Apparently the Portland and Western is up for it.
Forest Grove Mayor Richard Kidd has had a long-term interest in getting rail transit in some form to his community.
Apparently the Portland and Western is up for it.
Forest Grove Mayor Richard Kidd has had a long-term interest in getting rail transit in some form to his community.
0 responses to “Cornelius-Forest Grove commuter rail?”
Do you think that is too short for Commuter rail? I was wondering, what if it went into Beaverton via the southern rail route. There’s more than enough room for double track and it would serve the area away from Max on a major commercial corridor
“Portland and Western said, ‘Gee, if we committed to only running freight on that line between midnight and 4 a.m., then passenger cars could run between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.,” Harvey said.
Why not just extend MAX? Have it run out to Hillsboro on the freight tracks from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., and clear the tracks for freight operations after midnight. Have lower frequency out past Hillsboro as necessary to allow for single-track operation. Extending shouldn’t cost that much more than establishing a commuter line … a bit more double-tracking and the cost of overhead wire.
The $30M commuter rail to $200M MAX price tags aren’t an apples to apples comparison. The $200M MAX line will be designed to run from 5am to midnight seven days a week and be every 15 minutes (or more at rush hour,) more stops, and electric, the $30M commuter rail line will stop running at 7pm, (when the MAX is still quite full,) run less often, serve fewer stops, and be diesel…
Any new transit line or infrastructure in the Metro area, be it commuter rail, light rail, streetcar or trolley bus etc should have a Financial Impact Statement prepared that compares it with other mode options before it can be decided upon or constructed. This would give the public the true financial costs of these systems including the “cost per passenger mile” which then could be used for setting fares. As it stands today, too many of the actual costs are hidden behind political smoke screens and propaganda. .
…because as everyone knows, the only thing that matters is The Almighty Dollar.
Such a requirement might be helpful. Metro’s Lake Oswego streetcar extension analysis evaluation summary compared the no-build (assume frequent service) bus until it got to capital costs. It showed only streetcar vs. BRT. Since about the only capital expenses associated with maintaining no-build would be periodic bus replacement, the overall cost for the bus using Metro’s ridership numbers would be about $1.75, or about half of the overall per ride cost for streetcar.
Add the fact that most riders’ trips via bus would be quicker than by streetcar and one wonders why this project has such strong legs.
if this line ran to beaverton and connected near the transit center it would greatly reduce transit times along that route. this could be a good option seeing as it takes 35 minutes to travel 13 miles now.
I think making it part of WES–with stops in Forest Grove, Cornelius, Hillsboro (assuming near Government Center, at the end of the MAX line), a few stops between Hillsboro and Beaverton (Aloha and Reedsville) perhaps, with service continuing south to Wilsonville (and beyond–WES continuing south with stops in Woodburn, Keizer, and Salem–either downtown somewhere or the existing Amtrak station just east of the Willamette U campus) might make sense.
good idea to restore the rAil lines which once served this area, and since it utiliZes existing rail, minimaL COST…
Before commuter rail (or MAX) is entertained, why is there not a proposal to run express bus service to Forest Grove and Cornelius?
During weekday rush hours, this bus could actually be the old 58 line (but with limited stops), providing service to downtown Portland and providing a little relief from MAX.
Outside of rush hours, it would provide an express connection with limited stops (i.e. only two stops in Cornelius, maybe three or four stops in Forest Grove, only one stop in Hillsboro – downtown), with enhanced bus amenities and bus stops.
Such a system would be a far cry from $25M. The distance between Forest Grove and Hillsboro is roughly 6.5 miles. An express bus with an average vehicle speed of 20 MPH would require 20 minutes to travel between the two points, and could provide half-hourly service with just two vehicles between the two cities (obiviously additional vehicles would be required to provide service to Portland). Just bus service between the two cities would cost, with bus stop improvements, less than $2 million (with new “commuter” busses). Improving existing TriMet service, using existing TriMet fleet vehicles, would cost no more than a half million dollars.
$25M, at 6 miles for the rail option, is $4M/mile which is pretty darn cheap compared to other rail projects like WES (at nearly $8M/mile) or light rail projects which can exceed $20M/mile. So I’ll give some credit there, this line would be inexpensive to implement. But is Forest Grove/Cornelius worth $25M of investment for a small population base, when there are larger communities that have more pressing transportation needs but aren’t getting the regional transportation dollar support?
Dick Barnard wrote: good idea to restore the rAil lines which once served this area
What’s the justification to restore the Westside Line between Hillsboro and Corvallis?
Highway 47 traffic counts are not exactly high.
WES continuing south with stops in Woodburn, Keizer, and Salem–either downtown somewhere or the existing Amtrak station just east of the Willamette U campus) might make sense.
Except that WES is a TriMet thing, and TriMet has no jurisdiction or fiduciary authority outside of Metro. This is why Wilsonville has the SMART system.
They go over the river at Wilsonville, and they are in ODOT land.
The problem with express bus service between FG and downtown is the same problem with driving between FG and downtown–either mode is dependent on traffic on US26, which–even with recent upgrades–is still often clogged.
Further addition of capacity to US26 would be way more expensive; a major bottleneck being the Vista Ridge tunnels and the I-405 interchange immediately east.
Express busses that run on regular roadways don’t strike me as rapid transit. I’ll grant you that streetcar systems shouldn’t qualify for the label either–in my mind, to be “rapid transit”, a vehicle must run primarily in its own right-of-way, and either avoid (via grade separation) or be able to reasonably pre-empt (via crossing guards or signals) cross traffic. Note that MAX through downtown doesn’t qualify either, as MAX has to wait for traffic lights.
West of Goose Hollow, possibly excluding the section in downtown Hillsboro (I don’t know if MAX can pre-empt the traffic lights or not), the MAX line qualifies, as does the MAX system from Lloyd Center to Gateway and the red line to the airport. I don’t know about the yellow line along Interstate, or the blue line east of Gateway.
Now, construction of a busway (or even a buslane) along TV Highway serving the corridor in question, one which connected to MAX at some point (requiring the same amount of transfers as a commuter rail to MAX solution) might be a reasonable option to discuss. OR8 west of Hillsboro might even have sufficiently acceptable peak-hour performance that an express bus between FG and Government Center station might work.
I don’t know if MAX can pre-empt the traffic lights or not)
MAX can indeed preempt the signals in Hillsboro. However, those signals give higher priority to emergency vehicles. Incorrect assumptions about this contributed to the infamous collision between a MAX train and a fire truck a few years ago. (If I recall correctly, the MAX operator had apparently come to believe — by incorrect training or through habit, I don’t know — that once the first signal cleared the train, that the pattern would hold for an entire stretch of signals, but one in the middle of the route had switched to let the fire truck cross the tracks.)
I think MAX can request signals downtown too. If you are traveling on a one way street in SW downtown and there isn’t too much traffic, you’ll quickly notice that the lights are perfectly timed for about 15 mph*, except for when you are crossing Yamhill and Morrison when there is a MAX train going through.
I don’t know what the point of it is: The timing on the lights is about perfect for the speed that train moves, and one light cycle is fine for a normal boarding, with 2 if they have to extend the bridge plates after the doors are already open, but…
*Does it vary by time of day or something? Sometimes it is 18 or so, and other times, (rush hour,) I’m doing 12 and still slowing down at the intersection.
I don’t know about the yellow line along Interstate…
It definitely can, and completely screws up traffic due to the crappy light timing system the city uses.
For those that never drive Interstate, even southbound in the afternoon it kind of sucks to put it simply. The biggest problem is the MAX overriding the traffic lights, and them not going back into cycle but starting over.
A common situation I see on N Rosa Parks Way is that the traffic westbound turning south from the freeway gets skipped on 2-3 signal cycles in a row, backing things up as far as the mirrors can see. Add the bus stop on the north side of the street combined with cars waiting to turn left stops through traffic as well.
I’ve seen this happen throughout Portland. At NW 23rd and Vaughn if buses preempt the light, the eastbound (onto the freeway) traffic will miss their entire signal. The system restarts from the direction that was lit, so if the 4th cycle is about to come, you miss it.
Two or more buses in a row? (Think 15, 17, and 77 all a block or two apart.) I’ve waited there for about 10 minutes for a green light.
I’m not saying preempting the signals is bad, but return to where they were at rather than back up traffic through neighborhoods because of an antedated system.
Many cities have achieved a well timed signal network with transit getting a priority.
EngineerScotty wrote: Further addition of capacity to US26 would be way more expensive; a major bottleneck being the Vista Ridge tunnels and the I-405 interchange immediately east.
So why not build a bus/HOV lane that uses the Jefferson Street offramp? Or better yet, turn Jefferson Street/Canyon Road into a transitway?
Problem solved – increased transit capacity for busses; doesn’t require widening the Vista Ridge tunnel or altering the U.S. 26/I-405 interchange.
Problem NOT solved. You’re sitting in the same traffic…. the Canyon Road exit is only a couple hundred feet before the tunnel. It’s not like you can just bypass all of the traffic that’s waiting to get thru the tunnel. A new HOV (fourth) lane on the Sunset into downtown would cost a fortune, probably over a billion in today’s dollars.
This whole discussion–in particular, why the P&W likes this idea so much–brings up a point made before.
It is an unfortunate accident of history that most rail infrastructure in the United States is privately owned. By this, I mean the ROW, the trackage, and the signalling infrastructure–other than short spurs.
P&W has a line of track, about five miles long, that’s in bad shape. The track doesn’t currently have enough freight business to justify upgrading it, or even the maintenance needed to maintain the status quo. P&W is a for-profit operation, that simply cannot operate a money-losing rail line for too long.
Unlike many railroads, which simply abandon money-losing lines, or threaten to in order to shake down governments (think CORP and the Eugene-Coos Bay line)–P&W deserves credit for seeking a better solution.
But the fundamental problem is still there–rail branchlines often are uneconomical to maintain and operate.
What is a potential solution? The same one that allows the trucking industry to be profitable. Separate operations (of vehicles) from infrastructure maintenance. Treat raillines like we treat roads, as public goods which are publicly owned. I think that P&W and other shortlines would be in a better position, not a worse one, were the state to own and maintain the rails, and the railroad companies were limited to owning and operating the rolling stock and contracting with shippers. Such a model might even extend to the mainlines, though I expect UP and BNSF would want a hefty sum–billions–to give up what the taxpayers of the US gave them for free over a century ago.
But this is how we operate the roads. When a slide closes OR6, which it seems to do every couple of years, we don’t tell the folks in Tillamook that it’s tough; but they made the choice to live on the coast, and it isn’t profitable to re-open the road right now. ODOT crews are on the scene almost immediately, and work full shifts until the road can be reopened to traffic. But when the POTB railway is closed by landslides–tough. (While the Port of Tillamook Bay is quasi-government, a “municipal corporation”, it has limited revenue-raising ability, and cannot afford to rebuild the washed-out portions of the Tillamook Branch without significant financial help).
Roads are viewed as public goods, and individual roadways are not expected to be “profitable” or funded solely by the users of that road. Rail infrastructure, in the current scheme, is not.
I wonder what the P&W would think about an alternate proposal–in which ODOT takes possession of the branch in question, permitting P&W to continue operating on the line for as long as it wishes?
With regards to the signal pre-empts and timing along Interstate (Yellow Line), I helped convince the urban renewal folks to spend I think $50K on improving the signal timing system there. This occurred late last year, and the flow appears to be better from my point of view. The city paid for the centralized part of the system, and now is using that improved technology to wire up 5th and 5th Avenues along the redone Transit Mall.
I will pass along the Rosa Parks observation to the city’s signal guru. Loops break and no one knows how to report them so the problem lingers on.
Yes, the Yellow Line trains have pre-empts from the Steel Bridge north to the end of the line at the Expo Center.
One last point – when a train went by and pre-empted the cycle, the old signal system did indeed start over which caused cars to sit at Killingsworth for over 5 minutes. The neighbors’ observations were validated which helped prove the need to buy the new system which can come back to the queue that has waited the longest for a green (not just starting the cycle over).
I’ll pass along the NW 23rd & Vaughn comment too.
Aaron wrote: Problem NOT solved. You’re sitting in the same traffic…. the Canyon Road exit is only a couple hundred feet before the tunnel. It’s not like you can just bypass all of the traffic that’s waiting to get thru the tunnel. A new HOV (fourth) lane on the Sunset into downtown would cost a fortune, probably over a billion in today’s dollars.
There’s already room for a fourth lane in that area; how can it possibly cost a billion dollars? There are no bridges required, no ROW acquisition costs, etc.
Once you have the lane built, separate it with jersey barriers like Seattle’s HOV lanes are; so it’s not impacted by through traffic jams.
EngineerScotty wrote: What is a potential solution? The same one that allows the trucking industry to be profitable. Separate operations (of vehicles) from infrastructure maintenance. Treat raillines like we treat roads, as public goods which are publicly owned. I think that P&W and other shortlines would be in a better position, not a worse one, were the state to own and maintain the rails, and the railroad companies were limited to owning and operating the rolling stock and contracting with shippers.
Problem is, ODOT already owns this railroad.
Managing 150 miles of state-owned railroad right of way along the Astoria Line and the Oregon Electric Line.
Specifically, ODOT owns (right now) the “Astoria Line” from Portland to Astoria, the “Oregon Electric” line from Tigard to Quinaby (north of Salem/Keizer), the “Forest Grove” line (in question), and the “United Railways” line (from Linnton, over Cornelius Pass to Banks).
ODOT also has an “ownership stake” in the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad between Banks and Tillamook.
Other governmental owned railroads in Oregon include the City of Prineville Railroad, the Lake County Railroad, the Wallowa-Union Railroad Authority, the commuter rail line from Tigard to Beaverton (owned by TriMet), the Jefferson Street Branch (owned by a consortium of governments, but managed by TriMet and operated by the City of Lake Oswego). The Oregon Pacific Railroad in S.E. Portland sits on an easement that is owned by Metro.
If they just run it 4 times in the morning and 4 times in the evening, monday-friday;
THEN FORGET IT!
Just a clarification, Erik. The way I understand it from conversations with ODOT rail planners, ODOT owns the railbed and the right of way of those lines you listed, but not the tracks themselves.
I’ve pondered this stretch too since the rail is just right there.
1. It would be WAY faster than MAX, bus, or anything else they could run along that route for the level of investment. Being able to get from Forrest Grove to Beaverton in about 10 minutes vs. the MAX’s 20-25 minutes would be massive.
2. It’d be super cheap. Not as cheap in the short term as just running express buses, but way way way cheaper than extending the MAX.
3. It is doubtful traffic volume would be heavy from Forrest Grove initially, there isn’t that many people there. I doubt many actually need to get all the way into downtown on a daily basis.
1. It would be way more expensive than bus service initially and there is not much prospective passengers in the area (what is Forrest Grove 50k people at the most – maybe?)
2. With something fast like commuter rail, we’re creating sprawl. Period, end of story. With the slower modes like MAX & the buses that go up and down the highway out there the sprawl is not particuarly encouraged by transit, but just served by it. I would think Portland didn’t want to encourage sprawl.
3. It would take at least 30-50 years to get a positive return from investment from this unless some type of major development effort (Intel, Microsoft Campus?) is pushed and actually put forth by some private entity that would heavily utilize such an investment.
…otherwise this direction would be a waste in comparison to the other zillion projects the area actually NEEDS done. Like north south service in the city or MAX service in major corridor areas were ridership would validate its existence.
Also Vancouver, could definitely use tons of commuter rail. They’re already sprawled clear to the sunset, they might as well get servive that could provide reliable and solid commute times like commuter rail provides.
…just my 2 cents, as always.
A few things gleaned from reporting this story:
– Local officials want it to run all day. Kidd is pitching as late as 11 p.m. Frequency is a question, but they’d want the last run to be late.
– They really have little shot of getting light rail out there. TriMet’s got a lot bigger fish to fry than Forest Grove — the CRC, Damascus, Oregon City, Tigard, and this idea of a regional ring rail line — so this is a good alternative.
– That being said, I was surprised the idea ends at Hillsboro. As a MAX rider who makes trips from Hillsboro to Portland with some frequency, it seemed to make a lot of sense to me that this line would continue along the TV Highway to Beaverton, with a stop in Aloha along the way.
But P&W needs help on the maintenance costs of the western extension. Plenty of trains use the TV Highway segment.
And maybe if both WES and Forest Grove CR work, they’ll find a way to become one. Baby steps.
It would take at least 30-50 years to get a positive return from investment from this unless some type of major development effort (Intel, Microsoft Campus?) is pushed and actually put forth by some private entity that would heavily utilize such an investment.
The problem is these huge corporations only feel welcome to do something these days if they are given tax breaks and subsidies. Translation: They’ll agree to move in somewhere, as long as they pay little or no tax, and receive what practically amounts to a bribe.
Different times than those in some of the historical documents and photos and such, where companies agreed to pitch in with transportation infrastructure funding.
Rumor had it that when Intel wanted to expand in Washington County, they demanded a bunch of tax breaks, and if they didn’t get them then they’d have pulled out of Washington County completely in favor of the California Bay Area.
That being said, I was surprised the idea ends at Hillsboro. As a MAX rider who makes trips from Hillsboro to Portland with some frequency, it seemed to make a lot of sense to me that this line would continue along the TV Highway to Beaverton, with a stop in Aloha along the way.
And maybe if both WES and Forest Grove CR work, they’ll find a way to become one. Baby steps.
Part of the original commuter rail study (IIRC) involved running from Wilsonville to the Merlo Rd. MAX station. They decided not to because it would involve reverse direction of travel for most people (going to downtown Portland). Additionally, running commuter rail between Hillsboro and Beaverton puts it in direct competition with MAX and bus route 57. Since 57 runs all the way out to Forest Grove, that would also mean the entire alignment would compete with that.
Not that competition is a bad thing.
Not that competition is a bad thing.
Of course its not a bad thing, that’s why all the jobs have left America for the third world, better price on labor, why should any decent capitalist pay livable wages when they can pay starving wages and maximize profit?
Only commie pinko’s advocate a restraint on trade.
Or even more dangerous to the future of this UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
I should probably clarify that I meant this in context… in this case, people who want something that primarily travels along the 57 corridor would have a faster alternative with less stops. Therefore public transit would hold a higher overall value… those that complain it stops too much and is too slow have something faster to ride, those making shorter trips with start/end points between major centers could still do so via the 57. Same for those traveling non-stop between Downtown Beaverton and Downtown Hillsboro, where the route doesn’t really matter as long as something doesn’t happen like on the “real 72;” it doesn’t matter whether the ride goes through Aloha or Orenco.
Globalization and “competitive advantage” applied to labor is a completely different topic… If I needed to call TriMet and talk to a live phone representative for whatever reason, I’d sure rather talk to someone in Portland (Oregon), not New Delhi. (I’m trying to keep this on-topic w/o going too far outside the scope of the site.)
Tim Walsh wrote: Just a clarification, Erik. The way I understand it from conversations with ODOT rail planners, ODOT owns the railbed and the right of way of those lines you listed, but not the tracks themselves.
True, but the rail hardware as is is, well, worthless. (One of the interesting misconceptions of the pro-rail crowd is the phrase “the rails are already there”). Well, if the rails are already there, why not use them?
(If anyone wants the legal reason why, see 49CFR213.4. In other words, it’s ILLEGAL to run a revenue passenger train on the “rails that are already there” between Forest Grove and Hillsboro.)
ODOT does own the ROW, as Tim mentioned, and not the ties, rails, tie plates and spikes. But such hardly relegates ODOT to a non-interested party.
Adron wrote: 1. It would be WAY faster than MAX, bus, or anything else they could run along that route for the level of investment. Being able to get from Forrest Grove to Beaverton in about 10 minutes vs. the MAX’s 20-25 minutes would be massive.
Forest Grove to Beaverton in ten minutes? Huh?!!
At a distance of approximately 16 miles, at 60 miles an hour (slightly faster than the top speed of MAX) and with zero intermediate stops, you’re still talking a minimum of 16 minutes (not including acceleration/deceleration or slow orders).
At 79 MPH (speed of Amtrak), the trip duration drops to over 12 minutes.
You would need a train that would have an average speed of 100 MPH, and make zero stops, on a dedicated ROW with no grade crossings, to do Forest Grove-Beaverton in less than 10 minutes.
And I ask, other than to focus sprawl in Forest Grove, why would we even consider such a project? I can’t imagine Forest Grove even wanting such a project in their back yard.
What exactly is the terms of the current agreement between ODOT and P&W with regard to the Forest Grove branch?
In many cases in the railroad industry, track owned by one entity (public or private) is leased to another in such a way that the latter is responsible for all facets of the track’s operation and maintenance–track repairs, signalling, and train operations. I suspect that the ODOT/P&W situation is like this–ODOT owns the underlying ROW, but is not involved any more than that. A change to active ODOT maintenance of the line would require a rewriting of the lease terms to reflect that–a transaction which would be as nearly involved as an outright sale (and would likely involve sale of the rail hardware).
In short, ODOT doesn’t possess operational rights to the line currently.
Similar situations exist between P&W and other shortlines–and the main lines. I’m sure that P&W is still operating on track which is owned (at least the underlying ROW) by UP or BNSF; but that P&W is responsible for maintenance of the track, as well as operations on it.
Forest Grove to Beaverton in twenty-five minutes would be an accomplishment; it takes that long at least to drive between the two towns. And the “best route” is probably OR47 N to Banks, OR6 E to US26, then freeway into Beaverton; and you’ll only do that in 25 minutes if there’s no traffic.
According to TriMet, the WES line will average 37mph, over a roughly 15 mile line with about 3 miles in between stops. The stops on this proposed line would be about 2 miles apart on a 6 mile line. I am a bit confused, though, by Kidd saying there needs to be a Park and Ride at McMenamins . . . that sounds like an extra stop to me. So really, we’d be talking about average 1.5 miles between stops.
Mathematically working this out, assuming the same slowdown rate of stops as the WES, we’d be looking at a line that only goes about 19mph, the same average speed of the MAX, so it would take 20 minutes to get from Forest Grove to the western fringes of Hillsboro. And if you assume the same headway (30min) that TriMet states on the WES, you could be looking at (worst-case scenario) taking 50 minutes to go 6 miles. So really, you’d be averaging about 7mph.
I’m sorry, but spending $30 million dollars to build something this slow and short is simply not feasible. Now that ODOT widened Hwy 26 through Beaverton, it is actually possible to get all the way out to the Airport in 50 minutes, a ride that, using this commuter rail line and the MAX, would probably take close to 3 hours. And also, this thing would have a very limited run, since it would be used for freight as well.
Not to mention that it might not even be legal to run on the existing tracks, as per Erik’s post, which would drive the cost up even more.
And Adron, for the record, Forest Grove has a population of about 20k.
Every single piece of track, tie and ballast had to be replaced on the entire 14 miles of the WES. As well and new spurs added and of course the station improvements.
As with other aspects this extensive re-building of the line never came to light until after the line was assured.
Such as was claims of a Washington Square stop when no such stop exists.
Such as was claims of service to the new urban village in Wilsonville when no such connection exists.
Such as was the claim that the line was “designed to reduce traffic on 217 and I-5 when no such designing took place at all.
That aint all but some of you may get the point. Others will deliberately ignore it.
>The $200M MAX line will be designed to run from
>5am to midnight seven days a week and be every
>15 minutes (or more at rush hour,)
Are there any plans to offer night owl service in Portland in the forseeable future?
EngineerScotty wrote: What exactly is the terms of the current agreement between ODOT and P&W with regard to the Forest Grove branch?
ODOT owns the right-of-way, P&W owns the rail hardware and a right to operate the tracks atop the right-of-way.
If ODOT has no power to remove P&W, then we have a little legal problem with WES. See, this arrangement was formerly the arrangement on the Oregon Electric RR between Greton and Quinaby – ODOT owns the ROW, and P&W owned the hardware. Now, TriMet owns the hardware and P&W has a “permanent freight rail agreement” on the route. North of Tigard, TriMet OWNS the railroad to Beaverton and P&W has freight rights on the railroad.
From Beaverton west to Seghers, Union Pacific owns the railroad and LEASES it to P&W. The same is true for trackage between Milwaukie and Tigard, from Cook to Corvallis, and so on for the rest of the ex-SP lines.
The trackage south of Quinaby is OWNED by BNSF, and LEASED to P&W.
The trackage to Forest Grove, over Cornelius Pass and along the Columbia River is the same ODOT right-of-way/P&W track hardware arrangement; however the trackage within the City of Astoria proper is owned by the City of Astoria.
Now here’s where it gets confusing. From Mahan, which is just north of downtown Hillsboro, the track is owned by the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad. From Mahan to Banks, it is LEASED to P&W. From Banks north POTB is both owner and operator. POTB formerly had a lease on the ex-BN trackage from Banks to North Plains, but when BN sold that line to ODOT/P&W, the lease expired and P&W took it over. (Which makes sense, and explains the POTB lease to P&W for Banks-Mahan.)
“More upscale welfare. Meanwhile the lower class gets to pay for it and little, or no services.”
Keep in mind, the bottom 50% income earners technically don’t even pay taxes, they get them all back. It’s the upper 50% that pay all the taxes. So the poor don’t subsidize squat.
Just the facts. :) smile.
“the bottom 50% income earners technically don’t even pay taxes”
That’s news to me.
The income threshold for no income taxes is well below the 50th percentile–you have to be making a pretty low salary to not owe any income tax. Poverty levels, or close to it.
Either that, or be filthy rich and have a shrewd accountant.
I could believe that when you subtract out the benefits that people receive, that yes, the 50th percentile doesn’t “pay taxes.” But when you consider that some of the benefits include a stable society where it is possible to make money at all, then almost everyone, except for a the few richest people in the country, see more benefits than they actually pay in taxes…
I also suspect that in places where there are sales taxes, that the very poor, (who tend to get harassed by the police more than protected by them,) also pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits.
Keep in mind, the bottom 50% income earners technically don’t even pay taxes
~~>Where in the world did you come up with that figure?
As much as I like Adron,
and I really do,
some of his right wing stuff is way off the wall:
I don’t think Adron would characterize it as “right wing”, he tends to come from more of a Libertarian perspective. Without getting into a debate about the validity of the statement, I think what Adron expressed about taxes is consistent with that philosophy.
I can buy that.
But I read his blog, a lot, and, well,
Bob, with all due respect to Adron, I’m a bit of a fan of the Libertarian Pay-Your-Own-Way philosophy on many things, but even dealing with taxes I’ve never heard of the lower 50% not paying taxes.
I payed taxes even in 2000 when I was in college and (as far as I remember) didn’t make over $16,000 the whole year.
If half of America made less than that I’m scared. Unless he’s counting children as well. As part of that Libertarian thing, I don’t think we should be subsidizing children, but as a human, I don’t think we should force them to work either. It might screw with the averages though.
I took Adron’s comment to mean that he was talking about the net difference between taxes paid in and benefits received. I don’t particularly buy that, based on personal experience, but I didn’t take the comment to mean that the “bottom 50%” don’t send in tax payments at all.
You mean the word ‘technically’?
“They get then all back?”
I like Adron, he’s a great guy with great ideas, mostly.
But that’s the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a long long time.
The bottom 50% of Americans struggle their whole lives and then live meager end of life existences.
To actually put forth the argument that somehow the bottom 50% are doing better than the top 50%
Click the ball: