While Decaturguy is throwing invective toward Senator Douglas, I thought I’d actually let the man speak for himself and, based on his points, I must say I agree that the rail plan, as presented, is poorly conceived. I still favor rail solutions, but the present one is flawed.
In the original post on the trains, Senator Douglas writes as follows:
OK, here are the reasons I oppose the commuter rail for Henry County:
1. The tax payers will be upgrading the rail bed for Norfolk Southern which means that their freight trains will have free access 20 hours a day to run faster, thanks to working Georgians.
2. Yes, 20 hours a day…..the commuter trains will only run two hours in the am and two hours in the pm. If you need to get home at another time, too bad.
3. The round trip ticket will be around $12. enough said there.
4. The train would only cross a small portion of Henry County at Hampton but taxpayers county wide would be told to help pay for it.
The other eight points are below the fold.
5. The new Mayor and City Council in Hampton were elected on anti commuter rail platforms. A majority of the county commission also opposes the rail line.
6. No commuter rail system in the world, outside of Japan, is self sufficient. That means taxpayers would be paying for it forever. Meanwhile, Norlfolk Southern’s freight business would be bustling at taxpayer expense.
7. NS would be paid a large sum of money to upgrade the rail bed but now they dont want to pay taxes to the federal government on this gift from those same taxpayers.
8. No program has ever been successful getting people around Atlanta out of their cars. Neither will this be successful in that area.
9. Visit the MARTA Five Points station after dark some time when you are in Atlanta. Tell me whats wrong with that picture.
10. The trains will only go to the Intermodal Station as they come into Atlanta, then its busses or taxis after that, very inconvenient and time consuming.
11. If there was a market for passenger rail or commuter rail, dont you think NS or CSX would already be doing it?
12. Finally, its easy to spend taxpayer dollars on “pie in the sky