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Ga. gets $4M grant for high-speed rail to NC

ATLANTA -- Georgia has received a $4.1 million grant to continue work on a high-speed rail project linking Atlanta to Charlotte, N.C.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Monday that the money will help reduce traffic congestion as the nation's population grows by an expected 100 million over the next four decades. The money is part of a larger $7 million grant program aimed at created a high-speed rail corridor from Atlanta to Washington, D.C.

Thirty-two states and D.C. are laying the foundation for high-speed rail lines to provide faster and more energy-efficient travel options to Americans.

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Comments

R 2 years, 10 months ago

I guess we don't have enough contact with Washington as it is ...

I wonder if the BRAIN will follow the train? I'm sure our reps will pull a Biden and ride the rails each week to work too.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 10 months ago

This is a prime example of why the state is putting tolls on existing lanes on I-85 Northeast through DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties. The state is in the process of putting tolls on as many as three lanes on each direction of I-85 to force people away from the Interstate so as to build a market for future high-speed and commuter rail service on the existing Norfolk Southern/Amtrak rail line that runs parallel to the west of I-85.

Tolls are being installed to force people off of I-85 and onto these future passenger rail lines. High-speed rail on the NS/Amtrak line and the HOT Lanes on I-85 are very much connected.

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dan 2 years, 10 months ago

Your statement makes no sense. High speed rail and HOT lanes are in no way related. HOT lanes are put in place for intra-city travel and high speed rail is for inter-city travel. Toll lanes are becomming necessary because gas tax revenue is not going to be able to cover the costs for maintaining roads much longer.

What's wrong with people having other modes of transportation available for their commutes anyways?

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 10 months ago

Dan-

I don't necessarily argue with your assertion that toll lanes are being used to obtain revenues needed for maintenance costs that the gas tax may not cover over the long term, but my statement does make sense. If the Norfolk Southern/Amtrak line that runs parallel to the west of I-85 is upgraded to accommodate high-speed intercity trains then it will be able to accommodate regional commuter trains as well.

When a toll is put on a lane, it pushes traffic out of that lane into existing lanes because not everyone wants to pay the tolls that increase with the amount of traffic in the lane and on the road as a whole.

Put adjustable tolls on one lane and pushes more traffic into the remaining five toll-free lanes on one direction of I-85. Put adjustable tolls on three lanes on each direction of the road and it pushes the bulk of traffic and it pushes the bulk of traffic into the three remaining toll-free lanes and eventually off of the road onto parallel surface streets and roads as people will avoid driving on I-85 to avoid paying the adjustable tolls on the existing lanes and the resulting increased traffic in the remaining toll-free lanes.

Tolls are being placed on existing lanes to push single-occupant vehicle motorists and traffic off of I-85 onto surface streets where the state is banking that drivers will also get tired of sitting in increased traffic and will be a lot more willing to use one of the impending mass transit lines that will be located closer to their homes than I-85 to escape the traffic.

HOT lanes are being used to force people to choose mass transit in the long run, probably even more so than they are being used to obtain extra revenues as anytime a toll is placed on an existing lane it drives the bulk of traffic from that lane. The higher the toll, the more traffic leaves that lane. Apply that practice to most of the road as a whole and the higher the tolls, the less traffic on the road as a whole.

The reason why people use I-85 is because they don't want to drive on surface streets with numerous stoplights at at-grade intersections. Take away I-85 by putting tolls on it and people use the major surface road w/stoplights closer to their home (Hwy 78, Hwy 29, Buford Hwy, P.I.B.) for their commutes. Have them sit in traffic on those surface streets for long enough and those commuters will likely be a lot more willing to use the one of the mass transit lines planned to run close to their homes (regional commuter rail service on the NS/Amtrak and CSX/Brain Train lines, the MARTA heavy rail extension between Doraville and Duluth, the bus mass transit line on Hwy 78, express commuter bus service in the HOT Lanes of I-85). Compelling commuters to give up their cars by placing adjustable tolls on I-85 makes those mass transit lines much more viable than begging commuters to give up their cars to transit that they don't necessarily want to ride.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 10 months ago

Dan-

"What's wrong with people having other modes of transportation available for their commutes anyways?"

Nothing is wrong with people having other modes of transportation available for their commutes, as long as they are financially viable.

I just don't agree with the way that the state is going about making those other modes of transportation financially viable by pricing commuters off of I-85 and forcing them to accept mass transit whether they want to or not by creating even larger traffic jams to sit in for those who do not want to pay the increasing tolls.

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