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Old 01-23-2014, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,902 posts, read 7,681,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
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.
The "user fees" (gas tax, registration fees, etc.) that car owners pay, are part of the AAA number you quoted earlier. Adding in the costs that everyone--not just car owners--pays for roads, to the cost of driving, reduces the gap between car and bus. (just how much that gap is reduced depends on the state, and how their roads are funded) Then, when it's considered that bus riders don't pay "user fees" to fund roads, that gap grows a little. But, I still believe that gap is less than $1.33. ($1.70 - $0.37) Again, it depends on the locality, and how their roads are funded.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 14,323,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
The "user fees" (gas tax, registration fees, etc.) that car owners pay, are part of the AAA number you quoted earlier. Adding in the costs that everyone--not just car owners--pays for roads, to the cost of driving, reduces the gap between car and bus. (just how much that gap is reduced depends on the state, and how their roads are funded) Then, when it's considered that bus riders don't pay "user fees" to fund roads, that gap grows a little. But, I still believe that gap is less than $1.33. ($1.70 - $0.37) Again, it depends on the locality, and how their roads are funded.
Yes, the user fees are included in the AAA calculation, but not in the cost per passenger mile of the bus, because busses don't pay those fees. That's the point.

The gap may be less than $1.33. For one thing the AAA number is national while the bus number is only from my state (WA). Or the gap might be more, once the user fee discrepancy is accounted for. Either way, it's remarkable that it costs less to move a body down the road by private automobile than by bus.

There should be economies of scale with the bus--the cost per passenger mile by bus should be less, but it's clearly not. That's the main reason for mass-anything. What mass transit needs is a new economic model. Mass transit needs to get beyond the Amtrak model, where you make a cheeseburger for $16.15, sell it for $9.50, and get the taxpayers to make up the difference. And the cheeseburger is reportedly barely edible.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,902 posts, read 7,681,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
Yes, the user fees are included in the AAA calculation, but not in the cost per passenger mile of the bus, because busses don't pay those fees. That's the point.

The gap may be less than $1.33. For one thing the AAA number is national while the bus number is only from my state (WA). Or the gap might be more, once the user fee discrepancy is accounted for. Either way, it's remarkable that it costs less to move a body down the road by private automobile than by bus.

There should be economies of scale with the bus--the cost per passenger mile by bus should be less, but it's clearly not. That's the main reason for mass-anything. What mass transit needs is a new economic model. Mass transit needs to get beyond the Amtrak model, where you make a cheeseburger for $16.15, sell it for $9.50, and get the taxpayers to make up the difference. And the cheeseburger is reportedly barely edible.
Public transit becomes more efficient, as more people use it. Part of the reason the cost PPM of public transit is so much higher than cars, is because fewer people use public transit. Because so little money is spent on transit, relative to roads, it has become too inconvenient for most people--in most locations--to choose it over their cars. Also, because the US has embraced the automobile so thoroughly, we've spread our infrastructure out in such a way that makes it difficult to run public transit efficiently.

I could go on and on about this (and I have, just ask around in this forum ) but I'm feeling too distracted/unfocused today to so coherently.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Because so little money is spent on transit, relative to roads, it has become too inconvenient...
In my area (Seattle/Puget sound) there is actually more money spent on transit than on non-transit. About 60% of transportation spending goes to transit.
HOW PUBLIC OFFICIALS SPEND OUR TRANSPORTATION TAXES

Yet the cost per passenger mile remains much higher for bus than for car. Plus transit accounts for only about 2.5% of trips. How much would have to be spent on transit before they could make it convenient enough for people to use, and then (according to your theory) get their ppm cost down?

Or is it possible that the problem is not insufficient spending, but the economic model that is being used?
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,902 posts, read 7,681,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
In my area (Seattle/Puget sound) there is actually more money spent on transit than on non-transit. About 60% of transportation spending goes to transit.
HOW PUBLIC OFFICIALS SPEND OUR TRANSPORTATION TAXES

Yet the cost per passenger mile remains much higher for bus than for car. Plus transit accounts for only about 2.5% of trips. How much would have to be spent on transit before they could make it convenient enough for people to use, and then (according to your theory) get their ppm cost down?

Or is it possible that the problem is not insufficient spending, but the economic model that is being used?
I can't say why people aren't using transit in the Puget Sound region.

Ohio is at the other end of the spectrum. Less than 1% of the state's transportation spending goes to transit.
https://secure3.convio.net/oec/site/...rAction&id=511
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 14,323,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
I can't say why people aren't using transit in the Puget Sound region.

Ohio is at the other end of the spectrum. Less than 1% of the state's transportation spending goes to transit.
https://secure3.convio.net/oec/site/...rAction&id=511
My number was a region-wide number, for the Puget Sound, which is pretty much the only heavily urbanized area in the state. I'm sure a state-wide number would be much lower than 60%.

In my experience these numbers generally are tough to tease out. The gov't folks sure don't want them out. They make things as complicated as possible, which guarantees them non-transparency.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,630,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
My number was a region-wide number, for the Puget Sound, which is pretty much the only heavily urbanized area in the state. I'm sure a state-wide number would be much lower than 60%.

In my experience these numbers generally are tough to tease out. The gov't folks sure don't want them out. They make things as complicated as possible, which guarantees them non-transparency.
That is the problem with the numbers is that you are looking at the region as a whole and it is a known fact that suburbs in the US struggle with public transit. Also the city of Seattle can skew the numbers with how heavily public transit is used there.

Another thing to consider is that the Puget Sound is a massive region and the metro doesn't have anywhere near the amount of complex transit options to fully handle everything and has expanded into areas it probably should have expanded, thus spreading its transit dollars even more thin.

I am not sure how the Puget Sound does its transit budget, but I know Portland has Metro which makes it easier when it comes to regional planning of public transit.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:11 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,965,304 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
In my area (Seattle/Puget sound) there is actually more money spent on transit than on non-transit. About 60% of transportation spending goes to transit.
HOW PUBLIC OFFICIALS SPEND OUR TRANSPORTATION TAXES

Yet the cost per passenger mile remains much higher for bus than for car. Plus transit accounts for only about 2.5% of trips. How much would have to be spent on transit before they could make it convenient enough for people to use, and then (according to your theory) get their ppm cost down?

Or is it possible that the problem is not insufficient spending, but the economic model that is being used?
What is the comparison - what is the estimated cost of driving per passenger mile vs. cost of transit per passenger mile that we're using here and what is included in those costs?

On its face it seems like a bad comparison. Transit riders don't travel very far but there are substantial fixed costs in the system. Transit systems also have to maintain a basic level of service during off-peak hours which carries few riders.

You'd get a more useful comparison by looking at all of it - cost per passenger hour, cost per vehicle hour, cost per revenue hour, etc.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 14,323,171 times
Reputation: 7950
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post

You'd get a more useful comparison by looking at all of it - cost per passenger hour, cost per vehicle hour, cost per revenue hour, etc.
I don't have all those numbers...perhaps you can supply them.

In the meantime cost per passenger mile is a pretty basic and useful metric. Both transit and private vehicle face the same problem of transportation at odd hours, and in my experience private vehicle provides a much better solution. I start work at 5AM and there is no viable transit solution for me. If there were, I would use it.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:52 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,780 posts, read 74,808,727 times
Reputation: 48354
The underclass here uses public transportation. Being poor is ok, being violent and criminal is not. If you get mugged here, he will not come in a car, he will come on the trolley. The same is true in France-- like here-- public transport has become an ugly experience and sometimes a dangerous one, not just a poor experience.
Reading the many responses on this thread to my posts, no i wont google, copy and paste the links for the stats, you can do that just as i did.

Last edited by Huckleberry3911948; 01-23-2014 at 09:31 PM..
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