President Obama’s infatuation with the effort to create another government-subsidized rail entitlement means the rest of the country is on the hook for at least half of this still considerable sum. Retirees in Florida and schoolteachers in Mississippi, who will never ride California’s train, will be forced to pay for it anyway.
If government is what we decide to do together, Metro seemed to be government at its best. But after 40 years it has come to be government at its dreariest, with problems overlooked, maintenance deferred, and safety scanted by employees secure against discipline or dismissal and more concerned about overtime pay and pensions than serving the public. -Michael Barone
Yglesias’s spat with Hemingway revolved around estimates for high-speed rail lines about how many people would ride on those trains.
On that subject, Yglesias wrote more than a year ago that advocates for high-speed rail may need to present “unrealistically optimistic” ridership estimates to obtain government funding for the projects. “For better or for worse, that’s politics,” Yglesias said then. -Jonathan Strong
Democrat, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Financial, Oops, Waste
The price of the California bullet train project jumped sharply Friday when the state rail authority announced that the cost of connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco would be $77.3 billion and could rise as high as $98.1 billion — an uptick of at least $13 billion from estimates two years ago.
The rail authority also said the earliest trains could operate on a partial system between San Francisco and Bakersfield would be 2029 — four years later than the previous projection. The full system would not begin operating until 2033.
Degeneracy, Waste, Assault
A D.C. bus driver told a woman to have a nice day, and the customer responded by throwing a cup of her own urine at the driver, officials say. "To say bizarre is really an understatement. It's a vulgar assault," Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik said.
One woman who rides the bus said she wasn't shocked by the attack. "If it's the X2, it's a lot of crazy stuff on that bus. I've seen a man with a cup of spit on that bus before," she said. "He was sitting there spitting and spitting."
Government, Degeneracy, Waste
A creepy straphanger relieved himself on a J train early Thursday — right onto a 26-year-old woman’s face, police said.
The woman told police she was sitting in the middle car on a Brooklyn-bound train as it left the 75th St.-Elderts Lane station in Woodhaven, Queens about 1:50 a.m. Her eyes were closed as she listened to music on her headphones. Then she felt something wet hit her face.
When she opened her eyes, she found a complete stranger urinating on her, cops said.
Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Financial, Oops, Jobs
New Yorkers are showing up late, losing pay and even getting fired due to the sorry state of the city’s subways, a new report finds.
A whopping 74% of working straphangers said they’ve been late to a work meeting in the past three months because of a subway delay, according to a survey of riders by city Controller Scott Stringer. And many suffered more serious consequences — 13% lost wages in the last three months, and 2% said they’d been fired.
In the survey of more than 1,200 subway riders at 143 stations around the city, 18% said they’ve been reprimanded by their supervisor at work because of subway delays over the same period.
Liberal, Degeneracy, Waste
Philadelphia’s main transit agency plans to try urine-repelling paint to combat smells and complaints about cleanliness. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will run a trial this fall of a product called Ultra-Ever Dry. The surface coating has been used in public spaces in San Francisco and Hamburg, Germany. The coating makes urine spray back on the offender.
Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Degeneracy
It’s a situation that is really bugging bus riders — and creating a potentially itchy, scratchy ride in Detroit. Just when riders thought the problem-riddled transit system couldn’t get any worse, there’s reportedly a bed bug situation. Detroit Councilwoman Brenda Jones brought up the issue of bedbugs on city buses during a recent meeting.
Supporters, who claim that most high speed rail systems operate at a profit, use accounting tricks like leaving out construction costs and indirect subsidies.
If you tabulate the full costs, only two systems in the world operate at a profit, and one breaks even.
Degeneracy, Waste, Assault
A woman riding the Chicago Transit Authority's Blue Line in Oak Park told police she was last week attacked by another passenger wielding a sock filled with human feces. "He had a sock full of his poop on me," the 21-year-old college student told the Pioneer Press. "It was everywhere; on my face, my hair, my clothes."
Liberal, Union, Incompetence, Degeneracy
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday said it was “reviewing protocols” after a straphanger’s encounter with a flasher on the subway. As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, the woman’s post about the experience went viral on social media – along with a complaint that complained that the train conductor seemed uninterested in the problem. The underground unpleasantness happened on the No. 3 train in Brooklyn, near the Nevins Street station. The rider, Tiffany Jackson, saw the man masturbating while looking at her and she discreetly snapped a few photos.
Editorial, Union, Brilliance, Demagoguery, Greed
Just as the Chicago teachers did before them when they claimed they were striking “for the children,” the Amalgamated Transit Union has released an ad that not only implies children will suffer horrific accidents if their contracts are not improved, but that the strike truly is about the children, not their contracts. -Anne Sorock
Violence, Government, Incompetence, Assault
The suspect arrested in the rape of a mentally disabled teen aboard a Metro bus has an extensive criminal history, including charges of sexual assault, authorities said Friday. Kerry Trotter, 20, of South Los Angeles, was arrested early Friday after the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced that detectives were searching for a man who had boarded a bus and for 10 minutes raped an 18-year-old woman. Trotter is being held on $1 million bail.
Violence, Government, Assault
A Cleveland municipal bus driver has been suspended after video surfaced this week showing him decking a mouthy female rider with a bolo punch. The confrontation between the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) worker and the unidentified woman was apparently filmed by another rider.
A drunken, rowdy group of young women stabbed a 63-year-old male straphanger this morning after he had the audacity to suggest they pipe down, authorities said. "The eight females were acting stupid. He just told them, 'Relax, calm down,' '' one police source said. Cops said the victim, whose name they have not released, was first assaulted and then stabbed in the left shoulder about 6:15 a.m. Witnesses pointed out his attackers to cops and all eight women, ages 15 to 20, were arrested leaving the 23rd Street station, officials said.
The union representing Detroit's bus drivers has reportedly asked local lawmakers to put pressure on the transit agency to help stop the spread of bedbugs on buses. The Detroit News reports that roughly 50 Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) drivers have said they've seen bedbugs on buses, and some have been bitten within the past year, according to Henry Gaffney, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26.
Hypocrisy, Government, Incompetence, Funny
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood unveiled new fuel-economy window stickers for cars and trucks, saying "we're not just sitting around waiting for high gasoline prices to come down." His ride of choice to the unveiling: This 12-mpg Chevy Suburban SUV.
Amtrak is joining the recent trend of companies taking sides in the fight over gay rights with a new marketing campaign dubbed “Ride With Pride.” The campaign features a website, www.amtrakridewithpride.com, and advertisements showing same-sex couples aboard trains. It includes discounts to destinations like Martha’s Vineyard in Cape Cod, Mass., which Amtrak says is “extremely gay-friendly,” and a section called “out and about” that lists pride events.
Government, Incompetence, Waste
When midnight rolled around and flight traffic thinned out, air-traffic controllers guiding planes in the busiest U.S. corridor whipped out laptops to watch movies, play games or gamble online. Controllers on break inflated air mattresses and napped on the floor. Some left before their shifts were over. They cursed at managers, refused to train new controllers, and flouted rules requiring them to pass on weather advisories to pilots.
Democrat, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Obama, Financial
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A Channel 4 analysis of how the Tennessee Department of Transportation is spending stimulus dollars found that federal taxpayers spent an average of $161,500 per job created and that some paving jobs, which were temporary, cost taxpayers more than $1 million each.
Violence, Government, Financial, Assault
Janet Ojeda admitted she exchanged words with the woman in the token booth, but when the clerk allegedly came out and picked her up by the neck, choking her, well, even a few hours later, Ojeda got emotional talking about it. “Cause she was choking me, like … I couldn’t get no air. She was looking at me like she wasn’t gonna let go. I felt like I was [going to pass out] ’cause I couldn’t even move my legs. She lifted me up from the ground by the neck,” Ojeda said.
Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Degeneracy
A Metro rider found an unpleasant surprise on his daily commute at the Franconia-Springfield station on Monday: human feces smeared on the pedestrian bridge into the station. And making matters worse, it was still there Tuesday and Wednesday. No one had cleaned it up. Austin Lasseter said he spoke to the Metro station manager on Monday, then each day thereafter. But she told Lasseter it wasn't Metro's problem. The stairs belong to Virginia Railway Express even though it was on the Metro side of the bridge.
Government, Incompetence, Degeneracy
NEW YORK (PIX11)—
In this week's crazy NYC subway video series, a woman, nude from the waist down, sets up a wash station on the blue bench of a subway car and proceeds to take a camping-style shower.
Editorial, Liberal, Government, Incompetence, Waste
California's much-vaunted high-speed rail project is, to put it bluntly, a train wreck. Intended to demonstrate the state's commitment to sustainable, cutting-edge transportation systems, and to show that the U.S. can build rail networks as sophisticated as those in Europe and Asia, it is instead a monument to the ways poor planning, mismanagement and political interference can screw up major public works.
Government, Incompetence, Waste
Progressive Disorder: Amtrak