July 2020 performance report and we get our first look at the Silvers since service was reduced on July 6th. And results are as expected. Every long distance route saw a decent increase in ridership (most in the 20% to 30% range) from June to July except for the Silver Star (-18%), Silver Meteor (-3%), and Auto Train (-19%). Not sure why the Auto Train dropped so much (Hurricane Isaias canceled some service the first week of August).

And no, these weren't seasonal factors. I checked June 2019 vs July 2019 and the Silver Star and Silver Meteor saw an increase of 14% and 15% respectively, while the Auto Train saw an increase of 10%.

Here are my calculations based off Amtrak's monthly performance report:

View attachment 19054
COVID cases were surging in FL from mid June thru July. NY started requiring self-quarantine of persons traveling from FL on 6/19. Not sure about the timing in states adjoining NY, but I think it was around the same time.
 

Qapla

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Gator Country Florida
I would imagine that the imposed quarantine when going north and the rampant numbers of C-19 going south it would have an impact on any/all transportation methods between NY and Florida ... including the Silvers and the AT
 

railiner

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South Florida
I would imagine that the imposed quarantine when going north and the rampant numbers of C-19 going south it would have an impact on any/all transportation methods between NY and Florida ... including the Silvers and the AT
It sure has impacted me...I haven't been to my Queens apartment since January 4th. :(
 

McIntyre2K7

Train Attendant
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Tampa, FL
I would imagine that the imposed quarantine when going north and the rampant numbers of C-19 going south it would have an impact on any/all transportation methods between NY and Florida ... including the Silvers and the AT
I think a lot of people got around that imposed quarantine by flying to DC/PHI/BOS and then taking another form of transportation to NY/NJ/CT areas.
 

Ollie12

Train Attendant
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Jul 24, 2020
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Melbourne, Australia
It's a shame Brightline couldn't step in and run a train from Miami Central to Tampa (even via Orlando) running along the Florida East Coast line to West Palm Beach (so serving its stations in FLL and West Palm Beach) then jumping across onto CSX to Tampa / Orlando - it'd prove demand for them as well on the MIA - MCO leg.
 

railiner

Conductor
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Messages
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South Florida
It's a shame Brightline couldn't step in and run a train from Miami Central to Tampa (even via Orlando) running along the Florida East Coast line to West Palm Beach (so serving its stations in FLL and West Palm Beach) then jumping across onto CSX to Tampa / Orlando - it'd prove demand for them as well on the MIA - MCO leg.
Brightline is not going to operate over Amtrak operated routes. And currently, it's not even running on its core Miami-West Palm Beach route...
 

Palmetto

Conductor
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
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Location
Miami
It's a shame Brightline couldn't step in and run a train from Miami Central to Tampa (even via Orlando) running along the Florida East Coast line to West Palm Beach (so serving its stations in FLL and West Palm Beach) then jumping across onto CSX to Tampa / Orlando - it'd prove demand for them as well on the MIA - MCO leg.
There's a plan for them to get to Tampa eventually, but it's going to be via Orlando and their own right-of-way down the median of I-4. There's also talk about going up to Jacksonville eventually.
 

Qapla

Conductor
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Jul 15, 2019
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Gator Country Florida
Since there is a wye in Jacksonville and the train already turns in Tampa and Miami, maybe they should run a train between those three cities in Florida daily while they are running this odd schedule from Miami to NY

It could even be a "coach only" train - perhaps ...
 
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neroden

Conductor
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Feb 23, 2014
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Ithaca, NY
As Bill Clinton would say, it comes down to what "it" means.

Private enterprise is very good at maximizing its own profit when allowed to do so. By any means possible, including pocketing government handouts, minimizing safety and maintenance expenditures, and squeezing every penny it can out of the paying customers.

Problem is, maximizing profit very rarely coincides with minimizing pollution, minimizing accidental deaths, or even maximizing number of customers served (its often better for the bottom line to jack up fares and artificially limit the number of seats, than increase service when the plane is full - lots of similar examples with everything from cell service to network speed to how private contractors (mis)manage hotels and campgrounds in national parks.)
I should probably share the history of how, in the 19th century, the town I live in had a private for-profit water system. It spread a cholera epidemic.

The system was taken over by government as a public service after the cholera epidemic. We haven't had a single cholera epidemic since then -- in fact our city water regularly wins national water quality awards.

Yes, government is much, much better at accomplishing some things than profiteers are. Especially when the profiteers have an incentive to endanger the public for profit.
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,209
Atlanta privitized its water system. Took about 5 years and city had to take it over for poor service. Took couple years to clean up billings, delayed repairs, water quality, etc.
 
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