Politicos Ignorant To Past Study

Boise politicos and U.S. Sen Mike Crapo are riding the rails once again on the AMTRAK FOLLY. Banking on the short memory of voters or the lack of sound judgment, these officials are once again seeking Amtrak service to Boise.

What a waste of effort and tax money to keep doing surveys, hoping the facts will change. Nearly 12 years ago Crapo pushed for a “survey” about the cost of bringing Amtrak to Boise. We doubt it got any cheaper over the years. Some of the players have changed, but the idea is still not in the best interest of taxpayers.

Here is what happened in 2009 after Crapo dropped a ton of citizen cash on the survey.

Study Shows Boise Amtrak Not In Financial Best Interest Of USA
After spending at least $374,000,000 to get the tracks and people up to speed, Amtrak would have to charge passengers an average of $353 for each ticket–IF they could get 102,000 riders–just to break even on the cheapest option for rail service to Boise, according to figures released in an Amtrak report.
Politicos with overly optimistic plans were surprised at the projected costs, but not deterred. U.S. Senator Mike Crapo has urged folks to comment at HIS WEBSITE. He wants the train, but the GUARDIAN urges him to do the responsible thing and declare: “the report has clearly shown that AMTRAK service to Boise would not be in the best financial interests of that nation at this time.”

If the senator truly wants to hear a diverse chorus of voices, he should punch the “scan” button on his browser to get off the Team Dave station and see what GUARDIAN READERS SAY.

While taxpayers in the eastern third of the country get the lion’s share of AMTRAK service–and federal subsidy–they don’t get much in the way of benefits from the BLM, Forest Service, or Bureau of Reclamation. Point being, the USA is a vast nation with a variety of public interest projects and services. Just because they have commuter trains in the east doesn’t mean they will serve a public purpose in the west…anymore than a cattle grazing allotment would work in New York.

To put it in perspective, New York CITY has more than four times as many citizens as the entire STATE of Idaho. If $374 million worth of upgrades and $25 million annual subsidy were put into the trains of the Eastern Seaboard, tens of millions of Americans would be served and not a paltry 102,000 nostalgic train buffs. To do anything less is selfish and shortsighted.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter has taken to “government by resolution” and convinced the city council ro approve a resolution supporting Amtrak’s return to Idaho. These resolutions have no legal standing, but they create the illusion of a broad support for Amtrak and foolishly spending tax money to support a political goal.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Kent F Goldthorpe
    Jun 22, 2021, 5:18 pm

    ABSOLUTELY NO to Amtrak! I agree with your line of thinking. That any of cash would go infinitely further and be better used on any number of more traditional infrastructure projects.

  2. “Nearly 12 years ago”
    Remember 12 years ago– when you didn’t have a smart phone? OMG, editor! In 12 years everything has changed. But the editor knows for a fact, it is not in the best interest. News of the day?
    KGoldthorpe says, ‘more traditional infrastructure’. Do you mean like, horse and buggy? More OWG rub.

  3. The headline is wrong. This is not an act of ignorance. It’s corruption.

  4. PD – “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

  5. Get a clue PD
    Jun 23, 2021, 12:28 pm

    PD your commentary is apparently critical of the editorial staff. Kinda funny considering the depth of experience, integrity, and respect earned over the decades by the editorial staff. What has elevated you to such an arrogant preacher? What are your life’s accomplishments? Why should anyone give a crap what you say?

    The Boise Guardian fills an important role in the valley which the legacy media refuses to fill due to their cozy relationships with local power players. BG also gives voice to Joe The Plumber which really seems to bother the people who are trying to keep the local propaganda lies intact.

    OWG is a racist and disrespectful term applied to the group of people without whom America would not even exist. It’s very likely an OWG made possible the shoes on your feet the roof over your head your free schooling your free welfare free medical care and the 911 you call when someone looks at you funny. If any other subgroup had been running this country to date we’d all be beating our laundry on a rock. Obama was an OWG. Biden clearly is. OWG freed the slaves. OWG gave women voting rights. OWG overruled the southern states in the 60s. OWG ended the cold war. OWG is a less than ideal, but still our best leadership group. The wannabee groups are only good at critique and destruction, no clue how to lead and create. No Clue!

    PD, you could start your own politically correct blog with only non offensive topics and non offensive comments preapproved by the Mayor. Or you could just STFU and enjoy a master journalist’s creation in exercising the American constitutional rights. The legacy media tries very hard to deny these rights and access, as does local government. Very worrisome, which begs the question what kind of person dislikes the BG? Most likely someone who carelessly spends other people’s money.

  6. Steve Berch
    Jun 23, 2021, 1:03 pm

    It would be interesting to know if resumption of Amtrak service to Boise would open the door to Amtrak providing local mass transit shuttle services across the Treasure Valley, which could potentially be profitable. While many people do not relish the thought of the valley growing to that point, some form of mass transit will likely be needed to supplement roads should such growth occur. Just trying to keep an eye open to a bigger, possible long term situation that would call for planning before a need is upon us.

  7. Mass transit, especially by rail, makes little economic sense in a population as sprawled as Boise and the Treasure Valley.

    In a sprawled, car-dominated culture like ours, rather than continuing to run large, mostly empty buses and/or streetcars, wouldn’t it make more sense to subsidize and improve distributed, ride-sharing technologies — more convenient, comfortable, and economical?

  8. to be on topic- “Ignorant of the Past” and Trains. It is ironic Detective Clouseau forgets it was the immigrant Chinese workers that made the trains possible, to help, make America what it is today. Not to mention, itt was the cheap slave labor that gave a trading advantage in the early colonial years. It is the immigrant workers in the fields that brings us cheap food today. What we do is upon the land unfairly taken from the native people by English, French and others. Immigrant, people of color have been used to build America to financial benefit of those in power. There is nothing that OWG did that was not at the expense of another group of vulnerable people.
    To say ” ‘the’ group of people without whom America would not even exist” is alone, proof of the point. It is also connect to the Juneteeth posts. Same. The one group? And not exist? Rubbish!
    btw men did not just give women voting rights. Women FOUGHT to exercise their right to vote. Just exactly as it was in each case referenced, those in power do not ever voluntarily ‘give-up’ their power or authority. The oppressed have to fight for everything. Just like the Boise Council is not going to voluntarily give up their authority to dump this property, sitting outside their city limits.

    A voice of equality in a free press is much more important than a bias voice.

  9. What do Boise politicos and U.S. Sen Mike Crapo have in common? They are ELECTED PUBLIC SERVANTS. Maybe if we looked at them as that we could demand more from them. Seems like that politico or official reference puts them on a pedestal!

  10. Hoping for different results
    Jun 28, 2021, 12:15 am

    Government entities love hiring consulting firms (sometimes owned by their buddies) to do studies, and then when the data does not tell them what they want, they wait a while, and issue another RFP to repeat the same study, hoping for different results. Did this with the Ada County Fairgrounds in 2009 and now it is being done again. Boise fire did a Standards of Cover study in 2011 and the data did not look so great. This study was done again last year and the data shows many of the same problems. Hard to improve when you add more people (via density), more land via annexation, and not build additional fire stations to keep up.

    And Boise did a police patrol staffing analysis in 2018 and the proposed 2022 City budget shows they are going to spend on another staffing analysis. Maybe this one will magically erase the fact that the 2018 study said we were short 54 officers and that we would need 30 more on top of this by 2025 to keep up with the projected population growth.

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