January 30, 2010

Your tax dollars at work

$1.2 billion will be spent to to shave 1 hour off train commute from Chicago to St. Louis:

State and local leaders briefed reporters Friday on a massive federal grant to bankroll a high-speed rail line between Chicago and St. Louis. "You know, moving at 110 miles per hour through the Midwest, you see it's a different ballgame. You zip by traffic, you reach destinations that aren't available any longer when you fly, and look at the amount of time it takes you to get to and from the airport," Schwieterman said.

Gov. Pat Quinn was front and center Friday for the high speed rail announcement, which will bring an estimated 6,000 jobs to Illinois. Quinn joined Mayor Daley and Sen. Dick Durbin to display plans for the high speed rail network.

In Illinois, it'll focus primarily on the Amtrak route between Chicago and St. Louis. $1.2 billion will be spent over the next four years to increase speeds from 90 to 120-miles per hour.

By car, a trip from downtown Chicago to St. Louis could take a driver four to four and a half hours. On one of the high speed trains, experts say you could shave at least an hour off your trip, and get some work done while you ride.

Yeah, in the midst of the worst economy in memory, when manned space shots have been abandoned, here's an idea: let's cut a commute time of about ONE HOUR ... by spending over a BILLION dollars!

Only in America, folks.

Posted by Hube at January 30, 2010 08:17 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I've ridden that current train route -- and the main thing such a change would do wold not be to speed the train up, but to cut out most of those unserved locations so as to eliminate the stops at little used stations.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at January 30, 2010 10:02 AM

Is this considered light rail? Regardless, it is amazing to me how much the left still pushes for light rail. It is almost always an economic disaster. Almost every single one of them operates in the red and are not used nearly as much as they were projected. And, most importantly, they do virtually NOTHING for traffic congestion in the areas where they are built.

I'm sure this will end much better than the “Central Link" in Seattle which cost $2.4 billion (and counting) for a meager 14 mile line and hasn't done anything close to what it was projected to do.

I'm sure the fine politicians and unions of Chicago and St. Louis et al will do everything in their power to keep this project on budget. I'm sure no one is salivating over the ridiculous amounts of overtime opportunity this presents. And, I am quite sure this project will remain under budget and will slash huge amounts of time off of the commute and will relieve traffic congestion.

"The Washington Policy Center concluded flatly: “Light rail does not reduce traffic congestion. In 2005, light rail systems on the West Coast served only about 2 percent of the work force in their service areas. On average, these systems only remove between 0.39 percent and 1.1% of cars from the roadway.”

"…And speaking of losses, Seattle commuters on the Central Link system will pay between $1.75 and $2.50 per trip while drawing a subsidy from taxpayers that may amount to at least $10 per trip –even if the highly dubious, wildly optimistic predictions of ridership come true."

This Chicago-St. Louis line, no matter what form it takes, I am quite sure will be different. I mean, after all, OBAMA is behind it. It can't fail. He won't quite.

Posted by: DC at January 30, 2010 10:54 AM

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