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Old 08-24-2011, 09:54 PM
 
1,316 posts, read 3,012,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DexterCat View Post
thats all you had to say.

glad we agree finally
That makes about as much sense as a 10-legged dog.

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Old 08-24-2011, 09:57 PM
 
Location: san antonio texas
1,805 posts, read 2,182,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xsa210tx View Post
That makes about as much sense
makes total sense to those of us who run businesses and know how one operates.

i think i hear your bus coming...
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:37 AM
 
1,316 posts, read 3,012,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DexterCat View Post
makes total sense to those of us who run businesses and know how one operates.
Sure, tell yourself that.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:24 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,813 posts, read 33,115,376 times
Reputation: 13587
Some posts above were deleted. Discuss the topic and not each other.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
522 posts, read 520,170 times
Reputation: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsa210tx View Post
Yeah a business to run with excessive overtime and no improvements in the system?! Yeah let's just let everyone go hogwild why don't we?!
Those are hyperbolic statements. It's been explained several times in here that costs have undoubtedly gone up - the cost of diesel fuel, for just one example. It costs marginally more to run the VIA system than it did a few years ago, just like every transportation business. VIA is unable to go into debt, and so cannot simply borrow to cover its operating loss. Other transportation providers such as trucking companies, airlines, etc., simply tack on a "fuel surcharge". Transit providers don't have that luxury. They can only raise fares, or cut costs. Now, arguably, there are costs that could be cut at VIA - again, I don't know their financials or their operating conditions so I can't say for sure.

But neither can you. You keep harping on "excessive overtime", but you fail to offer any statistics, facts, or even anecdotes (besides a years-old TV report that you cite) to support the assertion that VIA's overtime is "excessive". Compared to what? Other transit authorities? Private business? It seems to me that it's more of a class envy kind of thing with you. You've decided arbitrarily that a bus driver "shouldn't" make six figures. You fail to offer an argument in support of that; you simply assert it as if it's foregone.

I've explained it once before, but I think it bears repeating - there are times when it makes economic good sense to pay overtime rather than hire another employee. The first and most obvious case is when the cost of two employees (salary and benefits) exceeds that of the cost of one employee making overtime. The admittedly overly-simplified example I provided was: the cost of one employee with a base salary of $60,000 who makes $40,000 in overtime (for a total of $100,000) versus two employees with base salaries of $60,000 (for a total of $120,000) who do the work that the one employee could have covered with overtime.

Second - transit is heavily labor-intensive and labor-dependent. To be ridiculously obvious, *every* bus needs a bus operator. To meet what's called a given bus route's "load line" (which determines the frequency for the riders), you need a certain number of buses on the street, each of which requires a driver. Most of the time, when scheduling transit, there is simply no way to assign drivers 'perfectly', so that everyone gets an even 8-hour run. There are a variety of reasons for this, but one of the most obvious is that the length of a given bus route varies. One route might take 23 minutes to complete, another 18, another an hour and 42 minutes. When schedulers (sometimes called "run cutters") assign runs to a slate of bus operators, they take the low-hanging fruit first and compile trips into runs that come as close to 8 hours as possible (some a little more, some a little less). Next, they take all of the little left-overs and try to cobble together less efficient (but still reasonable) runs. Finally, the left over odd-ball stuff is handled.

Now, there are a few ways you can handle that odd-ball stuff. You can assign those odd-ball trips to existing runs (and incur some overtime), or you can hire X more drivers to handle those odd-ball trips that can't be cobbled together into a reasonable 8 hour run. *Sometimes* (as I showed above), it's less expensive to simply extend some drivers' runs and pay them overtime, than to hire more drivers to sit around for a portion of their workday (collecting salary and benefits) just to cover the odd-ball trips that don't fit into the "reasonable" runs. For example, if a driver is at the end of a route and at the end of a "normal" 8 hour work day, but there is one more trip on that route in the opposite direction that he or she could handle, for the cost of a little overtime, it makes sense to assign that trip to him or her and pay the overtime, rather than having hired ANOTHER driver to take ANOTHER bus out of the garage, drive it to the start point, and do that one trip. It's also marginally more environmentally impactful, because you've now put another bus on the street.

There are other reasons to pay overtime that have to do with covering unforeseen circumstances like sick call-outs and other day to day emergencies. The only other option in those cases would be to simply not run the bus. With transit, that's just not a good option. I'm sure you would agree that de facto service cuts because of sick employees is not a good way to do business. But there are only really two ways to avoid that: hire employees to sit around and wait for sick call-outs and vacations, etc., or pay overtime to the existing workforce to cover them. Normally, the approach is a combination of both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xsa210tx View Post
Just because people have a business "to run" doesn't give them an excuse to raise fares at will every few years, especially if they are not providing some type of detailed analysis on WHY they really need to do so.
Agreed. And I assume that that detailed analysis was presented at the hearing (although I wasn't there, so I can't say for sure - but I've been in attendance and even presented these kinds of hearings before). Were you there?

Last edited by jb9152; 08-25-2011 at 08:28 AM.. Reason: Typos!
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:45 AM
Status: "just keep scrolling then?" (set 11 days ago)
 
14,613 posts, read 31,133,706 times
Reputation: 6656
Are we STILL talking about a friggin' QUARTER???

And a dime for the seniors? Can we all just donate a roll of dimes to every one of them so this thread will just cease to exist?

Seriously ridiculous.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: san antonio texas
1,805 posts, read 2,182,530 times
Reputation: 623
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire View Post
Are we STILL talking about a friggin' QUARTER???

And a dime for the seniors? Can we all just donate a roll of dimes to every one of them so this thread will just cease to exist?

Seriously ridiculous.
i have to agree with this. if youre upset over a quarter and a lack of a senior discount, youre managing your finances wrong.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:58 PM
 
1,316 posts, read 3,012,470 times
Reputation: 937
Great job rabble rousers!!! >>

VIA puts boost in fares, route cuts on hold - San Antonio Express-News

NOTE: if they ever consider raising the fares again (especially on the elderly and with transfers elimination)....the rabble rousing will begin again!
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:47 PM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,256 posts, read 8,982,091 times
Reputation: 6340
....ah, so the taxpayers will pay even MORE for a service they don't use. Makes perfect sense!
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:50 PM
 
Location: san antonio texas
1,805 posts, read 2,182,530 times
Reputation: 623
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasRedneck View Post
....ah, so the taxpayers will pay even MORE for a service they don't use. Makes perfect sense!
capitalism at its best! lets pay for stuff we dont use so others can...

Quote:
All of the revenue VIA collects from ticket sales pays for operations' costs, such as bus fuel. None of it goes toward capital projects, such as construction.
so people gripe and moan about VIA not improving its services and their monies are barely paying for operation costs.

that means, taxpayers like myself, are footing the bill for all these improvements you want and will never use them. time for you, the bus rider, to start paying more if you want better services instead of expecting me, the tax payer who never uses VIA, to foot the bill.
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