Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Airlines at Boeing Field, part deux:

Today Ron Sims rejected plans to move passenger air travel to Boeing Field. This means that Airport Link light rail plans have no significant remaining obstacles - assuming that the Port of Seattle continues work as planned on the return-to-terminal loop and the North Airport Expressway, Link Light Rail will run from Downtown to the Airport by the end of 2009.

I find one bit of this article most curious. It says: "Even with the expansion, the airport expects to reach its capacity in 2021." So, right now, it's 2005 - and airlines are cutting service left and right because of rising fuel prices. Many airlines continue to benefit from fuel agreements signed many months ago, but those agreements will not protect them for much longer from current fuel prices.

Why do we believe that the people who currently fly will be able to afford to with fares increasing so drastically in price? There's no indication that fuel prices will ever fall much below their current levels again, and a strong indication that prices will continue to rise. At what point do the Port and the airlines start taking this into account?


At 12:04 PM, Anonymous EvergreenRailfan said...

The big airlines hate Southwest, and are using whatever money they have left to prevent Southwest from using the money they make. They are still pressuring them to move to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. The latest dirty trick was cutting it off from Dallas's expanding Light Rail system, saying the line heading out to DFW, going underneath Love Field, would not get much ridership. It would have made interchanges between airpots EASIER!

We need more transportation options, and I do not want to see any airport be subsidized by local taxpayers, and Southwest would have kept King County Airport free from Local Subsidies. Hopefully this will be a wakeup call to the Port of Seattle, how close they came to losing Southwest. The Port has other problems, with other operations that are not being full utilized, such as both Cruise Ship Terminals, and the Container Terminals. If I were the Port, give Southwest first right of refusal on the slots that the bankrupt legacy carriers currently have.

The airline industry is over-subsidized, while Amtrak gets nothing, and asked why they are not able to compete. E

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Ben Schiendelman said...

We're certainly on the same page here. :)

I wonder how connected WSDOT and the Ports are - I'd really love to know where the trends are in shipping modes.

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous EvergreenRailfan said...

The Port of Seattle's real competition in container cargo in the area is Tacoma. The Port of Tacoma is blessed with not only a deep harbor(like the rest of Puget Sound), but a first-rate terminal railway owned and operated by the Tacoma PUD that can forward container trains to the BNSF and UP interchange. I am not sure about the Port of Tacoma turning a profit, but Tacoma Rail does, and besides investing that money back into their infrastructure, they pay taxes to the state and city of Tacoma. There is waste at SeaTac, like $9000 for a window pane, replacing the terminal subway only because it was old, and putting a shopping mall in there. Candidates for Port Commissioner were debating on the Seattle Channel recently, and get this, both candidates being interviewed by host C.R. Douglas were saying the Port should be operating at a profit, not a loss. THe Cruise terminals are empty during the week, even in Summer.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Frank Bruno said...

Isn't the SR-518 expansion contingent on I-912 failing this fall? That seems to be real last hurdle for getting Light Rail to the airport. I think that the transportation bill has something like $6.25m earmarked for that, which will determine when or if the Port can improve the Airport Loop.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Ben Schiendelman said...

Frank: That 6.25 million is for the Burien interchange. The improvements to for Link are on the Airport Expressway. Apparently, I was mistaken in the original post (and I'll go back and change it) - SR 518 itself requires no work for Link, these projects are both on Port of Seattle roads.


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