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Old 02-08-2014, 07:50 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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Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
The question is always about the share. Most transit jurisdictions are required to publish farebox ratios nowadays as the tax payer is getting tired of paying out the nose for lousy, ineffective transportation and realize they only way they can force transit agencies to improve is with performance metrics. Our transit system almost doubled in efficiency in a few year when its funding was tied to performance metrics going from 11.8% farebox to 21% farebox. There was a lot of squawking about unmet needs and the like when it first got implemented and how ridership was going to plummet at first, but that's mostly settled down by now.
Nassau County raised its farebox recovery to 48% from something between 30-40% after changing the operator to a private company from the MTA, not bad for a suburban bus system. They cut some of the less used routes in lower density areas, but part of it was from cutting labor costs.

I suspect part of the LIRR costs is from high labor costs, but I'm not sure how much.

LIRR Workers Voting to Strike
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:11 AM
 
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Without transit subsidizes it is a given that service will shrink and fares will rise.

So, for all those that think transit subsidizes should end and fare boxes should cover 100%, I've got a question.

So how will the minimum wage server at the drive up window, get to work?

How will your minimum wage secretary get to work?

Those people that serve you in bars and restaurants, yeah they get to work by bus too.

So next time your waiting in line at the car wash because minimum wage employees can't get to where the jobs are, you'll have time to rethink transit subsidizes.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:12 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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^^I don't think anyone is seriously advocating eliminating transit subsidies. There does seem to be a subset of people on this forum who would like to eliminate road subsidies, especially in the suburbs, wherever they are but apparently in these cases outside the urbanist approved areas (see why a definition would be helpful?) but doesn't think about transit subsidies. These gentrifiers who use the light rail systems and BRT are not for the most part the burger flippers and car wash operators, either. There is no doubt that some transit systems could operate more efficiently.

The point is, if subsidies are bad, let's eliminate all of them, not just the ones we don't like! But, but, but, that subsidy is "different"!

And "minimum wage secretary"? That's insulting to all the secretaries out there!
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-ad...assistants.htm
**2012 Median Pay $35,330 per year
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
At some point the farebox recovery is so low, it's not worth the effort of collecting fares. For the many of the routes servicing the local university, the transit agency changed the fares to free, changing the farebox recovery from 20% to 0%, with the university picking up the tab. Paying fares adds time, especially if there are lots of stops. It was decided it was better to have efficient bus service, and perhaps to discourage driving on campus than collect a small portion of the costs from fares.

The LIRR, where the bulk of the ridership is Long Island to the city, considering having free fares in some inter-Long Island routes. The seats wouldn't fill up until near the city anyway, so it could be an easy to lower traffic congestion for trains that would run anyway. It was rejected because free service would be get abused (or really might homeless and very poor people on the trains). Instead the fares were kept low; under $3 for a 20 mile ride within Suffolk County. While the train ridership within Long Island is low, it appears not to have the predominantly poor ridership as the local buses nor any stigma. Helps that the train service is close to the same speed station to station as driving.

The TCAT in Ithaca considered turning some of its buses free, with Cornell picking up the tab. The problem is that Ithaca and Cornell are laid out differently than the bus and university here. Here, most students are taking the bus with a few driving. For Cornell, most are within a long-ish walk of campus. Offering a free bus service would likely overcrowd the buses changing walkers to bus riders.
Key words "university is picking up the tab," which reads "university is charging a line item fee of XYZ per semester to all students." That's how public transit in Davis worked as well. As long as you had a student ID card, you rode the bus for free. At Davis, 20% of students/faculty utilized the buses but all of them paid for it. By far the largest percentage biked with a small number walking. After biking, drive alone was the second biggest. Parking is fairly expensive and not really all that convenient. The only time I drove was when I was taking classes at both Davis and Sac State.

By far the best way to get around Davis is by bike, which is why even though the bus is free most people still are using the bike. It's faster and while the buses get you in farther than you can park, it's still a hike from where the buses let off to wherever you're going.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:03 AM
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
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Key words "university is picking up the tab," which reads "university is charging a line item fee of XYZ per semester to all students." That's how public transit in Davis worked as well. As long as you had a student ID card, you rode the bus for free. At Davis, 20% of students/faculty utilized the buses but all of them paid for it. By far the largest percentage biked with a small number walking. After biking, drive alone was the second biggest.
UMass buses doesn't check student IDs though, they're free to everyone as it slows down boarding to check IDs (and you can enter at both doors*). Of course, there aren't many non-students using the buses, and the ones that are if not faculty/staff are often there for something connected the university. A few routes get some locals, though.

*I like how you can do that on San Francisco's MUNI
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,650,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
^^I don't think anyone is seriously advocating eliminating transit subsidies. There does seem to be a subset of people on this forum who would like to eliminate road subsidies, especially in the suburbs, wherever they are but apparently in these cases outside the urbanist approved areas (see why a definition would be helpful?) but doesn't think about transit subsidies. These gentrifiers who use the light rail systems and BRT are not for the most part the burger flippers and car wash operators, either. There is no doubt that some transit systems could operate more efficiently.
Actually BRT benefits the existing riders the most (unlike light rail), since it speeds up the trips for people forced to go long distances. "Choice riders" rarely ride more than 1-2 miles via transit (outside of commuter rail of course)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Key words "university is picking up the tab," which reads "university is charging a line item fee of XYZ per semester to all students." That's how public transit in Davis worked as well. As long as you had a student ID card, you rode the bus for free. At Davis, 20% of students/faculty utilized the buses but all of them paid for it. By far the largest percentage biked with a small number walking. After biking, drive alone was the second biggest. Parking is fairly expensive and not really all that convenient. The only time I drove was when I was taking classes at both Davis and Sac State.

By far the best way to get around Davis is by bike, which is why even though the bus is free most people still are using the bike. It's faster and while the buses get you in farther than you can park, it's still a hike from where the buses let off to wherever you're going.
Berkeley added a bus pass line item when I was there. It was like $20 a semester. And the student ridership increased a lot. One of the most popular routes in AC transit basically surrounds the university. It helped the transit agency quite a lot, and made it easier for students priced out of Berkeley to get to school. More people started moving to neighboring el Cerrito and Oakland.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:40 AM
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 jade408 View Post
Actually BRT benefits the existing riders the most (unlike light rail), since it speeds up the trips for people forced to go long distances. "Choice riders" rarely ride more than 1-2 miles via transit (outside of commuter rail of course)
where do you get that idea? That's transit for not much more than a long walk.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
^^I don't think anyone is seriously advocating eliminating transit subsidies. There does seem to be a subset of people on this forum who would like to eliminate road subsidies, especially in the suburbs, wherever they are but apparently in these cases outside the urbanist approved areas (see why a definition would be helpful?) but doesn't think about transit subsidies. These gentrifiers who use the light rail systems and BRT are not for the most part the burger flippers and car wash operators, either.
Quote:
No. But why not get rid of all subsidies? Let's start with transit.

Quote:
And a bus ride downtown will cost $10.00
So you agree that with out subsidizes fares would go up.

Suburbanite Reality Check:

Ride the Denver RTD Bus Routes #11, 15, 16, 20, 24, 28, 38 (and many more) then come back and say that minimum wage workers don't ride transit!
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,059 posts, read 16,066,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
^^I don't think anyone is seriously advocating eliminating transit subsidies. There does seem to be a subset of people on this forum who would like to eliminate road subsidies, especially in the suburbs, wherever they are but apparently in these cases outside the urbanist approved areas (see why a definition would be helpful?) but doesn't think about transit subsidies. These gentrifiers who use the light rail systems and BRT are not for the most part the burger flippers and car wash operators, either. There is no doubt that some transit systems could operate more efficiently.

The point is, if subsidies are bad, let's eliminate all of them, not just the ones we don't like! But, but, but, that subsidy is "different"!

And "minimum wage secretary"? That's insulting to all the secretaries out there!
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants : Occupational Outlook Handbook : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
**2012 Median Pay $35,330 per year
$16.99 per hour**
Just to play devil's advocate and possibly turn the situation around, I get annoyed by expecting me to subsidize urban transit. San Francisco's outlandish parking taxes and fees for the bridge do annoy me. I do think those should be eliminated, or better yet should be reallocated to pay for the roads which are godawful in San Francisco. Given how many people commute in, it makes sense that the city generate some revenue off of them to pay for the roads they commute in on. You could set a separate rate for non-city bus users too and I wouldn't mind. I use Muni a few times a year when I'm going somewhere that's not within walking distance. Better yet, fix the payment system. The last two times I've used Muni I haven't paid because the card readers for Clipper were down so I couldn't.

On the same vein, I could see urban residents being miffed if their money was going to pay for suburban roads. But that largely isn't the case. California has extremely convoluted top-down funding mechanisms. For example, a part of our sales taxes go directly to the State who then divvies them up and distributes them to the local transit agencies based on obscure formulas. So despite being called the "Bradley-Burns Uniform Local Tax," there's zilch local about it. Same with the "local" gas tax, that's gone too now. Basically, an ever increasing amount of local taxes are no longer local which distorts things. For example, if you used to collect $2 million in local gas taxes and $5 million in Braley-Burns Uniform Local taxes and the State turns around and gives you $10 million from the general fund, how do you describe that? Is that $7 million of your money and $3 million of State subsidy, or is it $10 million in State subsidy?

Basically, no one likes to be tax chattel, and largely they aren't. Take the I-580 widening that's currently going on through Dublin/Pleasanton. That was paid by a bond measure backed by a "local" sales tax. They actually shifted money off that project to the I-238 project to get some federal matching money they couldn't get on the 580 project, which left a hole in the I-580 budget. That's an example of federal policy swaying freeways from an exurban/suburban area to an inner suburb bordering on urban area. It's basically cheese the federal government uses that to sway what projects get built with what's really your money. California, like most states, pays more into the trust fund than it gets out.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,059 posts, read 16,066,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
UMass buses doesn't check student IDs though, they're free to everyone as it slows down boarding to check IDs (and you can enter at both doors*). Of course, there aren't many non-students using the buses, and the ones that are if not faculty/staff are often there for something connected the university. A few routes get some locals, though.

*I like how you can do that on San Francisco's MUNI
Unitrans was pretty dumb about it. 99.9% of the ridership was students/faculty. They probably made several times as much money collecting fares from people that forgot their ID cards than people who were just using the bus. They were also kind of selective about when they checked IDs. The typical heavy boarding zones were a couple of apartment complexes and then on campus. On campus the bus (usually) isn't in any hurry. It's just sitting there waiting to start its run. If for some reason they were running late, they just didn't check IDs. Same with the big apartment complexes. If they were running behind schedule, they just opened the rear doors and got people on.
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