Washington’s woes…and New York’s niftiness

I chose niftiness because of alliterative value rather than exact meaning, but I think it works.

Feeding off an earlier entry, I just wanted to share New York City’s Manhattan bus map, which helps illustrate part of the vision I have for Capital Metro bus routes–running linearly along major thoroughfares, particularly east-west, with great frequency and clear numbering, to allow (potentially) for greater convenience and ease of use.

Meanwhile, in Washington, fares could be rising  fairly dramatically.  It’s not immediately clear what the average or median impact to a typical fare in DC would be, but it could be significant–maybe a dollar a day, when it’s all said and done, for a round-trip commuter.

I’m fairly confident than any fare increase in this range would not come near tipping the economic balance away from transit and towards car ownership and daily car use.  After all, federal governmental reimbursement rates for business driving are around 50 cents a mile.  And fare recovery rates–the amount of the total cost of a transit ride that a transit fare covers–30 to 40 percent by some estimates–indicate that the transit agency needs every bit of fare it can get–particularly Washington with a nine figure shortfall and a down economy lowering overall revenue.


One response to “Washington’s woes…and New York’s niftiness

  1. Comparing against the IRS rate is a common tactic used by transit operators, but is completely bogus, as cars don’t really depreciate per-mile (barring extreme cases); they depreciate almost completely as a function of time.

    The IRS allows you to take depreciation that way because it’s literally the only way you can get paid back for the business making you use your car – but that doesn’t make it the actual true expenses you incur (nor do you save anywhere near that much by leaving your car in the driveway and taking the bus on any given day).

    Of course, if you actually can get rid of a car, you do save the (time-based) depreciation cost, but that’s not how they ever frame this comparison.

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