October 21, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria mayor says rail depot key to city’s growth

Mayor Holly Brinda gives her state of the city address before guests and members of the Elyria Rotary Club. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Mayor Holly Brinda gives her state of the city address before guests and members of the Elyria Rotary Club. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — In touting Elyria’s best future, Mayor Holly Brinda said Tuesday afternoon that she would like an Amtrak train to run right through it.

Returning passenger rail service to the city, most notably to the county-owned renovated old train depot known as the Lorain County Transportation Center, could jump-start redevelopment in downtown Elyria, Brinda said.

The city needs financial backing to pull that off, however, she said.

“We need a catalytic change to jump-start downtown revitalization, and I think this has the power to do it,” she said.

It is no secret Brinda, who delivered her third State of the City address to a packed room at Wesleyan Village during a joint meeting of the Elyria Rotary and Lorain County Chamber of Commerce, wants to see passenger rail service return to downtown Elyria. She has written letters to railroad bigwigs — Amtrak and Norfolk Southern — and attended numerous meetings along the Lake Erie coast gleaning every bit of information she can about how to get it done.

This, even though problems are aplenty for the venture, including how to improve the passenger platforms.

Brinda’s most recent approach includes working with the Board of Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities and the All Aboard Ohio Initiative, which are trying to push for communities from Toledo to Cleveland to work together to improve the passenger rail corridor. With a new pot of federal dollars — $30 million to $50 million — being made available this spring, Brinda said Elyria is hoping to receive funds to rebuild the passenger rail platforms at the transportation center, the missing piece that could possibly convince Amtrak to begin using the station.

Brinda wants the city and the county to jointly apply for the money. She believes the more support she can demonstrate, the better chance the Elyria project has to receive funding.

“We are not the only ones who see great potential in this project,” she said. “I believe we have a better chance applying as a corridor instead of as an individual city or municipality.”

Lorain County Commissioner Ted Kalo agreed the project is worth pursuing. The federal money comes from other projects around the country that never got off the ground and had to return federal dollars.

“It’s a matter of getting all the counties together to submit the application,” he said. “I think this is a worthwhile project to pursue. We have the train station there and we have been working with Norfolk Southern for years to get access to those tracks.”

Kalo said Elyria and the county will likely have to work out a local match for whatever comes to Lorain County. Credits from the Ohio Turnpike are an option for financing, but details have not been worked out.

Brinda said the project could cost $5 million to $9 million.

She said the activity of the four train stations in northern Ohio — Toledo, Sandusky, Elyria and Cleveland — stood out to her. But Elyria’s ridership has taken the most remarkable jump, increasing by 91 percent since 2008.

“And that was without even trying,” Brinda said.

Brinda said foot traffic from rail passengers so close to downtown could boost shops, restaurants and small hotels.

Councilman Marcus Madison, D-5th Ward, was the only Council person to attend the meeting. His ward now encompasses the downtown area.

“What we heard were a lot of really good pieces and parts to an overall strategy of moving our city and downtown forward,” he said. “Council is also going to have to pinpoint how they hope to build up the downtown area, but I don’t think there is one silver bullet. Our only silver bullet will be when we put people back to work and expand jobs in our community.”

Kalo said passenger rail service couldn’t hurt development.

“There are a lot of components that must work together from small business development to education to public transit to spur growth,” he said.

OTHER POINTS FROM THE SPEECH

  • By implementing recommendations from the performance audit conducted by the state auditor’s office, Elyria saw $860,624 in savings since May 2013.
  • The city is working with businesses in the Midway Mall area to establish a Midway Merchant’s Association.
  • The former Alzedo Restaurant building on Midway Boulevard is set to be demolished this year. The property owner is paying to raze the building.
  • A citywide block watch meeting in May will make more residents aware of the program.
  • A second Building Better Neighborhoods initiative will take place this summer.
  • The East Falls River Walk will reopen to pedestrians in early spring.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

 


  • Mark B

    91% increase , what is that number in actual numbers ?
    From 2 passengers to 4 would be 100% increase , dont play the Percentage game , give real numbers.

    • Bill Hutchison

      Annual Station Revenue
      (2013:$424,127
      Annual Station Ridership
      (2013): 6,548

      I Googled that in about one minute by using the phrase “Amtrak ridership numbers for Elyria OH”

      • Mark B

        I find those number very hard to believe .

        • Ed

          Then do your own research Mark and prove them wrong. It’s not what you want to believe that’s true. It’s what the facts show that’s true. :)

          • Mark B

            I didnt say they were wrong , i just said i find them hard to believe

        • Bill Hutchison

          These are real numbers from Amtrak. I didn’t make them up. When was the last time you rode a train?

      • Toad

        but they have to pay for workers and other things out of this money. how much is left after all the costs are payed for

        • Bill Hutchison

          I do not have that information available and it’s late. Why don’t you do some research at the Amtrak website and let us know?

          BTW, all modes are subsidized. All modes cost taxpayer money and all modes are not self supporting. I do know that much.

          • Toad

            the train line that runs thru elyria lost 37million dollar for 2012.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Where did you get that number? The number I saw for the Capitol Limited is $5 million and the other train serving northern Ohio, the Lake Shore Limited at $1.5 million. Losses, yes, but nowhere near what you have. These numbers come from Amtrak.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Here is a link to the Amtrak release concerning its long distance trains. Scroll down to page 10, but read the whole thing. It’s very informative.

            http://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/778/373/Amtrak-Covers-88-Percent-of-Operating-Costs-ATK-13-022.pdf

          • Toad

            i will find and send. but any loss is not good. revenue might be tickets sold but expense is a big loss. i was just sayin the no. above is
            miss leading

            it makes it sound like elyria made money when no one made money. they lost money

          • Bill Hutchison

            Are you equally concerned about the $53 billion in non user tax money Congress has use to prop up the highway trust fund since 2008?

          • Pablo Jones

            The economic force generated by the highways is much greater than the economic force generated by long distance passenger rail.

          • Akshai Singh

            The Highway Trust Fund has received $50b in bailouts in the last decade, that’s more than Amtrak has required in its 41 years of existence.

          • Pablo Jones

            Again cost per passenger mile traveled is much lower for highways than rail. Money spent maintaining roads has a higher return on investment than money spent on light and heavy rails.

            The highway trust fund raised from fuel tax hasn’t been increase in something like 20 years. That needs to be corrected, but it won’t happen while government policies lead to higher fuel costs. Also (it’s been a few months since I looked so my numbers maybe off a bit) between 15-30% of the highway trust fund money is being diverted to mass transit and bike trails. You can’t be too critical if they don’t have the money when a good portion of it is being raided.

          • Akshai Singh

            It’s 20%, and that ‘raid’ is how you keep thousands of cars off the roads in the Northeast Corridor via public transportation. Furthermore, we see that transit-oriented development not only preserved housing equity better in the Great Recession, but is a major driver for developers (who recognize trends of people driving less).

          • Pablo Jones

            Oh, so all the drivers in the country should be happy with 20% of their money going towards the NE so they can have their trains? I never said trains don’t have their place, you will never fit 20 million cars in New York City. You also have a high density business oriented area between Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and DC. But where do you have that anywhere else in the country?

            Get out of that region and no one cares about trains, developers are building plenty of homes in areas where their are no light or heavy passenger trains. There is none in my area and my home value hasn’t decreased.

            I think you have your causation and correlation not right. Home values are defined by the economy in a region and the trains are there because of the economy. The economy isn’t there because of the trains.

          • Akshai Singh

            Why do you think the Highway Trust Fund has required $50b in bailouts in the last decade. For exactly the reason you are citing. Furthermore, population adjusted VMT has been down for almost a decade.

            Real estate supported not just by trains, but any transit were better off during the recession.

          • Ed

            Actually, there is plenty of evidence that real estate demand is quite strong in areas with good multi-modal transportation options. After the 2008 housing crash, such urban real estate held its value better than suburban real estate.

          • Pablo Jones

            What evidence? Show me the report that says passenger rail kept home values high.

            Here is another question. In those areas that held their values, is the average household value above or below the national average.

          • Bill Hutchison

            While we are on the subject of “diversion”, keep in mind that highway users only account for about 46% of the costs associated with roads. All the rest comes from general funds—i.e., non-users.

            And while we are at it, maybe we need to fund non-highway transportation so those who are unable to drive, can’t afford to drive or want a choice can get around without reaching for the keys.

            We spend more on roads in one year than we have on Amtrak over its entire 43 year history. More locally, 9% of Ohio households—a million people—have NO motor vehicle and if the state spent its transportation dollars accordingly, that would be $317 million annually for public transportation instead of the current $7 million. These people are also paying taxes for the roads you use and that is yet another form of “diversion.”

          • Pablo Jones

            Who doesn’t use the roads? People with out cars still use the roads, whether by other people taking them, buses, or the goods and services they use. Goods also come by rail, but we are not talking about paying to rail cargo because that is self sustaining paid for by the companies that use the trains.

            If people don’t want to drive that is their choice, the people should have to pay because they don’t want to drive. Hey I want to take a space flight and I don’t want to become an astronaut should the government pay for me to fly on Virgin Galactic?

          • Bill Hutchison

            I see: This is a pointless discussion. It’s highways uber-alles as far as you are concerned. No further discussion needed.

          • Pablo Jones

            To each to their own. Let highways and roads fund themselves and let rail fund its self. Remove the subsidies.

          • Bill Hutchison

            NOW YOU’RE TALKING!!! Ever hear of Paul Weyrich? The railroads did quite well until the transportation marketplace was massively distorted by massive support for roads.

          • Pablo Jones

            Market place was massively distorted. Here is a question did the economy grow more than the cost to build the roads or less? If we spent all money evenly between trains and roads our economy would probably be half of what it is now.

          • Bill Hutchison

            That is just a supposition on your part and I really don’t think there is any way to know. I will say that in my opinion, the railroads—a privately owned and operated for profit business that did not take one cent in taxpayer support was pushed aside by short sighted government policy. That was done at the behest of a powerful highway lobby, which made billions at the government trough.

            Yes, some change was inevitable BUT it could have been handled more judiciously. Maybe if it had, we would not have needed an Amtrak to take the dying carcass of rail passenger service off the hands of the railroads so they could survive.

            This massive support for road and aviation is a key reason why there has not been more private interest in passenger rail. Hard for a private business to compete with that. That said, I think there ARE opportunities out there for public-private partnerships.

          • Phil Seguin

            Bill it is almost funny to read your posts because they are so far removed from reality – our entire culture evolved the last 70 years around the automobile because that is what people wanted not because of some evil conspiracy theory.

          • Ed

            Phil: I’m sorry to inform you that it did not happen this way. Let me explain some transportation history to you: 100 years ago, we had privately built railroads, interurban lines and street cars. The private sector built them and maintained them. Railroads and interurbans paid property taxes on their lines (railroads still do today, there are no more interurban lines). Then along comes the federal government with the Good Roads Campaign and later the Interstate Defense Highway Act whereby massive amounts of public money were poured into highways. At the same time, the highway system was set up so that drivers didn’t pay the full cost of those same highways. The government owns the highways so there is no private entity to pay taxes on them and have to recover those costs from users like the railroads and interurbans had to. In this environment, no company can compete with the public purse. Here we are today where highways don’t come close to paying for themselves. They are heavily subsidized. Demand for what little rail service we have is surging and wherever a well-planned intercity rail corridor goes in, people ride in droves. The demand is there, but with the government intervention in the transportation market, private companies cannot fill the void unless and until all highways, roads, and bridges are privatized.

          • Pablo Jones

            The Ohio Turnpike is self supported. Built with bonds that have been paid back and maintained by tolls. Even the Highway patrol for the turnpike is paid by the tolls.

            Trains had 100 year head start on highways, yet after that time they still couldn’t meet the demand that people and businesses wanted. If they were it would have been very hard for highways to take off.

            With time comes change. People didn’t want to live in the cities they want to go to the suburbs. Those lower population density meant there couldn’t be neighborhood stores and train stations on every other block. Add in that many people made a living from the auto sector meant they wanted cars. If they buy the cars they are going to drive them.

            Trains had their shot but their time has come and gone for the majority of the country. There are still niche markets for them around major cities and between nearby major cities, but they aren’t practical for the country as a whole.

          • Ed

            Bill is correct. It’s just supposition on your part. The fact of the matter is no one is talking about roads OR trains. We’re talking about a transportation system where all modes are treated fairly, where each mode can do what it does best and where all modes are efficiently interconnected– not this double standard stuff that it’s ok to subsidize highways and aviation and waterways, but not rail.

          • Ed

            You guys always default to this after enough discussion, but none of you ever write your congress person or state reps or governor and ask them to stop subsidizing highways.

          • Pablo Jones

            Ed get serious. You could donate millions to a politicians campaign and submit all petitions to support it and they won’t change it. They buy votes by handing out the money. They get their names on the bridges that they secured funding for. It would just be a futile effort to call and write.

          • Phil Seguin

            https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/onh2p10.htm

            Actually Bill highway users fund the mass transit systems too but don’t let something like the truth get in the way of your posts.

          • Ed

            Yes, 2.86 cents of federal gas taxes go to transit, but a far larger amount of general revenue money is subsidizing highways/roads, but don’t let the truth get in the way of your posts.

          • davidlubic

            The cost per mile metric is important–but it may not be the most important one.

            Case in point–Arco, or for us old-timers, the Atlantic-Richfield Oil Company, no longer operates in the eastern United States, even though it was founded here. Why? It couldn’t make enough money selling a standardized, low-unit cost product, gasoline (and other oil products).

            On the other hand, there is what is essentially an oil product that sells for something like $57,000 per gallon. It’s producer, Chanel, has no problems making money at that horrendous price for its No. 5 product.

            The point is, if you were a business owner, or more importantly a banker, and you were looking to invest money, you very likely wouldn’t care too much about unit costs–but you would be very concerned about cost recovery, or return on investment.

            The road system has an overall cost recovery ratio of a bit over 50% if you return those diversions you don’t like to the road system. Amtrak’s cost recovery ratio (operations only) is about 88%. Amtrak is closer to getting into the black than the road system is, and indeed some of its trains are in the black operationally. Surprisingly, not all of these are in the Northeast Corridor. They include at least two trains in Virginia that average perhaps 60 mph.

            Another thing you may be interested to know is that the Washington, DC metro rail system (subway line, in many ways a clone of the BART system in San Francisco) handles twice the number of passengers as the city’s bus system, and does it for half the cost. It does so with a technologically advanced (and expensive) railroad infrastructure the bus system doesn’t have (i.e., there’s no Bus Rapid Transit in the Washington area).

            These facts should tell us something.

          • Toad

            Then it makes sense in those cities. But this is about Elyria. We are not DC or SF. This is the point.

          • davidlubic

            Then you don’t need airplanes or the air traffic system, either. That’s OK, you can live as limited as you want, I won’t argue with you.

            After all, there are Amish people who still use horses and buggies.

            And I notice you did not address the question of inferior cost recovery either–and I haven’t even gotten to the question of externalities, such as the cost of oil wars. There are defense-oriented think tanks–hardly a bunch of environazis–who put the real cost of gasoline as high as $15 per gallon. We need to get off the stuff, and railroads are part of the answer (and even I admit they are not all of it).

            We should have done this 40 years ago. Saudi Arabia would have had to figure out some other form of blackmail, and Osama bin Ladin would have just been a crazy guy in the desert we would have never heard of.

          • Ed

            No, but Elyria lies on what would be a heavily used intercity rail corridor between Cleveland and Chicago. Again, look at all the development that has happened in cities with station-stops along the Downeaster Corridor in Maine. Elyria would definitely benefit. This is the point.

          • Pablo Jones

            ok show me the link to the report and I will look at it. But remember price is established by what people are willing to pay for it. And no one wants to pay for passenger rail.

          • Mark B

            Amtrak does not take anyone door to door where they are traveling. Try taking Amtrack to the grocery Store or to work.

          • davidlubic

            Try using an airline to go to the grocery store. Tell us how that works.

          • Toad

            people in elyria use roads not trains. put the money where it is being used. a train can take me to another city but i stay in elyria and how will that help me and other persons

            will it take me to doctor or grocery store or to visit my family no it wont but a road will

          • Ed

            It’s not an either-or proposition. It’s about filling a documented, growing demand for alternatives to driving. There are things that roads do well and things that trains do well. Right now, Ohio is trying to make roads to everything and this one contributing factor to why ODOT is going broke.

          • Bill Hutchison

            You are comparing a six million mile, fully built out highway system that has benefited from vast support by all levels of government for a hundred years to a subskeletal 27,000 mile rail system that has been underfunded from its inception in 1971. It’s an apple and oranges comparison.

          • Pablo Jones

            There is a reason people switched from trains. Trains are linear. They will take you where ever you want to go, as long as the train tracks go there.

            You are right it isn’t an apples to apples comparison. Trains don’t serve the purpose of Americans and are out dated in this country. There is a reason they languished behind while roads flourished. They don’t work with the American lifestyle. The majority of people don’t want to take trains. You can say if, if, if, all you want but it isn’t going to change.

          • Bill Hutchison

            We’ll see about that, won’t we?

          • Ed

            Pablo, you are oversimplifying and making baseless statements. No one is asking for trains to do everything that roads do. Who are you to speak for all Americans when the FACT is that driving is on the decline and demand for rail (and transit) is surging. This is a well documented trend known by the auto industry, real estate industry and others. Who are you do say that the only transportation system Americans deserve is the car or nothing? You don’t speak for me or millions of others who want choices. You also have a very poor understanding of transportation history if you think trains died and roads flourished out of a simple choice outcome of the market. It’s more complicated. Read my post on transportation history above. Read a book called “Getting There: The Epic Struggle Between Road and Rail In the American Century” by Stephen Goddard. And, finally, cars came along in the same century as trains, but trains are outdated and cars aren’t? We still use boats to which are a far older technology. I suppose we should get rid of them too? That’s what your logic indicates if you carry it through.

          • Pablo Jones

            I minor blip of miles driven is not a decline. I’ve posted the numbers already. Rail is great for cargo, but the fact is people do have the choice of car, rail, bus, and plane, and more people choose bus, plane, and car over trains.

            Cargo boats have changed from what they used to be. Cars are more efficient and reliable than they used to be. Passenger travel unfortunately hasn’t evolved in this country like in other countries. Our high speed trains average high speeds for around 20 miles and then drop to speeds slower than a highway. Only a handful of people are asking for them. Businesses aren’t asking for them, the rail line owners aren’t pushing for it. And the majority of travelers aren’t asking for it. It isn’t generalizations it’s the truth. Show me a study that says the majority of people would take a train and the increased time over flying for their travel needs.

          • Ed

            The station project isn’t about just long distance trains. It’s about one thing that needs to be done to prep the Chicago-Cleveland corridor for expanded, multi-frequency corridor service (station improvements). This corridor was part of the Ohio Hub plan for 8 high performance rail corridors throughout the state to connect Ohio’s major cities and Ohio with surrounding states. The economic payback would be more than twice its cost. It was studied extensively under the Taft administration.

          • Pablo Jones

            High performance rail corridor to like Cleveland to Cincinnati with a rail service that will take 8 hours vs. a 3-4 hour drive. What businesses are asking for this type of rail service and how much do they anticipate using it? How often are these economic studies right. The costs are almost always higher than what they projected and never take into consideration the missed opportunity costs of the projects that were denied funding to pay for them.

            Again a station improvement is cheap compared to improving rail service. Will improving the Elyria station sway any changes to rail service? Remember Elyria is only 6,000 people per year. Whether they have a new station or no station it won’t change anything.

          • SniperFire

            ‘the train line that runs thru elyria lost 37million dollar for 2012.’ Which would be $5650 per passenger ticket. But people like Brinda think this is a viable way to invest tax dollars. And she will probably be re-elected.

          • Bill Hutchison

            The train actually lost $5 million, so you’ll have to recalculate.

          • Toad

            any loss is not good. if people wanted to ride the train it would make mony. if they cant make money they should be out of business like other companies

            people use roads and we dont make them pay. roads are needed and trains are not. can’t compare roads to trains since everyone uses roads

            all i am saying is this is not a solution to elyria growing. u canb love trains but must admit this is not gonna save elyria

            has to be a reason for people to come here and spend their money. they can get here by car and bus but do not come. y would a train all of sudden make people want to be here.

          • Akshai Singh

            “any loss is not good”

            so stop building highways.

          • Pablo Jones

            The net economy benefit is a gain not a loss. If all passenger train traffic stopped in the state of Ohio what would be the economic impact? Very little. Close down the highways and what would be the economic impact? It would be significant crippling the economy.

          • Akshai Singh

            The point is about where you put future investments. We have built out our road network to the point of deterioration, and inability to keep up with maintenance.

          • Pablo Jones

            People complain about the roads and their condition, but compared to most countries in the world our roads are in great shape. Sure you can find some highways here and there in other countries that are better than ours but when you compare all their roads they are way behind us.

          • Akshai Singh

            Yea, local roads in Cleveland look like local roads in India. So…

          • Toad

            do u make $ off rail roads

          • Akshai Singh

            I’d like to. I don’t right now. :)

          • Bill Hutchison

            That’s because we have spent nearly all of our transportation dollars on highways and little else in Ohio.

          • Pablo Jones

            Because rail lines don’t need money for their lines, they make money off their cargo. We spend more money on roads because that is what people use, not rail. Cost per passenger mile is less for roads than rail.

          • Ed

            Only because our current passenger rail system is under-built, under-capitalized and therefore unable to reach its economies of scale. And, highway economics are deteriorating as driving declines, that’s why we are bailing out the highway trust fund and why Governor Kasich wants to further subsidize highways with his $1.89 billion bond issue.

          • Pablo Jones

            Road use is a few percentage points of it’s all time high. And it is a sure bet that it will be at another all time high in 5 years and 10 years. You can double the rail system for the next 20 years and it still won’t make a difference. Pointing to the poor and elderly that want options does not make rail a viable option.

            What percentage of business people will use rail if it were expanded spending a day or more on a trail?

            What percentage of vacationers want to spend a day or more traveling to and from their vacation destination?

            Until those numbers get above 20% rail doesn’t stand a chance.

          • Toad

            you must be making a living off trains or something. exactly how will this train help elyria. this is the discussion. will it bring $ into a dying city and how

          • Ed

            Develop a high-performance rail corridor between Cleveland and Chicago and Cleveland-Buffalo-Toronto and development will come to places like Elyria. More than a dozen other states have done this successfully already and they are reaping an economic payback that exceeds the cost. It would have happened with the Ohio Hub too. The Taft administration had the ORDC study the Ohio Hub to death to make sure.

      • Pablo Jones

        But what was the cost of the station? $500,000?

        • Bill Hutchison

          Yes, and we routinely pay far greater sums for other transportation infrastructure…all on the taxpayer dime.

          • Pablo Jones

            Cost per passenger mile is much less for roads and highways than trains.

          • Akshai Singh

            Try again.

          • Toad

            i think you are a car hater and make $ off trains. is this true

          • Akshai Singh

            Not entirely, I also advocate for people with disabilities who don’t have the ability to drive, and for those whose incomes prohibit them from owning or operating a car. This includes students, for example, who have been especially hurt since Lorain County Transit got gutted by the Great Recession (and extremely low state support for public transportation).

          • Toad

            do u make $ off your position on trains. yes or no

          • Ed

            Do you make $ off of roads in some way?

          • Pablo Jones

            If people want a car they can own a car. Funny how a kid in high school can work minimum wage part time and still afford a car. What about poor people that want a surf and turf dinner but are too poor to buy one, should we give them money for that as well?

            Besides it is a moot point anyway. If they want to ride a train they still can they just have to wake up at 3 am to catch it in Elyria.

      • Pablo Jones

        Even with that increase from 2008 Elyria is still the 2nd lowest volume stop in Ohio. The top 2 sites are above 50,000

        • Bill Hutchison

          What? Cleveland and Toledo?

  • bigmacky

    wasn’t that building on east ave being renovated for the last umpteen years to act as a “critical” hub for Elyria’s growth? and midway mall is on life support – many people have commented that they would rather spend their dollars at strongsville or great northern than deal with the low life thug types of midway

    • Tom

      Good point. Make the train go to Strongsville so people don’t have to shop at Midway.

  • GreatRedeemer

    I’m not sure if providing more ways for people to leave the
    city and spend their money elsewhere is going to be an economic benefit. You
    need some reason for people to come here and spend their money in Lorain
    county.

  • Toad

    a train to no where. that is where it takes u if it comes to elyria

    • Bill Hutchison

      A train to Washington DC or Chicago is NOT a train to nowhere.

      • Toad

        it may take people from elyria but not bringing them here where they will spend money and help the city. they may pass through but until they stay what are they spending here. people will not ride a train because they want to visit elyria

        • Bill Hutchison

          Sooo…no one would EVER come to Elyia by train to visit relatives, do business, etc???

          • Toad

            no business here. u obviously do not live in elyria

          • Pablo Jones

            They can come by bus, car, train, or plane now. But they aren’t. How will building a new train station change that?

          • Ed

            Look at how other rail corridors work and the development they spawn. With the 3C corridor, Forest City Enterprises was ready to invest something like $120 million in development around the proposed station in Dayton alone. Tax Increment Financing (TIFs) from such projects could have paid the operating subsidy, therefore not taking anything from ODOT.

          • Pablo Jones

            To people not familiar with construction projects $120 million seems like a lot. But it really isn’t. It would be 3-10 buildings depending on how much infrastructure is in place. That amount of building is currently going on in dozens of locations around the state, namely near highways.

  • Larry

    I feel we should be looking at a possible extension of RTA service in Cleveland. Many people in the area work in the Cleveland area and this would save gas and time for many.

    • Ed

      This is also a good idea. But expanding intercity rail services would also help Elyria immensely by attracting jobs, development and residents. Downtown living has become more desirable than suburban living. Being an older city built around a railroad line in the first place means Elyria is ideally situated for a resurgence in rail service.

  • Lacy Ackerman

    every city has to start from somewhere. I believe we’re at our low. if this train can spark some interest with the combination of maybe a business or restaurant that is only available in Elyria, this would start growth. with growth comes property value increase and job production. this forces the riff raff as you call it out, and travelers in. the last option for anything is to just give up. isn’t that about the most un-American thing someone can do? look at Detroit. that’s what happens when it becomes abandoned. I, for one, am tired of seeing ghost cities. we can rebuild, we just need some faith and elbow grease. go Elyria!

  • Phil Seguin

    It seems like another not well thought out idea to me – just like hiring firemen that the City can’t afford to keep with a Federal grant. The reality is that most people don’t use Amtrak. I think an Outlet Mall moving into Midway would be a good thing. I also think focusing on the downtown area as a professional services hub might be possible. Elyria should try and get funding for a north/south connecting road from SR 20 to SR 2 with close access to downtown and the Midway Mall area.

    • Mark B

      Or paying the sanitation truck drivers who only work a half a day a full days pay , and then pay them overtime when they come back in after 4 to plow roads and pick up leaves .

  • Pablo Jones

    How will a train that stops at 3am help improve the city? Businessmen are not going to take a red-eye train for work. Maybe if there were trains departing at 5 or 6 pm and arriving around 7-9 am it might help bring businesses in. But again if people are arriving at 7-9 am that means they were on the train all night, highly unlikely. So maybe a train that arrives between 10-noon.

    Once they arrive in Downtown Elyria, then what? Hop on a bus? What businesses are downtown?

    Here is an idea, lets get a grant to buy lottery tickets. If the city wins then they could start to improve the city. That makes as much sense as counting on trains to revitalize the city.

    • Toad

      if the plan to help elyria is all bout a train stopping here it is over 4 this city. she brags bout an old restarant vein torned down as a big deal for the city

      if this is all she got it may be time for a new mayor

      • Toad

        she so stupid she has to be a republikan

    • Naomi Kropp

      Amtrak is not a commuter train, its taken by people who are traveling long distances, that’s why it works at 4am-6am

      • Pablo Jones

        I know it is for long distance routes. She said this will help bring businesses into town. Businessmen (traveling for business) will not use a train that arrives at 3am. So how will the passenger train bring business into town? Maybe a 24 coffee shop will benefit from it but that will not revitalize the downtown area.

        • Bill Hutchison

          Just because the current train is at 3 am does not mean this will always be the case. There may be day service that is a fast and convenient alternative to driving one day and Elyia is smart to prepare.

          • Pablo Jones

            There already is a station here and it hasn’t brought in day time routes. Toledo serves over 60,000 and they don’t have a day time route. As you said the end points are Chicago and DC. They won’t inconvenience those routes for Elyria.

          • Bill Hutchison

            The Cleveland-Toledo-Chicago route is already a federally designated corridor eligible for funding for added service. The Capitol Limited will probably remain on its schedule, but at some point there could be additional frequencies operating during daytime hours. By building the station, Elyria will be ready for that eventuality.

            BTW, the old station was a double with prefab building that fell into a state of disrepair. It needed to be replaced.

          • Pablo Jones

            Will a new station make that possible for a new route? No it won’t. No one is looking and saying we want to add an extra route, but there is one thing holding us back. Elyria and their 6,000 passengers a year don’t have a new train station.

    • Mark B

      Build a motel downtown so that those who get off the train can get a room …
      HAHAHAH

    • Ed

      It’s about making incremental improvements to infrastructure so more and faster trains can be added. Read about the Downeaster Corridor in Maine, then you’ll understand.

      • Pablo Jones

        Amtrak doesn’t own the rail line. And there is no money to make on improving the line for passengers. The money is in cargo. And again, business people will not choose to take a train that stops at 3 am.

        • Akshai Singh

          ODOT has the money, it’s about them spending on rail, and not $3b from turnpike-backed debt on new highways.

          • Pablo Jones

            Let the people decide. Do they want their tax dollars going towards transportation they rarely or never use or towards highways that they use all the time? It is a clear choice they want roads not rails.

            Look railroads are nice. It’s been a while since I road a train in the US (looked into it a few years ago but canceled my trip), but I’ve used them in Europe and Japan. They are nice and you get to see the country. But when I go to Denver or other parts of the country for work I want to be home in under 6 hours not 3 days. And that is how most people are.

          • Akshai Singh

            Yea, so when you lose a major airline hub at your nearest local airport, perhaps it’s smarter to invest in rail to make regional trips that are never going to be available again by flight.

          • Pablo Jones

            If there is a demand there will be flights. And if it is within 4 hours drive there are highways. A flight from Cleveland to Cincinnati 3 hours counting the time at the airport. Cleveland to Cincinnati driving 3-4 hours. Amtrak Cleveland to Cincinnati 14-16 hours on train with a 8-9 hour layover.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Who pays for airports? Air traffic controllers? Taxpayers. And still United folded its tent. A flight from Cleveland to Cincinnati can be $500.

          • Pablo Jones

            Is it for all these other people or is it for you? The money should be spent where it does the greatest good for the community and the state. A rail station for 6,000 people does nothing for the economy. I bet more than 6,000 people fly out of Cleveland in the first 3 hours of the day. There is also the millions of dollars in business revenue and wages associated with the airport. How many jobs has the Elyria train station generated? A part time cleaning job for a couple hours a week?

            Again whether people drive or not, they benefit from the roads.

          • Ed

            Expaned service will bring a lot more riders. You’re not building a station just for current riders, but thinking long term about improving service and attracting more riders. The demand is there. ORDC studied the Ohio Hub to death to be sure. Again, look at all the other successful rail corridors around the country.

          • Pablo Jones

            Define a successful rail corridor. What metrics are you using.

            I don’t doubt you would see some growth in riders if there was a train or two that stopped between 9 am and 5 pm. But let’s be honest the stop in Elyria isn’t going to go from 16 riders to 160 riders a day. $3 million for station improvements spread over 10 years is $300,000 a year. Even if volume increased to 20,000 riders a year are they on average going to contribute $15 dollars in economic activity in the area to cover it? It doesn’t seem like much, but again there are hardly any businesses in the area for them to spend the money and it isn’t enough money to bring business in.

          • Ed

            Not necessarily. Airlines economics simply don’t favor short-haul routes. They never have.

          • Bill Hutchison

            We never vote for highways. That choice was made for us by Congress when they established federal aid for highways, starting in 1916 and then with the establishment of the Highway Trust Fund and the Interstate Highway System in 1956. Ever since then, road funding has flowed without Congressional oversight or public votes.

            By contrast, Amtrak is subject to yearly funding battles through the vagaries of the Congressional appropriations process. Various presidents and Congressfolk have tried to kill Amtrak over the years but it has managed to survive…but little more than that. It’s network is about the same size as it was in 1971, when it was created.

            Transit? Usually subect to voter referendum, which invites NIMBY opposition and even paid anti transit hit men to try to stop same. Cincinati has had to go to the ballot box twice because of Tea Party opposition.

          • Pablo Jones

            Life is hard and isn’t fair. You have to fight for the things you want. And you are on the losing end of passenger rail. People don’t complain about taxes going towards the highway because they like them and don’t mind spending money on them. People take the turnpike and are willing to pay for it and completely fund it without tax payer money. The same can’t be said about passenger rail.

          • Bill Hutchison

            If you say so it must be true. I bow to your wisdumb.

          • Ed

            There have been many, many polls taken over the years and they all say that a majority of Americans would like a good rail system. Try again.

          • Pablo Jones

            And there have been many a polls that those same people when asked if they want taxes raised to pay for it they say no and when asked how often they think they will use it they say not often.

            Just like the polls on minimum wage, do you think people that earn minimum wage (less than 3% or workers) should earn more, people say yes. But you ask if they are willing to pay more money for everything the buy to cover paying higher minimum wage and their answers change.

            What people like and what they are willing to pay for are two different things.

          • davidlubic

            I wonder what Pablo thinks of the streetcar line in Cincinnati. Been voted on and passed at least twice by the people there, but a mayor and pro-car groups keep trying to kill it. Looks like it will get completed and start operations, though–was too far along for the anti-rail groups to kill it. We’ll see if its operation is popular enough to get it expanded in a few years.

          • Toad

            People are not anti-rail, they are anti-tax and spend!!

            The government has proven they cannot manage our money, but we are again asked to give them more.

            If Cincy can pay for the rail system through fares and support itself, then I am sure public opinion will favor expansion of the program. Only time will tell. I suggest we use it as a model and evaluate its success before we spend any more tax dollars on other programs.

            I think that is fair.

          • Ed

            And the highway trust fund is going broke, ODOT is going broke, other state DOT’s are going broke. How much are YOU willing to pay to drive?

          • Pablo Jones

            Everyone wants something when they think it is free. Raise the cost of the fare to a price that will cover the cost and ask the people if they would pay it. They wouldn’t because it would cost too much. In Toledo people say how great the bus system is and how affordable it is. But breaking down the cost per ride from the tax dollars and it costs over $15 per trip.

            If I new you personally I would bet that the Cincinnati project will a big failure that costs more than they planned that it would.

          • Ed

            People are already deciding as driving is declining and demand for what little rail service we have is surging. Wherever a well-planned intercity rail corridor goes in, people ride in droves. The demand is there. It’s well documented.

          • Pablo Jones

            I’ve already shown the numbers, driving has increased in Ohio not gone down. And at the national level it is still near the all time high and has increased from the dip caused by the recession and $4 gas.

        • Ed

          There is no money being made on highways or airports either, in fact, they both lose lots of money, but you’re ok with that. Come up with a better argument. Again, improving the station and others along the route is one of the things that has happen before frequencies can be added.

          • Pablo Jones

            Economic growth is stimulated by highway access. Drive down the highway and where is the economic activity? By almost every single exit. Look at the train stops and there isn’t close to the volume of activity and the activity you see there was there in the first place which is why the stations are built at those locations.

            Find me 3 businesses that will commit to coming to Elyria if the station is improved? Find me 3 businesses that would come to Elyria if there were more trains coming through.

    • Ed

      The idea is to improve the stations, then improve the track so northern Ohio can have daylight service on multiple frequencies.

      • Pablo Jones

        The service is limited by the schedule at the main destination cities, Chicago, DC and NY. A route that serves Elyria in the day does not serve them and therefore it won’t happen.

    • Bill Hutchison

      Pablo we have to start somewhere. Building this station makes it possible for Elyria to be served by daytime trains when they start running. Otherwise, they will pass you by.

      • Pablo Jones

        When are they going to start running? Will they do it for 6,000 passengers of Elyria? Will they do it is we build a better station? No they won’t.

  • SniperFire

    “mayor says rail depot key to city’s growth”

    And I say she wouldn’t know a key to economic growth if it bit her in the ….

    How do these idiots get elected?

    • John Boy

      I would think a growing company that would create jobs would show more economic impact that a train, but I guess that is why I’m not the Mayor of Elyria.

      • Ed

        And it’s a good thing your not the mayor, because you don’t understand how transportation enhancements increase development and jobs. Improving the station is just the first step toward more train service. It will take more than just improving one station to make it happen, but it works best to start with the low-hanging fruit first.

        • John Boy

          I guess the Ohio Turnpike and the Interstate System are not good enough transportation systems for you. If you think the Train terminal will work why not build a passenger terminal at the Lorain County Airport you could have another transportation enhancement there as well, that might be some more low hanging fruit.

          • Ed

            Actually, I just recognize that driving is declining and train and transit ridership is surging. People want trains and the proof is in all the state-initiated corridors in more than a dozen states that have all seen ridership beyond expectations. There is a demand shift underway that needs a response. The two niches best served by trains is downtown to downtown service and intermodal connections with major airports, not little airports that have no common-carrier service. It’s good that you are starting to broaden your thinking, though. Thank you for that. Cheers.

          • John Boy

            Maybe if you were the destination it might make a little more sense, but I doubt very seriously if Elyria would be a destination of choice. How would having a terminal change this?
            The travel industry in the US has been built around air travel. It fairly reasonably priced, fast, convenient (granted it’s getting worse) and for the most part can take you anywhere you would like to go. Compare the price and time for a train to take you just to Chicago compared to an airline ticket and the train loses. If the US invested in faster service maybe this could change, but this is the cart before the horse.

          • Ed

            Look at all the successful rail corridors in other states. This isn’t a new concept. It has a proven track record.

          • John Boy

            What is your definition of the word successful? I would guess it has something to do with large government subsidies.

          • Pablo Jones

            Drive always goes down and mass transit improves when the economy declines. When the economy improves the numbers switch.

          • Akshai Singh

            Population adjusted VMT has been going down for over a decade.

          • davidlubic

            Not happening this time. Economy is improving, and driving is still declining. Decline started something like five years before the recession, too.

            At the same time, Amtrak’s ridership has been going up in the same period. Cost recovery is improving, too, while the cost recovery for highways has been going down.

            We are seeing that demand shift.

          • Toad

            Cost recovery is declining in part due to cars getting higher MPG, less gas used, less taxes paid.

            Fact is, roads are here to stay. Like it or not. Can rail co-exist with cars? Yes, but not in Elyria which is what this discussion is all about. It is not a debate on cars vs. trains, but whether or not this plan was good for the city of Elyria.

            People who live here say no. They know best, it is their city.

            I realize you only want to help, but take it somewhere else. Elyria is not a good location to sell your story. Pick a town where it makes sense.

          • davidlubic

            I will respectfully agree on part of this, and respectfully disagree on another part.

            The bit about gas mileage improving and hurting road revenue is true; it’s been happening since the 1980s, when four cylinder cars became more common because of gas spikes even then (I have highway department financial reports that mention this from that time) People are also choosing to drive less (only about one-third of young people at 16 are getting licenses today, and many never want to own a car). In spite of these things even I don’t think roads are going away–but I also recognize we need a new road revenue program, one that isn’t tied to fuel consumption. Otherwise, you can’t get anything from alternative energy cars, like electrics or even natural gas cars.

            As to trains for small places like Elyria, you’re going to need them sooner or later. I don’t see electric cars totally replacing gas cars despite the best efforts of Elon Musk, and eventually we will have to get off the oil diet for transportation. I regard this as a national security issue–which means at some point, we won’t be able to afford to use cars the way we do today. That means you’re going to need trains to get from Elyria to someplace else, just like the old days.

            We should just admit the days of “Happy Motoring,” exemplified by movies like “Hot Rod Girl” and “American Graffiti,” are as much a part of the past as steam locomotives (which I happen to like, too.)

          • Toad

            I agree oil dependency is a national security issue. I never said anything about electric cars; but readily available sources of North American oil and the massive amounts of natural gas. I believe many metro area buses etc. actually run on clean burning natural gas.

            So we do have alternatives to hydrocarbons we are now held hostage to by foreign, and often hostile countries, outside of NA.

            We can stop our dependence on foreign oil with a single strike of the pen, however we are more concerned about some caribou, than our future.

            I really think this is all about the elimination of fossil fuels to “save” the environment. Singh works with the Sierra club, we all know what motivates them.

            Maybe you should stay out of Elyria and spend your time helping the coal workers in your state of West Virginia. At least they need trains down there to haul their filthy, environment destroying coal.

            So what is your real motivation here? I hardly think it is helping to save the city of Elyria, which is what this discussion is about.

          • davidlubic

            Real motive–promoting trains, which I happen to like, and which I think will be essential when the day comes–and I think it’s coming–that we won’t be able to use cars as we do now.

            And your reference to the Arctic Wildlife Refuge is rubbish. My complaint about it is that if we were to rely entirely on that source (which in reality we wouldn’t), we would go through it in about six months.

            In other words, it’s too small to make much difference. Need to start looking at different things.

          • Ed

            Yes, roads and trains can co-exist in Elyria. Get out of your bubble and look at what’s happening in more than a dozen other states.

          • Pablo Jones

            Here are the road miles driven in Ohio and national
            1995 100.7 million 2,422 billion
            2000 105.9 million 2,767 billion
            2007 110.6 million 3,049 billion
            2008 108.3 million 2,992 billion
            2009 110.6 million 2,976 billion
            2010 111.8 million 2,985 billion
            2011 111.9 million 2,965 billion

            Ohio’s miles are at record levels and the national level is near the peak of what it was prior to the downturn and heading back up.

          • Toad

            Please , don’t confuse them with facts.

          • Pablo Jones

            Miles driven in Ohio has gone up since 1995. The total miles driven in the US is only a fraction below the peak in 2006 or 07 and has been going back up.

          • Ed

            The evidence clearly shows that it’s a lot more than just the economy. Do some research and you’ll find this out for yourself. It’s to the point where Ford has even made the statement not to expect that Ford will always be in the car business.

          • Pablo Jones

            No you are making the statement you show me a place where the economy improves and the driving miles or car ownership goes down. Even in China as their fortunes increased they went from bikes, to mopeds, to cars.

          • Phil Seguin

            Please refer us to a single profitable mass transit entity in the US. Please refer us to a report where all these places with “ridership beyond expectations” are making the taxpayers who fund them money.

          • Pablo Jones

            I think they have 1 maybe 2 routes that actually made money (not a lot). The one is a college town in Virginia with nothing near by but is an hour train ride to DC. That one segment made money and they use it to justify spreading rails across the country. But Elyria doesn’t have a college attended by people from all over and it doesn’t a big destination city within an hour. Most places don’t.

          • davidlubic

            Point out a highway that makes money. Ask if the road system is actually profitable.

            Interestingly, if we are talking about subsidy levels, Amtrak’s cost recovery is better than the road system. The road system has a cost recovery of a bit over 50% if you take out the diversions. Amtrak’s cost recover (operations only) is 88%.

          • Ed

            Please refer us to a profitable highway system in the US.

          • Ed

            There is plenty of evidence about the Downeaster and other corridors you can easily find it yourself.

          • Bill Hutchison

            John Boy what about people who can’t drive or don’t want to drive? Low wage workers, disabled people, seniors and others need choices.

          • Pablo Jones

            Spending millions to service the poor does not bring business into a community. If they are poor they really aren’t doing anything to improve the area. If they want to go on vacation the tax payers should subsidize them they should get a better job.

          • John Boy

            If you are a low wage worker I would imagine you would look for the most economical way, which isn’t the train. Look at Megabus from Cleveland to Chicago 1/2 (or less) the cost of the train. If I was concerned about the fare I would look at this option. Another amazing fact it gets you to the same station as the train and it’s faster.

        • Phil Seguin

          Ed, in the interest of full disclosure what do you do and what is your connection to the City and the proposed project? The free market has no interest in this – that is the reality. Government is very interested because it is a typical government project with potential for unlimited waste and cronyism. I’m curious why you are such a supporter. Would you back this with your personal dollars?

  • stop ur whining part deux

    The return of Amtrak will help dig elyria out of the sewer? Yea, that will work. Lets bank on a company that is not financially solvent itself to help bail out elyria. If any of you believe that…I will tell you another one. haha.

  • Jason Bennett

    In actual numbers, that an increase from 3,426 in 2008 to 6,548 in 2013. There’s talk of developing routes that would come through Ohio during daytime hours and one factor that matters in that discussion is whether the cities on that route support passenger rail. Better stations in more central locations are a way of supporting such efforts.

    • SniperFire

      So they increased from 9 riders a day to 17. To Brinda, this is a ‘most remarkable jump. Hilarious. I repeat. Who elects these brazen idiots?

      • Pablo Jones

        Keep in mind, half of those riders are leaving town. Maybe more, we don’t know if they are coming back.

        Maybe they figure the roads have so many pot holes we need trains to get people out.

        • Mark B

          Not to mention that those who are riding Amtrak is because they can not afford a car or a Buss or Airline ticket so those on the train really have no money to spend in Elyria.

          • Ed

            Not true. Go ride some trains in successful intercity corridors– the Downeaster, Missouri RiverRunners, Cascade Corridor, The Carolinian in North Carolina, etc. then come back and try to tell us all that everyone who rides trains is poor.

          • Mark B

            Those places dont have the same demographics of Elyria.

          • davidlubic

            I don’t know. North Carolina is pretty rural, as are parts of Virgina headed towards Norfolk and Lynchburg.

            These comments remind me of the people who say the US population density is too low to support rail. I would note that population density is not always the same as travel density. Otherwise, why build Interstate highways (and the railroads before them) across the plains of the Dakotas and the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico?

          • Ed

            Actually, Ohio is more densely populated than either. The demographics in Ohio are better.

          • Pablo Jones

            That is like saying go to walstreet and look at all the business people getting out of the subway, therefore Elyria should put in a subway.

          • SniperFire

            That is his ‘logic’ throughout the thread.

          • Phil Seguin

            http://www.kmov.com/news/local/Amtrak-route-to-St-Louis-in-jeopardy-207542561.html
            Ed you have a strange definition of “successful”. The reality is that all of these lines are struggling financially and the Federal government is looking for ways to transfer the cost to States and Cities- the mayor is backing what would likely be a terrible financial drain on the City.

          • Kelvin Gray

            That is so far off from the truth. A lot of people who choose to ride the train is more so because the don’t want to drive. And the tickets aren’t always cheaper.

  • Ed

    I see a lot of criticism from people who simply don’t understand how this works. Make incremental improvements to add more trains and increase speeds, then the development follows. Improving stations–like Elyria– along the Chicago-east coast corridor is just the first step. This would allow perhaps another frequency between Chicago and the East Coast that serve Ohio during daylight hours. The trains that currently operate on this line sell out most of the year. When station improvements are done and then track capacity can be added to allow faster corridor service with multiple daily departures between Cleveland and Chicago. Other states are reaping significant economic benefits and development from corridor trains. A few examples: the Downeaster between Portland, ME and Boston, the River Runner trains in Missouri, multiple Amtrak corridors out of Chicago, just to name a few. The experience in other states is that the economic development that results from investments in passenger rail exceed the cost. But these things start one step at the time beginning with the low-hanging fruit– in this case, that’s station improvements.

    • Mark B

      I am not sure about other ares , but in this area Amtrak does not own any Rail Lines , they run their trains on NS and other rail line tracks and those tracks are not build for high speed passenger trains , they are build for hauling cargo. Now unless Amtrak is going to purchase property and build new high speed tracks then the speeds are not likely to change in our life times. The current tracks are surving the cargo trains just fine the way they are and they are not going to rebuild the entire line just for Amtrak.

    • Phil Seguin

      If by “other states are reaping significant economic benefits” you mean that they are facing HUGE tax burdens to keep these dogs afloat then yes you are correct.

  • Jason M. Schmidt

    She must be crazy to believe that this could jump start revitalization of downtown. Foot traffic from passengers?! Elyria and Lorain County will continue to be in a state of decline until we stop making stupid decisions. Thankfully, I won’t have wait around for that as I’m moving to SC in the Fall.

    • Ed

      Learn before you speak. Trains are revitalizing downtowns in more than a dozen states that have intercity passenger rail corridors. It works. The proof is out there.

      • Jason M. Schmidt

        Ed, you go ahead and cling to this misplaced hope. This project will not be the savior of Elyria.

        • Ed

          No single project will be Elyria’s savior. But a combination of good projects will. Expanding rail service is one such good project because it has a proven track record. So, you go ahead and stick with your misplaced cynicism and your lack of understanding of what’s going on in the transportation world.

          • Mark B

            Elyria and Lorain county cant even make the county busses work , there is not even a taxi service strictly for Elyria . Why ?
            Because there is just not enough need for it or the last couple of cab companies would of thrived here .

      • Toad

        so if a man rides a train to elyria what are they going to do here. there is no shoping. no big business. no where to walk to. only bars. they will just stay on the train and go to cleveland or some place else where there is some thing to do. cleveland is close enough to elyria with a lot goin on

        trying to understand how this will help the city

        • Bill Hutchison

          Look at it this way: A person living in Elyia could take the train to a nearby city for business or pleasure and benefit from Elyria’s low cost of housing and small city feel. And they don’t have to submit themselves to TSA searches at the airport.

          • Pablo Jones

            Are you from Elyria? Small city feel and low cost housing? You don’t get the real picture of a city just reading demographics. No one will take the train to Cleveland. They tried it with a bus route and it failed or is failing if it is still running.

          • Phil Seguin

            Until the TSA decides they want to start molesting Amtrak passengers…http://blog.tsa.gov/2011/02/screening-of-passengers-at-savannah.html

        • davidlubic

          One thing that stands out is that we have multiple posters saying their Elyria wouldn’t make a good destination for passengers because it has nothing but bars and tattoo parlors. Someone suggests a railroad station as part of what is needed to bring the town out of the doldrums and all they get is criticism from the same people who are complaining there is nothing there but bars and tattoo parlors. If I didn’t think better, I would think these people want the town to be just bars and tattoo parlors because they like to complain.

          If that’s what does make up the senior leadership of the citizens of Elyria, then I would guess the local young people may not want to stay there. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was a problem for the town. It’s a pretty common thing in the “rust belt.”

          Oh, I know a little about that, being originally from a steel town just across the river from Ohio. Seen it first hand.

      • Jason M. Schmidt

        Give me an example city.

      • Pablo Jones

        Which ones are like Elyria? There is no college here and only a small portion of businesses do business in the destination cities. And those that do are flying.

      • Phil Seguin

        The only proof I am seeing is that all of the lines are struggling and the various governments are fighting over who should get stuck funding them – come on Ed tell us what your interest here is – do you work for Mayor Brinda or do you own land they are going to buy?

    • Bill Hutchison

      Would you prefer that she did nothing?

      • Jason M. Schmidt

        I’d prefer that she didn’t pursue this. People getting off and on those trains are residents, not tourists. There is nothing touristy here. Therefore, people are not going to hop off the train and start dining and shopping downtown.

        She’s going to need community support and private dollars to revitalize the downtown area. Frankly, I don’t see it happening. The area just doesn’t have the income to support revitalization.

        • Steve Porter

          that is most likely incorrect. More demographic groups are relaying less on autos and shunning ownership more. Transit systems will connect the smaller communities to larger cities and transport non-driving tourists, which are increasing in number.

      • Phil Seguin

        The government that governs least governs best. I would certainly prefer she do nothing than commit to something that will cost taxpayers money for very questionable benefit.

        • Bill Hutchison

          Fine. Would you like for highways to be totally self-supporting? A subsidy is a subsidy.

          • Pablo Jones

            Yes. Amtrak pays for itself and leaves the gas tax alone.

          • Phil Seguin

            Well Bill the highways ARE in fact self funding – users pay for them with a gas tax. The users fund them. That is not the case with mass transit systems.

          • davidlubic

            Nope–highways are subsidized at a rate that approaches 50 cents per gallon, based on cash flow accounting. That would make gasoline over $4 per gallon.

            I remember gas at $4 per gallon some years back. It may not have been the most important cause of the recession (overextended housing and other things were and are still the most serious problem), but that pricey gas was the gust of wind that blew the whole house of cards down.

          • Toad

            Then build the Keystone pipeline, allow fracking to run cars on clean natural gas and drilling on federal lands.

            This is the solution to gas prices and energy independence, not windmills.

          • davidlubic

            Nope, wrong again. The problem is that oil is a commodity on an international market.

            It’s like wheat. A flour mill in, say Buffalo, orders 5,000 tons of wheat. It may place the order through a brokerage house in Chicago or St. Louis or Kansas City to deliver the wheat at whatever the market price is on the day of the order. The wheat itself–and 5,000 tons is about 50 railroad cars–could come from Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, the Dakotas, or wherever, and may even be coming from several places–and it’s all at the same price, because it all goes through the same market.

            The same applies to oil, which is in an international market. What that means is that we bid against the Chinese, the nations of Africa, Japan, and everywhere else for our own oil, even if our own oil never leaves the country.

            The Keystone pipeline will actually make matters worse; it will allow oil that has to terminate in the United States in the Midwest to travel to New Orleans, where it can be loaded on ships for export. That means that any discount the Midwest now has–and it does have a small one–will disappear as the oil goes to the highest bidders, who may well be elsewhere.

            It’s another reason we simply have to get off the stuff–in Elyria, Oh., in Saranac Lake, New York, in Martinsburg, W.Va., in Yermo, Ca., in Orbisonia, Pa., in everywhere.

            Oh, and one other thing–what did I say about windmills? Did I say anything about windmills at all? So, why did you say something?

          • Toad

            Then let’s be sellers of oil on the international markets, not buyers.

            Better idea yet. Lets keep it for ourselves. Do you really think that domestic fuel sources will drive the price go fuel up for Americans?

            One the markets know that the U.S. is serious about producing their own sources of fuel, the prices worldwide will plummet. The speculators will drop out in anticipation of a “glut” of product and the loss of the U.S. as an international customer.

            Be honest here. It is all about hydrocarbon use and the impact it has on the environment. Right?

            Cars run fine on natural gas, as do buses. In fact, our garbage trucks use it currently in Ohio. There is enough natural gas to last for generations. Do you oppose fracking?

          • davidlubic

            I haven’t actually formed an opinion on fracking. I will say there seem to be too many people working too fast and too careless in the field. There have already been problems with contaminated wells, roads broken up by overweight trucks in gas drilling service, and other problems.

            As to “hydrocarbon use,” yes, we are going to have to get off it sooner or later. There’s only so much in the ground, and nature isn’t making any more, at least not at the rate we need for the way we live.

            This is the “peak oil” argument. And note, “peak oil” isn’t about totally running out of oil; it’s about running out of cheap, easy to get oil.

            Look at it this way–there was once a time when you could drill a well with a couple of West Virginia boys jumping up and down on a rig to get to an oil deposit (yes, we have oil in West Virginia, too). Can’t to that today, whatever you need is too far down.

            Or look at the offshore rigs. They’ve gotten a lot of bad press because of accidents or pollution, but I also see heroic efforts with technology that NASA would be proud of. It’s also technology and effort that no small wildcatter could ever match. In other words, it takes a lot of money and effort to get that oil out of the ground–a lot more than the old days. Such heroic and expensive efforts tell us the easy and cheap oil is gone. What’s left is hard and expensive.

            Time to find another way, while we can. And the trick will be, how do we do this and still have a high-quality way of life that’s still affordable and sustainable?

            I would argue that trains are a part of that.

          • Phil Seguin

            based on cash flow accounting…lol.

          • davidlubic

            Actually it gets worse with full cost accounting. Then you start factoring in things like deferred maintenance, congestion problems, additional costs such as unrecovered accident costs, and so on. Cash flow happens to be from a financial report I can easily get from the federal DOT.

            With cash flow accounting, you have a subsidy that works out to about 50 cents per gallon. Factor in deferred maintenance and some other things, and not even including a share of the defense budget which some others work in, and you are essentially underpricing gasoline by at least $1 per gallon. And I’m conservative in this–others put the real cost much higher.

  • Andrew Fowl

    Welcome to the 1930′s…

    • Ed

      The automobile has been around since the late 1800s. Does that mean we should ignore our highways too?

    • Bill Hutchison

      No, welcome to what is happening around the country NOW. Just because you have not seen this does not mean the idea has no merit. Open your eyes.

      • Phil Seguin

        Bill – spend all of YOUR money that you want on this but please keep your hands off of MY money.

        • Bill Hutchison

          Then stop using MY money to build your roads.

          • Pablo Jones

            You use the roads as much as everyone else.

          • Akshai Singh

            Not by choice…

          • Pablo Jones

            Not by choice? Do you buy goods in stores? If so that is your choice. You have the choice to go old school, grow your own food and make your own goods, but your choice is to not do that.

          • Akshai Singh

            Unfortunately, that’s not how infrastructure works, and an individual can’t magically create a safe environment for safe walking, biking, or create public transit infrastructure. Those investments must be hashed out in the public, where we irrationally invest in roads without taking into account statistics on road usage or long-term maintenance.

          • Pablo Jones

            Ok take into account the statistics. What statistics exist for walking, biking, and public transit? What have been the actual return on investment for those projects? How many people would be served by them vs. roads.

            Again you can choose to live off the grid if you don’t want to support roads or use them.

          • Akshai Singh
          • Phil Seguin

            Bill you are clearly ignorant about how roads are funded. If you don’t want to fund them don’t drive – it is that simple. You can’t say the same for rail.

    • Steve Porter

      Welcome to the 2030′s. The world is changing. Communities are becoming more pedestrian in composition. Millennials and other demographic groups are relaying less on autos and shunning ownership more. Transit systems will connect the smaller communities and larger cities.

      • Phil Seguin

        Maybe Liberal fantasy world is changing but that is not reality. The US market is mature and near full saturation but interesting how car ownership is rising so dramatically on a global scale.

        http://usa.streetsblog.org/2013/07/05/car-ownership-may-be-down-in-the-u-s-but-its-soaring-globally/

        When people have the freedom to make choices the best systems rise to the top – and its pretty clear that is not rail.

      • Toad

        i believe you want to reduce car use because of pollution. not because it will help elyria. do you like windmills too

        i also think you live far away from elyria and have never been here. have u been here. do you live here

        this is bout saving a city not the climate

        is this why you and singh are here on this board

        • Steve Porter

          I don’t want to reduce cars, basically I don’t want anything. The signs are there that less people will become car owners in the near future. Me, I am not about to give up my Titan. I might buy a Leaf but I’ll keep my truck.

          What’s not to like about windmills?

          It is about saving the climate and the City.

          • Pablo Jones

            The climate doesn’t need to be saved it will be here long after we are gone. And wind mills won’t save a city.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Wow.

          • Pablo Jones

            Oh better, which climate should be save? The ice age climate, the tropical climate, drought, floods. There has never been a fixed climate in the world, but you want one now? Who are you to say what is the optimum climate?

          • Bill Hutchison

            Double wow. Keep going…you are on a heck of a pace here. Must admit I’m impressed.

          • Toad

            What’s not to like about windmills? Besides they are horrible, unsightly looking structures which scar our landscapes.

            Would you want to build a home with a view of a field of windmills?

            Also, from a environmentalist perspective they kill millions of birds annually. Migrating flocks have been wiped out. Fly into a windmill farm, their heads come right off.

            What about nuclear power? Are you also oppose to this?

            Keystone pipeline, fracking for natural gas, more oil exploration on federal land, nuclear power. We have the solutions to our power needs, we just need to get the wackos out of our way.

          • Steve Porter

            Windmills are graceful additions to the landscape. We have Thousands of them in NY now. Never heard of any flocks being wiped out.

          • Toad

            “Graceful additions??” You cannot be serious.They are hideous looking structures.

            These are the ones the Dutch used in Holland surrounded by tulips. They are metal monstrosities. I am sure it is only a matter of time until they start selling ad space in them as well.

            What happens in years to come when they turn into towers of rust. Yes, they are metal and they do rust. I guess we can go to the taxpayers to pay for maintainence.

            They were major issues in California involving birds, including endangered species. The environmentalists were torn between their love for green energy and the life of their beloved feathered friends. I suggest you Google it.

            If you really feel they enhance the landscape, they is no sense is discussing this any further. Who are you, Helen Keller?

      • Bill Hutchison

        Steve…these people don’t get it and don’t care. They drive everywhere and that’s all they know.

        • Toad

          do u have a car.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Yes I have a car. No I don’t hate roads. No I don’t get paid to say what I do. No I am not connected with Amtrak or anyone else.

            I like my car…BUT…I don’t like to drive EVERYWHERE all the time! As I get older, I realize that long trips behind the wheel are not for me, thus I take the train or fly, depending on which works best for my needs.

            Question for you: Have you ridden Amtrak in the last few years?

          • Toad

            so u do not get paid to say what u do. is this correct

          • Bill Hutchison

            That is correct. I only speak for myself.

          • Toad

            yes from elyria to toledo. train was late and filthy.

          • Pablo Jones

            Oh so you want better choices because you don’t like to drive and we need to pay for it. Well if it is so great get some investors together and do it yourself.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Oh so you want me to pay for the roads you use and I don’t get any choices. Nice.

          • Pablo Jones

            You have lots of choices, go live in the woods, retire and don’t travel, don’t buy any goods. You have lots of options for not paying for roads. But you do use the roads so don’t act like you are paying for something you don’t use.

            Oh here is one. pay your fair share.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Pay my fair share? After you!

          • Pablo Jones

            I just did my taxes. I am paying my fair share.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Ditto!

          • Phil Seguin
          • Phil Seguin

            btw… King County Transit is another BIG loser….

            Revenues from sales tax—a major source of Metro’s funding—fell during the financial downturn that began in 2008. Since 2009, we’ve cut costs, made operations more efficient, tapped reserve funds, found new sources of revenue, and raised fares four times in four years (a total 80 percent increase). These and other actions have saved or raised $798 million, preserving most bus service between 2009 and 2013. We’re continually looking for ways to operate more efficiently.

            In 2011, the County Council passed a two-year congestion reduction charge to help bridge Metro’s funding gap and preserve service while the state legislature considers transportation funding options.

            Throughout 2012, we used our new strategic plan and service guidelines to make the transit system more productive and effective. We restructured parts of the bus system and also reinvested service hours from low-performing routes into heavily used corridors to reduce crowding on buses and improve on-time performance. Because of these changes, we’re serving more people within our available resources (for more information, see Section 4 of Metro’s 2012 Service Guidelines Report).

            To date, the legislature has not acted on new transportation funding. With both the congestion reduction charge and Alaskan Way Viaduct mitigation funding running out this June, Metro faces a shortfall of about $75 million per year beginning mid-2014. If no new funding becomes available, we must cut up to 600,000 hours of bus service beginning later this year. (The actual amount cut will depend on our financial situation when the cuts are approved.)

        • Toad

          It is not all we know, it is what we want. Sorry if we don’t “get it.”

          I love the convenience of hopping into my car to go to a meeting, being able to jump back into it to get home. No cab, or bus, needed to get me to the train terminal. No concerns about delays and missed connections, no fear of being robbed or assaulted in a train car or at the station. Just a nice comfortable drive back to the comfort of my own garage.

          You say it is all we know, but the reality is it is what we want. I for one am not willing to spend a ridiculous amount of tax money to find out if I might like something better.

      • Pablo Jones

        Until they actually start paying taxes and realize how it is being wasted.

  • Toad

    stop in elyria to spend money. they will be robbed when they leave the train and lose all there money

  • Conservator440

    Rail transportation is the technology of the nineteenth century. Ocean liner transportation is the technology of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Air travel remains the mode of long distance transit today. For a democrat, the holy grail of the future is a near two century old technology-rail. Let’s progress right into the past. Look at this issue as it is–jobs for unions who in turn back democrat candidates. The problem with government is that common sense has nothing to do with how it runs. If the private sector is run the way government is those running it would be fired or in jail. There is an election coming up–think wisely of who you select. And before you do, look to the past five years and see how well it is working.

    • Bill Hutchison

      And roads date to pre-Roman times.

      • Toad

        1 question. do u make a living off the railroad industry.

        yes or no

        • Bill Hutchison

          No. Not connected in any way, shape or form.

      • Conservator440

        Roads, sir, not rail roads. The basic building block has proved its timelessness. Railroads have proven fine for freight, bad for transportation. This isn’t Europe— yet!

  • Toad

    i think bill hutchison steve porter and singh all make $ off of trains. that is why they say it is best for elyria.

    answer is yes or no. do you?

    and have you ever been to elyria to see where the train would be stopping and the state of the city

    answer first question please. do you make $ from your position on trains

    • Bill Hutchison

      As I said before: No, I am not connected with any other entity. No one pays me anything.

      I have been to Elyria MANY times. I have seen the downtown and the station site. It has problems but it’s a place that has possibilities.

      • Toad

        my bad. i mistaked u for bill hutchison who is the president of All Aboard Ohio. they promote the building of railroads

        must be a different bill hutchison

        • Bill Hutchison

          No, I am the same Bill Hutchison and yes, I did head up All Aboard Ohio and guess what? I didn’t get a DIME for that, either! Just because I believe in something does not mean I have a hidden agenda or get paid for it. That’s right: I VOLUNTEERED my time because I believe in an Ohio where all of its people should have transportation choices. If you want to drive that’s grand, but others can’t or don’t want to. They just want a choice.

          • Pablo Jones

            They have their choices buses, planes, taxis, bikes, and even trains at 3am. The problem is you don’t like the flexibility those choices present to them. Tough.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Ohio spends $3.2 billion a year on roads and only $7 million on public transit. What “choice” does that promote?

          • Pablo Jones

            I call BS on that number. Lorain County Transit is probably at $7 million. I live in a small suburb of Toledo and they spent $3.5 million on public transit a year.

          • Bill Hutchison

            It’s in the ODOT budget. A lot of transit money comes from the feds. Other state spend FAR more on transit than Ohio. Pennsylvania spends $500 mil/yr, I believe.

            I’ll tell you something, my friend. I will not lie about things, nor will I misrepresent the facts. I prefer the truth and if I’m wrong I’ll own up to it.

            I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me but in 2011 Ohio spent something like $52 million on transit. By 2012 that amount dropped to $14 million. Last year it was $7 million. That money is mostly used as a match for federal money to buy new buses.

          • Toad

            i think bill hutchison and singh are connected. they are not from here but look for articles about trains wherever they can find them.

            when they find 1 they tell each other to go there and try to talk people into why they need one. they dont care what the needs of the city are just that they need a train

            i also think steve porter is part of this game. they pretend that a train will solve all of a cites problems but know nothing about the city. only care about trains.

            do you do this with singh or not. i bet you do.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Why? Because we disagree with you? I act independently.

          • Toad

            be careful here. you did not tell singh today that this board was full of knuckle heads after the two of you shared information to begin posting here?

            you say above you act independently. is that really true.

            be careful bill.

          • Akshai Singh

            Bill and I have both volunteered our time to goals in common with All Aboard Ohio and the group Clevelanders for Transportation Equity. ‘CTE’ is an all-volunteer group. As is the group I ‘administer’ called ‘Ohio for Transportation Choice,’ a statewide coalition.

            I used to work for a group called Transportation for America, who dedicate about 50% of their time to smarter highway policy, in addition to advocating for equitable investments in public transportation. Many of our best practices come from understanding communities like Normal, Illinois, or Nashviille, Tennessee- like Elyria, not exactly bastions of transportation choices.

            I also worked briefly for the Amalgamated Transit Union supporting a bill co-sponsored by Congressmen Steve LaTourette (OH- and my Congressman for 10 years) and Russ Carnahan (MO).

            Sorry, but not sorry, that I understand physics where climate change is concerned. Womp womp.

          • Pablo Jones

            Well with out a link to check out that line item I will make the assumption that a $7 million for “Transit” is a certain case and not reflective of the total spending. As I mentioned earlier several Toledo suburbs receive funding from the state some as little as $50,000 others several hundred thousand. I doubt that Toledo is receiving the bulk of transit spending.

          • Phil Seguin

            I call BS on any Bill Hutchison post – clearly a troll.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Hey Phil…I am only a private citizen who has an interest in transportation. If some of us disagree, that’s fine. On the other hand, this is a free country with free speech and we all have a right to be heard.

          • Toad

            Kind of like an unwanted guest who just won’t leave the party.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Toad…

            A last word before I go. You can call me an unwanted guest and Phil can call me a troll. Whatever. But I will tell you that in this day and age of easy and instant social media communication you are going to see more and more of this. I see opponents of rail posting on pro rail Facebook pages and lots of comments from people who don’t live anywhere near where a story might have come from. It’s quite different than when you got your morning paper and could only write a letter to the editor. It’s a new age. Get used to it.

            As to the arguments pro or con…you have your views and we have ours and it’s obvious that one side will not win the other over. So be it. However, when I and others expressed views that were not aligned with those of several of you here, we were immediately labeled as supporters of Al Gore, save the planet types and so on (which I am not). We were suspiciously regarded and were asked repeatedly if we made money from railroads and even when we said “no” we were not believed. Evidently, the thought that we might just be average people never crossed anyone’s minds?

            Well, again…whatever…

            No doubt someone will now post a wisecrack following my message. Have fun.

            Adios.

          • It has to stop

            Clearly a response by someone who cannot come up with a good opposing argument.
            Also look up the definition of an internet troll before you sling labels around.

          • Toad

            maybe not a dime from them but it helped you in whatever you do to make $.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Nope. Not a cent. Hard for you to believe? Not my problem!

        • Toad

          probaly a gore thing. save the planet types.

          • Bill Hutchison

            Ha ha…

        • Phil Seguin

          lol… exposed Bill.

          • Mad Junk

            Phil droppin’ knowledge bombs on the unwashed masses LIKE A BOSS

    • Steve Porter

      Not a dime.

  • Toad

    so you and singh laugh at people here saying they are knuckle heads. but you say you act independently.

    looks like you and singh are working together to achieve a common goal. bring an unneeded and unwanted train at taxpayer expense to this city. a city you know little, if anything about.

    and Steve Porter. he lives in NY. what makes him think he knows what is best for elyria.

    I may not be smart enough to be the engineer, but i am not riding in the caboose either.

    go sell your agenda somewhere else. if it is such a great idea, then find private investors. you need tax dollars because the idea is unsustainable.

    • Bill Hutchison

      I used that term term because I get tired of people who are so skeptical that they are blind to what’s going on in the rest of the country or the world for that matter. I’m not laughing.

      Most roads use federal funding and as a taxpayer, I have a right to comment. And yes, I DO know something about Elyria. As I said, I’ve been there MANY times.

      I’m not going any further with you.

      • Toad

        and either is your train to nowhere. i am not anti-train but elyria is not the place to put one.

        • Bill Hutchison

          OK…we will just disagree on that and that’s fine.

    • Akshai Singh

      I don’t know what language Bill used, but I do think we have a common goal in mind- investment in rail.

      Perhaps it is unfortunate to you that Elyria already has passenger rail. Perhaps the idea of investing in rail upsets you, this is also unfortunate.

      I consider the loss of our air hub in Cleveland unfortunate, but I do know that airlines will only profit from long-range travel in the long-term, due to increasing congestion in air travel, and fuel prices. In lieu of that air travel, we can either improve our current rail transport, or we can commit to further degrading our air quality and our atmosphere and our transportation options and our trade balance…. by committing to auto-only transportation.

      It is entirely clear that highways are subsidized at a far higher rate than rail, and are hemorrhaging more money than rail. (bailouts to the Federal Highway Trust Fund: $50b in the last decade w/ diminishing gas tax revenues, and increasingly efficient vehicles, $3b on OH turnpike bonding)

      Far be it from me to suggest we invest in your community (which also needs a lot of maintenance for its local roads- and a ‘fix-it first’ policy, just like my community- Cleveland).

      • Toad

        it is unfortunate to us that elyria already has rail. maybe it is unfortunate to your cause since we have already experienced it and know it provides no economic value to elyria.

        we have been there and done that. yes we have already had rail, know it doesn’t work here and are therefore a more difficult sale.

    • Akshai Singh

      We do have private investors… they’re called Forest City Enterprises, or, individually Ari Maron, or LOCUS Developers… http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/locus/

      • Toad

        there is the answer. let them pay for the transportation to bring people into their developments. if they can make money off it they will build it.

        when private investors say no i think that tells you it is not a good idea.

  • SniperFire

    ‘Brinda said foot traffic from rail passengers so close to downtown could boost shops, restaurants and small hotels.’ To see what? A couple of grubby diners and a few seedy bars? LOL.

    • Toad

      is bugsy’s speakeasy within walking distance

      • SniperFire

        Running distance from the thug trying to gut stick you on East River..

        • Toad

          10 dollar stores 12 check cashing shops a few tattoo parlors

          makes for a great destination

          • SniperFire

            Brinda makes a statement that is indefensibly stupid, yet almost nobody reacts.

  • Toad

    Final thought on the matter.

    We are $17.5 trillion in debt as a country. Spending continues at an unsustainable level. The government has proven they cannot manage OUR money.

    Why in the world would anybody want to give more to this, or any other, project. If we are skeptical, it is for good reason.

    Rail may be feasible in some metro areas, but it is not the panacea to save the city of Elyria. Your agenda is not specific to the issues this city faces, but relevant to your own motives, which I cannot help to think include personal gain, at the expense of taxpayers.

    We have been through the green energy boondoggles, Solyndra and Fisker alone cost us nearly $1B. So excuse our skepticism.

    While railroads may have a romantic, intriguing past, modern society has passed them by. Fact is, we cannot live without roads, but can survive without an expansion of a rail system into Elyria. That is fact. We have had one here for years and know it has not worked. This discussion was all about the impact an expansion of Amtrak will have on Elyria. I say little to none. History is on my side.

    Also, don’t forget this area was built on auto manufacturing and steel. Any threats to either of these industries will not be well received. Ask the UAW.

    Bottom line is this country is broke. You come here asking us to assume more debt for something our own experience has shown does not work. I think most here would agree they would prefer to put their tax dollars into keeping up our roads given the economic times. If that changes, maybe people will also change their opinions.

    So why would you want to take already limited transportation funds and put them into Elyria. Put them into a rail system in a metro area where it will be profitable and self-sustaining. This is not Elyria, which is the topic here. May be wise to take your story elsewhere.

    The government is broke, the ACA will drain more money from the system, people are taxed out, don’t trust the government with spending their money and don’t want to give any more.

    Roads are a necessity and here to stay, while expanding rail into Elyria is viewed as a luxury we cannot afford at this time. Again, history has proven it will take more tax dollars and we simply do not have it at this time.

    This is the real issue.

    • Bill Hutchison

      Toad, we will just have to agree to disagree on this. Railroads are not an exercise in nostalgia.

      • Toad

        Nor are they the answer to Elyria’s future.

  • Toad

    This thread is getting far too long. The original topic was the impact Amtrak would have on Elyria, Ohio, not the entire U.S.

    We have people who jumped on this tread from several states, NY and WVa to name a couple. If it goes any further, it may become an international discussion.

    What I do know is that several of those who have posted here are connected and this seems to be a pattern of activity for them.

    They see an article, they communicate among themselves and post as individuals who all have varied agendas. Some may love trains, some hate fossil fuels. (Sierra Club)

    Either way, their effort is organized as can be seen by following their “Tweets” to one another on other sites. They do this as a team, despite their claimed autonomy.

    My guess is they would not invest their own funds, or retirement accounts in their position on rails. They want to taxpayers of Elyria and Ohio to pay for what is obviously a losing proposition.

    Again, my point is this country is broke! Think $17.5 trillion in debt!! We spend like drunken sailors. I take that back, even drunken sailors have to stop spending when they run out of money!!

    Yes, you do “troll” news stories, as a collective unit, and then post as though you do not know one another. Fact is, you all do and this is a charade which is now obvious and documented.

    So are you wiling to commit your personal monies to this project? I am sure Elyria will take you check. If not, I suggest you don’t come here from the outside and expect us to pay for this.

    We have a train here, it does not work, has not helped Elyria’s economy in the past and will not do so in the future.

    You are correct, we have to agree to disagree on this one. But in the future, don’t pretend you know about a city’s problems simply because you have been here a couple of times.

    Please just take the train out of town and go sell your opinions to another city. Many they will buy it, but Elyria is not going to. Remember, we already have a rail history here and it has be a total bust.

  • Zen Grouch

    Don’t know if this is relevant, but the above story reminds me of a train trip from Nuevo Laredo to Mexico City, back in the day when these high as a kite, scabby nosed, little kids in that border town were trying to sell my raggedy lookin’ hippie a** heroin for 8 bucks a gram.

    Whenever I’d get off the train at the various stops, I’d be swarmed by little old ladies with armloads of tortillas & toilet paper, beggar kids, drug dealing scamps and guys in carts pulled by donkeys painted to look like zebras.

    I would later (while watching the mango grove scene from ‘Apocalypse Now’) be reminded of when the Federalies happily beat the poo out of me with their rifle butts, then robbed me, all while displaying a pack like mentality of disrespect for me and long haired white boys in general…

    **”Never get out of the boat.” Absolutely goddamn right!**