Maglev Train Project to Link Baltimore and Washington Gets a Boost
All for only $10 billion, oh, right, they always underestimate the first time by at least half so, $20 billion.
"Six years ago, Melissa Malcolm gave up on the commuter train to Washington, D.C., after breakdowns twice left her stranded in hot railcars. Now, on a good day, she makes the 40-mile drive in about an hour and a half.
“It’s horrific,” said the 35year-old, who directs national sales and field marketing at the Milk Processor Education Program.
So Ms. Malcolm is rooting for an ambitious bid to build a high-speed train line that would zip riders between Baltimore and Washington in about 15 minutes."
Ok, so the train was horrific enough to get her out of the train and into her car for an hour and a half drive. Why will the new train, the Mag Lev be better? Why won't it stop her in a hot train car, or cold train car, high above the ground where it is difficult to rescue her? This is lunacy, the belief that this time it will be different, "This time it will be great!" This is Unicorn Mag Lev. All for a mere $20 billion of other peoples money.
I am completely fine with this provided, it is private, and unsubsidized. There is no reason you, or I should be paying for this woman's transit options. She should pay full freight for the ticket. But of course she will not. Instead the $100 each way cost of this foolishness will be mostly picked up by the taxpayer, and she will have to pay some paltry "fare." Rational economic choices cannot be made where the government continually distorts the market forcing nonusers to pay for transit for the wealthier elements in our society.
Don't forget that this infrastructure will need to be replaced within 35 years of construction, meaning that the $20 billion initial cost will need to be followed by operation costs, maintenance costs, and another $20 billion in total recapitalization maintenance cost 35 years later. Who will pay for all of this? We know that transit agencies only recover about 20% of fare at the firebox for any kind of rail, and there is no way Mag Lev will somehow magically increase this amount.
Melissa wants me to pay for her desire to live 40 miles, and an hour and a half commute from here work. No thank you, very much. Please, continue driving, move closer, risk the train, or find a nonpublic, private transportation arrangement. And why does she not take a bus? https://www.wanderu.com/en/bus-tickets/us-md/baltimore/us-dc/washington-dc/
Last, why would anyone consider a huge investment, long term transit option today when we are on the cusp of the self drive car? It seems that quite soon, self drive share ride vehicles will make these trips much more affordable, faster, and allow the occupants to relax, work, or play en route.