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Virgin Trains (f.k.a. Brightline)

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On 4/12/2019 at 1:37 PM, jrs2 said:

not to derail this thread, but what kind of government subsidies are going to the auto industry?  (I don't keep track of this stuff). I mean, you or anyone else could simply tell me to Google it, but I won't b/c I don't care enough to at this time, but, it was a point brought up to state that rail can't compete with the auto industry because of it.  So, in a nutshell, in what way do they get subsidized to where it is affecting competition from passenger rail?  thx..  

Parking requirements are the biggest subsidy to automobiles. Parking minimums are baked into the cost of housing even if someone, like myself, doesn't drive. I can't go buy a condo with no parking because the law doesn't allow it, so I would have to pay an estimated 20%-30% more than a unit without parking even through I would never use the parking spot. The High Cost of Free Parking is a good  book that addresses this issue directly and is very interesting for anyone interested in walkable urban places. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_High_Cost_of_Free_Parking.  I'm not an Urban Planner, just an amateur hobbyist, so I would not feel qualified to address the issue in depth. 

In addition to parking requirements, @Aent gave a good summary of how heavily subsidized the road system is.  I didn't mean automobiles  themselves are subsidized, but rather automobile infrastructure, which I should have clarified in my original post.

Edited by Naqiy90
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24 minutes ago, Naqiy90 said:

Parking requirements are the biggest subsidy to automobiles. Parking minimums are baked into the cost of housing even if someone, like myself, doesn't drive. I can't go buy a condo with no parking because the law doesn't allow it, so I would have to pay an estimated 20%-30% more than a unit without parking even through I would never use the parking spot. The High Cost of Free Parking is a good  book that addresses this issue directly and is very interesting for anyone interested in walkable urban places. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_High_Cost_of_Free_Parking.  I'm not an Urban Planner, just an amateur hobbyist, so I would feel qualified to address the issue in depth. 

In addition to parking requirements, @Aent gave a good summary of how heavily subsidized the road system is.  I didn't mean automobiles  themselves are subsidized, but rather automobile infrastructure, which I should have clarified in my original post.

Many complexes in Orlando managed by ZRS now charge $25 for even 1 parking space. 

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2 hours ago, bqknight said:

Many complexes in Orlando managed by ZRS now charge $25 for even 1 parking space. 

Good! But even that seems below market value. I personally just want to get rid of parking minimums and let the market decide,  I think there is a market for people who want to live car-free and pay cheaper rents or mortgage payments in the process.

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14 hours ago, bqknight said:

Many complexes in Orlando managed by ZRS now charge $25 for even 1 parking space. 

Yeah, I can't believe I forgot about the parking mandates. The median cost of a parking spot in a garage to build is $20,000. That doesn't include land, and none of the ongoing maintenance (repainting lines, pressure washing, eventual structural repairs, electric costs and light maintenance, etc). If you were to take out a loan to pay for that spot over 30 years at today's interest, the payment would be around $100/month. And don't forget ongoing property taxes on that parking space!

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I am happy to see this going forward. I would not be a bondholder in this project, personally, but it is good to see the demand there privately to fund this. Get the tracks down, and we will see what happens around them. 

I still think this is mostly a shell game with the real profit being siphoned off in the real estate around the stations. Nobody was dumb enough to take the bait on the IPO, so the bonds are a good thing, and hopefully it succeeds. 

If not, at least we got the tracks laid down. 

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19 minutes ago, dcluley98 said:

I still think this is mostly a shell game with the real profit being siphoned off in the real estate around the stations.

The problem with that theory is that in the Orlando extension, which is what they just funded, they're paying rent for the stations, they don't own any of the real estate around them for whats proposed. Why bother going to Orlando then?

 

20 minutes ago, dcluley98 said:

Nobody was dumb enough to take the bait on the IPO, so the bonds are a good thing, and hopefully it succeeds. 

The IPO didn't fail, they pulled out of it because they were able to sell bonds and retain ownership. They still could IPO later.

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17 minutes ago, dcluley98 said:

Or perhaps you would be more comfortable with the statement: 

The IPO was unsuccessful, as proposed. 

Unsuccessful would imply it was at least attempted.  It doesn't sound like it ever got that far..   Bad analogy would be:  "I'm going to swim across the Atlantic; better still, I'll take a dip in the pool."   Does this mean my Atlantic crossing was "unsuccessful"?  The IPO might have been unsuccessful, but since it was never attempted, we'll never know.  It also might have been hugely successful.

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It would not have been hugely successful. 

It failed. 

Either the IPO as proposed was successful or it failed. 

I do not understand your "logic" in this case. 

Analogies are a bad form of thinking, generally. 

I could be wrong; I am sometimes. 

 

Edited by dcluley98

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2 hours ago, dcluley98 said:

It would not have been hugely successful. 

It failed. 

Either the IPO as proposed was successful or it failed. 

I do not understand your "logic" in this case. 

Analogies are a bad form of thinking, generally. 

I could be wrong; I am sometimes. 

 

Definitive statements are a bad form of thinking as well. I'm curious to your theory as to why they extended to Orlando without real estate?

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 Connectivity to traffic drivers.

Same reason they are trying to put a stop near Disney and make the property they already own more valuable. 

 

 

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I think it has a better chance of being profitable than Lyft or Uber, but yes real estate is the real opportunity for profit. I think bonds are a better form of financing than an IPO in this instance so it won't be subject to the whims of activist investors or to a hostile takeover. Also debt financing is better for tax purposes as well. Perhaps they canceled the IPO because they found bond buyers and the IPO was only as a last resort. Impossible to say really, regardless the project is moving forward and we should all be grateful!

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On 4/14/2019 at 7:06 AM, dcluley98 said:

I am happy to see this going forward. I would not be a bondholder in this project, personally, but it is good to see the demand there privately to fund this. Get the tracks down, and we will see what happens around them. 

I still think this is mostly a shell game with the real profit being siphoned off in the real estate around the stations. Nobody was dumb enough to take the bait on the IPO, so the bonds are a good thing, and hopefully it succeeds. 

If not, at least we got the tracks laid down. 

I see that.  But with regards to GOAA, there is nothing they can do to make money there ala real estate, rather, they are gonna be paying rent for their maintenance facility to GOAA.  Assumingly this would have been the lone concession just to get the other 3 major real estate station money-makers off the ground (Mia, FTL, WPB)?

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Heck, who needs Brightline? Megabus is expanding to 48 weekly trips to Miami!

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-bz-megabus-route-expansion-20190423-story.html#nt=inbody-1

The Orlando terminal gave up Lynx Central and out toward UCF for Orange Blossom Center? Fascinating.

From the Sentinel 

 

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3 minutes ago, codypet said:

I was wondering why their terminal at Sr 436 and SR 50 was looking so shoddy lately.  They abandoned it then?

Apparently so. OBC’s a bit down at the heels - it’s a shame Lynx Central didn’t work out.

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17 hours ago, codypet said:

I was wondering why their terminal at Sr 436 and SR 50 was looking so shoddy lately.  They abandoned it then?

Months ago. Jyp.

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2 hours ago, HankStrong said:

I've never known anyone I know to ride it.  Does anyone know if it is as weird/crazy as the price tells me it probably is?

They seem to underprice Greyhound by not building stations and avoiding small-town stops. The $1 advertised fares are mostly a gimmick that’s difficult to get, according to a friend of mine in Atlanta who uses them quite a bit (he’s a true urbanista without a car even though he could easily afford one).

I’ve yet to take one myself.

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I’ve taken it to Atlanta. Won’t ever take it again, though the price was pretty good. Still, it was uncomfortable and cramped.

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At the risk of sounding like a vulture. What would be the odds of this money being reallocated to other projects. Projects like Phase 2 north into Deland. We need about 35 million, that’s a drop in the bucket. 

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Virgin Trains announces construction start for rail between Orlando and South Florida

Virgin Trains USA announced today that its team of builders has started construction on long-awaited tracks between West Palm Beach and Orlando International Airport.

Formerly known as Brightline, the privately owned passenger-rail company is beginning the expansion at the airport with the installation there of 3 miles of track, signals and related infrastructure and the development of 70 acres for a maintenance shop.

The start of additional rail construction from the airport to West Palm Beach “is imminent” the company said in its announcement. Virgin Trains expects project completion and the start of service to be in 2022.

“This monumental infrastructure project will include the laying of 490,000 ties and transporting 2.35 million tons of granite and limestone by 20,000 railcars,” the company said in its statement. “Additionally, approximately two million spikes and bolts will be hammered and put in place over the next 36 months.”

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/transportation/os-ne-virgin-trains-builder-announced-20190521-gxapxfgkzzgahoc6phnccwhtu4-story.html

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