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livincinco

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Everything posted by livincinco

  1. Most likely they're considering New Braunfels as part of the Austin market. Logistically, it would make more sense for them to go to San Antonio before Houston anyway. Since their base is in Dallas, they can cover all of those markets with the same trucks. Houston will require a different setup.
  2. I have heard that In N Out's numbers in Dallas have been disappointing and that has impacted the pace of their rollout. Remember that In N Out is not franchised so the decision to enter a new market is a little different for them.
  3. I don't really see a deficiency in the current city plans to improve the Parks system. It doesn't look like there has been any discussion on this thread of either the Bayou Greenways Program to develop linear parks along the bayous, or of the recently agreed bikeways program that will run on Centerpoint right of way. Those are both potentially transformative projects for the city and will greatly enhance park access and quality of life if executed correctly. I would really like to see the city focus on executing those two projects well rather than taking on projects that are designed to make us look better on lists.
  4. Actually the transit time for Orlando rail is slower than park and ride. Orlando travel time is 63 minutes to go 31 miles. Park and Ride from Grand Parkway to Downtown is 48 minutes to go 27 miles. - Apologies for the off-topic
  5. Intesting point, but I'm not sure it would make financial sense for the airline. Operating a railroad and operating an airline would appear to require completely separate resources and skill sets. That would give Texas Central a distinct advantage because they're able to utilize the engineering, construction, and operational capabilities of their partner. It's also a pretty large capital investment to make into an area where they don't have expertise, when they could potentially utilize that capital towards upgrading their fleet instead. It could also potentially trigger some antitrust interest from the government as well as I would expect that they would find entry of a new player onto that route more attractive than expansion by United.
  6. I don't want to belabor this, my point was simply to not assume that Southwest will not work against this just because they have not yet done so. I certainly hope that they won't oppose this, but business is about timing and there is no question that Southwest is very well aware of this and is assessing the impact to their business. It's not always the right strategic move to announce your intentions immediately. Sometimes it's better to wait for the right opportunity.
  7. That's from the attached New York Times article. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/07/us/bullet-train-failed-once-but-its-back.html Quote from the article- Texas T.G.V.’s proposal was especially ambitious. The company envisioned using technology used in France to build a 600-mile network connecting Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio in less than a decade. Company executives predicted they could draw more than nine million riders a year by 2014. Some 70 percent of the project’s $6 billion price tag was to be financed through tax-exempt private bonds, more than federal law allowed a company to borrow using that type of financing. The venture hinged on the company’s changing federal law to ease the restrictions.
  8. You are correct. Southwest is the 160th largest with an annual revenue of about $17 billion. JT Central, the backers of Texas Central, have an annual revenue of approx. $14 billion. I agree that Southwest has a lobby, but they don't have the power to get this killed on their own. They can certainly make it more difficult for Texas Central to get into business, but it would be a potentially risky move on their part to do so. Remember that when Southwest opposed Texas TGV, they had to be very open and public with their opposition to the point that they even had to publicly hint that they would relocate their corporate office out of state if the project moved forward. The most important thing to remember though is that Texas TGV actually required a change in Federal Law to allow them to utilize their financing model. What ultimately killed them was the passive act of not changing that law and potentially Southwest's lobby was part of that lack of action. To the best of my knowledge, Texas Central doesn't need any action like that to allow them to proceed.
  9. Can you please expand on how a company that doesn't even make the Fortune 100 would have stopped a completely private venture "in its tracks"?
  10. Agreed, but I have heard that its a very profitable route for them. I'm with you, I'd like to think that they won't contest it, but it is certainly a possibility that they will.
  11. From what I've been reading, it sounds like one of the biggest concerns is potential opposition from Southwest Airlines, who's been successful in getting this killed in the past. Southwest has been neutral on the project in public comments so far, but there is certainly a possibility that they will pull a move at some point in the process. Texas Central seems to have their act together so they might be able to handle that if it happens. As I think I mentioned before, I think that the biggest thing that this project has going for it is that nothing would make state leadership happier than to be able to stick it to California by getting a privately launched high speed line launched before the government funded California line. I think that they will try to smooth the way anyway they can to achieve that. The state has been putting a big effort behind recruiting CA companies for years. Getting this done would give them a huge selling point.
  12. Just to clarify. The bond measure authorized $640 million to build the four lines. The $640 million was not sufficient to build them, thus they ran out of funds and could not complete.
  13. Exactly, there seems to be an assumption that if you remove capacity, the balance of the network just "absorbs" the capacity, but that seems to be a very questionable assumption to me. It's also quite likely that decreased capacity causes workers and/or companies to locate elsewhere which would cause a reduction in the economic productivity of the area. I truly haven't seen any analysis of that and it seems to be a rather obvious question.
  14. Hopefully, it's securing land purchases before announcing the route. I would expect that they would want to keep the route under wraps and work to purchase the necessary land through shell companies to keep acquisition costs down.
  15. So, honest question here because I'm assuming that one or more of the below is true and I'm curious to know which it is. - You have not read the text of the 2003 referendum (which is not easy to find) - You don't understand how bond measures work - You're intentionally distorting facts about the 2003 referendum to try to prove a point That referendum was a bond measure that authorized a defined amount of money to be spent towards an objective. The money, either through METRO miscalculation or mismanagement ran out well before the overall objective was met. METRO had no authority under the terms of the referendum to obtain additional funds without voter approval. Bond measures are always about revenue, not objectives.
  16. Have I ever told you how impressive it is that you can be 100% certain of a completely hypothetical situation? Kind of reminds me of Stephen Colbert's comment about George Bush - "He believes the same thing on Wednesday that he believed on Monday. No matter what happens on Tuesday."
  17. Agreed. I'm not sure that they would get sufficient support for a bond measure either, which might be why they haven't attempted it. There's definitely a level of public trust that they need to rebuild.
  18. The question that I've never seen answered about induced demand is what the coorelation is to economic growth. Taking the Katy Freeway example, yes there is more traffic after the expansion, but it's also pretty obvious that West Houston has been in a prolonged boom since it was completed. So it's great to argue that removing a highway doesn't cause congestion but I haven't been able to find any evaluation of the economic impact of that removal and would be very curious to see a non-biased study of that subject. I fully expect the anecdotal responses, but those aren't studies.
  19. I'm going to remove myself from this conversation, because I really just have no interest in further wasting my time listening to you plod through your standard tedious monologue about how everything good and meaningful in this world is caused by rail. Have a nice day.
  20. Agree completely and that's one of the key issues that I have with METRO. Without question, they've hit a roadblock by having to deal with an obstinate Congressman, but it's not like this situation is unique. Congress is filled with idiots and efficient agencies find a way to get things done anyway. METRO, on the other hand, seems to be completely stymied by this situation and doesn't appear to be capable of coming up with solutions. To be fair though, it's not just a METRO problem, it's a government bureaucracy problem at many levels. Government is certainly capable of doing great things, it's just that it rarely seems to actually get them done.
  21. So get it on a ballot as a bond measure and locally fund it. Culberson has no say if that happens.
  22. I tend to favor BRT over rail, but agree that an east-west route will likely generate more ridership than the other proposed line. Culberson's amendment is extremely specific to preventing rail along a specific segment of Richmond. It still allows an east-west connector, just not on that corridor. Cue usual comments about how it won't get any ridership if it's not on Richmond.
  23. Got it. So just to clarify, your stance is that mass transit with a 5.0% national share of workers is vitally important and that work at home with a 4.4% national share of workers is a drop in the bucket? Maybe we should just focus then on improving the 9.7% national share that carpooling possesses which is one of the proven benefits of congestion pricing.
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