Sad but true, starting in late August.   Not happy.

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One could say that the mood is very supportive among democrats and among those who think it's "neat" to have a toy train in NM. The mood is not supportive among those who recognize that the train is not needed and that it's a huge drain on the state and on the taxpayers.

Give me a break. Tourism was doing just fine and hotels in Santa Fe were doing just fine before the train. The excuses I read here about keeping it are built on assumptions and every specious excuse one can think of. Many people don't seem to recognize that America is up to its ears in debt, and that debt will be paid for by big federal and state tax increases and less help from the feds. Inflation is here, the cost of living is on the rise, houses continue to decrease in value, people are losing their homes, There are 14 million unemployed, and just wait till the EPA regulations and Obamacare kick in. New Mexicans would be wise to look past today because most of us are going to be squeezed even more and the state needs to cut back everywhere it can. Maybe train lovers have the income to cope with what's coming but most of us don't.  

//Maybe train lovers have the income to cope with what's coming but most of us don't.//

Yeah, that's right!  Much better that people be forced to purchase, fuel, and maintain personal automobiles because of a lack of available public transportation.  You tell 'em, Malibu!  "No subsidized train!  Subsidized roads instead!"

 

Just like city buses.  All those rich folk clamoring onto the Rapid Ride so we poor folk have to pay for them!

This is laughable. People aren't forced to use personal vehicles. They use them for choice, convenience, and business. Buses lose money but at least they cover the city and can serve many more people even though most of the time they're empty. No train stops at my door, and no train waits for me while I shop on my way home. Most of the ridership on the train is from people who commute to and from Santa Fe, and it take them almost twice as long to get there on the train as it does by vehicle. Since I-40 is available the train is no more than an additional burden which must be shouldered by taxpayers. Buses are a mass transit system, the train is not. Like I said before, if you like the train pay a fare that contributes much more to the operating costs. Don't ask a person like me, living on a fixed income, to support it.  
I-40 ends up being a pretty inefficient way to get to Santa Fe, it turns out...
HA!!!!! That idiot
I work at UNM and know people who commute using the Rail Runner. I don't think they consider it "neat" to have a "toy train." It's not just for tourism, although that was a major benefit - as someone pointed out the Rail Yard development in Santa Fe is a prime example of growth that follows development of mass transit. All those that are hurting in this bad economy should be forced to "cope with what's coming" and buy vehicles/fuel/insurance/maintenance they can't afford instead? The train is also great for folks and families traveling to events such as Balloon Fiesta and the Bernalillo Wine Festival. Without it, many may not attend due to traffic and parking concerns. Mass transit encourages walkability which improves our health, as does less smog from vehicles. Sure, the train has emissions, but change the mentality of people and reduce the amount of car trips for all sorts of reasons. This does and will improve air quality. If the EPA regulations that are kicking in as mentioned are a problem, seems like mass transit is actually a step in the right direction.

inflation?? really???

core inflation is hardly in the realm of 'the sky is falling'. (0.3% in may 2011).

CPI inflation (including food & energy) is indeed rising (almost entirely due to energy speculation btw - damn those free markets!!!!!).

so - it turns out that mass transit is a great way to hedge individual impacts of energy costs by concentrating capital costs where it is most needed and by spreading the energy burden over a metropolitan area.

 

perhaps if the train was made of gold it'd be ok? those talk radio ads keep telling me i need to buy gold to hedge against inflation!!!!!

You need to do some digging and get some things straight. Inflation is around 5% when food, gasoline, and utilities are included. The govt always understates inflation just like they do with unemployment, and is not due "almost entirely to energy speculation". Find out why corn for ethanol is decreasing the acreage used for other crops. Find out why the futures for all sorts of crops is rising so quickly. Find out that there are world-wide food shortages. All of this is causing our food prices to rise. Discover how Obama policies have caused more debt, more jobs moving overseas, and increases in the cost of living with more misery to come. People drive because it is convenient and much quicker than riding the bus. There's no train or bus stopping at my door or waiting for me when I shop on my way home. As for energy costs, wait till you see what's going to happen to your utility bills as Obama and EPA regs kick in. Obviously you don't live on a fixed income.

The train does nothing to compensate for Obama's pledge, "under my plan electricity costs will necessarily skyrocket". At least buses cover the city. The train benefits mostly those people who commute to Santa Fe and the benefit for them is definitely not worth the $20 million a year operating cost. It is certainly not a mass transit system like the buses. We don't need it.  

Since you've given Jeff his homework, here's yours...tell me how much of our terrible, horrible death-defying debt is left if you eliminate the Bush tax cuts and wrap up the two Bush wars. Obama is not blameless when it comes to the current economic crisis, but trying to pin it on him is absurd..

You're telling me that a $14 trillion debt is not "terrible, horrible death-defying? You're telling me that the national debt of $100 trillion including unfunded liabilities (Medicare and Social security) is no big deal? During Bush's 8 years the national debt increased about 4.9 trillion. In 4 years the administration projects Obama will increase the debt to about 16.5 trillion. How does that get paid back when printing money and borrowing money is spent as fast as it becomes available?

Who's spending the money? Bush wars? Obama stated during his campaign he would bring all troops home from Iraq and start on the same in Afghanistan. Guess what - the troops are still there. These are

 now Obama's wars and he's added Libya, Pakistan, and Yemen. 

Economic crisis? The economic crisis began when the democrats began pressuring lending institutionsties to lower their standards so more people could get into housing they really couldn't afford. Fannie & Freddie, and greedy lendinding institutions went to work. Keynesian economics did the rest because it does not and never has worked. Bringing all our troops home tomorrow and giving up the Bush tax cuts would have some effect IF they were wholly applied to the debt, but we've seen enough of Obama to understand that the more money he has the more he spends. We are at the point, after 3 years, where it is obvious that Obama policies are doing nothing but increasing the debt.  Of course, I doubt that the republicans would be angels in this regard but it's time to recognize we are in for much harder times. The feds are out of control and it's about time people cease resorting to blaming Bush.

My point, again, is that more costs are being shifted to the states and federal and state taxes are in for big increases. PNM wants a rate increase and utility bills will really skyrocket when EPA regs kick in. Wait till 2012 when more Obamacare regs and requirements kick in. How do you pay off the credit card? Where are the reductions in spending? That's why I believe that one of the ways for NM to cut back is to dump the train. Begin NOW to prepare for tomorrow. It's illogical to spend $22 million a year (latest estimates) on a train ride that benefits a comparative few.

"Economic crisis? The economic crisis began when the democrats began pressuring lending institutionsties to lower their standards so more people could get into housing they really couldn't afford."

 

this is complete partisan bullshit.

those institutions did not have a gun put to their heads to securitize those loans into credit default swaps and absurdly over-leverage their own holdings. they built a card house and it crashed. their own damn fault.

you should be ashamed of yourself for blaming the desire to provide equal access to housing for this crisis when in fact it was the direct result of republican (more accurately free-market ideology) policies to remove any regulatory oversight to financial institutions and an a mythical belief in those free markets.

uhhh....i already dug.....that's why i separated core and cpi inflation values.

 

cpi inflation (includes food & energy) is too volatile to be a meaningful indicator of anything beyond food & energy costs.

 

the core value is the one to watch and it ain't in sky is falling territory by a looooong shot.

 

you're correct - i don't live on a fixed income; i'm self-employed and bust my ass. i'm simply astonished that anyone on a fixed income would even consider republican policies of the last 40 years to be serving their interests. chicago school (supple-side) simply doesn't work except for the rich. fer chrissakes even alan greenspan had a change of heart about those policies after the crash.

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