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Old 03-31-2014, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,043 posts, read 102,742,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samyn on the green View Post
Also consider the trillions in oil wars necessary to sustain the car culture. Then there are the environmental disasters like Exxon Valdez & BP Gulf rig. Makes transit look like a bargain.
Because "transit" doesn't use oil, right!
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,316 posts, read 12,547,140 times
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I think some toll roads and bridges actually break even or come pretty close.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,726,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Because "transit" doesn't use oil, right!
Depends. Our local bus fleet has been doing a pilot of natural gas powered buses. I think there are about 2 dozen right now, I could be wrong, but around 10% of the time I end up on one of the fuel cell buses. They are also converting many buses to hybrids too. Not sure what percentage is, but we have lost of buses labeled zero emission vehicles. It is part of a region wide trend. SF has a ton of non gas using buses, at least half in the system use the electric cabling.

Back on topic:

BART (in the bay area) has a farebox recovery of 65%. If they had parking reflect its true cost, they could get a lot closer. Parking at BART is very cheap. Typically under $2 a day. The most expensive station charges $6. There are cheapos in Berkeley, who park at the station in Southern Berkeley for $2, take the train up one stop for $1.75 (and a 3 minute ride) to avoid having to pay for parking downtown. ($1.50 or $2 an hour).
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:03 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,581,646 times
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Sacramento buses have run on natural gas for the last decade or so. Light rail is powered primarily by hydroelectric, wind, solar, and natural gas (which I recognize is not a "green" fuel but it is domestically produced and not oil.) I think a lot of Alameda County transit buses (Berkeley and thereabouts) run on hydrogen fuel cells.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,091 posts, read 16,121,723 times
Reputation: 12684
Yes.

Seattle Center Monorail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Profits are split between the owner (city of Seattle) and operator.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,091 posts, read 16,121,723 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiRob View Post
because people think "mass transit" equates to "Welfare" yet highways aren't considered in the same light since they are used by many more people.
No, it's more because in most of the country transit really just is welfare.

It's really bad in much of the country, so people with the means and ability to drive will generally not take it. It isn't cheap, more expensive than a car, but it's heavily subsidized so it appears inexpensive to the user. Still, it's such a poor alternative that most people will not use it.

Also, with highways, the vast majority of the fees are covered by the user. While there is some subsidy, it's very little. You don't get 80% of your gasoline, insurance, car repairs, your car payment, parking, registration, covered. You pay all of it. And then they charge you some taxes on top of that that pays for most of the road costs.

If you're interested, here's some good summaries:

Gasoline Taxes and User Fees Pay for Only Half of State & Local Road Spending | Tax Foundation

Mass transit received a whopping 1/3 of the expenditure as roads/highways. Mass transit $58.7 billion was 22.4% funded by user fees, meaning $45 billion from the taxpayer.
Roads/Highways had an uncovered expenditure of $75.9 billion.
While $75 billion is larger than $58.7 billion, you have to look at who actually gets that use.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transpo...tes#Mode_share
First of all, most transit in the US is by bus, almost 6x as much than by rail. Buses ride on roads.
86% of transportation was by cars and trucks, 3.5% by mass transit (~3% bus, .5% rail). Ignoring the fact that buses run on roads, basic math shows that mass transit is subsidized by nearly 20x that of roads. So yes, the $75.9 billion should be raised in the forum of higher fuel taxes or vehicle registration fees (especially a concern with electric vehicles which don't use fuel).

There's also transit and transit. Transit in NYC has almost nothing in similar with transit here. Transit in NYC makes sense by most any metric. It's cheap, environmentally favorable, and congestion in NYC would be impossible to manage with the car alone. Here it's the opposite. It's by every metric worse than driving. Congestion isn't a real problem, it's more harmful to the environment, and more costly than driving.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:15 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,581,646 times
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Streets and highways are also welfare in the poor neighborhoods that aren't well-served by transit, because they still have to drive even though they're poor, they just drive cheap, poorly-maintained cars and sacrifice other parts of their budget to do it. Pro-car folks use this as an example of why roads and cars are good, but when it's used for transit it's socialism. I don't get it.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:27 PM
 
3,982 posts, read 5,773,285 times
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It's not really about the fact that they might use petroleum. It's about how much they use per rider mile. A standard diesel bus (which gets around 10 MPG) carrying 50 passengers 10 miles uses approximately 0.02 gallons of fuel per rider mile. A single occupancy vehicle (car) getting 50 MPG would use 0.2 gallons per rider mile.

Also, the whole point of community mass transit is to make it affordable for all. Even if there is a small amount of subsidy, so what? Road maintenance, construction, repair, etc. is also subsidized. If the average 'taxpayer' would stop and think about how much money is put into roads every year, the sentiment would change quickly. The problem is, the average person takes virtually all infrastructure completely for granted. People bellyache about anything that causes them a delay on the road, even if it is a set of completely necessary repairs. God forbid they have to *gasp!* wait for a train.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:50 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,960,217 times
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There are lots of operationally profitable transit lines out there . . . but very few systems. The reason you get operationally profitable lines is because the rest of the subsidized system is feeding into it. Take away those other lines and you no longer have profitability on your well performing line.

The same is true of the highway, air, or freight network. The NJTurnpike (a toll road) is only profitable because the subsidized I-95, 195, 295, 78, 80, 287, etc are feeding heavy volumes of users into it.

While more of the latter are operationally profitable there is no form of transportation that is profitable both on the operations and capital side.

Without the subsidized road links and publicly funded double-stack clearance projects for the connecting railroads and the federally funded dredging on the Delaware River (not to mention the Coast Guard and Navy budgets) the Port of Philadelphia would shrivel and die.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Streets and highways are also welfare in the poor neighborhoods that aren't well-served by transit, because they still have to drive even though they're poor, they just drive cheap, poorly-maintained cars and sacrifice other parts of their budget to do it. Pro-car folks use this as an example of why roads and cars are good, but when it's used for transit it's socialism. I don't get it.
Transit in a place like Charleston, SC* isn't welfare for the poor - it's a subsidy for employers.

* Just using Chuck as an example because I used to live there and the transit is awful.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:06 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,960,217 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
First of all, most transit in the US is by bus, almost 6x as much than by rail. Buses ride on roads.
86% of transportation was by cars and trucks, 3.5% by mass transit (~3% bus, .5% rail). Ignoring the fact that buses run on roads, basic math shows that mass transit is subsidized by nearly 20x that of roads. So yes, the $75.9 billion should be raised in the forum of higher fuel taxes or vehicle registration fees (especially a concern with electric vehicles which don't use fuel).
It's important to note that most of that bus ridership happens in the big cities that also have rail systems and that those bus riders are also rail riders and vice versa.

It's also important to point out that the benefit of transit isn't just in JTW trips or the transit mode share for all trips. It's in how much having a good transit system can also divert trips to walking or cycling.

% mode share - walking/cycling/transit/car

Indy - 2/1/2/92
Dallas - 2/0/4/89
Phoenix - 2/1/3/88
LA - 3/1/11/78

Portland - 6/6/12/70

Seattle - 8/3/20/63
Philadelphia - 9/2/25/60
San Francisco - 10/3/32/46
DC - 11/2/27/43
Boston - 14/2/25/45
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