Wednesday, November 12, 2008

As Public Transit Grows, Cities Desire Streetcars

Time to abandon childish obsessions... and get Ogden in line for some of that federal cash for a trolley line

By Curmudgeon

Also of some interest locally in today's NYTimes, this story, headlined "As Public Transit Grows, Cities Desire Streetcars."

From the story:

As gas prices soared and dozens of North American communities sought to reintroduce electric streetcars as an alternative to diesel buses, Europe’s tram builders were some of the biggest beneficiaries. Now, as the administration of President-elect Barack Obama contemplates an infrastructure expansion to keep Americans working through a severe slowdown, trams may be one of the building blocks of economic revival and energy efficiency.
“Trams were invented by the Americans,” said Jean-Noël Debroise, vice president for product planning at Alstom, the French streetcar builder that is selling its sleek Citadis tram to cities like Houston and Toronto. “It’s a big market,” he said. European companies like Alstom, Siemens of Germany, AnsaldoBreda of Italy, CAF of Spain and Skoda of the Czech Republic will be at the head of the line. They, along with non-European companies like Bombardier of Canada and Kinki Sharyo of Japan, are among the leading suppliers of streetcars, which are also known as light rail vehicles. “If we get a program funded at the federal level, a lot of cities will be expressing interest,” said Jeffrey F. Boothe, a Washington lawyer specializing in public transport. “At the end of the day, only lack of federal money was stopping them.”
Unfortunately, the US does not produce trolleys much. Notice, not a single American company is in the game in a serious way. Not one. It's European companies, mostly, that own the market [yet another example of the way American industry looks ahead and demonstrates its excellence... just like Ford and Chrysler who fought all attempts to impose higher mileage standards on their fleets by Congress, and who now are stuck with unsaleable gas guzzlers and want a federal bailout]. And it's mostly European companies that are looking to cash in on federally subsidized transit expansions in the US.

Still, if the Feds are going to pump money into urban transit, and in particular, light rail and trolleys, it would be nice if Ogden's Mayor could get past his gondola obsession and start now... three years later than he should have... to get Ogden in line for some of that federal cash for a trolley line from downtown to WSU and McKay Dee Hospital. Please?

8 comments:

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

What is really sad is that for as smart as you are you just simply don't get it.

The bottom line is that streetcars are not sexy, or "cool" as the Lil Lord likes to say. Besides, there is no way that Ogden could be first in the whole entire world if they put in a streetcar instead of a flat land gondola. And being first in the world is very very important in the MattGodfreyWorld we live in. Why just look at the resounding success and world fame we all enjoy as a result of being the first city in the world with a public funded down town mall anchored by a penny arcade and day glow bowling alley! The whole world eats its heart out in jealousy over our glory and all we hear from you is more silliness about needing street cars.

Get with it Mr. Curmudgeon, your stogieness is showing.

Jersey Jim said...

"Still, if the Feds are going to pump money into urban transit, and in particular, light rail and trolleys, it would be nice if Ogden's Mayor could get past his gondola obsession and start now... three years later than he should have... to get Ogden in line for some of that federal cash for a trolley line from downtown to WSU and McKay Dee Hospital. Please?"

Fuggedaboudit Curm.

Our Utah republican legislators, Bennett, Hatch and Bishop, now have about as much influence on federal funding as the chief janitor in the Hallowed Congressional Halls.

Maybe though, Congressman Matheson will grow a set?

Who knows? Anything is possible.

Little Bird said...

Everybody go rent "who killed the electic car" and then as yourself just how bad do I feel for GM.

Bad business needs to be rewarded by no business.

Lester said...

I sure as heel can't wait to barf In Godfrey's urban gondola.

Doctor Opposite said...

Littlebird, are you talking about this? If so, I don't think anyone has to actually rent it.

I believe this video is available online:

Who killed the electric car

irritated sara j. said...

You aren't getting the message which is that our Federal government and certainly not our Ogden City government can't afford anything new right now.

The reason that we are in this financial crisis is that the Feds gave too much to too many governments including foreign governments.

Get real and forget the fancy stuff. People are living on the streets with nothing to eat.

Little Bird said...

Doctor Opposite

Yes but no. The link you provided is about all I could find when I started looking into the subject. Either way I ended up finding it on netflix which worked out good.

This story is done fairly well and if you can find the actual documentary it is really quite interesting.

"Who Killed The Electic Car???"

whoa be me said...

I noticed that the Nations Mayors are asking Washington DC for help in their communities. I am wondering where the hand outs will end.

It seems to me that these Cities and Towns should take responsibility for the neglect of infrastructure, roads etc.

Nothing in life is free, and if we expect to have clean water and a usable roads, we should expect to pay for them, and not rely on big brother to subsidise them, after all a hand out from Washington is just another tax burden on everyone.

I wonder if godfrey asked for a Gondola, and money to help his little criminal buddy Gadi finish the mess he sstarted on the river project.

It's past time that people and governments start living within their means, if people want new roads then they better expect to pay for them through higher taxes.

The country is in a mess, and we've neglected it for far too long.

Post a Comment

© 2005 - 2014 Weber County Forum™ -- All Rights Reserved