Autonomy And Its Victims

Back in the storied history of this blog, there was a liberal blogger who fancied himself a transit advocate – indeed, was alleged to have taken money from light rail interests to attack, using his various sock-puppet blogs, not only opponents of light rail, but proponents of any competing type of transit.

Among some of his many howlers over the years, the leftyblogger claimed – repeatedly – that I was a supporter of “Personal Rail Transit”, notwithstanding the fact that I repeatedly wrote I did not.   “His” “reasoning” was apparently that Michele Bachmann once parenthetically noted some interest in PRT, and Bachmann is a conservative, and I’m a conservative, so I must also support it.  To be fair, it wasn’t the least logical the little fella ever got.

But I always opposed PRT.

Part of it is, and has always been, that I think PRT’s supporters underestimate or underreport the technical challenges of having “just in time” personal rail service on a city-wide network of tracks.   Also the costs.

Part of it is that I don’t care; I’d rather have a steering wheel in my hand.

But the biggest reason I’ve never supported PRT was that I believed that the private market will provide a way to power cars from hydrogen and guide them with software decades before the government can put tracks of any kind, ultralight and personal or heavy and East-Germanlike, from anywhere people are to anywhere they actually want to go.

And, as usual, I’m right.

Not that I’ll ever buy one.  Trusting my safety and schedule to a bunch of programmers is only marginally better than trusting them to government transit employees.

10 thoughts on “Autonomy And Its Victims

  1. “Trusting my safety and schedule to a bunch of programmers is only marginally better than trusting them to government transit employees.”

    wise choice – in any large organization the IT staff is more often than not the tip of the bureaucratic spear – the wider the planned rollout into the organization the greater the likelihood that the project will a) be prodigiously over budget, and b)not meet any scheduled milestones, and c) never be finished.
    Now after this VW kerfuffle the govt would require large blocks of “Safety” code that it provides be written into the OS and Apps.

  2. The only reason people on the Left support rail is it allows to plan and control your life; where you live, where you work, where you shop.
    They usually cloak this in words and phrases like “efficiency” and “better planning”, but what they mean is control where you live, where you work, and where you shop.

  3. I don’t have a problem with mass transit per se. Some places are right for commuter trains and subways, some aren’t. The people should decide, though, and too often these deals are imposed on a populace that won’t use mass transit, or won’t be willing to pay enough in trip fees to keep it going. Politicians love rail because it opens doors wide for corruption and political pay offs.
    In theory Oahu would be a good place for light rail. The population is dense and it’s growth has leveled off. There isn’t much more buildable land on Oahu. Everything is set in place. The amount of commter traffic from other islands is negligible.
    But the light rail they are building on Oahu is terrible. It will cost about 5 billion $ before overruns, or about $4,000 for every Oahu resident. In event of an earthquake or tsunami, the system will shut down.
    At a half million dollars each, 5 billion $ would buy 10,000 buses. Cost to operate a bus per hour is about 50% of the cost to operate a train per hour (though a train will carry 3x more people). One problem is that in cities that have added light rail to an existing bus system, total ridership (buses + trains) doesn’t increase all that much over buses alone. The economics of light rail stink. Add that to the problem light rail has with changing traffic patterns, and it rarely makes sense over simply buying more buses.

  4. We could have built a dedicated bus lane and paved it with gold for less than we pay to subsidize the Hiawatha Line.

  5. Perhaps the way to win these light rail debates isn’t to just say “No!”, but to insist on buses instead. Buses won’t give the Left what it wants, and so they will simply drop the issue.

  6. LRT in Oahu and there is nothing in Houston. Oh, wait, there is – downtown! (Ok, technically it covers inside of the loop, but who can afford to live there?). Never mind it takes me 1.5-2 hours to GET to downtown (my daily commute is 26 miles) and you can walk within downtown anywhere in 15-20 minutes, it’s not that big. And yet, NOTHING to the ‘burbs. Let me check who’s running Houston again… yep, a libturd.

  7. The Honolulu system will go to the airport but NOT to Waikiki. If you have a hotel room in Waikiki or Kapiolani, you will still need to take a cab. Honolulu LRT will take you to Ala Moana, a big convention, hotel, and shopping plaza on the edge of Waikiki.
    To make the money spent on the project and annual cost of running the system as small as possible, they presume that use of the system will be very heavy, and yet also be so light that the rail stations won’t need rest rooms.

  8. jpa: Houston has been ruled by libturds since at least 1982. When I lived there, Kathy Whitmire was the Mayor. If I remember correctly, she was a widow and many believed she was a closet lesbian. She had huge support from Houston’s gay/lesbian community and attended a few events with a woman. I don’t remember her as a left leaning Dem. Because she realized how much the oil industry meant to the city and the counter forces of the likes of the Mossbacher, Wyatt and Huffington families, she was more moderate.

    Based on recent events there, things have obviously gone downhill fast.

  9. Dedicated bus lanes are the way to defeat these people. They get their dedicated route and we get to keep our money.

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