The Crazy Train Deal Is Getting Worse All of the Time
Members of the the Inland Empire Transit Alliance met with Tim Watkins and other SANBAG employees on April 30. As Lando Calrissian said in Empire Strikes Back “This deal is getting worse all the time!”
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First, there will be 25 round trip trains per day rolling through Redlands. That means at every crossing and every point along the tracks, downtown and residential neighborhoods, 50 diesel powered trains will pass by. At every one of the 12 crossings in Redlands, the “clang, clang, clang…” of the crossing gates will ring out as the gates lower blocking traffic.
Second, the government always over estimates ridership for public transit projects. For examples, has anyone seen more than three riders on one of those big double section SBx busses, (the SBx project cost taxpayers $200 Million) and the $188 Million Anaheim transit center is getting 3-4% of the 10,000 riders per day the government estimated.
When we asked about the ridership estimates for Rail to Redlands, the SANBAG employees basically said we need to have faith. Interestingly, they said they had not reviewed the SBx and Anaheim transit center projects. They should try to learn from mistakes of those boondoggles.
I figured Redlands residents who take Metrolink to LA would be a large percentage of the riders SANBAG estimates for the train. However, the SANBAG employees had no idea how many Redlands residents ride Metrolink to LA.
So who are the 700-800 people SANBAG “estimates” will ride the train between San Bernardino and Redlands each day?
Bottom line, there is no reason to believe SANBAG’s ridership “estimates.”
BTW, even using SANBAG’s estimate of $242,000,000 (IE Transit Alliance estimates $475,000,000) to build the system (not counting operating losses), divided by SANBAG’s “estimated” 800 riders = $302,500.00 per rider.
That’s how they spend other people’s money.
Third, the SANBAG employees claimed 50 trains per day rolling through 12 crossings in Redlands each day will not cause significant traffic problems.
“And if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”
Look at traffic at commute times getting to and from the freeway on California, Alabama, Tennessee or Orange and decide for yourself whether to believe SANBAG’s claim that 50 trains per day (more frequent at commute time) will not cause significant traffic problems.
Fourth, SANBAG claims the money for the project is “programmed” but not in hand. If the Federal or state government money does not come through as planned, what happens to the project? If there are cost overruns (and how often does that happen on government projects) what happens to the train project?
Fifth, the SANBAG employees said they plan to purchase smaller diesel trains costing about $30,000,000. How much can we trust any government promise? In addition, SANBAG is a regional government agency not accountable to the people at the ballot box. If SANBAG does not keep its promises, we cannot vote them out of office.
The EIR estimates 83 residential properties will be severely impacted by the noise and 115 residential properties will be moderately impacted.
Furthermore, the SANBAG employees said that SANBAG’s board could decide at anytime to run full size Metrolink trains with full size diesel locomotives through Redlands. Again, since SANBAG is a regional government agency not accountable to the people at the ballot box, the citizens of Redlands cannot vote SANBAG’s board out of office if they decide to run Metrolink trains through Redlands.
Putting power in the hands of unelected, unaccountable regional government is a key part of so called “sustainability.”
For these reasons, and many more, the Rail to Redlands is our “crazy train,” and the “crazy train” deal keeps getting worse for the people and businesses in Redlands.
To the citizens of Redlands: If you wait until 50 trains per day start rolling through Redlands, it will be much harder to stop the crazy trains. Take control of your government and your streets. All political power is inherent in the people if we choose to use it.
#Sustainability #Agenda21 #GovernmentWaste #RegionalGovernment #SANBAG