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Oil, $100 a barrel

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Nov. 12th, 2007 | 11:41 am

Looking at the market reaction to the stock plunge made me wonder when oil would hit $100 a barrel.

The difference in cost? Well at around $94 a barrel right now the percentage of difference in price is slight... but...

Psychologically what does this do? People are still driving to work, and I bet that few have given up cars based on the price of gas (for daily commutes, vacations are another thing), but at what price do people question their own consumption?

Last week in Washington we had a vote for a new road bill. The bill had a lot of mass transit tossed in to counter the impression that it was only a road bill, but in the end it was a road bill.

It was also a bill to extend 520, and as far as I am concerned I am not voting for anything which widens the road going through the arboretum or damages the arboretum in any other way.

I would rather vote separately on mass transit and roads. Sure, they work hand in hand, but I am willing to shell out more for rail then what I am for roads.

If oil hits a certain price then mass transit has to pick up, which in theory could lower road usage (though this is a naive view of what the outcome is... where there is capacity someone will use it). If I figure in total cost though... I help pay for the roads and then I pay for the gas, how does this compare to me paying for a share mass transit plus a ticket?

There is a shared cost in either case, roads or mass transit. For those who just drive, mass transit is mitigation costs. Mitigate the need for more roads (or hell... more open space for driving faster).

How this will work out in my lifetime?

Two more years before I can take light rail to SeaTac.

And if I were to dream a bit?

Within 15 years Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver are tied together with a European style bullet train. The cities would be linked together.

30 years out? San Francisco to Seattle via a bullet train. Have it run around 300 miles per hour. Link the economies of the west coast together.

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Comments {25}

Chrisb

Just build a working system

from: suddenlynaked
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
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After 15 votes since 1968 for and against rail, I just want something built. I voted for the plan because for the interim, we're stuck with roads and there are problems that need to be addressed with the roads whether we like their existence or not.

After 15 votes on rail around Seattle, we still have no rail and it takes 3 hours to get from Queen Anne to Lake City via bus, pretty much any time of the day.

Out here in Snoho, we just lost an opportunity to run trains from Snoho to Renton. The tracks are already laid, and working freight. Ron Sims worked the deal to RIP UP the tracks for bike trails.

Meanwhile MS is building more buildings in Redmond. If there is ANY company in the world that ought to be investing in telecommuting, it should be MS. Can you imagine the effect on congestion on the eastside if they just had 25% of their people telecommute?

If we build a working system people will use it. We're going to have to accept a few years of empty trains and busses until people get used to the idea that 20 minutes on the train is better than an hour on the road and that it's not just smelly homeless people that ride them. But the politics around things like addrtessing the question on a regional basis are really what killed this. There was toomuch in it for Pierce and Snohomish counties - and dog fucking forbid that people in Seattle might be able to get to Tacoma. Tacoma might be come a liveable city or something.

Politics is killing the planet.

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Brian "Krow" Aker

Re: Just build a working system

from: krow
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
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Ripping up the tracks seems to be pretty dumbass'ish. Part of me hopes someone commutes on the bike trail, but I do not know how realistic that is (when I lived in Ohio I did this for a summer.... Xenia to Yellow Springs and back...).

You don't think MS is doing much for telecommuting?

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Chrisb

Re: Just build a working system

from: suddenlynaked
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
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Well, they're building a whole shitload of office space. It seems like for what they're spending on real estate they could build a private cable system and have people work from home.

What I'm told is that they don't like contractors to be able to telecommute for security reasons, and you can't run a lean corporate machine without contracting out everyone but your core personnel. Otherwise your mailroom people would be FTEs and you can't have that and look like your're efficient for the stockholders.

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Brian "Krow" Aker

Re: Just build a working system

from: krow
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
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Well it is not like their business model involves minting money from an infinite capital.

Ok... errr... it does...

Microsoft is now running vans for employees, maybe they might just build rail next :)


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