No matter how many times I have read it, and no matter in what form of media, the conclusion is always the same however unpleasant it is to know.  No  one makes money hauling passengers.  Aircraft, buses, trains, you name it..they don’t make money on passengers.  The first time I read that, it was new to me.  I did not believe it.  But if enough people say you’re dead..lie down as they say.  It is true.  No real money to be had there.  Other considerations come into play to make money ( i.e. commercial traffic).  Another topic.  Right now, let us focus on trains and how many of us wish we could see them flourish again since driving is fast becoming not as much an option no matter our personal preference.  Think on the hard pressed working poor if for no other example.  One of my best friends makes ten dollars an hour and has an older model car.  She cannot afford a new one and it takes almost a weeks pay to fill the thing.  She doesn’t come over to see me as often because of it either.

So we have in the first place the transporter’s need to recoup operating expenses.  The meager fares, even if increased are not going to do that.  Back to the drawing board (I honestly thought that more fares from more passengers would fill the Company coffers sufficiently with enough people riding).  It is not I who declares it not enough, it is the carriers who do..so..remember that if you feel an argument coming on.

Then you have to look at how many people are willing to use the presently available mass transportation.  In this case I am referring to buses.  Light rail is not available in enough areas to be a consideration in my opinion.  If you are fortunate enough to have it, great.  I see that in Charlotte, their new light rail, the Lynx seems extremely well used.  More than they anticipated.  Even before gas prices rose to this level.  But going back to my point.  There are buses to be used in many areas and while some are using them, still not that many are.  Especially for trips.  Yes, yes, yes, I know.  Who wants to stop at every hoot and holler along the way..endure some little Jane or Johnny kicking the back of your seat, waiting for Big Bad John to finish in the cramped little broom closet called the bathroom back there at the end of the bus (better that than none, believe me!!) and etc.  However, if saving money is an issue..if mass transportation is an issue, then act like you mean it.  Use the mass transportation available to you.  Go Gra*Hou*d or Tra*iway.

Building track in purchased right of way is expensive.  First, the right of way must be found and dealt with.  Then, it could cost in the neighborhood plus or minus 7 million per mile of track when you include all that is needed..stations, infrastructure bridges, etc etc etc.  More than I ever knew of until the past year or so. 

And as I said yesterday you can’t just jerk up what belong to the commercial train routes and declare them to be passenger.  Nope.  Doesn’t work like that.  I might also add that all the rail beds that were ripped up and used for bike trails, roads, who knows what else..lost and gone forever if built on etc. must be done all over again because who knew we would be at a crisis point now?  A lack of planning for our future resources.  Or lack thereto.

This is my opinion..although the money issue is in the neighborhood, and the presentation that you can’t just snap your fingers and wish for a passenger rail system and it magically appear is decently in the ball park.  I didn’t know that until a year or so ago.  You, to coin a phrase, learn something every day, don’t you?

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