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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Monday, October 1, 2007
Promises of Boondoggles to Come

Beating the drum for commuter in rail in Sunday's AZ Republic with a story on the Rail Runner in New Mexico:

New Mexico's year-old Rail Runner Express commuter-train system carries about 3,000 people a day into and out of downtown Albuquerque, removing cars from busy freeways and a lot of stress from people like Hedrich.


Early reviews of the system are mixed. People like the train's affordability. Some even like the idea that they are helping to reduce air pollution. Critics, however, say operating the $9 million-a-year system is too expensive and not enough people use it.

For people like Hedrich, it all boils down to convenience and some quiet time they would otherwise not have.

Actually some claim that for the cost of some systems, you could just give each commuter a leased BMW X5. With Rail Runner's numbers you are only looking at $3,000 subsidy per commuter, which would probably put them in a Corolla.

So I'll call it better.

How much did this thing cost to build?

The first phase cost $135 million

A bargain at any price.