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Old 10-03-2012, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,367 posts, read 16,391,048 times
Reputation: 4976

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78% is still better than MARTA's 31.8% fare recovery rate.
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Now your just comparing apples to oranges.
Quote:
I am in favor of HOT lanes that add new capacity to the road network like the I-75 plan, because otherwise, the needed increase in capacity won't happen.
The planned elevated HOT lanes will never make back the cost and environmental degradation. Those horrible elevated lanes will decrease the property value anywhere close to the freeway. Have we all not learned in 60 years or freeway building that adding more lanes never solves congestion. People will change their driving route to take advantage of the new lanes.
Now corndog, I know your a proponent of commuter rail. Don't you think the $1 billion for the 75/575 HOT lanes would be better spent implementing a metro wide commuter rail system that would serve more people than just the several 100,000 commuters that live in those 2 counties and travel that corridor?
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Decatur, GA
4,937 posts, read 3,754,144 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtcorndog View Post
Come on son. If I say it, you can take it to the bank as being true.

NY MTA: Suburban Passengers Get $7 Subsidy Per Ride, Subway Riders, A Buck | Transportation Nation

One trip on the LIRR is subsidized to the tune of $7.34.

Rail never breaks even or even comes close to it. There isn't a transportation agency in the country that comes close to a breakeven point on their fares. Therefore, they beg and plead for taxpayer subsidies.

If you were to build a highway mile in the Atlanta area, it would get much more usage than a mile of commuter rail. On top of it the commuter rail will continue to have operating costs that are much higher per user than the maintenance of a highway. It is just simple economics.

If you want to make a pro-commuter rail case, trying to talk dollars and cents is the wrong path to take because they are money losers.
And how much is each trip on a highway subsidized? A lane of highway costs about 3-4 million per mile (actually more) for a capacity of 2000 cars per hour give or take (less during the rush hours). Most of those cars are single-occupancy vehicles, but being generous, let's raise the capacity to 3000 persons per hour. So the cost for 30 miles of a lane is $40,000 per person per hour. The cost of Minneapolis's Northstar commuter rail (recent start-up, similar to what Atlanta would have) running 3-car trains, was $317,000,000. Each car has a capacity of 360 people. One train per hour would give a capacity of 1080 people per hour, or $29,351 per person per hour. With three car trains running once an hour using that cost of construction, the commuter rail already beats the highway. The Northstar however runs more than once per hour, and I think runs, or has run, more than 3-car trains, so the cost per per person per hour is even lower, because the persons per hour capacity climbs rapidly.

In terms of cost recovery, commuter rail blows highways out of the water. Assuming 23 miles to the gallon (high, but I'm using what I get now) on a 60 mile round trip (30 in, 30 out), Georgia earns back 19.5 CENTS back on that roundtrip via the gas tax of 7.5 cents per gallon. The Northstar fare for an 80 mile round trip (40 in, 40 out) is $12.00, which to the person making the trip is right about the cost of gas for their car. So an Atlanta commuter rail system would earn back a lot more (significantly higher cost recovery ratio) than a new single lane of highway ever will, while having much higher capacity.

I picked Northstar because it was fairly easy. Later if you'd like, I can run comparisons against other systems like the LIRR you cite, however the larger systems will be harder to work out because many have been operating since the privately-owned days.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:45 PM
 
2,407 posts, read 2,625,016 times
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Originally Posted by MattCW View Post
And how much is each trip on a highway subsidized? A lane of highway costs about 3-4 million per mile (actually more) for a capacity of 2000 cars per hour give or take (less during the rush hours). Most of those cars are single-occupancy vehicles, but being generous, let's raise the capacity to 3000 persons per hour. So the cost for 30 miles of a lane is $40,000 per person per hour. The cost of Minneapolis's Northstar commuter rail (recent start-up, similar to what Atlanta would have) running 3-car trains, was $317,000,000. Each car has a capacity of 360 people. One train per hour would give a capacity of 1080 people per hour, or $29,351 per person per hour. With three car trains running once an hour using that cost of construction, the commuter rail already beats the highway. The Northstar however runs more than once per hour, and I think runs, or has run, more than 3-car trains, so the cost per per person per hour is even lower, because the persons per hour capacity climbs rapidly.

In terms of cost recovery, commuter rail blows highways out of the water. Assuming 23 miles to the gallon (high, but I'm using what I get now) on a 60 mile round trip (30 in, 30 out), Georgia earns back 19.5 CENTS back on that roundtrip via the gas tax of 7.5 cents per gallon. The Northstar fare for an 80 mile round trip (40 in, 40 out) is $12.00, which to the person making the trip is right about the cost of gas for their car. So an Atlanta commuter rail system would earn back a lot more (significantly higher cost recovery ratio) than a new single lane of highway ever will, while having much higher capacity.

I picked Northstar because it was fairly easy. Later if you'd like, I can run comparisons against other systems like the LIRR you cite, however the larger systems will be harder to work out because many have been operating since the privately-owned days.
You are making huge assumptions that skew your results.

1. That 1080 people per hour would use the train. That is a big assumption. Heck, the Northstar train you cited doesn't do that amount of round trip rides in an entire day.
2. That people are willing to pay $12 per trip in this area.
3. You ignore that the roads have an economic impact on moving goods and facilitating commerce.
4. You ignore the fact that roads operate 24/7 and even in off-peak hours still provide service. When adding up the entire ridership for the day, I believe the lane would have much more benefit in reducing traffic.

I am in favor of commuter rail, but I am well aware of the challenges and fiscal realities of operating one. They do not break even. They do not come close breaking even.

READ THIS:
Mischief in Minnesota: Northstar and Strategic Misrepresentation - The Transportationist.org
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,367 posts, read 16,391,048 times
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Quote:
I am in favor of commuter rail, but I am well aware of the challenges and fiscal realities of operating one. They do not break even. They do not come close breaking even.
No mass transit breaks even in America. We don't the balls to enact: congestion pricing, raising parking rates, and enacting land-use patterns that makes driving a car inefficient.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:56 PM
 
2,407 posts, read 2,625,016 times
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Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
No mass transit breaks even in America. We don't the balls to enact: congestion pricing, raising parking rates, and enacting land-use patterns that makes driving a car inefficient.
Purposefully enacting legislation to make something that is economically efficient become inefficient solely to try to encourage something that is economically inefficient become efficient is pure stupidity.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:42 PM
 
1,971 posts, read 2,402,140 times
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Northstar is a weird project because not many people even do that commute in a car.
It was mostly done just to make use of the existing rails, and to see what would happen. Sort of experimental commuter rail.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,367 posts, read 16,391,048 times
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Purposefully enacting legislation to make something that is economically efficient become inefficient solely to try to encourage something that is economically inefficient become efficient is pure stupidity.
I am saying that it is efficient in other countries because the legislation has been there for decades and other outside effects, eg: not a lot of land and concentration of people.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:19 PM
 
7,753 posts, read 9,637,715 times
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I know the HOT lanes aren't popular. Personally, I like them. That's because on the rare occasion that I have to go downtown during commuter hours, I hop in the HOT lane and bypass a lot of the traffic. For occasionaly use, they are fine.

That doesn't mean I like them. I was vehemently opposed to them when they started and still am because I believe it is unconstitutional to begin levying a fee on something that has already been paid for using tax dollars. With this logic, why not just put a toll on every single road? Why not put tolls on neighborhood roads? Why not charge a toll any time you need to call police or the fire department? Let's add tuition to public schools. I think once you start putting a fee on a service that is funded by tax dollars, you start down a very dangerous path.

If the HOT lanes are here to stay, I would say they need more exit and entry points. There have been times when I have seen traffic stop mere feet after the dotted line ends. Then you have to crawl for 3 miles before you can get in (I usually just say "f it" and cross the double white lines anyway if there are no police around). I understand they don't want people getting in and out all the time, but maybe a chance every mile would be good. I also don't see why the fee is capped. If you're going to do it, do it. The free market will dictate your equilibrium price. If the state wants to make the most money possible, it will quickly figure out what the best and fairest price is. Finally, I don't understand why it is like 8 cents in the middle of the night. If nobody is using it at all and demand is zero, why not just make it free? I never understood the concept of 24 hour HOV lanes, either. Seems wasteful to me.

It's about time to drop the whole mass transit train argument. You can argue until you are blue in the face, but you're beating your head against a wall. Just face it, it's not happening anytime soon. Try to figure out how we can do the most with what we do have instead of wishing we had more. RAIL IS NOT HAPPENING ALONG 75 OR 85 ANY TIME BEFORE 2025. It's that simple. I don't like it either, but there it is.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:35 PM
 
2,407 posts, read 2,625,016 times
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Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
I am saying that it is efficient in other countries because the legislation has been there for decades and other outside effects, eg: not a lot of land and concentration of people.
It might work there, but to try to shift to that style here to artificially move the needle toward a less popular, less efficient mode of transportation is not the solution here.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:43 PM
 
1,971 posts, read 2,402,140 times
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Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post

It's about time to drop the whole mass transit train argument. You can argue until you are blue in the face, but you're beating your head against a wall. Just face it, it's not happening anytime soon. .
This is the only thing you need to know. Arguing is moot, because rail in ATL isn't going to happen.
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