Edited by John T Roberts, 20 November 2004 - 06:10 PM.
Cotton Belt Line Commuter Rail
Posted 20 November 2004 - 01:53 PM
Posted 20 November 2004 - 11:45 PM
Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:08 AM
Boy, the turn-around in seeing these rail projects to fruition is slow (2004?) In this Star-Telegram article Gordon Dickson reports on City Council approval.
LOTS of things in this city are slow to happen. But at least it's happening...
Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:41 AM
After reading the article johnfwd posted above I am even more skeptical about this super-secret scheme than before. Surely there is some way for transit decisions to be made above board, and not in back-rooms with shadowy nameless entities. Do we really want non-governmental agencies (companies) collecting taxes from us? I generally don't like mixing dissimilar basic elements of society (like government, banking, religion, investment) because historically the lines between them become blurred and inevitably abuses result (witness private jails, Spanish Inquisition, home loan crisis, "too big to fail/go to jail"). There is no reason private for-profit entities should not be able to profit from improved rail transportation, but who do they need to try to insert themselves into the process? Wouldn't a more traditional approach be to invest in real estate adjacent to stations and build what they think would be supported by the new system? Sure, a TIF district could be established for those station areas, but that would seem to be far removed from the companies actually performing government functions by taxing? I would rather see those developable adjacent lands acquired by eminent domain along with widened ROW and sold at cost to companies willing to put in appropriate development under the usual regulation from existing government.
Of course maybe this is an overreaction to something that is not planned at all, maybe the proposed plan is quite benign.... But we can't know since it is thus far hush-hush top secret.
Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:13 PM
Really?! This is very exciting, especially considering that it runs from beyond Plano all the way to central Fort Worth. And so soon!
Wow in 2004 the reaction is the same, and didnt know that Plano was part of the conversation even then. Yeah Jeriat, Fort Worth is too slow in
decision making and executing projects.
Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:09 PM
This is a huge opportunity. I hope the momentum keeps growing.
Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:51 PM
It seems as though NCTCOG and the transportation authorities involved in this project continue to beat themselves up with self inflicted wounds with their most outrageous ideas. If sabotaging this project was their goal, then they are certainly on track to do so.
We are told that, for a small fractional sum of the total cost of the project, unidentified investors are insisting that the cities shall initiate their powers of eminent domain; and then they shall not only receive all of the capital gains coming out of the projects, but they shall receive all of the subsequent taxes, and not the cities. How do they get to believe or imagine that they can get that kind of deal?
Until now, I hesitated outright to call it cronyism; but now after this report has revealed a scheme of secret deals and secret investors, I am not so sure that calling it just that is not far off the mark.
btw, shouldn't this thread be combined with the TEX Rail thread?
Keep Fort Worth folksy.
Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:08 AM
Perhaps the TEXRail thread should be combined with this Cotton Belt thread. That might more closely approximate reality from the RTC's point of view.
BTW the Channel 11 CBSDFW news tonight had a very short blurb about The T being under City of Fort Worth scrutiny; read increased transparency, outside audit, Council and County review of budgets:
Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:18 PM
....The T being under City of Fort Worth scrutiny; read increased transparency, outside audit, Council and County review of budgets:
One can say that they only have themselves to blame.
Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:33 AM
Don't take this as condoning the proposed private deal. I don't know enough about it to say if it is a good deal or not. But...
How likely is rail service from Fort Worth to Plano at the present pace? And when?
I'm a free market guy and generally believe that with few exceptions the government's job is to perform the functions that the private market is either A. unwilling to perform, B. unable to perform or C. is not in the public's best interests to have privately conducted. And this may be a clear situation of C. But I would look at the private proposal the way another private company likely would, as a starting point for negotiations.
There are some very compelling reasons to have a private company do this and fund it themselves. First, a private deal can get done much faster and much more efficiently than a public deal ever will. Second, private funding is clearly an advantage. Third, I'm willing to bet a private investor is going to do a much better job of forecasting utilization and revenue than myriad governmental agencies will.
Here's the downside, the private investor is going to want to make money on it. I think a lot of people find this objectionable on it's face. People would rather the government hold on to potential profits that will never be realized than accept that some else is going to make those profits.
"It just doesn't seem right that Company Z will make a bunch of money on the appreciation of this property. That should go to the people."
"So, you're on a path to increase the value of that property and enrich the people with the proceeds."
"Not exactly. We're mired in bureaucratic nonsense and a lack of vision. Plus, we currently lack the ability to execute and fund the project. We expect to be done three weeks from never."
"So, when do the people get enriched."
"Twenty years after that."
Cut a better deal. Share in the upside. Limit the potential harm to the tax payer. If the private investor can't handle the deal, then it wasn't meant to be.
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