scratchyX1 wrote: ↑Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:37 pm
Electrifying to at least Fredericksburg, so VRE can have metro like service with EMU should be left in plan.
Sounds like a great idea. who do you suggest should pay for the electrification?
VRE, Amtrak, Virginia, or a combination of the three?
How much do you think it might cost?
Caltrain electrification is going to cost $2.3 Billion for the infrastructure and the trains, for just 51 miles.
Union Station in DC to Fredericksburg is 54 miles, where will another $2.3 Billion come from?
Just to put just a little comparison between these two markets for trains. Caltrain was having 63,000 daily ridership in 2019. The DC to Fredericksburg VRE having 19,000 daily ridership in 2019.
Math 64/19 x 100 = 337%
At some point you have to look at costs per rider to determine is electrification worth all the extra costs.
Caltrain = $2,300,000,000 / 63,000 = $36,508 per daily rider
VRE Fredericksburg Line = $2,300,000,000 / 19,000 = $121,052 per daily rider
Caltrain charges $10.50 fare for this distance over 4 zones, and VRE charges $12.15 fare for this distance over 9 zones.
How many fares will VRE and Caltrain have to sell to make this much money?
Caltrain = $2,300,000,000 / $10.50 = 219,047,619 fares
VRE = $2,300,000,000 / $12.15 = 189,300,411 fares
How many day?
219,047,610 / 63,000 = 3,477 days, or 9.5 years
189,300,411 / 19,000 = 9,963 days. or 27.3 years
And that's assuming every penny raised in fares went to pay of the costs of electrification, which never ever happens.
Money does not grow on trees or magically appear out of nowhere. At some point in time, which should be now, someone needs to look at how long these construction projects take to break even. Yes, I took a very simple approach to the problem, using direct fares vs indirect benefits such as reduce pollution and lower traffic congestion. Never-the-less, the significance difference in ridership should effect both direct and indirect benefits while comparing electricfication costs of these different trains.