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Old 01-21-2014, 09:59 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post

Much of Europe (I'm not talking about mega-cities like Paris and London) operates without rail. They have dependable, predictable buses. Building ultra-expensive rail systems when dependable, predictable buses would be cheaper and leave you more funds is a trendy decision, but often a poor one.
Your conclusion may be right for some places, but from what I've read and seen, most of Europe has rail. Only rather small cities lack rail.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Your conclusion may be right for some places, but from what I've read and seen, most of Europe has rail. Only rather small cities lack rail.
Often times the smaller cities have streetcar and light rail systems which is the most effective way to provide transit to denser areas. I like seeing buses be used in a more local way to provide transit routes to and from these rail stations.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Somehow I feel like this thread is based on my comments, on another thread, about my "Inner Libertarian" feelings about why do people think government should provide their transportation. That post provoked quite a response from someone who didn't get what I was saying. I am not a Libertarian. But I live in the home of the Libertarian Party, and they are quite influential here. And I do have to ask, why DO people feel the govt. should provide their transportation?

I have no issues with govt. funded transportation, as long as the taxpayers approve it. But I do question why some people feel the govt. should fulfill every one of their transportation needs in a city.

FWIW, most city transportation services cover more than just "the city". For example, here in metro Denver, the RTD covers all or part of 7 counties.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Somehow I feel like this thread is based on my comments, on another thread, about my "Inner Libertarian" feelings about why do people think government should provide their transportation. That post provoked quite a response from someone who didn't get what I was saying. I am not a Libertarian. But I live in the home of the Libertarian Party, and they are quite influential here. And I do have to ask, why DO people feel the govt. should provide their transportation?

I have no issues with govt. funded transportation, as long as the taxpayers approve it. But I do question why some people feel the govt. should fulfill every one of their transportation needs in a city.

FWIW, most city transportation services cover more than just "the city". For example, here in metro Denver, the RTD covers all or part of 7 counties.
In my mind, the argument that the government should subsidize mass transit rests on the government already subsidizing cars. We do this in numerous ways, including building and maintaining roads and highways for drivers (which, with the exception of toll roads, never pay back the cost directly) to provision of free parking (generally through mandated parking minimums, but sometimes through free or artificially low priced downtown lots and garages.

Hell, speaking of Libertarians, here's Ron Paul's take on it. Note that while hostile in general to subsidized transit, he believes that the government's generous subsidies for highway construction helped to kill the ability of mass transit to operate on anything other than a loss. To a degree, one has to agree with him. After all, the highway system allowed mass suburbanization, and the spread of workers so diffusely away from existing rail and streetcar lines it became implausible that transit would ever capture them back again.

Last edited by eschaton; 01-21-2014 at 02:26 PM..
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:19 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Somehow I feel like this thread is based on my comments, on another thread, about my "Inner Libertarian" feelings about why do people think government should provide their transportation. That post provoked quite a response from someone who didn't get what I was saying. I am not a Libertarian. But I live in the home of the Libertarian Party, and they are quite influential here. And I do have to ask, why DO people feel the govt. should provide their transportation?
I think the OP wasn't, especially he doesn't seem to be a forum regular.

As to the question, it's a public good. Transportation isn't something that really can benefit much from competition, nor is it particularly profitable. Try leaving rural roads to the private sector. I'm also not "an inner libertarian" on most economic issues*. I don't really see much difference in the government funding roads, public transporation or an airport.

*I may be against the government getting involved in something because they'd be inefficient but not because for any philosphical reason.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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@eschaton: Government was subsidizing roads long before automobiles. It's called infrastructure. I feel like a broken record, but here goes it:

"All roads lead to Rome" (meaning ancient Rome of the Roman empire)
"The road to Damascus" Acts 9:1-19; retold in Acts 22:6-21 and Acts 26:12-18. (Bible)
"The road to Emmaus" Luke 24:13-35 (Bible)
"The Good Samaritan" Luke 10:25-37 (Bible) Happened on a road

This idea that there were no roads until cars appeared on the scene is ridiculous.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I think the OP wasn't, especially he doesn't seem to be a forum regular.

As to the question, it's a public good. Transportation isn't something that really can benefit much from competition, nor is it particularly profitable. Try leaving rural roads to the private sector. I'm also not "an inner libertarian" on most economic issues*. I don't really see much difference in the government funding roads, public transporation or an airport.

*I may be against the government getting involved in something because they'd be inefficient but not because for any philosphical reason.
Funding the road is different than funding the car, or the horse, or the donkey, or whatever else is the means of transportation. Funding an airport is different than funding the plane ticket.

Do you think government should tell people what they can do in their bedrooms and with whom?
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:48 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Government was subsidizing roads long before automobiles. It's called infrastructure. I feel like a broken record, but here goes it:
Not sure what the point is, since you're not arguing against anything said.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:52 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,100,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Funding the road is different than funding the car, or the horse, or the donkey, or whatever else is the means of transportation. Funding an airport is different than funding the plane ticket.
It's a bit different. However, they're all part of a transportation system. If airports are completely funded by the government and not by user fees [not saying they are, but hypothetically], then a large part of the cost of flying is paid for. Generally, I think it's the government's job to create and provide an efficient transportation system, the exact type depends on the needs of the place.

Edit: Let's a city / metro decided not to spend on highways but invest in trains whose operating costs are partially subsidized. They're still both spending on transporation for the benefit of different types of users and trips. I don't see much difference in either. I suppose you could balance every of gas taxes and road user fees match highway and road spending. And rail transit fares cover exactly the train costs. But I don't see the point or need.

Quote:
Do you think government should tell people what they can do in their bedrooms and with whom?
No, but I'm not going to describe my political beliefs further since it's off topic for the forum.

Last edited by nei; 01-21-2014 at 04:07 PM..
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
No, but I'm not going to describe my political beliefs further since it's off topic for the forum.
That's fine, but then you don't really mean this:

Quote:
*I may be against the government getting involved in something because they'd be inefficient but not because for any philosphical reason.
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