U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-22-2014, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,217,358 times
Reputation: 16496

Advertisements

I don't think Conservatives have anything against public transit. It's merely the way that Liberals go about imposing these things.. not worrying about spending or the kind of taxes they will be imposing on the people. Like a whining kid who wants his new toy, regardless of whether his parents can afford it or not.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-22-2014, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,893 posts, read 7,652,237 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
Nobody is against mass-transit per se. After all we all use mass media, mass marketing, etc, liberal and conservative alike. Airlines are mass transit, and no conservatives are griping about them.

The problem is the cost when you get gov't running the whole show, and decisions are made on the basis of politics rather than cost/benefit. Remember the story about Amtrak when they were selling a cheeseburger for $9.50, but it cost them $16 to produce?
Amtrack lost 800 million dollars on burgers and soda

A non-gov't operation could not do that. But in the case of Amtrak, they get the taxpayer to make up the difference, and conservatives tend to frown at that.

This artcle from a think tank in my state gives cost per passenger mile of various forms of transit (from 2010)
Want a Transportation System That Works? Vanpools. | Washington Policy Center


According to AAA the cost per vehicle mile in 2010 for a medium sedan driving 15,000 miles was 56.2. The average car has 1.5 people in it, so that translates to 37 cents per passenger mile. So:

vanpool: 20 cents per passenger mile
car: 37 cents per passenger mile
bus $1.70 ppm
train $5.39 ppm

Just like with the cheeseburger, the bus and train cannot charge fares high enough to cover their costs, so the taxpayer gets to make up the difference. It's as simple as that. What is needed is a different model for ownership and operation of the mass transit systems so that the costs are not so high.
I think the quoted AAA cost is just what it costs a person to own and operate a car. If roads were not subsidized, and the driver had to bear the whole cost of the roads they use, that figure would increase.



Regarding the vehicle weight issue: I guess it's relevant in temperate climates, but here in the Midwest, and probably in the NE, I suspect that the weather causes the most damage to roads.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2014, 05:14 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,527,356 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
I think the quoted AAA cost is just what it costs a person to own and operate a car. If roads were not subsidized, and the driver had to bear the whole cost of the roads they use, that figure would increase.



Regarding the vehicle weight issue: I guess it's relevant in temperate climates, but here in the Midwest, and probably in the NE, I suspect that the weather causes the most damage to roads.
AAA tends to use assumptions such as: driving a late-model car and replacing it every few years, paying someone else to do all your maintenance, actually doing the maintenance as recommended in the owners' manual, etc. You can save a lot of money by just keeping your car 10 years or so. Right now, I'm driving an 11 year old car, and there's no reason to replace it b/c there's nothing wrong with it. It's had very little maintenance, and we do some of it ourselves.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2014, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 14,261,979 times
Reputation: 7950
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
I think the quoted AAA cost is just what it costs a person to own and operate a car. If roads were not subsidized, and the driver had to bear the whole cost of the roads they use, that figure would increase.



Regarding the vehicle weight issue: I guess it's relevant in temperate climates, but here in the Midwest, and probably in the NE, I suspect that the weather causes the most damage to roads.
That's a good point and does matter in the comparison to trains. But it does not matter in the comparison to the busses, which use the same tax funded roads. And the cost per passenger mile by car is still significantly less than by bus.

Actually your point shows that the gap between car and bus is even worse than my numbers show. Car owners have to pay sales tax (on the purchase), gas tax, tab tax, and tolls, some of which go to help fund roads. Bus riders pay none of that. Transit agencies exempt themselves from all such taxes, at least in my state, so their cost per passenger mile reflects zero contribution to roads and bridges.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2014, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,498,921 times
Reputation: 15950
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post

Regarding the vehicle weight issue: I guess it's relevant in temperate climates, but here in the Midwest, and probably in the NE, I suspect that the weather causes the most damage to roads.
Drive along a road near a warehouse or factory which sees heavy truck traffic, and take note of how many businesses have signs near the parking lot reading "no truck turn-arounds". Eighteen-wheelers chew up parking lots like kids eat candy; one crack at any time can lead to a pothole after the first freeze.

The big rigs are necessary, but they don't absorb the full cost of the damage they do.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,727 posts, read 9,836,437 times
Reputation: 9840
Quote:
Is public transit usually associated with left-wing or more "big government" spending everywhere?

Only when private enterprise rail mass transit was taxed and regulated to death, taken over by "benevolent" government, run into the ground by mismanagement, is public transit associated with "big gubmint" spending.
...

As to the unsubsidized "costs" of operation, in terms of energy consumed, electric traction rail is superior to other forms of land transport (barring a technological breakthrough).

Railroad References:
Efficiency comparisons using passenger-miles per gallon
strickland.ca - transportation energy efficiency (fuel consumption)

[] Max efficiency:
Mode ............. Passenger-miles per gallon
Rail ................ 2000
Trolleybus ...... 750
Tesla Roadster 328
Diesel bus ...... 280
Toyota Prius ... 240
Scooter cycle ..150
Ford Explorer .. 100
[] Typical efficiency:
Mode ............... Passenger-miles per gallon
Rail ................. 600
Trolleybus........ 290
Tesla Roadster.. 246
Diesel bus .......... 78
Scooter cycle .... 75
Toyota Prius ...... 72
Ford Explorer ..... 21
.................
...
Science of Railway Locomotion
At the same constant speed, on level ground, drawing the same load, any steel wheeled railway vehicle already in motion, will use only 5% (1/20) of the energy consumed by any large pneumatic tire road vehicle already in motion. Upon starting and initial acceleration, any steel wheeled railway vehicle will only use 10% (1/10) of the energy demanded by any large pneumatic tire road vehicle.
(For those who missed the point, for each unit of fuel, rail can move up to TWENTY times as much. Or if the majority of transportation was shifted to rail, we could cut fuel consumption up to 80%. With electric regenerative braking, energy lost can be used to overcome inertia, boosting efficiency.)
...
CSX trains averaged 468 miles per gallon per ton.
Fuel-Efficiency - CSX
...
Does big government IMPEDE rail mass transit?
YES.
With a little help from its friends in the automobile / petroleum / highway construction cartel.
"What's good for GM, is good for America!"
(argh)
....
Taken for a Ride (documentary)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JQWRAoL0vk
....
Ray Bradbury Would've Crisscrossed LA With Monorails - Obits - Curbed LA
LA's Worst Transit Decision
In 1963, Alweg proposed to the city of Los Angeles a monorail system that would be designed, built, operated and maintained by Alweg. Alweg promised to take all financial risk from the construction, and the system would be repaid through fares collected. The City Council rejected the proposal in favor of no transit at all. (thanks to Standard Oil)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 12:34 AM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,727 posts, read 9,836,437 times
Reputation: 9840
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
Drive along a road near a warehouse or factory which sees heavy truck traffic, and take note of how many businesses have signs near the parking lot reading "no truck turn-arounds". Eighteen-wheelers chew up parking lots like kids eat candy; one crack at any time can lead to a pothole after the first freeze.

The big rigs are necessary, but they don't absorb the full cost of the damage they do.
Road damage is roughly proportional to the fourth power of the axle load. A 20,000 lb axle causes 16 times as much damage as a 10,000 axle, and 160,000 times as much damage as a 1,000 lb axle (wider tires mitigate the effect slightly). 99% of the traffic damage to roads and highways comes from trucks and buses, while only 33.7% of the cost is borne by them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 12:58 AM
 
Location: The beautiful Garden State
2,683 posts, read 3,413,033 times
Reputation: 3536
Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
I noticed, in most of the US there is an association of transit-friendliness with certain views on the political spectrum.

For example, in the US, the left-wing cities tend to be more public transit friendly, obviously with examples of NYC, San Francisco being the archetypes etc. plus the stereotypically liberal college towns. Rural areas or conservative towns and cities have less public transit. Often this is associated with "big government", since public transit is seen as something requiring a lot of tax money and car ownership associated with more individualism and economic independence. Whatever the causality or whatever the direction of correlation, this seems to be the case within the country.

It seems to hold across countries too (at least at the country level). European countries seem more liberal than the United States and have more public transit. Canadian and Australian public transit is said to be in between the US and Europe and indeed those countries are also intermediate politically on the spectrum: more liberal than the US but less liberal than Europe.

Are there exceptions? Is public transit usually associated with left wing places everywhere?

One exception that seems to stand out is Japan. I don't know that much about its politics but it seems not particularly left-wing, yet has big, dense cities with ample public transit.

Also, does anyone know if this is always, or generally the case that left-wing views and public transit go hand in hand, or is it likely just my impression (based on US worldview assumptions, with only a little knowledge of Europe)?
From what I understand, the need for a subway system in NYC was made clear because of the Great Blizzard of 1888 when it was impossible to get around the city.

I just think that in very large cities it is simply not realistic to have a car, even if you could afford the maintenance and car insurance.

I don't think it has anything to do with being "liberal" or "conservative".

New York is a very large city with 5 boroughs. In Manhattan it is incredibly impractical to have a car -- where would you park it even if you could afford to find parking? Parking in Manhattan and most of NYC is a nightmare.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 04:42 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
2,739 posts, read 2,599,895 times
Reputation: 1434
Right wing capitalists want their workers to get to work in time and to transport the goods they produce just as much as left wingers want transport for the masses. A good transport system is essential foe economic growth whatever your political perspective.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2014, 07:15 AM
 
Location: The Jar
20,068 posts, read 14,424,232 times
Reputation: 36811
What the hey?

No. Public transport is associated with this:

I need a ride!

The reason for needing that ride varies with each individual.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top