Advertisement

Archive for Friday, January 8, 2010

Study: Amtrak could mean millions for Wichita

January 8, 2010

Advertisement

— The proposed Amtrak Northern Flyer train line that would run through Wichita could generate $3.20 in regional economic impact for every $1 invested, according to a new study.

“Overall economic impact shows a break-even return after the first year with a continuing $43 million annual impact,” a summary of the study said.

Estimates project that about 30,700 train riders would visit Wichita each year and spend an average of $105. That would land the city about $3.2 million in tourism dollars a year.

The economic impact study was conducted by Jayhawk Consulting, a group of specially selected MBA students at the Kansas University.

But Amtrak’s study doesn’t quantify economic impact, said Deborah Fischer Stout, president of Northern Flyer Alliance Inc.

The Jayhawk study should help the Northern Flyer Alliance get support for a bill that would authorize the Kansas Department of Transportation to develop services and create a fund for federal money to pass through to pay for the line, Fischer Stout said.

“This moves us forward leaps and bounds,” she said. “The Legislature needs to know why it’s important to re-establish daytime passenger rail service, and this gives them the reasons.”

Fischer Stout said the bill will be sponsored by Sen. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, and probably another senator.

The city of Wichita and many other cities in Kansas and Oklahoma have officially endorsed the route.

Any action likely will hinge on Amtrak’s study.

Trains often don’t make enough profit to cover their costs, but advocates say other benefits show trains are an overall benefit.

Advocates hope that support for the rail service in Kansas and Oklahoma will draw federal stimulus dollars to pay for all startup costs. The state would pay Amtrak to operate the line.

Comments

anon1958 4 years, 9 months ago

I doubt the proclaimed results of this study, lets see it! Post a pdf please.

0

Axe2Grind 4 years, 9 months ago

The pdf is available on the Northern Flyer Alliance website www.northflyer.org.

0

Axe2Grind 4 years, 9 months ago

I know that change is difficult for some. I have read the study. KU did a marvelous job capturing the trickle down public investment in the infrastructure (a new Amtrak route) to the final economic output in direct, indirect, and induced employment.

The "doubt" that most uninformed will experience is due to the fact transportation taxdollar spending is rarely if ever studied to such degree. Have you ever seen an economic study performed prior to highway widening? Have you ever seen an economic study performed with regard to the fair fares subsidy program for Wichita's Mid-Continent airport?

Those who have a problem with this study could be categorized as those who have closed their ears after hearing the initial sound byte. It is probably one of the best economic impact studies I have seen for a proposed transportation source. Most planners just lick their finger and stick it in the air while proclaiming that the "new project" is necessary.

0

Axe2Grind 4 years, 9 months ago

This route would provide an economic jump that could revive some of the on route economies. You cannot save your way to prosperity. Sometimes you have to invest and I see this as an excellent investment by the state of Kansas into a sorely needed transportation option. Economic development rides on transportation corridors. For example, maybe you could fill that "sock" with money if you used a potential Kansas investment and started a business close to the Lawrence depot.

0

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 9 months ago

According to the study's authors, the target rider on the Northern Flyer would be seniors (who have money), VIPs (who obviously have money) and sports fans (who have so much money they're hopping from state to state to see athletic events).

Mark my words: The Northern Flyer will be as much of a riderless, bankrupt embarrassment as our unused money vacuum known scurrilously by thousands as the emp-T.

0

grammaddy 4 years, 9 months ago

Besides Wichita, what is the route?

0

Axe2Grind 4 years, 9 months ago

KDOT's requested Amtrak study will look at stops in Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, Strong City, Newton, Wichita, Arkansas City, Ponca City, OK, Perry, Guthrie, Edmond, Oklahoma City, Norman, Purcell, Pauls Valley, Davis, Ardmore, Gainesville, and Fort Worth. The stops are very short, about 1 to 2 minutes each just to load and unload passengers. This is the great thing about passenger rail. It allows many intermediate stops. You could travel from say Lawrence to Wichita, leave your car at home, see an event at the new arena, walk to your hotel, and return the next morning. That is how it is different from flying. True it is slower than driving but it costs less and is also more comfortable. The seats are spacious and you can even take a nap or work on your computer while the train is rolling along.

0

SettingTheRecordStraight 4 years, 9 months ago

Axe,

Passenger rail predates the automobile. Passenger rail predates the airplane. Passenger rail has been the annual recipient of billion$ in taxpayer dollars. Why then does nobody ride the train? Because it is slow, inefficient, expensive, tardy and unable to get people even close to where they want to go.

Taking a train is akin to taking a boat. Only do it if you have lots of time and money to burn as you slowly drift down a predetermined route to a destination nowhere close to where you really want to be.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 9 months ago

STRS,

I'd point out the inaccuracies, selective choice of information and internal consistencies of your post, but what's the point?

0

Axe2Grind 4 years, 9 months ago

SettingTheRecordStraight (Anonymous) says…

Axe,

Passenger rail predates the automobile. Passenger rail predates the airplane. Passenger rail has been the annual recipient of billion$ in taxpayer dollars. Why then does nobody ride the train? Because it is slow, inefficient, expensive, tardy and unable to get people even close to where they want to go.

Taking a train is akin to taking a boat. Only do it if you have lots of time and money to burn as you slowly drift down a predetermined route to a destination nowhere close to where you really want to be.


Using your logic we should get rid of the automobile because it predates the airplane. Where do you get your figures on ridership?

Annually 150,000 ride the train between St. Louis and Kansas City, this figure is increasing; 82,000 ride the Heartland Flyer between Fort Worth and Oklahoma City. The projected ridership on the Northern Flyer is 150,000 annually and this would just be between Oklahoma City and Kansas City.

These figures are comparable to aviation which does not offer intermediate stops without a parachute and the last I checked no airline provides parachutes or the ability to open the door and several thousand feet.

In fact, a fully loaded Amtrak train can carry many more passengers than a jumbo jet, in more comfort, with more originations and destinations available, for a lesser cost, and a lighter impact on federal/state budgets.

Federal Highway spending is on average about $70 billion before state taxpayer matching requirements. The FAA consumes $14 billion and they do not even offer transportation. You have to get that from our nation's pathetic airlines that charge you $100 round trip to carry baggage.

Amtrak, gets on average a $1.2 billion allotment. They manage their entire operation from the railhead to paying the railroads for dispatching services. You don't have to be photographed nude to check and see if you are carrying any weapons of mass destruction. You can use your cell phone or other electronic devices on the train to increase your productivity or just to pass the time. You also don't have to be under 5 feet tall to fit comfortably in your seat.

Next...

0

lounger 4 years, 9 months ago

Bring it ON! Its about time we had an updated rail system (and Trains) in Kansas-we are Waaay behind europe! The u.s. government doesnt put $$$ ( subsidizing) into our rail system as it does with air travel and a host of other worn out transportation options.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.