WWL>Topics>>3-20 11:10am Garland, new train from NOLA to BR

3-20 11:10am Garland, new train from NOLA to BR

Mar 20, 2014|

A train running between New Orleans and Baton Rouge may be possible after all. For years the plan carried a huge price tag, but the latest cost is half of the earlier prediction. Plus, the feds would pay about 80% of the costs. As the costs of infrastructure repairs soar, would a rail line be cheaper? Garland was joined by Michael Hecht, President & CEO of GNO, Inc. on the drastic cut in cost.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Of long years I've lived here I've heard. Considerations. And proposals. For real line between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in particular right after Katrina. And there was always something that Sharpton and environmental concerns calls to politics. Well what -- usual now. Is the latest proposal -- her. Was training system that was gonna cost. Initially. About 450. Million votes. Couldn't thwarted them was back in 2010. Study of the asked. And it kind of died out -- at least conversation about it. Now they're coming out and saying. That the link between Baton Rouge and New Orleans for a train passenger train. Would cause instead 450000206. -- note about the end. 80%. Of that will be provided by the federal government. So this is looking. A whole lot alike admit in public. One of the ways I think they've reduced the media call -- Big -- the traits instead of buying. And I got to believe you'd have a ton of people using thing. What's the year -- can -- the figures on -- -- -- thing will bear with me. Who many think will raw had about 200000. In the first year. I figured even more than that it's only ten dollars each way. So you live in Baton Rouge were to New Orleans. Twenty books do you get to sit and work on that -- you're -- stuck in traffic. Don't worry that -- about whether put fewer miles on your card don't have deployed the I'd tonight with the a blockade every day. So to me that something that made you really control. Initially. The cream is good -- run a 110 model for our. Now overseeing the maximum speed would be about eighty miles an hour nine -- five minutes. Would would. You would need to make the true power. At a much. I don't think you're gonna make it any faster than that by car about long shot. So not -- five minutes seven stops on the route. If your morning -- an afternoon trading in -- Baton Rouge and New Orleans. In Baton Rouge there would be -- station and government street that's downtown Baton Rouge. Gonzales would be City Hall. Main street and applause would have decision. The lure Armstrong. Airport in -- -- stations -- -- -- Would have stationed. And the union passenger. Terminal near the superdome. Unnamed. -- Would have in that. Would be really helpful doing things like Super Bowl -- that you -- games what are people going back and forth. People maybe that couldn't get rooms. Inside of the city -- tell -- we Michael -- of -- and -- Michael. Welcome to -- Thank you ran very well for a for a for a while there -- a throw like a million Malaysian. I couldn't find me I couldn't put me. Our look. We breed. Your prayers -- -- the pain is going to be. Very little could -- would get about ten minutes. This cost of the trains supposedly grown from like for an improved -- 1000206. Who knows what -- -- you know. All I believe that the most important thing is that we are using at least rolling stock this time. And that's typically brought down the costs. I don't know what do you -- the difference is to jobs are not read the whole agent to be study yet. But I do know that -- bringing it down. From about quarter to fifty million down to the 260 about 80% of that would be -- federal government. And the most importantly the annual underwriting has come down significantly Q about six point eight million dollars but I think is about a third. -- to stay for a few years ago that was really the sticking point is what was going to be the annual cost of running this and the fact that's come in now at a a much lower number I think -- wolf for this politically. I've been a -- that some big money and via high speed train projects federal government doled out. Of won't be available for this were we getting the 80%. Federal funding to you know. Are -- election I don't know the specifics -- that have been whether they're tiger grants or what money actually is. But not my understanding is that the majority of it will be available when there was a meeting I know. A few weeks ago -- in DC with the Department of Transportation -- believe that was confirmed. Tell you what this from reasons for business the economy. Attracted to lose to New Orleans and Louisiana. The fact is it's almost axiomatic put transportation infrastructure drives economic development. What you're talking about roads or airports or rail. You're always going to scene you can look at maps that economic development happens around these note to transportation and so. I expect that by having the rail between New Orleans and Baton Rouge -- courtesy a few positive things happen one is. You're gonna see what they called transit oriented development happening around stations so. We have a station by different feel rehab it. I -- you -- posture going to keep building happening around that and job creation happening around that. The second is that it's going to pull New Orleans and Baton -- closer together. I think we've talked about now we have something called the stealth -- super region. Which is New Orleans and Baton Rouge collaborating. On economic development projects and policies it's because we recognize. That together we really are the single labor -- They can compete against larger communities like Houston. So by linking us together this train is going to make this even stronger. As they had a total community. And the third is one I think just felt like safety job you know for a couple years gone I was. Living in New Orleans and working in Baton Rouge I was running a post-Katrina program. And the fact is that having to make tried every day. Is not only inefficient but also by a can be dangerous there's traffic there's accidents. I could think about a kid struggling back and forth between games and even hurricane evacuation. This really -- pop up applause there as well so I'm. I'm I'm very pleased that it's going forward I think the fact that it's not high speed but just 7980 mile an hour perfectly fine. The point is you're going to be able to get on the station. At union passenger terminal. And a little bit over an hour later could really get off in downtown Baton Rouge you could don't work on the way to go all the formal way. And Don that's right -- for our community to work. And and -- operating cost they'll submitted. And new -- six wounded million. But that's only a third of the oil -- back in 2010. Again a big cut in cost same reasons you gave before. I believe them to -- just got to begin to study figure out exactly what. Well what looked at the drivers are of that but that we do note that six point eight is an account to the much smaller number than eighteen million. And we start thinking about the financing options which include you could put. -- surtax secured financing districts. Well -- the stations where basically the incremental revenues triggered by that development can help subsidize that rail. And that's -- that's long way to help cover those cost and the fact is that the economic development -- you're gonna see around those stations and in the community because of the Rleal I think her and -- vastly. Exceeded seven million dollars in annual operating cost. I swear I'm not being -- what blanket down and discouraged we would show a couple of days ago. On infrastructure in the United States more of the engineers pointed out the problem with the -- -- roads and interstates and bridges and other infrastructure. Is a lot of -- -- by gas tax group were driving more fuel efficient cars and apparently we're going to be bribing more of them. Herb federal regulations 2015. And on. And were not driving is much if we have some collective worthy book salesman it's the 2101000. People a year. Duo who do we develop a -- problem. Or a bigger problem not being real paper infrastructure. Well I'm not thinking I think it's a fair point now I don't know that there rail is going to really be that exacerbate that issue so much the main problem is that. Of course the is is aghast taxis is not indexed in any way and so your point's well taken using less gas. I think the future of infrastructure in America in general is gonna come. Down to more of what people call PPPs are public private partnerships which is basically effectuate tanks are privately developed -- -- for example. Which complement publicly accessible other -- -- and that's -- think a lot of our infrastructure is now going to be built. And paid for because the fact is. That across the country not just Louisiana. The public treasury doesn't have the money to you keep building and maintain what we already have. And so you're gonna have to have more these creative types of financing. In order to Portugal for hire you know that's what Michael -- opinion. But I think -- seeing it more more and -- them in Louisiana sweet girl. We've received still a whole lot of cargo drains and an increasing would be. Additional or use of trains for oil. And right see you if this spring comes about -- -- -- doubled so little real lines and some sections. Has anybody take a look at the world this increase stalled traffic court pretty much the same does anybody -- with the sport. Although I don't know but you know it is it is a point and it's. You know we had our annual meeting last week Garland in the scheme was growing into greatness. And what we talked about is that. Other good news is that were growing up for the first time in decades but we also recognize that. As a result of that groups were beginning to TDs. Are growing pains which is things like congestion are things like colleague who will force the scarcity of land scarcity. And we're gonna have to address all these things in a forthright way to wanna grow -- -- That that improves quality of life and improve your comment you can beat -- another example. I wouldn't say that because of that potential increased congestion doesn't mean we shouldn't have the passenger rail. But the same time but I yet we gotta go to this thing eyes wide open and recognize that we have direct manager. Do you know how -- this -- was -- will run I was looking at. One -- out about rouge -- one train on New Orleans is that. Well he would have a preliminary numbers or -- and are doing it out of the twice daily. By that I have to if it is going to be sustainable over time pastor grove fairly quickly Q regular servers there and ultimately. In my opinion ultimately I would have to get to be an hourly service during during the rush our part to the day in the morning. And the evening. And tell you that also won that one and at the tricks here Garland it's almost like this direct flight were trying to get to London were proposing that the direct flight first go three days a week. -- -- keep the cost down but ultimately it's gonna sustain its gonna have to become a seven day a week. Proposition. In the same way although we're historic twice daily 0:1 in the morning one of the night. Potentially for you or -- -- anybody to use this as a regular mart transportation. You're gonna have to have at least are only during rush hour I'm gonna have to to get there otherwise I don't technical work over the law. Michael -- we won't be bothering you -- calling you look any more than end of may may be tomorrow -- -- actually in motion the week but after that was slack. -- I I can just be bothered by your thank you. Good soon you have good. The little things or -- about.