Reprinted with the permission of  Sally Baptiste in Florida. 

Commuter Rail Supporters........Ignorant, Dumb or Stupid…...You be the judge...........

Anyone that has taken any time to research transportation and has half a brain, knows that commuter rail is not the intelligent solution for Central Florida. AND Anyone that has taken any time to research government spending on anything, knows that promoting the general welfare of the people has become the last concern for 98% of those elected to public office.



With that being said..........I think the best way to respond to this "ignorant" nonsense is to start off by discussing three levels of knowledge; 1) Ignorant, 2) Dumb and 3) Stupid.

1) Ignorant - lacking any knowledge or information on a specific subject.

2) Dumb - having knowledge about a specific subject, but lacking the reasoning ability to apply this


3) Stupid - having knowledge and reasoning ability about a specific subject, but lacking the will and discipline to do the right thing. Stupidity is usually the result of wishful thinking or self-promoting greed and arrogance. What level of knowledge does "CDivadiva" have regarding transportation? CDivadiva could really be ignorant or dumb about transportation and commuter rail, but my guess is that CDivadiva is a level 3 - Stupid. I would guess that CDivadiva probably has some knowledge - not totally ignorant about the subject matter, but chooses to be STUPID in the decision making process regarding commuter rail. This stupidity is most likely fueled by apersonal loyalty to some ethically challenged elected official or CDivadiva stands to financial benefit from a decision that causes harm to the community. In other words.......greed and selfishness. I say this because anyone with any knowledge about Central Florida Commuter Rail and has any reasoning ability at all knows that commuter rail will NOT relieve I-4 congestion, will NOT improve mobility, WILL increase traffic congestion and WILL increase taxes. So why would any knowledgeable and reasonable person support CFL commuter rail?? Answer.......STUPIDITY!!!

So, CDivadiva, which is it? Since you are unwilling to fully disclose who you are, I cannot come to any final conclusion regarding your level of knowledge about transportation. However, it has been my experience, that individuals that voice a strong opinion, but are unwilling to go on the record (disclose who they really are) are ethically challenged, self-promoting, cowardly or they fear the loss of their job. Why are you afraid to disclose your true identity? Will you lose your job or will you disclose how you will personally/financial benefit from this publicly funded boondoggle? You don't have to answer these questions if you are afraid to. I will simply continue to speculate on your motives. At this point, I will simply challenge CDivadiva to 1) be brave and disclose who you really are and 2) participate in a public forum/debate about transportation. Doug and I will put together our panel of experts and you and your supporters (elected officials, corporate sponsors or whoever??) can put together your panel of experts. At that point, we can have a true battle of the minds and the transportation facts. CDivadiva, are you upto the task? Just send me or Doug an email and we will eagerly take on the "knowledge" of the commuter rail supporters. Lets see who really has their eyes opened and knows what they are talking about. We will also follow the transportation/commuter rail money trail and see who really benefits from commuter rail. While you are considering the transportation challenge, I will ask you some relatively easy questions......Do you believe it is ethical and/or appropriate to use $17 MILLION FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION TAX DOLLARS for streetscaping Church Street in Orlando, FL? Is this what you refer to as "the application of federal funding"? I call it reckless use of public funds.  This is the real reason why government wants to assess toll taxes on our FEDERAL INTERSTATES - so that motorist can providing more funding for more political pork projects that do nothing to improve OUR FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE!! With that being said, I really hope that you will accept the challenge and challenge my knowledge of transportation pork spending and reckless disregard for the welfare of the people? I would enjoy the challenge and it would be a lot of fun!! Please give this challenge some serious consideration. But for now, I will share some transportation facts with you CDivadiva. I hope these facts will help to expand your knowledge of CFL commuter rail and rail transit in general.

1) Per Metroplan Orlando........There is no CSX agreement in place. Let me explain what this means........This means we have no tracks for the commuter rail train to run on. I consider this to be a significant problem. What do you think?

2) Per Metroplan Orlando.........$17 MILLION is the "estimated" annual cost for commuter rail - this is in 2004 dollars. Over $17 million annually for a max of 9,000 daily boardings in the year 2025. Initial ridership will beless than 4,000 daily boardings. My opinion........SUPPORTING COMMUTER RAIL IS JUST PLAIN STUPID!! Why would anyone support a costly public works project that does so little to benefit the community and promote the general welfare of the people - personal financial gain??

3) Per Metroplan Orlando..........There will be no late service or weekend service. My opinion...…Commuter rail is no alternative to driving to sporting events or other community events. This is more evidence that commuter rail costs too much and does too little. Conclusion........The overall effectiveness of commuter rail is irrelevant. Commuter rail is the golden pork project for the politician regardless of the negative impact on the  welfare of OUR community. Some call this "the application of federal funding". I call it a taxpayer rip-off!

4) Per Metroplan Orlando..........The cost per passenger mile for commuter rail is not available at this time. My opinion......There has not been a full cost/benefit analysis of the cost of commuter rail. Conclusion........The overall cost/benefit of commuter rail is irrelevant. Commuter rail is the golden pork project for the politician regardless of the negative impact on the welfare of OUR community.

5) Per Metroplan Orlando..........The cost of bus transit vs. rail transit is not available at this time.  My opinion......There has not been a full cost/benefit analysis of the cost of commuter rail vs. bus transit or other options. Conclusion........The overall effectiveness of commuter rail is irrelevant. Commuter rail is just a goldenpork project for the politician regardless of the negative impact on the welfare of OUR community.

6) Per Metroplan Orlando..........The cost of an additional lane on I-4 would be roughly $3 million per mile. Conclusion.....$17 million per year would provide funding for an additional 5+ Interstate/freeway miles per year. This would provide 100+ miles of additional freeway lanes over a period of 20 years. So we can increase apacity on I-4 or other expressways or spend $17+ million per yearin O&M expenses for commuter rail.......…it isn't rocket science. Commuter rail will cost a lot more and do a lot less for Central Florida mobility. Commuter rail has nothing to do with improving mobility. It has everything to do with golden pork projects for  politicians.

7) Per Metroplan Orlando..........The percentage of bus riders that will become rail riders has not been determined. My opinion......So, based on previous studies, the odds are that the majority of CFL rail riders will be the current bus riders, thus, no reduction in traffic congestion. Traffic congestion will actually increase as a result of commuter rail due to 70 local rail crossings that will disrupt traffic flow throughout the rush hour. WHAT A DEAL!!!! Do you have any questions about this CDivadiva?

8) I asked Metroplan Orlando for information on convenience and travel times for personal automobile vs.commuter rail. I.E. What are the door-to-door times for the same trip when using  personal automobile vs. using mass transit/commuter rail? Metroplan Orlando was unable to provide any exact times. Metroplan Orlando response "This is dependent on where the customer lives and how they make the complete trip". In other words, we don't know or we do not understand the question. My opinion......proponents of commuter rail falsely claim that commuter rail will be fast, stress-free and convenient. There is nothing to support the statement of greate convenience or time savings. This is just more political propaganda. The reality is neither bus transit or rail transit is more convenient or faster or safer than the personal automobile in the Central Florida area, but don't expect any elected public servant or public agencies to admit this very real fact. A fact that will guarantee the massive failure of rail transit in Central Florida.

9) Rail Failure........ "South Jersey has its own proverbial "water powered-pogo-stick". It's know as the River LINE. This 34-mile stretch of light rail from Trenton to Camden, which opened in March, cost taxpayers a whopping $1.1 BILLION to construct. Cost overruns had more than doubled the initial projected price tag of $450 million and construction delays pushed back the opening of operation for well over a year". "It will cost $70 million per year to operate and fares alone will generate less than five percent of this." Copied from Conclusion for anyone with a brain....... the $473 million price tag for Central Florida Commuter Rail being sold to Central Floridians is completely BOGUS (this means false and trickery). This price tag does not even include the tracks or the rail cars?!?!? Who are the kidding? A person would have to be BRAIN-DEAD to believe the $473 million figure or the $17 million annual costs. CDivadiva do you really believe the $473 million price tag?? If yes, please explain why!!!

10) Rail Failure......"Instead of expanding the freeways that most people use, San Jose opted for a light rail system that is incompatible with its design and commuting patterns. As a result,San Jose's light rail system is the least productive in the nation and its operating costs are more than twice the national average for similar light rail systems." For the full report of "San Jose Demonstrates the Limits of Urban Growth Boundaries and the Urban Rail", go to Prediction......Central Florida Commuter Rail will set the new record for overpriced, useless rail transit! WHAT A DEAL!!!

The information provided here is just a small sample of the research I have done on transportation and government spending habits. I hope that it has helped you to understand why I do not support the CFL Commuter Rail boondoggle. My opinion is based on facts and the overall benefit (or lack of) to the community. You should also know that time and time again, I have openly requested to have true public forums with experts from both sides of the rail transit issue, but our elected public servants REFUSE to do this. CDivadiva, why do you think the elected public servants refuse to debate this issue in a public forum? HMMMMM - I wonder why......could it be that the uninformed and/or misinformed citizen is the politicians best friend or is it because the facts about rail are so blatantly obvious, the elected public servant is too scared to face the facts and the music at the ballot box?? Warning......The people  of Central Florida are not as ignorant or uninformed as the elected public servants would like for them to be. The people/voters no longer trust you and we will remember this on election day. Elected public servants that support commuter rail against the will of the people willnot be re-elected. A special message to CDivadiva......... Since I don't know who you are, I can only speculate about your motives for the personal attacks. If attacking me, makes you feel better, than go for it - what the heck!! An individual that hides their identity while attacking others demonstrates the ethics and integrity of that person. So, simply put, I cannot be intimidated or offended by such silly insults and nonsense. I find them humorous and amusing. I did get a good laugh from them. Bottom would be completely foolish of me to take anything you say seriously - heck...…you won't even disclose/admit who you are?!?! How can anyone take you seriously?? However, if at some point you gain the courage to identify yourself and you want to discuss the facts about transportation, growth management and government spending, I would consider meeting with you to discuss allof the research I have done over the past 5-6 years. I will share my knowledge with you and I will listen to the knowledge you have on this subject. As an analyst, I am interested in facts. The "Who is really served by commuter rail?" question?? If the only benefits of commuter rail is to provide/buy campaign funds for various candidates, make multiple consulting firms and law firms rich, and to make elected public servants rich, then commuter rail is not only the wrong solution, it is unethical, corrupt, fraudulent and demonstrates excessive abuse of authority by elected public servants and various governmental agencies. Based on my research, commuter rail is the wrong solution and the people of Central Florida openly oppose it.  It simply does not promote the general welfare of our community. Thus, to implement commuter rail in Central Florida is to blatantly disregard the will of the people and to demonstrate excessive abuse of authority by elected public servants and various governmental agencies. So, how about it CDivadiva? It is time for you to come out of your closet and admit who you are and why you would support a boondoggle system like commuter rail. Are you the one that is simply ignorant about commuter rail and transportation or are you just dumband don't understand the  true cost and benefits of rail transit or are you just plain stupid and/or greedy? Basically....who are you and why?? One last thing.....FYI........I am a native to Orange County and I have no plans of moving. If I wanted to live in an overcrowded, polluted city such as New York City, I would move there. I don't understand why anyone that loves the overcrowded and polluted city would move to Orange County. I would suggest that they are the ones that need to relocate back to where-ever they came from. And I agree with Doug - they should take their commissioners with them!! By the way.......The uncontrolled growth we are experiencing in Orange County is just more evidence of the lack of ethical leadership we have today and just in case you haven't figured it out yet.......I will be actively campaigning for change in 2006.......

"Let there be no doubt..2006 is the time to VOTE THEM OUT!"

"Save Orange County - VOTE FOR CHANGE IN 2006"





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