Tom Toles by Tom Toles

Tom Toles

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  1. Night-Gaunt49

    Night-Gaunt49 said, almost 2 years ago

    Seem to be on two different tracks. Neither will fit the other.

  2. Michael wme

    Michael wme said, almost 2 years ago

    Trains are the cheapest way to travel if your home and workplace are both within easy walking distance of a train station, or at least within easy walking distance of a feeder bus stop.


    Before WWII, few Americans owned cars, and most either walked to work or used public transport (e.g., trolleys).


    After WWII, the US started building the suburbs, and people bought their own cars so they could live in inexpensive suburban houses. The UK followed in the ’70s to end its perpetual housing shortage.


    Until people can be moved back into high-density high-rise housing within easy walking distance of the train stations, building roads will serve far more people than building railways that only a tiny minority will ever be able to use.


    And, as Nocera points out, G_d created the world with an infinite supply of oil, so there is absolutely no one who wants to move back to a high-density lifestyle when there will ALWAYS be more than enough cheap oil so everyone can run private SUVs.

  3. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, almost 2 years ago

    In Vienna, where I used to live, their integrated system of buses, trams, subways, and trains, makes it much easier and cheaper to get around the city in public transportation than owning a car. Moving from town to town is easy and comfortable on a train, and fair cheap, too. In small towns and in the country cars are useful. Our trains are crowded and slow, and a visitor from Calcutta of all places said that the buses here (see took greyhound) we dirtier and less pleasant than the buses she was used to in India. We can do better. And with a constantly growing demand, and yes, a slowing diminishing supply, there is NOT an infinite supply of CHEAP oil, especially if you consider the total cost to all of us of extracting and using it.


    The private automobile is not going away anytime soon. But we can do better. We may not be able to make a dollar buy more gas, but we can make a dollar buy more miles.

    And yet Virginia, regressive as she often is, wants to put an extra tax on fuel-efficient vehicles (while requiring state institutions to buy them) because their owners don’t pay enough in gas taxes at present. And now doesn’t THAT make sense in this world? (For the hard of hearing, the last sentence is sarcasm.)

  4. ODon

    ODon said, almost 2 years ago

    @raycity2

    Not too many freeways “turn a profit” either, much less regular roads.
    Anyone care to explain the various airport subsidies?

  5. dapperdan61

    dapperdan61 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 2 years ago

    With apologies to Cool Hand Luke, what we have here is a failure to communicate.

  6. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester said, almost 2 years ago

    @raycity2

    Source?

  7. motivemagus

    motivemagus said, almost 2 years ago

    @Michael wme

    It’s a question of location. The Northeast Corridor would benefit hugely from high-speed trains. If there were a REAL high-speed train between Boston, New York, and Washington, the (air) shuttle would damn near disappear. Put something like the French TGV on dedicated tracks, and the trip from Boston to NYC would take just over an hour. Right now, the trip by air takes roughly three hours: 30-45 minutes to get to Logan, 60 minutes required for security, 20 minutes boarding, 35 minutes in the air, 45 minutes to get into Manhattan from LaGuardia. And you could run them every hour or two and have them filled.
    Not so much in other areas, but on the other hand I’ve seen a proposal for a track down the Mississippi picking up Minneapolis, Chicago, and St. Louis which would be pretty nice, too.

  8. Bruce4671

    Bruce4671 said, almost 2 years ago

    I helped maintain tracks in Miami for years. The Tri-Rail light rail trains used our tracks, the state (read your tax dollars) paid to double track the entire service area, paid to build fancy stations and finally equipped and staffed their own “dispatch” system. Yep, lot’s of people rode the train then took a bus to work. On time operations was laughable, and it did not pay for itself but continues to gobble up tax payer funds. Check out the Wiki article on it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-Rail

    The one line that says it all:

    “For fiscal year 2010, train revenue was approximately $10.3 million.[ Total operating expenses for fiscal year 2010, including depreciation expense, were approximately $86.9 million. Expenses increased by approximately $14.9 million or 20.7% when compared to fiscal year 2009”

    Well, in places like Boston and NYC it makes perfect sense to have light rail. Topeka, KS…not so much. (ok I used a random city reference and chose “Topeka” again… I like the way the name rolls off the tongue)

    Job jobs jobs…. build SOMETHING and put people to work.

  9. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, almost 2 years ago

    @ Nightgaunt – good point.
    @ michael wme – This link shows the proposed routs for highspeed rail. Your comment is generally correct. Had rail not sold off so much of its assets over the decades, there would be more room for more rail, but the pop. density you rightfully indicate will require condemnations, legal challenges, and other problems to what would be a very good mass transportation solution… especially if people were able to take their cars with them like the Auto Train from New York to Florida. Some of the routes indicated will be going across expanses of open land tho. http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/02/07/san-francisco-to-las-vegas-in-5-hours-by-train-a-map-for-a-national-high-speed-rail-system/
    @ motivemagus – great reply to michael. With the conditions you mention, along with layovers and connection flights, it used to take my daughter 11+ hours to go from our home in Va. to her college in Michigan by air. It took me 15 hours to make the same drive – with nice restaurant stops, and I had a car when I arrived. The route you mention is listed in the link I supplied, tho the color chart doesn’t give it high priority.
    @ Doughfoot – thank you for being witness to where rail works. My own visit to Germany showed me a working system that mismanagement, abuse, and waste within the US rail industry has lost. Making passenger rail wait while freight rail gets priority just makes rail look worse to riders.
    @ olfart – totally agree with your comment about oil and truck lobbies and would only add the trucker unions as another obstruction to creating a working rail system.
    My own first impression of Mr. Toles cartoon was the sad lie it implies that either party is working on any kind of infrastructure, or that either is working at making ANY kind of connection with the other. I hope recent actions where Mr. Obama and senate Republicans have talked together will continue.
    Respectfully,
    C.

  10. AlexanderTheGoodEnough

    AlexanderTheGoodEnough said, almost 2 years ago

    @ne7minder55

    I have to agree. The elephants don’t seem to be much inclined to build or do anything at all positive these days.

  11. dannysixpack

    dannysixpack said, almost 2 years ago

    raycity2 said, about 5 hours ago

    BHO own head of the DOT said there is not a passenger train in the world that turns a profit.So the fools wants more high speed losers.z”

    and the only private auto that turns a profit is a taxi cab. what a specious argument.

  12. Justice22

    Justice22 said, almost 2 years ago

    I am so glad that the road past my home with all of it’s potholes and rough pavement pays for itself. It is so safe too. I just wonder when it will repave itself, straightening out the curves, rebuilding it’s bridges and eliminating the snow that accumulates on it during a snowstorm.

  13. Nos Nevets

    Nos Nevets said, almost 2 years ago

    Toles constantly complains about the DC rail system.
    But seems to want more of same.

  14. Justice22

    Justice22 said, almost 2 years ago

    I would rather travel by hig speed rail any day. It is often faster than air in getting from one point to another and you are not stuck in a tight, cramped seat for hours. I liked the European trains I rode on and liked the interaction of fellow passengers. It was a great experience.

  15. Night-Gaunt49

    Night-Gaunt49 said, almost 2 years ago

    @Ms. Ima

    I agree, Pres. Obama keeps using tax payer money to bail out failed businesses. How stupid is that?

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