Lost United Hub Shows Cleveland Path To Regional Rail

By Joe Baur

Last call, Cleveland fliers.

United’s departure seems to have come as a surprise based on the influx of local outrage. I’ll admit I took part in the populist rage. But we really should have seen it coming. And the fact that we are in no better position to support regional travel needs than we were since the Continental-United merger was announced proves yet again how our public officials have failed us.

Flying is expensive and Greater Cleveland has been shrinking for decades. The demand simply was not there to fill the flights necessary for United to justify maintaining a hub in Cleveland. United made a business decision that we cannot fault them for making, no matter how painful the job losses are.

Really the outrage should be directed toward state leaders who have time and time again short-changed our region of desperately needed regional rail infrastructure. Simply put, nobody should be flying from Cleveland to Cincinnati or Dayton, which are among the flights being cut. Really anything within a six-hour drive is not sustainable for an airline in Cleveland. Yet our governor and governor-hopeful proved how clueless they are in regards to our state’s transportation needs with their near-identical statements regarding the United departure.

Governor Kasich said he would push for the decision to be reversed, adding that the state will continue to leverage progress made at the airport to attract new carriers. County Executive FitzGerald said he would “continue to focus on the future and work with the private sector and other government entities to increase air service to our area.”

More carriers are not the long-term answer for Cleveland’s transportation needs. If Governor Kasich were really concerned about the future of Cleveland connectivity, he would have leveraged the $400 million in federal-aid given to Ohio to develop regional rail in this state rather than simply giving it away to make a lame political point that will end up costing Ohio more in the long run. He would employ a director of the Ohio Department of Transportation that isn’t hostile to non-highway transportation.

If FitzGerald were so concerned, he would come out and put forth some kind of transportation plan for the state. Unless I’m mistaken, FitzGerald has been completely silent on his vision of transportation in Cleveland both as County Executive and now as a gubernatorial nominee. Does he support connecting Ohio’s cities with rail? Working with Amtrak to restore daytime service to Cleveland?

Or is he in line with Kasich’s (outdated) thinking that $331 million for a 3.5-mile highway extension is the way of the future? I have no idea, because FitzGerald is not discussing these issues. He’s off asking Kasich to sign a pledge to commit to serving a full-term if (when) he wins reelection without recognizing the irony.

Unfortunately it seems unlikely anyone with a hint of transportation foresight will find his or her way into the Ohio governor’s mansion for the foreseeable future. Not to mention history has taught us that Cleveland cannot rely on the state to fulfill our transportation needs.

Still, we as a community need to use this opportunity to rally behind regional rail. The demand is there and the economic benefits are clear-cut. More air carriers or highway lanes will not attract new labor or businesses to Cleveland. Miles driven are down nationally and the highway trust fund is already drowning in red ink.

Simply put, it’s time to get on board with regional rail in Cleveland and across Buckeye country.

 

 

Joe Baur is a freelance writer, filmmaker and satirist with a diverse array of interests including travel, adventure, craft beer, health, urban issues, culture and politics. He ranks his allegiances in the order of Cleveland, the state of Ohio and the Rust Belt, and enjoys a fried egg on a variety of meats. Joe has a B.A. in Mass Communication with a focus on production from Miami University. Follow him at http://JoeBaur.com and on Twitter @BaurJoe.

 

 

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30 Responses to “Lost United Hub Shows Cleveland Path To Regional Rail”

  1. John Heaney

    So the solution to losing a hub airline and 41 nonstop flights a day is a train that runs from Cleveland to Cincinnati? At an average speed of 45 mph? If Amtrak can’t make a dime with the highest traffic route in the country, is there even the slightest hope that a train running the length of Ohio could possibly run in the black? Not a chance. If there were, then I’d welcome a private rail company to invest their money and give it a try. Their money. Not mine. Not on a 19th century mode of transportation that loses money everywhere it’s constructed. Detroit? Atlanta? San Francisco? Los Angeles? Losers all. Year after year, with no end in sight.

  2. John — Your argument rests on the fact that a train needs to run in the black. Interstate 90, 71, 271, and the list goes on, do not generate a profit. In fact, the highway trust fund is deeper in the hole than expected according to the latest CBO projections. Why the double standard?

    This is hardly a 19th Century mode of transportation. The 19th Century did not have high-speed rail, which is what I’m advocating for in Ohio. While other states are improving their rails to handle 110mph trains, we’re fretting over the fact that we would have to subsidize a train, which has never been a problem for any other form of transportation (sidewalks, bike lanes, roads, highways, parking, etc.). The 3C Corridor, to take one example, was paid for by the federal government. The operating and maintenance budget was less than what we currently spend on cutting the grass on highway medians.

    If you’re concerned about running in the black, then I’d ask you to at least apply the same standard to highways.

  3. Indy

    I can drive to Cincinnati or Columbus and back in one day on business. The 45 mph train, as presented, would have taken an overnight stay. And you’d have to rent a car at your destination. Why would anyone take a grain to those cities? I never took an airplane when they were available.

  4. Howard

    Folks, please stop the mindless 45mph ignorance about the killed 3C rail (from Dayton to Cleveland) through Ohio.

    If you actually read the proposal, you’d know the plan included track upgrades to allow eventual speeds of 110 mph. This has being done to CONVENTIONAL rail systems (not multi-billion-dollar bullet trains) in Pennsylvania and Illinois. The 45 mph figure came from the fact that initial speeds had to be reduced between Columbus and Cincinnati when the system would initially open. The system was called “Quick Start” because it could start service within two years and ear revenue rather than wait years more until all tracks were upgraded. Even so, the existing tracks between Columbus and Cleveland would have allowed even initial cruising speeds of 79 mph. It would average out at speeds that slightly beat driving times between those two cities in incomparable comfort.

    The plan also included a station stop to connect to Hopkins Airport. That would have put a corridor of 6 million Ohioans at the door of Cleveland’s struggling hub for rail-air packages like the United hub in Newark. It should be pointed out, United dropped Cleveland NOT because of its size or alleged dysfunction (hubs in Detroit and the smaller metro area if Charlotte are still thriving), but because the costly regional-jet business model is being phased out as a primary mainline jet feeder.

    The knee-jerk counter points that the rail must be profitable in order to exist is disingenuous. Government spends $billions on airports and control towers. As for cars, Ohio spends $3.5 billion in a single year to maintain its highways. To put that into perspective, the annual expenditure to keep the killed 3C Ohio rail would have been ONE HALF OF ONR PERCENT of that.

    This was not the “train to nowhere,” as some tea-partiers mindlessly parroted. Amtrak announced it would work to coordinate and expand Cleveland’s east-west service for daytime travel, allowing someone from, say, Columbus (one of the largest cities if the country with NO rail service) to travel seamlessly by rail to Chicago, NYC, D.C. and Boston, via Cleveland.

    On top of all that, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimated some 17,000 direct and indirect jobs to come from the project in Ohio, which has some 200 rail-related businesses already.

    It should be obvious why the federal government decided to initially grant Ohio the rail money, even though the state competed for it against rails proposals from dozens of other states.

    The federal passenger rail grant was ironically pursued initially by the REPUBLICAN Taft administration. Alas, Kasich was elected as Governor and joined Christie and other Republican pitbulls in unilaterally killing various local rail projects. Ohio’s grant simply went to another rail project in another state.

    Yep, Kasich certainly saves us a lot — saved us from having a lot of jobs, enhancing our air hub and Ohio from at last connecting to a re-growing form of transportation in the country.

  5. Howard

    By the way, Indy, the propose 3C rail schedule would have allowed for same day stops of 3, 6, or 9 hours in Columbus without spending the night. OSU, state government offices, the arena district, Short North and downtown are readily accessible from the proposed station in the Columbus Convention Center. The rail was not about superb to suburb travel.

  6. John Heaney

    Do leftists ever learn from our vast history of government rail boondoggles? Apparently not, since they keep trying to cram low speed rail systems down an unwelcoming public’s throat. Every major rail program has resulted in massive cost overruns (typically 2-3x initial projections), fabricated ridership projections, exorbitant ticket prices, performance failures and a perpetual budgetary sinkhole filled with government union workers who always want more.
    For short haul travel (300 miles or fewer) we like cars. And I won’t get over the 45mph CLE-CIN average transit speed because that was the reality. Sure, you can talk about hitting 110 mph on some stretch at some magical point in the future, after spending additional billions, but we know that we can drive to Cincinnati from CLE in under 4 hours. Not the 6 I’d spend on a train. And is there anyone who would actually pay to take a train from Columbus to Boston when a flight gets there in 90 minutes?
    Drivers pay for our use of the roads in taxes and tolls, and fliers also pay an assortment of fees and taxes with each airline ticket. However, the train would be a perpetual suck from every Ohio taxpayer’s wallet while benefiting only a handful. And once built, it would never die.
    You want trains? Fine. Invest in a private rail company that wants to risk its own money on rail. That’s how rail crossed the country in the first place – private companies building and managing rail lines. No reason at all to add one more failure to the list of things that government can’t do well.

  7. Howard

    Do “rightists” ever deal with facts … or realize we no longer live in the 1950s?

    * The 110 mph speed is an actual part of the 3C rail plan. Enhanced conventional rail does NOT cost “additional billions.” That’s a figure you just made up to pretend to make a point.

    * Uh, yes, you can fly to Boston in 90 minutes … and for $600-plus dollars … or more than $1,000 if you need to get a last minute ticket.

    Round trip from Cleveland to Boston on Amtrak, leaving THIS weekend? Try $162. That’s round trip. Do you need help with math?

    * And PLEASE stop fantasizing you are speaking on behalf of us when you claim “we like cars” for short hauls (300-pllus miles or a five hour drive!?) Not all of us are senior suburbanites glued to bus-cars and Caddies who forgot what an actual city looks like. Not all of us relish potholes, snow-bound death lanes, backed-traffic stalls and disgusting roadside restrooms.

    * Finally, is there a bigger “boondoggle” than today’s airline industry — demanding billions of dollars in airport infrastructure and pulling out of cities and cramming passengers into fewer planes and feel we a lucky if they decide to depart at all, let alone on time? And don’t get me started on a transportation industry (auto) that costs Ohio $3.5 BILLION a year just to maintain.

  8. Howard

    P.S.

    Please do some research before pretending you know about success of new rail projects. The 3-year-old through-state Virginia Amtrak service far exceeded projections.

    http://bit.ly/1gw8sxA

  9. John Heaney

    Howard, you continue to ignore the overarching issue that government involvement in rail systems has always resulted in massive and perpetual losses, poor service, limited schedules and unfulfilled promises. You point to ridership increasing on one rail system in Virginia but fail to note that it is still losing money. As is every major government rail project. The estimates for the California high speed rail system have more than tripled from the original promise of $32 billion to a current estimate of $97 billion.
    The Ohio 3C rail estimates are similarly misleading, and the $350 million dangled by the federal government wouldn’t fulfill the $1.4 billion needed to upgrade the line and procure new rail cars for a 110mph line. Yep, your utopian rail fantasy was a billion dollars off. And that doesn’t count the eternal operating expenses and union staffing, healthcare and pension costs that will inevitably follow.
    By the way, that roundtrip from Cleveland to Boston that you mentioned… it takes 15 hours. If I plan my travel, I can get an Airtran ticket for $139 and be there in less than 2 hours. And if I don’t like Airtran, I can pick another airline that isn’t government run and must earn my business with responsive service and competitive pricing.
    Certainly there’s room for well designed and efficiently run rail service, and I would support efforts to encourage the development of private rail lines to meet transit demand. Free up our entrepreneurial energy, remove ridiculous environmental regulations and get rid of the government tentacles that invade, delay and destroy projects that they don’t like. Then, if they fail it’s not my wallet they reach for. But apparently nothing soothes the savage leftist like the utopian fantasies promised by massive government projects. Do you ever tire of spending other people’s money?

  10. John Heaney

    Oh, and I can buy a ticket today on the Megabus for $17 that gets me from Cleveland to Cincinnati in 5 hours and 15 minutes. In a large, comfortable seat with free wifi included.

  11. Howard

    John, YOU continue to miss the point.

    Tell me which airline invested more than $2 Billion in developing the Hopkins Airport and its infrastructure to suit a hub?
    (If there’s an airlines named Public Taxes, you’d be right).
    Tell me which road to Cincinnati or Columbus is independently owned, free of government monies?

    I can hop the train tomorrow to Boston for $85. There are no available seats on a plane leaving tomorrow from Akron and the cheapest from CLE is $579. Of course you can plan ahead by several months and land the cheapest fare from Akron. But a rail option is invaluable in many instances.

    But this issue about going to Boston is really just a deflection for the real issue of getting to cities within a 500-mile radius. Add aggravation, transfer time and security drudgery to the soaring costs of any airline trip, and the extra time on a train with a first-class-style seat and footrest may start to sound better.

    When I went to New York during the Christmas season, I searched well in advance for cheap airfares. My partner and I could get two roundtrips and a roomette (which included steak dinners and made-to-order omelet breakfasts) cheaper than airfare. We left in the morning and literally stepped off right in the heart of Manhattan in early evening in time for dinner and a show. On the train, we met several people from Columbus who actually drove to Cleveland to take the same train.

    When I say “hop the train,” I mean it. You simply get on the train … and get off in downtown NYC, Chicago or Boston. Do you really think 90 minutes of security lines and a hoards of people and an hour cab ride into the city are fun?

    And please just drop that nonsense about Megabus, which piggy-backs off tax-paid road infrastructure. The concept of a train is that it is NOT a bus. Senior citizens and businessmen are not to be found among the Megabus hipsters; neither do they general take Greyhound. Transportation studies say rail is the one true cross-demographic mode of transportation, financially and otherwise. That’t the public’s call to make, not yours.

    Look, rail proponents are NOT trying to take you away from your precious airlines. Airlines, actually, are taking it away for you.

    In one fell swoop United dropped 60 percent of its flights from Cleveland. That not only hurts us, it hurts the cities connected to us. Some cities may eventually be left with no air service — or Megabus.

  12. John Heaney

    Howard, if you love trains, more power to you. Ride them to your heart’s content. If you think a 13 hour train trip from Cleveland to NYC is nirvana, I’m happy for you. I just don’t want to pay for part of your ticket as I do now. The reason your Amtrak marathon to NYC was moderately priced is because you’re receiving a generous subsidy from the taxpayers, as is every Amtrak long-haul passenger. And now you want to spend even more of everyone else’s money so you can go faster.
    In no response have you addressed the primary issue I’ve raised which is that government involvement in rail systems is a massive and expensive failure everywhere it’s tried. It’s insanity to double down on incompetence, greed and mismanagement. If you want to promote private rail line development, I’m with you. Let’s loosen the onerous restraints imposed by the same government that can’t even turn a profit on their railroad dining cars and let the free market respond.
    Despite your contention that the taxpayers were somehow bilked out of $2 billion for Hopkins Airport the costs of highways and airports are not paid by taxes from any general fund but are paid by those who use them through an enormous assortment of fuel, excise and ticket taxes. And if Hopkins declared their intent to reach into my wallet, I’d deliver the same message to them. No reason why our airports should be run by the government. Turn them over to the private sector like they have in Europe, Australia and Asia and let the free market show how much better transportation can be.

  13. Howard

    Okay, I guess you’ll just just keep on using the 15-hour Boston trip to make a deflective straw-man argument against a 4-hour trip to Cincinnati.

    (Funny, I wonder how convenient a flight to Boston would be today, considering flights are cancelled do to weather.

    Not Amtrak.

    Maybe you can enjoy a nice 15 hour car ride through slick roads and traffic pileups — if you can find a road open. The tracks on Amtrak are open, however.)

    But more to your most glaring point:

    There’s a reason the previous Ohio REPUBLICAN administration pursued the rail grant — INVESTMENT — and it’s a term tea-party types simply do not want to comprehend as they desperately try to reconciled their tax- hoarding mentality.

    Ohio is not doing as well as a lot of other states. Apparently Kasich — the alleged “jobs” governor — didn’t quite land the windfall for this state by actually sending $400 MILLION simply to another rail project in another state.

    Here’s the deal: Ohio has strength in his sheer population, one the few states above the 10-million mark and one of fewer with three major metropolises seemingly strategically lining one tip of the border to the other.

    James E. Seney, of the Republican Taft administration, knew Ohio can — and should — LEVERAGE that strength. You do it by CONNECTIVITY.

    A rail line, as the similar one in Virginia proved, is a primary way of doing as no potholed, snowy highway, smelly bus or price-gouging (and quickly disappearing) airline can.

    That’s why, as you conveniently sidestep, the U.S. Department of Commerce projected somehwere around 17,000 direct and indirect jobs resulting from the killed 3C rail. Oversted? Of course. But I wouldn’t turn away fraction of that.

    Nother would other Republicans. You can — and should — read what Seney has to say to get the Republican point of view at this site:

    http://bit.ly/1iUwLYh

    Finally, I find it ironic that people who desperately want to prop up our waning airline service would be so utterly obtuse about actual ways to accomplish that. Again, one of the specific attributes of the killed 3-C rail.

    It’s key component was a station specifically for Hopkins Airport. My God: putting a corridor of 6 million Ohioans at the foot of the United Hub. As you may not know, our loss of the Cleveland Hub is the changed strategy of regional jets, which our hub was primarily about. They are simply no longer cost-effective to be used to feed into larger main-line service.

    However, as Newark proves with Continental and United, a new medium-distance rail line to that airport allowed rail-air packages. To put it into local terms, a flight from CLE to London or Paris could include a rail connection from downtown Columbus instead of a costly regional prop plane or jet.

    If Cleveland did something like Pittsburgh and initially underwrote a Paris flight (which is now self-sustaining and even growing, thanks to Pittsburgh’s forward-thinking business community), we could conceivably market rail-air packagers locally. And no, a businessman going to London, L.A. or Paris is NOT going to hop a Greyhound or Megabus to fly business-class to London.

    I certainly shall ride the rails — even 15 hour trips and savor every minute of it — but I will lament that Ohio will once again be behind the curve, rather than in front, once again because of short-sightedness.

    Sheer short-sightedness.

    Enjoy your 15-hour car trips. Next rest stop: Kansas.

  14. Howard

    Again, the annual investment from the killed 3C was less than the cost Ohio spends to cut the grass on its highways.

  15. John Heaney

    Yet again you fail to address the overriding issue which is that government has no business being in the rail business. Government provides absolutely nothing that the private sector can’t provide faster, cheaper, better and without financial risks to the public.
    By their very nature, government projects are politically driven. There is absolutely no accountability, there are no incentives to deliver exceptional (or even mediocre) service, all major decisions are determined by political, not business concerns, they are incapable of attracting the best and brightest talent, they enable politicians to dole out feckless patronage positions, they are the last bastion of extortionate unions, and they cannot be killed.
    If the state believes that rail is necessary to encourage economic development, then let the state make it attractive for private rail companies to lay down some rail and attract riders. The free market is a wonderful thing. It gauges much more accurately than politicians or activists what type of projects actually make sense. And when the market detects untapped opportunity, they leap into the breach to fulfill our needs without reaching into my pocket to forcefully grab my money. Nope, they need me to volunteer my money. You just want to take it and then label me a hoarder when I resist your money grab.
    All the evidence is on my side. There are precisely zero government run high speed rail lines that make any money. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Not even the vaunted Acela line. It’s time to get the government out of the rail business and partner with the private sector to build, manage and run the rail lines that make sense.

  16. Howard

    You haven’t really addressed any of my points. You just parrot Ayn Rand platitudes. You don’t even seem to realize that general public taxes (yes, from your pocket) fund a lot of auto infrastructure (ever hear of highway patrol?) and air infrastructure (control towers are not volunteer organizations).

    Blind tea-party dogma doesn’t change the reality that sometimes quality-of-life for the public good cannot always be left up to “private business.” That’s why great cities have great transportation systems.

  17. observer

    NO fancy rail system….limited numbers of people who would use that…I WISH You were right there Howard and Joe B but I got doubts tooo…truth is somewhere in the middle…way cities rigged even if get to whoseever Downtown via rail have to get a cab once there…Ok got busses..Could You pic some whitecollar biz traveler mucking with a bus if bus even goes in THAT direction or goes that far out…COLUMBUS is JUST as much a mallsprawl as C Town is…maybe worse…constantly annexing…

    IF put to a vote I THINK rail thing would go down to defeat…as envisioned far as the HIGH speed high dollar stuff…Ok so freeways and their upkeep IS JUST as pricy if not MORE pricy but everything built around ALL THAT so try and disconnect that now…IS A BACK to the city movement but NOT gonna be as big,deep as what THINK it is gonna be….I could be wrong on that tooo….

    CARS do allow flexibility thou in bad weather like what having sure doesnt seem like it..

    Would have taken the $400 MILLION as is and rehab some lines and call iti a day….LOT of the rail traffic tends to go EAST WEST aka Chicago….not that couldnt have stuff routed thru other areas for other reasons but hey…

  18. observer

    Far as RAIL HISTORY….bizarre chicken,egg thing…WAS and HAD to be GOVERNMENT backing all that via landgrants,some $,etc.otherwise some companies would NOT have done it..which MAYBE would have been a good idea to begin with…TOOO much rail by turn of century,etc.Too much of a boom,bust. Yeah gas powered vehicles helped fuel that decline….

    NO politico NOW (or in future) COULD POSSIBLY back this…Opposition would wrap this around a politicos neck til last breathe comes out of em….Right or wrong the characterizations are viewed as mostly true by ENOUGH voters,policy makers,etc. LOT of stuff that would have to get resolved,etc.ENOUGH or lot of good has come of public spending aka colleges,universities but sometimes the results so nuanced,esoteric,etc.hard to quantify or put on a bumpersticker….

    I DO agree with Howard that public good cant be totally accompliishe by biz… AYN RAND had OWN hideous Russian history and a product of RUSSIAN 1917 revolution and all that…

  19. observer

    AMTRACK profitable in certain routes but lost what $40 BILLION over nearly 4-5 decades…thou grant You airlines like certain other local biz with stuff downtown has made out while average citizen,taxpayer has…anyways…

    IF HAD a dime for every fancy job projection be pseudo rich…least THIS jobs # sounds LOT more realistic then the Gateway project one of 28K jobs…. THAT WAS HOGWASH…pure n simple….

  20. observer

    Opportunity Corridor…
    1) snags BACK $,commuters,some residents,TAX $,etc.
    2) Keeps certain number of people employed
    3) AINT gonna save Forgotten Triangle…talking some fasfood/gas type jobs…take some wins where can…
    4) FEWER wrecks around ….

  21. observer

    Far as politicians…..GOOD luck having Dems or even Repubs sign up to this….

  22. observer

    Ed F? CANT speak for HIM…HE has MORE then ENOUGH to deal with and got DOUBTS of Him winning THAT brass ring to be HONEST about it…gonna find out this November…HOW many ‘proposals’ of all kinds peddled,get discussed,then sink out of sight…GOT SHELVES filled with ‘studies’…

    OPPORTUNITY corridor? GOT BIG or huge interests in on that pup…TAX HUNGRY city, Univ.Circle,unions,contractors,commuters,etc. THINK OF IT THIS way…REDUCES the EPA mandate pollution threshold…NOT gonna sit there idling twiddling thumbs…I GOT VERY serious doubts THAT will go much beyond a HIGHWAY…get some fastfood,carwash,gas station biz… IF want a savior..

    DETROIT BLIGHT AUTHORITY…. SUSPECT with THAT THAT DOES support SORTA back to city Yup or truck farm thing… A TEMPLATE…can pic that McMansion PER block..or couple of em…pseudo gated community…MAY have denser housing but considering the mayham,etc. suspect at end of day BIG winners are nursing homes,priz and ANYTHING resembling a hardware store to keep rest of it more or less functioning…but THAT is DETROIT…IS or was a ONE trick pony town… WHETHER the inner hood new housing is a bizarre artificial gig cuz of policy ‘choices’,CRA,minority Yuppies,tax creds,etc,is up to rest to determine…

    THIER ed gig aka Univ.of Mich or Mich Un or whutever they have…LOST like 1 mil residents and something like 700K jobs…TOoo much of a hole to fill…maybe at best a UM and affiliated could spit out 4K jobs via whutever…incubators,webfreelancers,medical,etc.

  23. observer

    AT END of DAY mr.JOE CAN YOU SERIOUSLY waltz out to ANY bar or restaurant or ANYTHING in FARTHER OUT hoods,inner ring burbs let alone outer ring burbs and peddle all this wundrous stuff…DONT let LOCAL influcence You… a METROPARKS or METROHOSPITAL is one thing…POPULAR. LOT of users..guess so do sports stadiums…DONT expect ‘miracles’…BE happy if NO disasters,etc.and dont feel AS much of a schmuck far as ALL THAT ‘goes’….

    PORT authority CHEAP ENOUGH…”THEY” learned…THEY had THEIR baptism by fire…gonna take a battering ram,subpeoanias,guntruck to get them out of there…SO did COUNTY…

    YOU want to go to a FAIRVIEW PK or a CUDDELL much less anyone else and peddle ANOTHER mega project… OPPORTUNITY CORRIDOR IS FED $ ….Ok OUR money….NOT the same context…NO local issue…

  24. observer

    YOU want to march on down to CITY HALL or COUNTY or whoever…GOooood luck with THAT….

    THEY are tooo busy TRYING to save own bacon and OWN local projects…Tooo busy having truant officers CHASED by 50 students…0r 61 cops chasing 2 whutever in a 31 YR old CHEVY Malibu…TRY and talk to a SWEENEY…goood luck with Mr.Machievallian there…HIS actions SPEAKS VOLUMES….ALL the gov HAVE MORE THEN enough on their plates…HAPPY if get reimbursed for even a high % of it…YOU want to get $400 MIL or BILS of $s for WHAT again? Yeah I KNOW…$300 MIL for JUST 3 MILES…

    TO be FAIR to YOU and other supporters…HARD to quantify something that doesnt exist…COASTS are ONE thing…

    WOULD have taken the $400 MILLION and just upgrade and run a train…heck if gets up to 55 MPH THAT would be a win…

    INTERURBANS? got OVERHEAD infrastructure thing unless something new,cheapER came along..

    GOT fax,VC,telex,web,package services,etc.

    I READ,understand what folks saying bout PLANE ticket costs…HOW much of THAT is “CORPORATE” is anyones guess…LOT more blaise and freespending…heck..THAT is expense acct….

  25. observer

    FINALLY FOLKS are gonna ASK WHO is gonna build and maintain this stuff….

  26. observer

    GOT race thing AMONG ALL THE REST OF it tooo but HEY….not fair…ME? ANTI thug…so long as not sticking a gun,knife up my nose life is good….

  27. observer

    HOWARD? FAR as PARIS or LONDON thing? BP gone…THAT UK connection…NOT to say DONT have said going to that..heck..tourists,etc. BUT…BLEW HOW much on concrete OUT at HOPKINS…welll…hey…maybe Im beating this dog to death but…BUT…PROBLEM is got a LOT of small,niche funky biz and hard to nearly impossible to figure all that out…THOSE trips could be one hit wonders tooo…whether to meet a banker or a artdealer….DO appeciate innovation of AirRail idea thou…

  28. observer

    ALMOST rather pay the interests to LEVEL THE WRECKS….

  29. observer

    CONSIDERING OUR POLITICO HORRORFEST good luck with this….On ED? GOT some IDEAS on ALL THAT but wont say til after election…HE aint gonna say…HE is going to be looking for some new gig way SUTTON,KUCINICH,PJ,HAGAN and rest did…what else can or should be doing otherwise…TIME will tell if makes another ‘attempt’. HE plays close to vest..NO fool…REMEMBER HIS past….

  30. observer

    CALIFORNIA…. IMMINENT DOMAIN fights big time…some ranchers,farmers..I GOT doubts can make a long term stand…is a lopsided fight…HERE? GOood luck…SOME landowners may gladly love the money…a high tension line or pipeline or whutever is one thing…

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