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Old 07-15-2014, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,069 posts, read 16,085,690 times
Reputation: 12647

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
But that's just for the initial construction. I believe life cycle of a busy paved road or highway is only 20-30 years. Then it has to be resurfaced at much additional cost. That's why everywhere you go you see construction crews at work repaving the roads (which causes traffic to slow to a crawl). Not sure the cost of repaving but I know it ain't cheap.
Beats public transit. No sooner is it finished and starts operating and the taxpayer is instantaneously paying for it. Maintenance work on BART slows traffic to a crawl since they can't squeeze all the maintenance into the hours where it's completely closed.

BART increasing focus on maintenance to meet customer needs and employee safety | bart.gov

 
Old 07-16-2014, 07:44 AM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,266,947 times
Reputation: 2924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Beats public transit. No sooner is it finished and starts operating and the taxpayer is instantaneously paying for it. Maintenance work on BART slows traffic to a crawl since they can't squeeze all the maintenance into the hours where it's completely closed.

BART increasing focus on maintenance to meet customer needs and employee safety | bart.gov


And what do you think would happen if there was no BART to take the burden off the roads? Automobile congestion and gridlock in the bay area would become an order of magnitude greater than it already is. Your daily car commute into the city would be real nightmare. Once you arrive at your place of work good luck trying to find a parking spot in the city where you could leave your car all day that wont cost an arm and a leg in parking fees.
 
Old 07-16-2014, 08:27 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,011 posts, read 102,621,396 times
Reputation: 33075
^^I agree that public transit, all public transit, has some useful purposes. In addition to easing congestion, it provides transport for those who have no private transportation source. But it doesn't really save energy or money.
 
Old 07-16-2014, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,660,338 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
^^I agree that public transit, all public transit, has some useful purposes. In addition to easing congestion, it provides transport for those who have no private transportation source. But it doesn't really save energy or money.
Although I don't care much about the green aspect of public transportation, (for me, it's about choice) I will point out that the only reason public transit doesn't save energy, is because it's underutilized. Public transportation gets more efficient as more people use it.
 
Old 07-16-2014, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Chicago
1,312 posts, read 1,582,676 times
Reputation: 1487
Quote:
Originally Posted by impala096 View Post
John Q. isn’t the only guy driving on the road though. The same 1-mile section of interstate that costs $1.6 million to build may carry 50,000 vehicles per day:

50,000 vehicles / 25 mpg = 2,000 gallons of taxable fuel each day
2,000 gallons * $0.903 = $1,806 tax to drivers each day
$1,806 x 365 x 20 year design life = $13,183,800 taxed over 20 years

So drivers are taxed $13,183,800 for a mile-section of interstate that costs $1,600,000 to construct (that seems very low to me, but I’m going with it for argument sake). Subtracting the cost to construct that mile of road, it leaves $11,583,800 for maintenance ($579,190/year).

Not quite.

You're talking about one (1) mile of road that 50,000 cars drive on, then giving the number for 25 miles/25 MPG of tax money.


Your equation should be:

2,000 gallons * $0.036 {1/25th of the gas tax} = $72.24 tax to drivers for that one mile stretch each day.
$72.24 * 365 * 20 year design life = $527,352 taxed over 20 years for that one mile stretch of road.

Still $1,072,648 short of the initial cost of the highway.
 
Old 07-16-2014, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Chicago
1,312 posts, read 1,582,676 times
Reputation: 1487
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Several flaws with your argument:
I think you have qualms with my scenario, not necessarily problems with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
1) Interstate highways are the most costly type of road construction. Not all, or perhaps most of John Q. Public's driving is on interstate
True, but for the sake of not writing a dissertation complete with charts, graphs, and power point presentations, I took one aspect of the system that had easily verifiable numbers and sources… and then I took the lowest number I could find for that type of roadway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
2) Why would one person's driving pay for the entire highway? Plenty of other people drive on it.
Because Socialism is bad, duh! And personal vehicles can't be a part of Socialism because they represent freedom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
3) A daily commute of 100 miles / day is really high. That's 30,000-35,000 miles / year, assuming little non-commute driving. More common is 10,000 to 15,000 miles / year.
Also true. The 15,000 miles per year is quoted in one of my sources. But to quell any naysayers beforehand, I took a large, round, easily multipliable number (100) to get some numbers to plug in. I feel like if I went with a smaller number, other people would chime in with, "But, I drive X amount more, so I do pay a lot more than others!"

I also used the highest tax rates in the country. If I wanted to purposefully skew some numbers I would have used Alaska with their $0.08 per gallon tax and used the high end figure for one mile of highway, which is close to $20,000,000 per mile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
There's probably others, too. I don't thinking highway construction was ever expected to pay for itself in user fees.
But, but, but… I PAID FOR THE ROADS I DRIVE ON!!!

 
Old 07-16-2014, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Chicago
1,312 posts, read 1,582,676 times
Reputation: 1487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Someone should take the time and plug the numbers in for a stupid story that misses the point about how much of the money John Q paid in that siphoned out of the Highway Trust Account and tell us what percentage he paid for the 2nd Avenue extension in NYC he'll never even ride on as if it was his own private subway.
You know, City-Data is an open forum. You're more than free to crunch the numbers yourself. I would be interested to see them. I even provided links in my initial post that state how much is being spent on roads, highways, and rail in America per year.

But before you do that, consider this:

When I moved to Chicago 3 years ago, it cost me $86 a month for unlimited rides on the CTA. As of 2014, it costs me $100 a month for unlimited rides on the CTA.

In 20 years, the federal tax on gas has been raised $0.00
 
Old 07-16-2014, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Chicago
1,312 posts, read 1,582,676 times
Reputation: 1487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
How cute!

Maybe you could calculate how much you paid to support your local transit agency through the farebox. I can assure you, the answer will not will not make the individual transit rider look good.
I'm glad you've realized this. Truly, I am.

The answer doesn't look good for the individual transit user. True.

And this thread (and my basic comprehension and implementation of math) has shown that individual private transportation doesn't make that rider look good as well, and they are depending on many, many, many other people to pay for those bills.

This project cost $423,000,000. That's $38,454,545 a mile.
 
Old 07-16-2014, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,510,898 times
Reputation: 15950
It's not the cost of the roads themselves, it's the territory they support, particularly crowded downtown areas and suburbs populated by big spenders with specific foibles about their little idylls.

If we "spread out" our workplaces, and structured them so that more people could work independently, preferably from home, and on an autonomous schedule, we'd be more efficient; that's what the "phone trees" and other labor-saving communication methods are all about.

But Granny can't cope with this ("I don't want to talk to a machine!!!). So we crowd ourselves into office environments that insult our intelligence and turn us all into schoolchildren.

The "service economy" has every reason to downgrade the competence and autonomy of the individual worker. The obvious remedy is to allow needless personal attention to cost more by empowering that worker. (Granny will learn to "talk to a machine" much sooner if "talking to a real person" will cost her $3.99 per minute).
 
Old 07-16-2014, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,069 posts, read 16,085,690 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by A2DAC1985 View Post
You know, City-Data is an open forum. You're more than free to crunch the numbers yourself. I would be interested to see them. I even provided links in my initial post that state how much is being spent on roads, highways, and rail in America per year.

But before you do that, consider this:

When I moved to Chicago 3 years ago, it cost me $86 a month for unlimited rides on the CTA. As of 2014, it costs me $100 a month for unlimited rides on the CTA.

In 20 years, the federal tax on gas has been raised $0.00
Cool story. Just needs to go up to about $180/mo to cover the operating cost. Then we can simplify the discussion and talk about much more of the infrastructure costs are covered by gas taxes versus the 0% covered by transit users. Gas tax should be increased, but that's really ancillary to the fact that transit is much more subsidized than driving.
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