The truth about High Speed Rail

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They have no money.

At the much touted unveiling of the DTX Extension and 280 Tear Down plans last night on Potrero Hill, San Francisco officials admitted that there is no money to finish the electrification of CalTrain. They are $440 million short on what they need to electrify 70% of the trains. This was repeated a few times last night.

We were told that the Fast Train is not going to be paid for with public funds and will only happen if “they” can convince a private investor to invest in it. It appears the real reaosn they are trying to force us out of our cars  and onto Muni buses, is to prove that there is a market for a “potential” private investor to invest in a “public” transit system to attract private capital. All the mad street painting and street diets are really part of the plan…

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If car sales collapse, it won’t be because of sharing

by Gabe Nelson : autornews – excerpt

“In the long run,” the report says, “autonomous vehicles will have a much greater impact on new-car sales than car-sharing will.”

OAKLAND, Calif. — Around the corner from my house, two Ford Focus hatchbacks sit side by side in a gas station parking lot. They belong to City Carshare, a 15-year-old San Francisco nonprofit that rents cars by the hour like Zipcar…

But as much as I like the idea of car-sharing, it wouldn’t make much sense. Unless I’m running errands or shopping at Target, it’s easier to use a ride-hailing service such as Uber or Lyft, which doesn’t require me to find a parking space and doesn’t charge me for a car that’s sitting idle in a parking lot.

So I wasn’t surprised at all to read the results of a report today by Boston Consulting Group, which estimated that car-sharing will reduce global vehicle sales by 550,000 in 2021 and cost manufacturers roughly $8 billion in revenue.

That might sound like a lot of cars and money. It’s not…

So why are automakers pushing so hard into car-sharing?…

The reason is autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles, according to BCG, promise to erase the distinction between ride-hailing and car-sharing. Zipcar and Uber are almost exactly the same if no one is driving.

“In the long run,” the report says, “autonomous vehicles will have a much greater impact on new-car sales than car-sharing will.”

That’s the important point. Right now there’s a competition to get ready for a future with ubiquitous autonomous pods. Car-sharing may not be economically viable on a large scale, but experts believe that autonomous pods will be.

For companies like GM, which formed Maven as its “personal mobility” brand in January, car-sharing serves as a transitional business model to get there… (more)