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Old 06-24-2018, 05:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
You are operating on false assumptions. Subsidies for transit are vastly higher on a per ride basis. Until the last 10 years or so, the gas tax and tolls DID pay for highways and more-it paid for all federal transit grants and all sorts of other things not directly related to transportation. We should raise the gas tax. But only use it for roads, not for transit. Transit should be a separate appropriation. And note that buses are transit and do use roads.
Subsidies for transit are not "vastly higher". Elsewhere in the world and historically right here in Atlanta transit is operated as a profitable, private business with little to no subsidy.

In fact the streetcar companies were taxed to pave the roads for cars. Talk about lopsided subsidies in favor of cars!

But yeah, I am fine keeping gas tax for cars only. Like I said transit does fine on it's own if given a level playing field. (Though, I do think more direct funding alternatives for roads are needed especially as we go more and more to alternative fuels).

Last edited by jsvh; 06-24-2018 at 06:17 PM..

 
Old 06-24-2018, 06:20 PM
bu2
 
9,293 posts, read 5,948,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
Subsidies for transit are not "vastly higher". Elsewhere in the world and historically right here in Atlanta transit is operated as a profitable, private business with little to no subsidy.

In fact the streetcar companies were taxed to pave the roads for cars. Talk about lopsided subsidies in favor of cars!

But yeah, I am fine keeping gas tax for cars only. Like I said transit does fine on it's own if given a level playing field. (Though, I do think more direct funding alternatives are needed especially as we go more and more to alternative fuels).
What happened in the 1930s is irrelevant. Today transit is subsidized heavily. See page 21.
http://www.apta.com/resources/statis...-Fact-Book.pdf

Heavy rail is 57% farebox recovery, commuter rail 52%, light rail 27%, other rail 25%.
Commuter bus is 51%, regular bus 24%, rapid transit bus is 32%.
And none of the capital costs are included in that. Most transit agencies operate with a 60-75% subsidy before accounting for capital costs.
 
Old 06-24-2018, 07:00 PM
 
10,150 posts, read 7,145,635 times
Reputation: 3137
Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
What happened in the 1930s is irrelevant. Today transit is subsidized heavily. See page 21.
http://www.apta.com/resources/statis...-Fact-Book.pdf

Heavy rail is 57% farebox recovery, commuter rail 52%, light rail 27%, other rail 25%.
Commuter bus is 51%, regular bus 24%, rapid transit bus is 32%.
And none of the capital costs are included in that. Most transit agencies operate with a 60-75% subsidy before accounting for capital costs.
What happened in the 1930s might be inconvenient for your narrative but it is totally relevant. The ability to operate successful, profitable transit companies is not some secret lost to history. Government has just distorted the market against them here in the US.

And those numbers you cite America where we have huge subsidies for their competition (roads) and don't let private transit companies do their thing.

But stop acting like gas taxes are covering the costs of roads, they are not even close. They cover only 32% here in Georgia and half nationally. So even those numbers you are citing for heavy rail are sounding pretty darn rosey against that.

And the discussion should not be about percentage or per-user either. It should be about total amount, and roads & highways take the cake there by a power of ten or hundred.

And on top of that, I am not saying there should be no subsidies. Just that transit is where the subsidies should go it we are going to have them since transit is more accessible, equitable, safer, efficient, leads to better urban design, and more environmentally friendly.
 
Old 06-24-2018, 08:04 PM
bu2
 
9,293 posts, read 5,948,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
What happened in the 1930s might be inconvenient for your narrative but it is totally relevant. The ability to operate successful, profitable transit companies is not some secret lost to history. Government has just distorted the market against them here in the US.

And those numbers you cite America where we have huge subsidies for their competition (roads) and don't let private transit companies do their thing.

But stop acting like gas taxes are covering the costs of roads, they are not even close. They cover only 32% here in Georgia and half nationally. So even those numbers you are citing for heavy rail are sounding pretty darn rosey against that.

And the discussion should not be about percentage or per-user either. It should be about total amount, and roads & highways take the cake there by a power of ten or hundred.

And on top of that, I am not saying there should be no subsidies. Just that transit is where the subsidies should go it we are going to have them since transit is more accessible, equitable, safer, efficient, leads to better urban design, and more environmentally friendly.
That number is like the one sent about 10 years back that claimed taxes only paid 80-90%. When you looked at the actual numbers and took out use of the money for other purposes, it was actually 105%.

They discredit themselves in the 2nd paragraph. That 50% ignores $28 billion from federal gasoline taxes. Its an obvious intent to distort the numbers and makes you question a lot of their other assumptions. Even if their other numbers aren't distorted, that gets it up close to 70%. And they also exclude "deficit financed" which is a number prone to manipulation in any sense.

And even your source says transit was at 22% when their number showed roads at 50%.
 
Old 06-24-2018, 08:05 PM
bu2
 
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There were a lot of things that made economic sense in the 20s and 30s that no longer make sense.
 
Old 06-24-2018, 08:35 PM
 
1,270 posts, read 549,303 times
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This can go on all day but the short story is... regardless of any of our opinions, its highly unlikely MARTA will be losing any subsidies anytime soon, infact they are talking about adding ADDITIONAL tax to cover the expansion of those BRT HOT lanes through North Fulton when they need to be extending the Red Line which has been forsaken for decades.
 
Old 06-24-2018, 09:39 PM
 
10,150 posts, read 7,145,635 times
Reputation: 3137
We can go back and forth all day about percentages, but no one is going to deny that dollar-for-dollar roads are getting way, way more subsidization than transit. And if we are going to subsidize there are a lot more benefits to transit.

If people want to directly pay to use faster, wider roadways they should certainly have that choice but the few cents we are taking out of gas tax is not cutting it with these billion dollar roadway projects.

Even that extention up GA400, the roadway lanes are costing $1.8B but MARTA is only getting $100M for it's buses. If all that money went to transit it would add way, way more capacity than these two lanes and get us much more bang-for-the-buck.
 
Old 06-25-2018, 12:17 AM
 
1,270 posts, read 549,303 times
Reputation: 1069
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
We can go back and forth all day about percentages, but no one is going to deny that dollar-for-dollar roads are getting way, way more subsidization than transit. And if we are going to subsidize there are a lot more benefits to transit.

If people want to directly pay to use faster, wider roadways they should certainly have that choice but the few cents we are taking out of gas tax is not cutting it with these billion dollar roadway projects.

Even that extention up GA400, the roadway lanes are costing $1.8B but MARTA is only getting $100M for it's buses. If all that money went to transit it would add way, way more capacity than these two lanes and get us much more bang-for-the-buck.
Admittedly the 1.8 Billion for BRT and HOT lanes up GA-400 IS a stupid idea and one that I pray never passes. That money really needs to go toward the Red Line but I personally chalk that up to Georgia catering to the folks up in North Fulton who practically veto anything in the way of transit or highway expansion...still ticks me off though.
 
Old 06-25-2018, 07:16 AM
 
1,409 posts, read 1,605,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKanye View Post
Cool graphic. But I just don't see it happening here. it's a struggle to get things done in other parts of the country that are more friendly towards mass transit.

Seems like folks move to Atlanta to get away from all that mass transit, taxes, bike lanes.

And in theory I like it, I am not against it. But the reality of living here has tempered my expectations of progress.
Bike lanes are being expanded, the More Marta tax passed to expand transit, and as a part of the next phase of the city's zoning overhaul minimum parking requirements will change drastically. It is happening anyway whether you "see it" or not.

I don't know if you've noticed but the city is growing faster than most of the counties in the region and is planning to double (at least) in population. Under those circumstances the ONLY option is to plan like a city and not a car-oriented suburb.
 
Old 06-25-2018, 08:40 AM
bu2
 
9,293 posts, read 5,948,161 times
Reputation: 3714
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvh View Post
We can go back and forth all day about percentages, but no one is going to deny that dollar-for-dollar roads are getting way, way more subsidization than transit. And if we are going to subsidize there are a lot more benefits to transit.

If people want to directly pay to use faster, wider roadways they should certainly have that choice but the few cents we are taking out of gas tax is not cutting it with these billion dollar roadway projects.

Even that extention up GA400, the roadway lanes are costing $1.8B but MARTA is only getting $100M for it's buses. If all that money went to transit it would add way, way more capacity than these two lanes and get us much more bang-for-the-buck.
Only you can make that argument. Do they spend more on roads? Yes. 96% of the people in most major metro areas, including Atlanta, drive instead of using mass transit. 100% of the people outside major metro areas drive for local trips. Most people on mass transit use buses which use the roads. On a per trip basis, transit subsidies are vastly higher as your own link shows. It shows it at 78% vs. 30%.
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