View Full Version : Oil going way up???

10-05-2004, 10:58 PM
I thought this was a really interesting article. It just brings to light the fact that back in the late 1990's you could get gasoline for 90 cents a gallon. Now it's close to $1.80 a gallon here in the metro. That's enormous inflation in a short amount of time. Exactly the reason why the economy is fluctuating the way it has. Regardless of which party you support, oil prices make a huge impact on the economy.

"Economist foresees $100-a-barrel oil
by Janice Francis-Smith
The Journal Record

Get ready for $100-a-barrel oil, economist Michael Economides told those gathered at the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association's fall conference on Monday. And don't expect to see $20-a-barrel oil ever again.
Economides, a professor at the Cullen College of Engineering at the University of Houston and chief technology officer of the Texas Energy Center, has been author or co-author of nearly a dozen books and has written nearly 200 journal papers, articles and editorials.

"I'm the guy who predicted $50 oil a year ago," said Economides. "I am predicting we're going to see $100 oil before we see $25. You're never going to see $20 oil ever again."

The threat of a serious energy crisis during this century is very real, he said, though proponents of alternative energy sources all too often are headed in the wrong direction. And "journalism in energy has reached bottomless stupidity," he said, citing a prediction made by The Economist in 1999 claiming that the price of oil would drop as low as $10 a barrel "for the rest of the decade."

Much of the world's oil comes from three countries: Venezuela, Nigeria and Iraq. "On anybody's list of the most corrupt countries, they are number one, two and three, not necessarily in that order," said Economides.

"Venezuela is a huge problem for us," he said. "Hugo Chavez is a much bigger threat to America's energy security than Saddam Hussein ever was. Chavez is really the poster boy for what's wrong with OPEC today."

The United States can't really get too comfortable with any of the major oil producers on the world scene. Saudi Arabia, which maintains friendly relations with the United States but which birthed Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers, is an "enigma," said Economides. And former KGB official Vladimir Putin is "re-Sovietizing the country" of Russia, he said.

Meanwhile, over the last decade China has increased its oil consumption by 2.5 million barrels per day. If China develops to the point where the country's per capita energy consumption rivaled that of the United States, China alone would need 80 million barrels of oil per day - more than the rest of the world combined. (The United States Geological Survey puts yearly world consumption of oil today at about 30 billion barrels.)

"Energy will be China's choke point," he said. Economides estimated that worldwide oil production could reach its peak at between 120 million and 130 million barrels per day. Another Cold War could easily arise as the industrialized countries compete for oil, he said.

Reducing the United States' dependence on foreign oil is "not as simple as politicians want you to believe," he continued. Economides attacked a statement made by presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry on the campaign trail, regarding his desire to increase to 20 percent the amount of electricity produced in the United States using alternative and renewable energy sources. However, almost all of the U.S. electricity supply is produced using domestic natural gas or coal - not oil.

"In order to attack foreign dependence, you have to attack transportation - there's no two ways about that," he said. Getting rid of all the SUVs would only reduce the nation's demand for fuel by 0.6 percent, he said. "And even the Sierra Club would not advocate lowering our standard of living."

Much of the new technology being introduced for transportation, designed to decrease the country's reliance on gasoline, relies instead on natural gas. However, the United States does not - and cannot - produce enough natural gas to meet future demand as it is.

"You guys, you cannot meet the natural gas demand in the United States," he said. "I don't care how many wells you build." Therefore, the United States would only be forced to import natural gas from foreign sources instead of oil.

Though several media reports have touted the oil and gas industry as a thing of the past that will soon make way for alternative energy sources, Economides said the industry isn't going anywhere soon. He noted a news report announcing that a prominent university professor has devised a means of produce hydrogen from vegetable matter by heating it to more than 4,000 degrees centigrade.

"For this professor, electricity comes from a socket in the wall," he said."

10-06-2004, 03:44 PM
Oil hit a new high at $51.52/barrell today.

I wish my folks hadn't sold off their oil company in the 80's.

10-06-2004, 03:56 PM
Well, the oil companies are definitely reaping the benefits. But oil profits are one of those things that fluctuates constantly with supply and demand. Right now we're in the middle of an oil boom. But once things settle down in Iraq, I think the price of oil will go back down.

Fortunately for Oklahoma, our economy doesn't depend as much on oil as it did back in the 80's, so if an oil bust ever does occur again in the near future, we won't be hurt nearly as bad. Houston on the other hand.............

10-11-2004, 12:30 PM
I recently filled up at $2.03 a gallon. Makes me glad I live and work downtown.

10-12-2004, 10:40 PM
Wow! Man, gasoline is getting high. And just think.....back in the late 90's you could get it for less than a dollar a gallon! Times sure change. I'm willing to bet gasoline prices will only continue to rise. Iw ouldn't be surprised if they hit $3 a gallon in the next 4 years.

10-13-2004, 07:36 AM
Man, I hope not. I guess it is time for me to get my 18 speed bicycle out and use some pedal power. Since I don't live that far from my office, I usually ride my bike to work and back (15 miles round trip). It's Fall now, and the weather is perfect for riding. VVVRRROOOMMMM......... :D

10-13-2004, 08:40 AM
My next car will without question be a hybrid.

Or if possible won't use petroleum.

10-14-2004, 07:10 PM
Personally, I kind of hope gasolnie prices keep going up. I know that sounds stupid! But, I think it will give people incentive to buy smaller cars and conserve on fuel, while at the same time sparking more interest in alternative forms of energy. The problem with energy prices being low is there just isn't any incentive to pour money into research for alternative forms of energy, like hydrogen fueled cars, for instance. By placing more reliance on alternative fuels over time, we reduce our dependence on foreign oil! That solves part of the Middle East equation. As far as I'm concerned, let's just push forward the science of Hydrogen-powered cars, and once we get them fully developed and on the market for a decent price, tell the Iraqis, Saudis, etc. to go jump in a lake!

10-14-2004, 07:24 PM
This should be a wakeup call for Is-took(ing). The time is right for rapid transit. Especially if the gas prices continue to rise.

Plus, we need to slap all the nay ayers in the face and wake them up. I am about ready to give a big, loud "I told you so."

10-14-2004, 11:06 PM
Argh! I still can't believe Istook keeps winning! I just wish the guy would step down. Get this....this man had federal funding available for a lightrail system in downtown OKC and between downtown and the Meridian/I-40 hotel district. He turned it down, saying it was a waste of federal funds. Then he turns around and approves federal funding for a rail system in Salt Lake......hmmmm, the guy is a Mormon. Think about it. Actually this is a really old story that I bring up everytime he runs for re-election. But it's true. So now, we're stuck with a rubber-wheel trolley system, while Salt Lake has a nice rail trolley system! Who exactly is Istook voting for, Oklahoma or the capital of the Mormon Church?

I rest my case!

10-17-2004, 07:02 AM
Having ridden the downtown trolley quite a bit, I agree with Istook. A light rail system in OKC would definitely be a waste of money.

For now, I think the rubber tire one is just fine. In the future, we should definitely upgrade. I just wish the rubber tire trolley came closer to my apt. than two blocks and ran past 8PM M-W.

Of course, M-W, I can usually find free street parking in Bricktown, so...

10-19-2004, 12:21 AM
My only problem is that the money was offered to our state and he turned it down. When money is being offered to your state for improvements, take it and don't turn back!

10-19-2004, 08:59 AM
My only problem is that the money was offered to our state and he turned it down. When money is being offered to your state for improvements, take it and don't turn back!

What a mashugina!

10-19-2004, 09:40 AM
Excuse my ignorance, but what is a mashugina :confused: ?

10-19-2004, 09:44 AM
Excuse my ignorance, but what is a mashugina :confused: ?

It is yiddish for idiot.

10-19-2004, 09:50 AM
My only problem is that the money was offered to our state and he turned it down. When money is being offered to your state for improvements, take it and don't turn back!

We all say we want conservatives in office. However, when one of our elected officials does something that is really conservative, like turn down money for something we don't need -- and c'mon, OKC has no current need of a light rail system -- maybe in the future when we have Bricktown more developed, but now?!

It was just him being responsible with taxpayers' money. Salt Lake is a MUCH larger city than OKC. Certainly, he should support a light rail problem as they really need things to help reduce smog over there.

If all Senators were more like Istook in the way they approached pork barrel politics, we'd all have more money in our own pockets.

10-19-2004, 09:55 AM
Actually, Salt Lake City is by population about as large as Oklahoma City. By area it is MUCH smaller.

Regardless of size difference, Oklahoma City is ready for light rail. As with increasing Will Rogers. Build it now, plan it now. The future holds a much higher cost and if we wait until the majority thinks we are ready it will be too late.

10-19-2004, 11:26 AM
Salt Lake proper does have a much smaller population than OKC (181,743 compared to 506,132). The metroplexes are about the same -- Salt Lake has about a 100K person edge on OKC.

OKC also has an edge on population density -- I'm guessing this is because Salt Lake City includes a lot of uninhabitable land as being part of the city. 321.9 km/2 vs. 321.9 km/2.

Having been to Salt Lake, I can say that their downtown area certainly seemed to be more compact than OKC's and seemed to have a higher population density. However, I can't find any data about their downtown population density. Ours is 2600 mi/2.

That being said, I think that the rubber-tire system has a lot of advantages. First off, it took almost no time at all to implement. Had it been light-rail, we'd probably still be wading through construction delays, cost overruns, etc. I ride the trolley probably around 1 round trip per week and think it serves its purpose just fine. I'm sure that as downtown grows, so with the role of the trollies.

10-19-2004, 11:33 AM
If you want to ride a slow moving form of transportation that still contibutes to the rush hour congestion, I guess that is your right.

I have been on several subway systems on this planet and find them to be quite convinenant. I, for one, would rather ride a rail to Edmond. Not spend nearly ten bucks on half a tank of gas. Plus, during peak times, the rail is faster. My feet will take me the rest of the way.

10-20-2004, 12:11 AM
I think as gasoline continues to rise, you'll see rail become more of a profitable option for our city.

Midtowner, in regards to your statement, "and c'mon, OKC has no current need of a light rail system -- maybe in the future when we have Bricktown more developed, but now?!"

Well, in the future a light rail system will probably cost double, maybe even triple what it would cost today. Costs of materials continue to rise, as does construction, especially as gasoline prices continue to rise. We'd be money ahead starting a small system now to at least build interest and get our feet on the ground. Cities much smaller than ours are already implementing rail projects. We're actually a little behind the pack on this one.

Sure, we probably shouldn't start off with a large project, for we wouldn't want to fear having the project go under, but the way I look at it, if El Reno can support a rail trolley, Oklahoma City should be able to.

Just to show you how much of an interest people have in rail....for two weekends the Oklahoma Rail Museum has Thomas the Tank Engine in were pretty much sold out weeks in advance. Only a few were left at the event. To think, people would pay $14 a ticket for a 25 minute ride through the slums of NE OKC. I think that just goes to show you the interest people have in rail. Rail just has a way of drawing people that fake rubber wheel trolleys cannot match. People see the rubber wheel trolleys as nothing more than glorified buses. But railed trolleys are nostalgic. If you haven't ever done so, take a ride on the El Reno trolley. It's quite an experience.

10-20-2004, 07:27 PM
Patrick, I'd love to see a rail system in OKC. Don't get me wrong. I am just questioning the cost effectiveness and especially whether or not FEDERAL tax money should be used for it.

If the local voters want to take out a MAPS-like initiative and vote in a rail system, then my vote is definitely yes!

However, I am very cautious with public transportation and anything that COTPA gets their greasy fingers on. We're talking about a government entity that can't turn a profit on a parking garage! Insane.

I'm not sure that something like that would ever turn a profit. Almost all public transportation is subsidized in some form by the government. Otherwise, we'd have for-profit corporations trying to start up the light rail system.

10-20-2004, 07:31 PM
I do not think there is any mass transit system that makes a profit. They are subsidised by the governing body and the feds.

As long as the rail system even came CLOSE to break even, that is all I ask.

By the way. I have always liked the name CORT (Central Oklahoma Rapid Transit).

10-20-2004, 07:50 PM
Over the past quarter century, U.S. taxpayers have pumped more than $100 billion in subsidies into the nation's urban mass transit systems. That massive taxpayer investment has paid for urban public transportation systems that fewer and fewer Americans are using. Incredibly, mass transit ridership is lower today--not only as a percentage of commuter trips taken but also in absolute numbers of riders-- than it was in the early 1960s. Despite the low and declining use of bus and rail systems, federal grants for urban transit now appear to be as popular as ever: bills before both houses of Congress would provide increases of up to 20 percent in public aid for municipal bus and rail systems.

The considerable support within Congress for expanded transit aid is not surprising. Since the federal government created the Urban Mass Transportation Administration during Lyndon Johnson's administration, public transit has been a fertile field of dreams and promises. Tax-supported transit lobbyists(1) supply Congress and state houses with visions of magic carpets that whisk commuters around gleaming cities.

The alleged virtues of public transit are by now familiar. For weary motorists, public transit systems promise less automobile-generated traffic congestion; for environmentalists, less air pollution; for city planners, a first step toward urban revitalization; for the poor, inexpensive access to efficient transportation; for conservationists, less wasteful use of energy; and for the business community, a way to lure suburbanites back to central business districts.

Regrettably, more than two decades of experience with publicly supported bus and rail systems have exposed each of those dreams as a costly illusion. Public transit systems have failed to deliver any of the promised benefits.

* Transit subsidies are not increasing ridership. Transit ridership is lower today than it was 30 years ago--before the billion-dollar subsidies began. People, including transit executives(2) and elected officials, tend to ride public transit only when they have no other reasonable choice.

* Transit subsidies have not reduced road congestion. The shiny new multi-billion-dollar rail systems have not diverted meaningful numbers of drivers from their cars; most new patronage has been of less expensive, more flexible bus lines and energy-efficient car and van pools.(3)

* Transit subsidies do not reduce air pollution. Because public transit has not increased ridership, transit has had no discernible impact on air quality in cities. Mass transit patronage is so low that even doubling it would have a negligible effect on air quality.

* Public transit is not energy efficient. The average public transit vehicle in the United States operates with more than 80 percent of its seats empty.(4) Because of the low average number of passengers per bus, energy consumption per passenger mile for public transit buses now is greater than that for private automobiles and far exceeds that for car and van pools.(5)

* Transit subsidies have not helped revitalize cities. Cities, such as Buffalo, with new multi-billion-dollar rail systems have not reduced flight from their central business districts. Even with ever-greater subsidies for public transit, the exodus of businesses and residents from downtown areas is accelerating.(6)

* Urban transit does not benefit the poor. Ridership studies show that the poor are not heavy users of federally subsidized transit systems. Transit provided only 7 percent of trips made by low-income people.(7)

The cold, hard lesson of the last 25 years is that instead of promoting increased efficiency in bus and rail service, higher taxpayer subsidies have paid higher-than-inflationary transit costs. Subsidies have financed exces-sive compensation for transit employees, declines in transit productivity, and swollen bureaucracies--not increased sevices. If public transit costs had risen only at the same rate as private bus industry costs, service levels now could be more than double the 1989 level.(8)

Worst of all, taxpayer subsidies, particularly federal grants, have actually impeded the development of efficient and cost-effective urban transit programs in U.S. cities. The experience of other industrialized nations and some selected systems in the United States demonstrates that by tearing down the significant regulatory barriers, which prevent private, unsubsidized transit systems from developing, and by encouraging competitive contracting by private providers for subsidized systems, the mobility needs of urban residents can be met at lower cost and greater convenience to customers. Conversely, if Congress approves further large increases in transit subsidies, they will fuel further increases in transit costs. Those funding increases will ill-serve the interests of urban commuters, and they will certainly ill-serve the interests of American taxpayers.

10-20-2004, 08:24 PM
The above information is probably the propiganda spewed by Earnest "I could care less about my home state" Istook.

I have been on enough light rails and subways to know better than to believe ridership is not high and they cause pollution.

Just the opposite.

10-21-2004, 08:39 AM
It's from the Cato Institute -- a conservative/libertarian think tank. Certainly, consider the source. But also, consider the studies they cite. Sure, it would be interesting to know how the studies that they cite were conducted, but as it stands, they make a fairly reasonable case that mass transit as it is is not getting used enough to make it effective.

10-21-2004, 08:43 AM
It's from the Cato Institute -- a conservative/libertarian think tank. Certainly, consider the source. But also, consider the studies they cite. Sure, it would be interesting to know how the studies that they cite were conducted, but as it stands, they make a fairly reasonable case that mass transit as it is is not getting used enough to make it effective.

No matter, it is still brainwashing propiganda. I would rather believe what I have seen with my own eyes than a bunch of biased people trying to brainwash a bunch of people that have not seen the truth in person.

Now I know where Istook gets his lies.

10-21-2004, 02:28 PM
Well, as for my own eyes, I have ridden the public transportation in downtown OKC. I do so on a fairly regular basis. I think being 80% vacant would be about right. In fact, that's about right for any public transporation system I've used outside of Paris.

The DART in Dallas is great, but I've never seen a car even remotely close to being full.

Here is more data from the Cato website:
(here is the link)

Check out the link before you tab it as "propaganda". There are some interesting concrete facts there. Such as these:

1. Federal dollars for urban transit have not bought improvements in service levels for commuters; rather, they have generated rapid inflation of costs in the industry. Between 1970 and 1985 public transit operating costs per vehicle mile increased an incredible 393 percent (Figure 1), or roughly twice the rate of general inflation during the same time period and roughly 2.5 times the operating cost increase for similar service in the private bus industry.[14] Public transit costs have increased at a faster rate than costs in any other sector of the economy--even health care (Figure 2). From 1970 to 1989 public transit costs per vehicle mile increased approximately 20 percent more than health care costs.[15]
(see article for further details)

Myth no. 2: Increasing Federal Subsidies Will Attract More Transit Riders

Gross public transit ridership has been consistently falling since World War II. In 1945 ridership was 23.5 billion passengers, whereas in 1989 it was 7.5 billion--or less than one-third the 1945 level and less than half the 1950 level (Figure 4). The drop in ridership occurred despite huge increases in the number of urban commuters between 1945 and 1989. (again, see article for further details)

Myth 4: Public Transit Can Be Successful in the United States Because It Is Successful in Other Industrialized Countries

Advocates of higher taxes for transit constantly point to the far higher levels of transit ridership in Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan to suggest that substantial increases in U.S. transit ridership would occur if only there were much higher levels of public support for public transit.

But there are inconsistencies in that line of reasoning. First, public transit subsidies already are higher in the United States than they are in other developed nations. The extremely high operating costs of public transit in the United States suggest that, with the possible exception of the former communist countries, U.S. public subsidies per passenger may be the highest in the world. Subsidies account for approximately two-thirds of operating costs in the United States, substantially more than they do in nations where ridership is higher. In Europe and Canada subsidies are less than 50 percent, and in Japan subsidies are less than 15 percent.[27](again, there are more details about this in the article).

The above doesn't even represent a small portion of the article. And the article goes on to cite more than 60 sources! This is an excellent piece of research.

10-21-2004, 03:09 PM
Again with the biased propiganda which I do not believe nor read since I have a lot of experience riding the systems in this world.

Dallas, huh. (LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL) Dallas is but one city and has one of the newest rapid transits in the nation which is not fully developed.

Try London, Paris, Washington DC, Baltimore, Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego. Just to name a few.

I guess I just have bigger eyes...

Oh. By the way. In those cities, a lot of "full cars."

Your case does not hold water.

10-21-2004, 10:01 PM
Please read the study. I've looked at their methodology and it's decent.

By your response, you obviously haven't read the Cato studies. If you'd like to debunk some of their research, please do.

The way it's done is you go do your own research that disproves theirs.

Until you do that you haven't earned the right to say that their case doesn't hold water.

You and your personal experiences, a representative sample they do not make

10-22-2004, 12:09 AM
Midtowner, I think you bring up some good points, as they are based on a valid study. As mranderson suggests, sure a lot of transit systems in these larger cities are probably doing well, but at the same time, there's a lot of smaller cities trying to leap on the commuter rail bandwagon that aren't even close to turning a profit. It seems to be the "fad" now, but unfortunately, in some of these smaller cities, the "fad" isn't being followed up by riders. People still like the luxury of having their own car, and don't like having to depend on someone else for transportation. One only needs to turn to a very close neighbor, El Reno, to see how much of a waste that project was. That's not a very good example to look at, becausr the El Reno trolley is not commuter rail, but it still makes a point.

One only needs to look to Amtrak to see money being spent by the feds to bolster a commuter rail system. I know there are a lot of Amtrak supporters here and across the nation, but when you figure in how much it's costing us for the small percentage of riders that use it, one has to ask if it's worth it. I think Amtrak is a great system, and I don't in any way put it down, or want to see it disappear, but somehow we need to find a way to make commuter rail more profitable.

Anyways, I agree that Oklahoma City isn't even close to the point of needing commuter rail right now. Until our highways start looking like those in some of the cities mranderson listed, we really don't have the need. I think the council has made this point time and time again. But at the same time, as OKC continues to grow, and as gasoline prices continue to rise, it's probably a good idea to at least start looking into commuter rail. I think in the near future it might be a possiblity.

10-22-2004, 07:55 AM
I think 20 years from now, Patrick, we will have a light rail system in OKC. I think they will eventually become more popular unless we discover some sort of alternative fuel (something that is also practical).

The Cato institute certainly raises some valid points in my mind. The biggest issue I see with light rail systems is the cost inflation. I can't think of a single reason for the installation cost to be so high other than the influx of federal money. That always seems to goose the price of things a wee bit.

I think that 20 years from now, many will find it more advantageous to seek forms of public transportation. As a result of the increased demand in cities across the US sized similarly to OKC, I think the price will drop as production costs drop since more rails, cars etc. will be in production.

I'm absolutely certain that some rail system is in our city's future. I would just hope that the city leaders are wise enough to wait until there is sufficient demand to keep the project from diminishing over time (like our trolley system having to stop running at 8PM Monday through Wednesday -- makes it tough to catch a baseball game unless I want to pay $10 for parking).

I think that so far, Istook and city leaders have done what's right for OKC.

10-22-2004, 08:06 AM
So. I have not earned the right to say "their case doe not hold water." Yes. I have. I have riden a lot of rail systems not only in the United States, but in Europe as well. Until you have riden the rails around the globe, then I could say YOU have no right to say my case holds no water.

One thing you said makes absolutley no sense. Light rail does NOT contribute to polution. Most are run by electricity which HAS no polutants. If it did, then we could say by simpally turning on our clock radios we ar poluting the air. If light rail causes more polution even by electricity, then why is the EPA incouraging hybrid vehicles as well as light rail?

Even for the cities that make electricity by coal, it is less polutants. Filteration has covered that.

Try looking at or These sites might surprise you. Especially when you see the cities planning light rail. Many have metro populations MUCH smaller than Oklahoma City.

No. I have EVERY right to say your case holds no water. I do not believe propiganda. If I did, I would beleive everything I was told, no matter what it was. I do not play that game.

10-22-2004, 08:22 AM
Seems to me that because of the geographical area OKC covers combined with the low population per square mile in comparison to other cities with the same geographical coverage, the cost would be kind of high in relation to the gains.

Wouldn't you have to build many more miles of light railing than other cities with the same population numbers?

10-22-2004, 08:35 AM
The fact Oklahoma City is wide spread is one of the BEST reasons to build light rail. For some reason, a lot of people in this city do not know what an investment is. Light rail is an investment. No, it will not pay for itself overnight. Rarely does something worthwhile do so.

Patrick said if we do not plan and start building the system now costs will rise dramatically. He is absoultly correct. We need to build now and also have a re-education program to get this Oklahoma City "mass transit is for the poor people" out of the minds of the citizens. That is why ridership of the bus system is lower than most cities our size.

Even if we had an extention of Amtrak running the other three directions, it would be a start. Driving from far south Oklahoma City to Edmond is expensive and takes a long time. Thank God I do not have to do that on a daily basis. My vehicle would suffer from it. Too many miles on it.

Yes. Park and rides usually are not free. If they were, some people who are not riding the rail would use them for free parking. I have yet to see a park and ride in this country that charges the ten dollars Midtowner claims. The Park and Ride in New Brunswick, New Jersey is only half that. So is the fare on the New Jersey line from there to Pennsylvania Station. Then the subway is only $1.50 for a daily pass. If you buy a monthly pass, it is less per day.

Fuel savings, savings on wear and tear on vehicles, the fact you do not have to drive and can relax, and time savings on many routes. In time it will pay.

Will we have to build more miles? Probably not. Our main populaus is not as spread as the land the encompuses this city. Plus, for the outlining areas, use Amtrak.

This is part of why I have the edge. I learn these things by actually using the systems in the cities I visit. Many have small lines in the populated areas and use train services for the outlining areas. And some combine fares.

It will work. Again. Overnight? No. Good investments take time to mature. Plus, in the time it will take from yes to opening day, we can re-educate the population. Growing cities have light rail or are getting it. Cities that say "it won't work" lose population. A lot of people do not want to live in a pessimistic society. They usually move to a more optomistic one.

10-22-2004, 08:43 AM

You are making a false analogy -- comparing two things that are nothing alike. You take a town like London, Paris, NYC and say that because rail works for them, it will work for OKC.

That's about as valid as trying to claim that the Dallas Cowboys would do just as well in Pushmataha County as in Dallas. The population of those each of those cities is around 30 times that of Oklahoma City. And in almost every one of those cities, they are even confined to a smaller area (therefore less miles of track need to be laid to make it something that effectively get them anywhere they want to be). It's clear that you did not read the study because they cite specific data on this and provide the methodology they used to back it up.

Had you read the article, you would have found this:
Myth no. 7: Public Transit Conserves Energy and Improves Air Quality

With its continually declining work trip market share, public transit does not and cannot reduce energy consumption or air pollution. Some transit vehicles are overcrowded during peak hours in high-demand corridors. Yet, most of the time, there is excess capacity. The average public transit vehicle in the United States operates with more than 80 percent of its seats empty.[50] Because of the low average number of passengers per bus, the energy consumption per passenger mile of public transit buses is now greater than that of private automobiles, and it far exceeds that of car and van pools.[51] And unlike automobiles, public buses are becoming less, not more, energy efficient. In 1985 public transit used nearly 55 percent more transit vehicles to provide approximately the same number of rides provided in 1965. Over the same period of time the number of vehicle miles increased by 22 percent even though ridership remained static.[52]

Rail, also because of its low ridership, has not contributed to energy conservation. Rail systems require large amounts of energy for the construction of roadbeds, tunnels, and rolling stock. For example, one study estimated that San Francisco's BART system, which is highly patronized, will never save enough energy to recoup its initial energy investment.[53] That is apparently the case for most urban rail systems. A 1982 Congressional Budget Office study concluded that "under typical conditions rapid rail systems actually waste energy rather than save it."[54]

Boosters of rail and advocates of higher transit taxes contend that air quality will improve as transit subsidies increase. Portland's light rail line is often cited as an example of how transit has produced substantial improvements in air quality since 1972.[55] Other factors are responsible for the improvement in Portland's air quality. Since 1972 automobiles, which account for the overwhelming percentage of travel in Portland (and virtually all other U.S. metropolitan areas), have become 48 percent more energy efficient on average, and the average new car has become 100 percent more energy efficient.[56] Further, the average automobile produces less pollution per gallon of gasoline today than it did in 1972. In addition, the percentage of urban trips taken by public transit in Portland was lower in 1989 than in 1980.

Public buses have, on balance, had no favorable effect on air pollution in U.S. cities. Because of low average ridership, buses, on a per passenger basis, often contribute to air pollution because bus emissions are much greater than those of cars or taxis.

Even minute improvements in the fuel efficiency and emission standards of automobiles, which are expected in coming years, or an increase in the number of riders per car would have much more effect on the environment than would massive increases in expensive public transit service.[57] Increased energy efficiency and decreased air pollution could be more efficiently and effectively achieved by the use of high-occupancy-vehicle lanes, the automation of toll collection to speed traffic, and other such reforms.

(Works & Studies Cited)

[50] National Urban Mass Transportation Statistics: Section 15 Annual Report, 1987.

[51] Calculated from National Urban Mass Transportation Statistics: Section 15 Annual Report, 1986; and National Transportation Statistics, 1988.

[52] Data from the National Urban Mass Transportation Statistics: Section 15 Annual Report, various years; and Transit Operating and Financial Statistics, various years.

[53] Data from National Urban Mass Transportation Statistics: Section 15 Annual Report, various years.

[54] Congressional Budget Office "Urban Transportation and Energy: The Potential Savings from Different Modes," 1982, p. 1.

[55] The Renaissance of Rail Transit in America.

[56] In 1972 the average automobile got 13.4 miles per gallon; by 1988 that figure had improved to 20.0 miles per gallon. The average new car achieved 14.4 miles per gallon in 1972 and 28.8 miles per gallon in 1988. Data from National Transportation Statistics Annual Report (Washington: U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Special Programs Administration, Transportation Systems Center, 1990)

[57] Lave.

10-22-2004, 08:52 AM
Following up my own post:

Now, if you want to respond to this, please, I invite you, discredit their sources with other sources besides your non applicable personal experience. Your personal experience riding transit in cities 30 times the size of our own is completely meaningless.

It seems that you're also confusing the scope of the argument. You are arguing for a light rail system in OKC. You think it would be cost effective, save us money in the long run, be better for the environment, etc. I introduce to you a paper that cites 60 other papers and studies that disagree with you. The most you can come up with to discredit these is calling them "propaganda". You've convinced yourself but to convince others, you're going to have to do better than that ;)

Let me give you some hints on how to argue this. I've given you the sources. Go and research them and tell me that they're funded by Haliburton or something (but don't forget to stick to facts and truth). Find that Dick Cheney is pulling the strings behind Cato. Find anything to discredit this paper besides anemic name calling which has been your tactic thus far. I'm trying to help you out here. I enjoy our little discussions, I just think you're capable of bringing more to the table than name calling.

10-22-2004, 08:59 AM
Very few of the cities inwhich I have riden rail are "30 times as large." We happen to be the 29th largest metro in the country which discredits that staement already. Plus most of the cities inwhich I have riden rail are actually smaller than ours in population (not I said CITIES) and in land mass.

By the way. The "statistics" quoted in the message second away from this are a bunch of brainwashing tactics by a bunch of bleeding heart green peacers.

Try reading the websites I mentioned. Plus. How many rail systems have YOU been on or otherwise seen in person?

This discussion is over.

10-22-2004, 09:26 AM
This discussion is not "over". You have failed to prove your point.

You try to discredit Cato by saying that their message is "a bunch of brainwashing tactics by a bunch of bleeding heart green peacers." You really obviously don't know who Cato is.

This is their mission statement from their homepage:

"The Cato Institute seeks to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace. Toward that goal, the Institute strives to achieve greater involvement of the intelligent, concerned lay public in questions of policy and the proper role of government."

Read absolutely anything their site and you'll see how very wrong you are in your evaluation of these "bleeding heart green peacers".

I have ridden rail and transit systems in Paris, Munich, Madrid, Toronto, Washington D.C., Seattle, Dallas, Lisbon, Paris, Orleans, Granada, OKC and others. Yes, OKC has a population of 500-thousand. You listed a few cities. New York City, for example has a metro population of 18,603,110 according to the 2000 census. As for size, OKC has an area of 621 square miles and NYC is 428 square miles (but 35% of that is water). I've seen plenty of rail systems, maybe even more than you.

But as I said earlier, your own personal experience doesn't count as much as researchers who have made serious in depth studies for commerical and governmental purposes into mass transit ridership. Your experience and mine mean absolutely nothing compared to theirs. What you see with your own eyes is immaterial. These guys have data that shows ridership every minute of every day since the beginning of mass transit. How do you combat these facts? You haven't even begun to.

How can this discussion be over if you haven't replied to a single thing I've said in any manner besides calling it a lie? How do you know? Where are your facts? I have mine.

10-22-2004, 09:43 AM
I do not need to "prove" something the majority of the population knows is fact. Plus I cited two websites that say exactly what I have said.

And yes. I mentioned "a few" places. Not all of the places I have riden rail.

And yes. This discussion IS over. Now. get over it and move on!

10-22-2004, 10:24 AM
Anderson, you're citing industry studies. Here's a research clue: When you're looking for less biased information, stick to government statistics.

However, these studies' numbers basically correspond with what I'm talking about.

Let's take the case of the Minneapolis light rail system.

Demographics, Minneapolis' city-limits population is not as high as OKC. It's 361 thousand or thereabouts. However, OKC covers 691 square miles. Minneapolis covers 54.9 square miles. Obviously you can already see that there's a HUGE difference in population density.

On the opening day, the light rail system in Minneapolis had 52000 riders according to (one of your websites). Let's say that's capacity (although I seriously doubt that to be the case). Since then, ridership has dwindled to 16,000 average users per day. That would be right in line with my numbers in stating tha assuming 52000 is capacity for the system, it is around 70% empty.

With 16000 riders per day on that particular system, that means that around 16 out of 360 people ride the system per day in that city. As the Cato article suggested, it's making virtually no impact whatsoever on anything.

In the hierarchy of studies and their credibility, industrial studies are at the very bottom of the ladder. and are industry sites that are made to do nothing other than promote their products. However, as above, careful and critical reading of their articles tells the same story that the Cato study did.

10-22-2004, 11:51 AM
Hey guys, you both have good arguments. Midtowner's comes from actual studies while mrandersons's comes from personal experience and a couple of website of his own. I doubt you'll try to pursuade eachother on this one, so it might just be a good idea to agree to disagree. Anyways it's been a good topic, and you've both brought some interesting discussion to life. I think in all of the discussion of facts, you guys might be missing the overall theme.....rail will be a reality for Oklahoma City someday, just not now. We're jsut not a large enough city right now to make a profit with rail transit. And our heavy dependence on cars doesn't help that any. There's really no incentive around here to help make a commuter rail system profitable. Why would people ride a train downtown when they can easily drive the freeways to work and easily park their vehicles. Until parking becomes tougher downtown, and until crowded interstates become an issue, rail transit just isn't going to be profitable in Oklahoma City. As I said, rising oil prices might helps some, but they're gonig to have to rise a lot more than what they're at now to encourage people to consider rail transit. By the way, floating_adrift, the info. you state is the same logic our city leaders are using for deciding to hold off on rail transit for now.

I did say that we should start building now because it would be cheaper, but maybe I need to re-think that a little. I can't see building something that no one will support at the moment. Our city tried park and ride systems for years (the Norman/Moore one allowed people to park at Crossroads), and it jsut really didn't get used. I think results like this really work against a successfully used rail system, at least in the eyes of city leaders. Anyways, I think maybe we should start planning a light rail system, but it's still probably a little too early to start building one.


The original point of the thread was to mention that oil prices were continuing to go up. They peaked out above $55 a barrell today. Amazing! We control all of the oil in Iraq, you'd think prices would go down. But I guess with how unstable things are over there, it drives up the prices.

Let's go a different direction now. You guys think oil will hit $100 a barrel in the next 5 years? That would sure make for some expensive gasoline.