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Old 12-07-2008, 11:58 AM
 
2,742 posts, read 4,988,255 times
Reputation: 487

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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeezeboxgal View Post
And an automobile falls into this category as well -- especially when it's unnecessary.

But you know what? We're never going to see eye-to-eye, so I quit. You win.
Yes it does, that is my point,
Subway is also UNNECESSARY.
No please, since big cities, and actually whole countries goes without subways, how come in NYC is special and not a luxury or necessary?
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:01 PM
 
2,742 posts, read 4,988,255 times
Reputation: 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles View Post
me too. bye op and others, he wins.
I cant believe this, since you people dont want to say it, you just stop and say I win... I know is hard to say it, but say it, is unfair, and it is a luxury.
Oh and I am the OP.
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
7,901 posts, read 13,745,522 times
Reputation: 2417
I agree that for many people who live oustside of the subway grid, a car is not a luxury. But anywhere within the subway covered areas it is.

We also have to keep in mind, that Manhattan and much of Brooklyn in particular were not designed with so much automoble use in mind. Take a trip on the FDR or the West Side Highway and you are quickly reminded of that. They were pretty much built as scenic routes for those who could afford the luxury of a car. With this in mind, people that come into Manhattan driving are in some ways causing a nuisance. I know I know hey they live in outside areas and don't have access to public transportation. But if you choose to live outside of the subway grid you should be prepared to carry some of the burden you cause by driving into the gridded areas, and for many years people weren't and this in turn has only further encouraged people to get automobiles and further deepened the problem.

Last edited by NooYowkur81; 12-07-2008 at 01:41 PM..
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Now in Houston!
923 posts, read 2,451,005 times
Reputation: 633
I'd like to weigh in on this argument, because the "luxury" vs. "necessity" debate has declined into the absurd, and because it is highly subjective, will never be settled.

The bottom line is that MTA "needs" more revenue, so where is it going to come from? The people who use the system ("riders") or the people who subsidize the system ("drivers")?

Simple economics and common sense would indicate that when the costs of delivering a service exceed the revenue, than higher fees must be charged to the users of the system. However, in government service delivery, simple economics are ignored for the sake of political expediency and correctness and the need to satisfy special interests. The rules of the marketplace are distorted by misguided notions of "fairness" and the desire to change certain "bad" economic behavior.

This is the genesis of absurd arguments like "Tolls are good for the environment because they discourage people from driving". Arguments like this play into overly simplified notions of "feel good environmentalism" that are accepted by people who don't seem to give much thought to the subject.

The reason tolls are being considered as part of the revenue solution is actually the opposite of the environmental reason: The real reason is that tolls provide a reliable and predictable source of income because drivers coming into Manhattan either 1) have no choice or 2) could care less about a toll.

I will lay out a few reasons for this, based again on simple economics and common sense.

1. On a typical weekday, most of the bridge traffic is small businesses, wholesalers, electricians, plumbers etc. (who also now have to pay for street parking on weekdays) plus cab and livery drivers. These people make their living in Manhattan and must bring their vehicles, so tolls become another in a series of increasing costs of doing business in this region. The other class of drivers are those who either choose to pay the huge cost of driving and parking in Manhattan ($45-60 per day) or have it covered by their employer. An extra $5 doesn't make any difference to these people.

2. The idea that hundreds of thousands of drivers per day are going to leave their cars at home and jump on the subway because a $5 Brooklyn Bridge toll is just plain dumb. All of the people who can take public transportation are already doing it, at least when it comes to the daily 9-5 commute. Again -- because of simple economics. It costs less and it is convenient.

3. Lets assume for a moment that the tolls will somehow reduce bridge traffic by hundreds of thousands of cars per day and increase subway/bus ridership. Common sense dictates that in this scenario the tolls would create an even bigger problem: more demand for service (former drivers) and a declining revenue source (tolls).

By the way, this is the same argument that can be made in opposition to "Congestion Pricing" (a.k.a. "Tolls").
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Now in Houston!
923 posts, read 2,451,005 times
Reputation: 633
Also, a somewhat unrelated argument I'd like to make is that even without considering toll revenue, "drivers" disproportionately subsidize the system.

It is a solid assumption that most "drivers" who work in city are also public transportation users, whether by commuter rail, express bus, subway or local bus (usually a combination of the above). They contribute a larger share of system's revenue whole consuming a smaller share of its resources because they are using higher-cost, profitable products (commuter rail, express bus), but generally only use the system for commuting. These "drivers" subsidize the system for the "24/7" users every time they buy a MetroCard too!
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Old 12-07-2008, 02:09 PM
 
2,742 posts, read 4,988,255 times
Reputation: 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpstaterInBklyn View Post
I'd like to weigh in on this argument, because the "luxury" vs. "necessity" debate has declined into the absurd, and because it is highly subjective, will never be settled.

The bottom line is that MTA "needs" more revenue, so where is it going to come from? The people who use the system ("riders") or the people who subsidize the system ("drivers")?

Simple economics and common sense would indicate that when the costs of delivering a service exceed the revenue, than higher fees must be charged to the users of the system. However, in government service delivery, simple economics are ignored for the sake of political expediency and correctness and the need to satisfy special interests. The rules of the marketplace are distorted by misguided notions of "fairness" and the desire to change certain "bad" economic behavior.

This is the genesis of absurd arguments like "Tolls are good for the environment because they discourage people from driving". Arguments like this play into overly simplified notions of "feel good environmentalism" that are accepted by people who don't seem to give much thought to the subject.

The reason tolls are being considered as part of the revenue solution is actually the opposite of the environmental reason: The real reason is that tolls provide a reliable and predictable source of income because drivers coming into Manhattan either 1) have no choice or 2) could care less about a toll.

I will lay out a few reasons for this, based again on simple economics and common sense.

1. On a typical weekday, most of the bridge traffic is small businesses, wholesalers, electricians, plumbers etc. (who also now have to pay for street parking on weekdays) plus cab and livery drivers. These people make their living in Manhattan and must bring their vehicles, so tolls become another in a series of increasing costs of doing business in this region. The other class of drivers are those who either choose to pay the huge cost of driving and parking in Manhattan ($45-60 per day) or have it covered by their employer. An extra $5 doesn't make any difference to these people.

2. The idea that hundreds of thousands of drivers per day are going to leave their cars at home and jump on the subway because a $5 Brooklyn Bridge toll is just plain dumb. All of the people who can take public transportation are already doing it, at least when it comes to the daily 9-5 commute. Again -- because of simple economics. It costs less and it is convenient.

3. Lets assume for a moment that the tolls will somehow reduce bridge traffic by hundreds of thousands of cars per day and increase subway/bus ridership. Common sense dictates that in this scenario the tolls would create an even bigger problem: more demand for service (former drivers) and a declining revenue source (tolls).

By the way, this is the same argument that can be made in opposition to "Congestion Pricing" (a.k.a. "Tolls").
Thanks nice post,,,
I couldnt post it better.....
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Old 12-07-2008, 02:15 PM
 
2,742 posts, read 4,988,255 times
Reputation: 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpstaterInBklyn View Post
3. Lets assume for a moment that the tolls will somehow reduce bridge traffic by hundreds of thousands of cars per day and increase subway/bus ridership. Common sense dictates that in this scenario the tolls would create an even bigger problem: more demand for service (former drivers) and a declining revenue source (tolls).
OH and you are forgetting one thing also, with more demand of service, more deficit it will have, since more subway cars would be needed, and more maintenance.

Last edited by cjma79; 12-07-2008 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 12-07-2008, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Bedford Park, Bronx
318 posts, read 739,932 times
Reputation: 63
I haven't read all the posts, so excuse me if someone else has already made this point...Drivers should be partially responsible for subsidizing the mass transit system, because they benefit greatly from it in the way of reduced road congestion by keeping potential drivers on the subway and off the roads. Think of how crowded the roads would be if all the mass transit riders were in their own cars!
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Old 12-07-2008, 02:53 PM
 
2,742 posts, read 4,988,255 times
Reputation: 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Piper View Post
I haven't read all the posts, so excuse me if someone else has already made this point...Drivers should be partially responsible for subsidizing the mass transit system, because they benefit greatly from it in the way of reduced road congestion by keeping potential drivers on the subway and off the roads. Think of how crowded the roads would be if all the mass transit riders were in their own cars!
Finally a valid point.
And drivers are helping let say 500+ millions dollars a year in surplus.
Also subway users should be responsible for subsidizing the mass transit that they personally use.
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Now in Houston!
923 posts, read 2,451,005 times
Reputation: 633
Quote:
OH and you are forgeting one thing also, with more demand of service, more deficit it will have, since more subway cars would be needed, and more maintenance.
The anti-automobile lobby here on C-D should be thankful that there are so many drivers subsidizing the system and not using it as much as they do, because more public transportation users would create even larger problems that we have today. If the system had to suddenly take on a huge number of new users, it would surely collapse, because there is a structural imbalance in the finances.

By reading the annual reports, it is obvious that ridership and fare revenue has been growing year after year. The problem is that expenses keep going up faster than revenue, so delivering a dollar's worth of service costs significantly more than a dollar. This is unsustainable.

This is typical public-sector economics and management at work. The bloated bureaucracy, inefficiency and union contracts create a never-ending cycle of cost increases, which only gets worse as the services are utilized more by the public. "Revenue enhancement" is seen as the only solution. (BTW, don't you love the name "Mobility Tax"? It's almost as good as "Congestion Pricing").

I saw an interview with Ravitch this morning on Channel 7. He was asked about cost savings and improving efficiency. His answer was basically that no cost saving measures were even being considered. The reason given is that no amount of cost saving could prevent a fare increase. OK - that seems reasonable given the 10-figure deficit numbers we are dealing with, but my argument is that couldn't cost reduction be PART of the solution? No. Nobody in politics wants to take on this challenge because it means opposing unions and political pork and patronage.

Another BIG problem I have with MTA management is that during the real-estate boom they were collecting huge amounts of revenue from mortgage recording taxes. Where did that money go? Why didn't they save it for a rainy day like the city did?
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