Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 54446
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2022/07/02 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2012/7/29-9/24 [Transportation/Car, Transportation/Car/RoadHogs] UID:54446 Activity:nil
7/29    Is it really true that we subsidize auto driving to the tune of
        $5k/yr? Shit I could probably hire a private driver for less...
        \_ You might have missed the point.  Hiring a chauffeur to drive your
           private vehicle won't change the amount of gasoline your private
           vehicle use or the amount of real estate it uses on freeways and
           vehicle use or the amount of real estate on freeways and
           parking lots it takes up for transporting you.  So it won't change
           the situation.  The chaffeur only adds to the non-subsidized part
           of the cost.
           \_ Okay I could hire a bicyle rickshaw driver for less then..
              \_ or live in a sustainable, walkable city with much lower
                 energy requirements, like the rest of the world.
                 \_ ... and hire a rickshaw driver to take me everywhere.
                    Like the rest of the (undeveloped) world.
                    \_ or ride bike like a well developed world (Denmark)
                       or slow down to reduce energy needs:
                       (georgeous women alert)
                       \_ NSFW.  Anyway, the one not being interviewed is hot!
                 \_ Our cities were built around the auto, not trains or
                    walking. Most of the First World's large cities are very
                    dense with almost nothing a few miles outside of them.
                    That's not us. What you are suggesting is building up
                    the urban cores of our cities and convincing people to
                    move back to them. This may happen, but it's not
                    something we can force. In the end, the populace will
                    decide. So far, even though your idea has some
                    traction, most Americans dislike the idea.
                    \_ Agreed.  The following quote from the article best
                       summarizes the reason: "They are making the correct
                       economic decision, but not in a free-market economy."
                       \_ How much do other countries subsidize automobiles?
                          How much do other countries subsidize other
                          forms of transit?
                          Why is it better that long-distance automotive
                          commuting become "the exclusive privilege of the
                          I don't know the answer to the first two
                          relative to the US and I view the third as a question
                          of liberty and equality. I also think that it has
                          less to do with subsidies than with personal
                          preference and the age of the nations involved.
                          Americans *don't mind* paying higher property tax
                          if it means they don't have to take a train and
                          the alternatives don't make sense for the way our
                          cities evolved. We can tax the hell out of gas
                          to force everyone to take mass transit, but *WHY*?
                          \_ Where do you live where people "don't mind"
                             paying higher property taxes? Here in CA they
                             passed Prop 13. If we can enourage more people
                             to take mass transit, we will gain lots of
                             1) Far fewer highway and roadway deaths
                             2) Cleaner air leading to a healthier
                                population and fewer deaths due to pollution
                             3) Healthier and skinnier population due to
                                more exercise
                             4) Trade balance would be much better: the only
                                reason we run a trade deficit today is due
                                to imported oil, most of which goes to transit.
                             5) No US money going to oil shieks, most of whom
                                hate us and finance terrorism
                             6) No need to fight oil wars in the Middle East,
                                saving us lots of money and lives
                             7) Less congestion on the freeways, meaning buses
                                and trucks will be more efficient
                             8) Shorter commutes will mean less stress and
                                quality of life will go up for most people.
                             9) Less land being used for roadways and parking
                                should free up more land for housing, making
                                housing cost less, especially in urban core.
                            10) Fewer suburban homes mean less money wasted
                            10) Fewer suburban homes mean less money spent
                                on running power lines, cable, sewer lines,
                                etc on spread out homes.
                             I am sure I am missing a few things here, but that
                             should be a good start.
                             \_ The huge fire at the Chevron refinery in
                                Richmond today can certainly make the list.
                                More public transit -> less gas consumption ->
                                fewer oil refineries -> fewer accidents and
                                less toxic fume.
                             \_ More productive time spent when on public
                                transit instead of driving.  One can get work
                                done using laptops, read a novel, or surf the
                                web and catch up with the latest gossip while
                                done using a laptop, read a novel, or surf the
                                web and catch up on the latest gossip while
                                sitting on public transit instead of
                                controlling your car and paying attention to
                                the road.  3G/4G coverage is wide, and there
                                is free WiFi on Google shuttles (I heard) and
                                AC-Transit Transbay Buses.  BART also provides
                                WiFi (paid) and 3G even in underground stations
                                and tunnels.
                             \_ I think you should not confuse the public
                                vs. private issue with the gasoline issue.
                                If cars were powered by a clean, renewable,
                                cheap resource would that mean you still want
                                to force people to use public transit?
                                \_ No one is arguing for force to be used, we
                                   are just sick and tired of having to use
                                   our taxpayer dollars to encourage stupid
                                   behavior. If cars were not polluting, safe,
                                   and did not cause congestion, then they would
                                   be great. Where are those flying nuclear
                                   powered cars we were promised?
                             \_ Great.  I'm convinced.  Sign me up.  Now where
                                is the effective mass transit system that I
                                can use to replace my car?  I can get from home
                                to my office in 28 minutes in my car, but it
                                would take over an hour and a half by bus
                                (each direction, so that's a couple of extra
                                hours I'd be spending in transit every day).
                                People stick with their cars because the mass
                                transit options are very limited in their
                                utility.  I *want* to take public transit, but
                                it just can't get me where I need to go in a
                                reasonable amount of time.  Until it can, I'm
                                stuck with driving.
                                \_ Yeah many are stuck with cars. Vote for
                                   politians that will change the status quo.
                                   There are some places in America where
                                   transit works.
                                   \_ Yeah, about three. Let the free market
                                      decide. So far, most would rather get
                                      22 MPG in a Ford F-150 than get on a
                                      bus with a bunch of weirdos for a
                                      commute that is twice as long but
                                      costs just 25% less.
                                      \_ Exactly. Let the *free* market decide.
                                         As the article above pointed out, the
                                         problem now is that the market is
                                         not a free market.  So all the
                                         proposals about stopping mandatory tax
                                         from subsidizing gasoline and roads is
                                         to, in other words, make the market a
                                         free market again.
                                         \_ As long as we stop subsidizing
                                            rail and other public transit,
2022/07/02 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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2009/4/6-13 [Reference/Tax, Transportation/PublicTransit] UID:52808 Activity:high
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           state legislature are the largest in history, and massively
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Recently the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) released its draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed I-69 Interstate highway through southwestern Indiana. That statement identified the I70/US41 route as the route that would result in the least amount of environmental damage as well as the route that would be cheapest to build. Nonetheless, INDOT rejected that route because it didn't meet its criteria. What is that criteria, then, if not to deliver transportation at the lowest cost to society? Perhaps, as the article below suggests, transportation building has become an end in itself and the higher the cost, the better. Transportation building has become as American as centralized bureaucracies, five-year plans, and state-controlled industry. SUBURBAN NATION: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2000) THE AUTOMOBILE SUBSIDY To what extent is automobile use a "free" good? The cost of these subsidies-approximately $5,000 per car per year-is passed directly on to the American citizen in the form of increased prices for products or, more often, as income, property, and sales taxes. This means that the hidden costs of driving are paid by everyone: not just drivers, but also those too old or too poor to drive a car. And these people suffer doubly, as the very transit systems they count on for mobility have gone out of business, unable to compete with the heavily subsidized highways. Because they do not pay the full price of driving, most car owners choose to drive as much as possible. They are making the correct economic decision, but not in a free-market economy. As Hart and Spivak note, an appropriate analogy is Stalin's Gosplan, a Soviet agency that set arbitrary "correct" prices for many consumer goods, irrespective of their cost of production, with unsurprising results. In the American version of Gosplan, gasoline costs one quarter of what it did in 1929 (in real dollars). In Europe, where gasoline costs about four times the American price, long-distance automotive commuting is the exclusive privilege of the wealthy, and there is relatively little suburban sprawl. In the current structure of subsidization, trucking is heavily favored over rail transport, even though trucks consume fifteen times the fuel for the equivalent job. The government pays a $300 billion subsidy to truckers unthinkingly, while carefully scrutinizing every dollar allocated to transit. Similarly, we try to solve our commuter traffic problems by building highways instead of railways, even though it takes fifteen lanes of highway to move as many people as one lane of track. The American Gosplan is not a conspiracy so much as a culture-albeit one strongly supported by pervasive advertising-and it is probably unrealistic to hope that legislators will soon take steps, such as enacting a substantial gasoline tax, to allocate fairly the costs of driving. Pressured by generous automobile industry contributions on the one hand and a car-dependent public on the other, politicians have lately been using gas-tax elimination as an election strategy, with some success. But there is encouraging information suggesting that a gas tax may not be the political suicide that most politicians suspect. According to a recent Pew Foundation poll, 60 percent of those asked favored a twenty-five-cent-per-gallon gas tax to slow global warming. Although suburban sprawl is the concern in this book, it is not the only sad result of this fundamental error. The problems of automobile subsidization have been well documented; And yet it is news which few people seem to understand, and which has barely begun to influence government policy in any significant way. So, to all the concerned activists nationwide who are banging their heads against the wall on this issue, we do not have very much to say except "May we join you at the wall?" Fortunately, the automobile subsidy is only one of many forces contributing to sprawl, and there are other avenues along which anti-sprawl efforts are likely to achieve meaningful results. FOOTNOTES ^1Stanley Hart and Alvin Spivak, The Elephant in the Bedroom: Automobile Dependence and Denial. Perhaps the most serious soft cost of driving is pollution. Already, cars and other vehicles are seen as the worst polluters of urban air and the biggest producers of carbon dioxide, the chief suspect in global warming (The Economist, "Living with the Car,"). About half of US air pollution emissions come from motor vehicles (MacKenzie, Dower, and Chen). Conclusion: the people are way out in front of the politicians again" (Nyhan, "For the Planet's Sake, Hike the Gas Tax").
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