In Memory Of Lives Sacrificed For The “Greater Good”

The nation’s political class is currently paralyzed with rage over people dying of vaping.

Ignoring the fact that vaping has likely saved thousands of lives by helping people stop smoking, and more people never start – never mind! A death toll in single digits, almost entirely from using home-made vaping fluids or the occasional extremely rare lung condition, and Big Government, Big Left and, presumably, Big Tobacco are on the warpath against legal vaping.

Over less than ten deaths out of 320 million people in a decade.

And our political class is beating the whole world over the head with climate change – a crisis that has killed nobody, but has terrorized hundreds of thousands of school kids into turning into protest droogs on command. .

So I got to looking at the records for the Twin Cities’ three rail lines – the Blue and Green (“Vomit Comet”) light rail lines and the North Star heavy commuter line.

Now, I expected these deeply dim-witted projects to rack up a death toll.

I wasn’t ready for what I found.

Currently, the lines have claimed 26 lives in fifteen years.

Rail LineDeath TollYears in OperationBodies Per Year
Blue LIne1315.88
Green Line (aka “Vomit Comet:)851.6
North Star Line510.5

I’m adtually a bit surprised that the death toll on the North Star is as high as it is; the intersections tend to be pretty well-controlled, and the trains run on existing right of way.

On the other hand? The death toll on the Green Line astounds me – and the number for the Blue Lline kinda snuck into double digits when I wasn’t looking too.

That’s 26 people dead. 26 families forever altered. 26 Transit employees scarred.

Something has to be done.

June 23, 2020. That’s the 16th anniversary of the start of regular Blue Line service. And I’m going to observe it as Transit Memorial Day. A day of solemn rememrance of the 26 people (so far) whose lives have been sacrificed…

…for what?

To support the Met Council and the Political class’s urge to feel like a real big city? To build a monument to the government’s power?

Yeah, totally worth it.

See you June 23.

7 thoughts on “In Memory Of Lives Sacrificed For The “Greater Good”

  1. The actuaries at the Social Security Administration and every government pension plan are gnashing their teeth.

    “No, dammit, stop trying to save lives. We WANT them to die, preferably the day before they retire. We need them to pay Into the system as long as they work, but never draw Out of the system at all, so we can balance our books. Why is that so hard to understand? What is wrong with you people!!??”

  2. Joe, while your right that would only push back insolvency a few years, when is SS due to be insolvent now? 2030?

  3. The Northstar numbers surprised me, too. I don’t think I even recall hearing about those deaths. The Green Line number feels low, almost like the Blue and Green numbers are reversed. But, I guess some have been hit and not killed, so, maybe that’s why I think that.

  4. You mean putting 50 ton carriages through city streets, including bar districts, on rails with wheels that function as “bearings” wasn’t the brightest idea? Shocker, that.

    Reality is that even in the best run cities, rail is dangerous–50 deaths last year in Gotham alone, for example. That equates to one death every 30 million rides. On Metro transit, it’s about one death every ten million rides, or very similar to the death rate in passenger cars, which are of course heavily weighted by DUI deaths. For Northstar, ~800k passenger rides correspond to about one death every 1.6 million rides. It’s the clear, er, winner. (mitigating circumstance: people are going 50 miles instead of 5-10, but even so, it’s pretty bad)

  5. Another comparison; a couple of years back, the ~1.8 billion bus rides in NYC over a few years resulted in ~34 deaths, somewhat less than a similar number of 50 deaths over about the same # of subway rides. So we might infer that buses are ~ 3x safer than light rail at grade level. (which NYC is smart enough not to have for the most part)

    Another thing worth noting is that most subway fatalities in Gotham are supposed to be suicides or homicides–e.g. someone gets pushed in front of the train. Here, most light rail fatailities are “car, bicycle, or bus does not keep out of way of train.”

  6. I was going to make a snarky comment about low-IQ people and thinning the herd; except I have to make a trip to Downtown Minneapolis this afternoon and I am totally dependent on Waze to help me navigate the one-ways, pedestrian malls, rail lines, construction zones . . . so I’ll keep my mouth shut this one time. If you read about some stupid old man killed while driving the wrong way down the tracks . . . hoist a glass in my memory, willya?

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