Saturday, July 14, 2012

Regional Rail, Why Not?

The real answer to the question is quite obvious. The state never willingly lets go of anything that they have taken control over. See healthcare, transportation, banking, justice, law enforcement, etc., for proof of this principle. The more relevant question has to do with the people of this country. Why do they willingly accept the rail system that we are provided with and assume that state control of it is the best solution?

This was never the case up until the 1950s when the government started building roads. Rail went out of fashion and city government across the country started taking them over. In New York, the private operators were regulated out of existence. But before that, these rail outfits were quite successful for many years.

Now today, we are left with rail systems that are horribly lacking. They do not go where we need them to go, they are filthy, and they are egregiously expensive to run and maintain. What is the argument for continuing government control of this industry? With roads there is a little more argument since these often are the only way to get to residences and businesses. With rail, that is never the case. Some make the externality argument, but private companies always internalize positive externalities. They would buy properties surrounding stations and build parking lots at the stations, for example.

Meanwhile, we who languish in traffic continue to direct our rage at fellow drivers who clog up our path home. Our enemies meanwhile remain in their ivory towers, decreeing from afar what they "know" to be best for us.

Old Los Angeles rail coverage map:

Current Los Angeles rail coverage map:

Thank you county government of Los Angeles for this "improvement". 


  1. God bless the government for, improving everything it touches.

    Oh, and Yankees/Dodgers world series?

  2. Though it was even worse in Los Angeles, it was awful in New York also. That rail system was decimated and gutted, so that now your government is building a rail line that was already there more than 50 years ago.

    But hey, the Dodgers have been playing pretty badly lately. Maybe we'll see that matchup in 2013. Right now, they're struggling just to keep up with the Giants.