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Voters in Austin, Texas, pass $7 billion mass transit plan

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daybeers

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
789
Location
HFD
Austin, Texas has become way too leftist and this project will lead to much higher taxes. My own opinion is rail transportation should be privately owned and operated and there should be usage based fees for service where it has to generate profits.
1. Private ownership & operation requires profits.
2. Boy oh boy, do I have an Interstate Highway System and thousands of airports to sell you! great deals on both!
 

me_little_me

Conductor
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
3,491
What's the problem with walking, biking, or using other forms of micro mobility transit to get the first/last mile connection to a comprehensive network of bus and rail?
Old age
minor disabilities (for major ones we do have some mitigation)
cold
heat
rain
snow
cost ( electric bikes and golf carts are $$$$)
Personal security and safety
Need to carry heavy objects like food
Reality (auto drivers do vote)
etc.

And I'm an advocate of good rail and bus service
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,433
Location
Baltimore. MD
1. Private ownership & operation requires profits.
Technically speaking, that might not be true. An enterprise owned and operated by a non-profit organization is not "government owned."

In any event, the term "profitable" is a very slippery term, indeed, as anyone who negotiates Hollywood contracts knows very well. It is quite possible for an enterprise to show very little "profit" on the books, yet the persons controlling the enterprise's finances can earn a great deal of money. It's also possible to run an economically sustainable enterprise providing good quality service and products that is considered unsuccessful by the "market" because it's "profit" doesn't meet investor's expectations.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
2,433
Location
Baltimore. MD
Old age
minor disabilities (for major ones we do have some mitigation)
cold
heat
rain
snow
cost ( electric bikes and golf carts are $$$$)
Personal security and safety
Need to carry heavy objects like food
Reality (auto drivers do vote)
etc.

And I'm an advocate of good rail and bus service
Also, notice that the original poster also included "micro-mobility transit" in the non-car options. I guess this could be stuff like on-call minibus, Uber, or even Zip-car-like golf carts parked in the neighborhood that would allow subscribers to get a ride to the nearest real transit stop.

These sort of things would overcome most of the objections listed here.

In any event, the people who have real physical problems that limit their ability to walk are a very small minority, and, yes, they could be accommodated. That's why we have "handicapped" parking spaces. Maybe in the New Urbanist utopia, tha will be the only type of parking spaces available. May people who **think** they can't walk are merely out of shape or believe that walking is beneath their dignity.

"Personal security" is an overrated issue in most of the country. Most people run around scared of muggers and such because political demagogues and news outlets interested in goosing viewership via sensationalism make American cities appear much more dangerous than they really are. There are exceptions, of course, but the people living in those areas are less likely to be able to own a car, anyway.

In a real New urbanist utopia (or even a modern central city), stores are located close by, and you do shopping more frequently than in the 'burbs, thus not needing to carry large amounts of shopping parcels. In any event, there are shopping carts that look like wheelie suitcases that have been used for years that allow people to easily transport several full grocery bags home from the market. I know, I've used them when I lived in Center City Philadelphia. We had a car, but we really didn't need to use it much for day-to-day mobility.

It's very possible to have perfectly good mobility, with personal autos being a very secondary mode of transportation, mostly for people with disabilities and specialized situations. The reason most people own cars is that they've been sold a bill of goods -- the feeling that having a car makes you some sort of "upper class" person, and not the kind of riffraff that has to share their mobility with other people. Of course, they do anyway, because they have to sit in traffic, but that's OK, the real upper class people can hop a helicopter or something.
 
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