That which is right with Syracuse.
10/02/2005 06:56:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
These two letters to the editor were found with a search for "gasoline" on / Post-Standard.

They combat my opinion that there are few Syracusans who are concerned with peak oil, and what to do about it.

Higher gas costs a necessary process

To the Editor:

For those of you advocating reducing gasoline taxes, I earnestly request that you rethink your position. Fossil fuels, especially oil, has a limited supply. It will eventually run out. The only question is whether it will occur sooner or later. Reducing taxes just encourages us to continue using up our oil supply like there is no tomorrow.

We are a nation hooked on cheap fuel because our gasoline taxes are so low compared to other developed countries. Lowering our already low gasoline taxes sounds like it helps people, but it just enables our gas-guzzling habit. The most effective way to reduce our oil consumption is to increase its price. That's starting to happen now. As prices rise, people rethink the unnecessary driving they do and look for more fuel-efficient vehicles. It's not a painless process, but it's a necessary one. If we care for our children, and our children's children, we'll pay the price now and slow our consumption of fossil fuels.

Fred Wenthen


OnTrack provides link where gondola would go

To the Editor:

Over the last few months, some people have been talking about different ways to transport people between downtown Syracuse and University Hill. I would like to point out to them and this community that we have a system is in place today and running under the name of OnTrack.

Over the last 11 years of operation, OnTrack has quietly moved thousands of people each year to many different events at the Dome from downtown.

OnTrack service can be expanded to some other areas of the city of Syracuse at a lower cost versus the cost to build the gondola in the sky, as some people want to do. An example of this would be that you only need to build a platform and walkway to add service to the West Genesee Street area of the city.

Also, it is time for this community to get together and push to finish the long-delayed Park Street bridge project. With that done, OnTrack could finally get to the Regional Transportation Center.

To end with, OnTrack can do more things than it is doing today, if it is given a chance and some support from this community. Take a ride on the little train for a change. For you may find out you like it.

Philip D. Buffham


The connection to the transportation center is a key step that must go forward to improve ridership on OnTrack. Hotels in the downtown area would benefit, as those taking Amtrak or the bus into Syracuse would have a direct, and cheap way to get to their hotel. Next, if you could get the train to extend to the airport, we would really encourage a larger ridership and a much more accessible city. As an aside, no DestinyUSA plan should be drawn up that doesn't include using public transportation using light rail, and given the proximity of the R&D park to both the Airport and Transportation Center, this seems like a great time to start talking about the expansion of OnTrack.
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On 1:29 AM , Anonymous said...

Sorry, but all that proves is that people want to go to the Dome. The fact is that Ontrack is otherwise worthless, thanks to its ridiculously limited route. Who wants a train "system" that runs only on a single corridor? Can you imagine how few people would use the NYC subway system if it only had one route with a handful of stops on it? I never take Ontrack because it doesn't have stations anywhere near where I start or where I want to go. Ontrack only carries about 60 passengers a day average and needs 500 to make money. That's an insurmountable gap. Sometimes a train is completely empty. It's a money pit and NYS taxpayers shouldn't have to subsidize it so much. I'm all for public transportation, but Ontrack isn't viable. Cut the taxpayers' losses now. If you're going to throw millions more into a hole, try something new. Only a fool keeps trying when something is clearly a failure.

On 1:37 AM , Anonymous said...

Um, Anonymous, it should be obvious to anyone but a complete idiot that the reason OnTrack can't get any customers is because it isn't reasonably connected to the regional transit system -- as you mentioned yourself. If it connected to the Amtrak station -- a project which is already nearly complete, with a bridge sitting and waiting to be put into place, the construction costs for which were fully funded as early as 2004 -- it might have an actual chance.

It's being held up by a problem which is mind-bogglingly stupid and would cost very little to fix at this point. There is no rational reason that OnTrack doesn't go to the Amtrak station/regional bus station given that *the connection is paid for*, and you can't seriously expect OnTrack to attract a reasonable number of people until it does.

Only a fool declares something a "failure" because it's been sabotaged.