FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby Teamdriver » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:26 pm

Gas tax, other alternatives floated to raise transportation money

As lawmakers seek an alternative to Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed income tax hike for transportation financing, the gas tax and other revenue-raisers were chewed over at a transportation hearing Tuesday.

http://www.enterprisenews.com/topstorie ... tion-money
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:31 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:
BandA wrote:I don't understand why the three subway lines, green line, and silver line can't cover their operating expenses.

Public transit in general and passenger trains in particular are, by definition, unprofitable in the modern world.


Not if we turned all modes of transportation over to free markets. And I mean alllll. Roads can't compete. Otherwise the government wouldn't have needed to build them in the first place.
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby CS » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:02 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:
MBTA3247 wrote:
BandA wrote:I don't understand why the three subway lines, green line, and silver line can't cover their operating expenses.

Public transit in general and passenger trains in particular are, by definition, unprofitable in the modern world.


Not if we turned all modes of transportation over to free markets. And I mean alllll. Roads can't compete. Otherwise the government wouldn't have needed to build them in the first place.


Umm... we tried that before, didn't work out to well...
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby CRail » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:40 am

I keep seeing talks of privitization and "operating at cost." Do any of these people know how public transportation started? Privately funded entrepreneurs started pulling wagons with horses and collecting money for it. Municipalities realized this was a crucial service for their economy, so when such proved unprofitable, it became subsidized. The Boston Elevated (who, with the Boston Transit Comission, built much of the system we know today) was privately owned, yet heavily subsidized.

The gov't took it over because it needed to. I don't understand why we can't learn from those who already learned the hard way so we wouldn't have to.
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby KEN PATRICK » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:52 am

It's incorrect to use the debt as an excuse for t losses. One needs only to look at the financials to learn that operating expense is double revenues. Debt service is small in relation to operating loss. I've opined that fares need to be doubled or operating expense halved to break-even( or some fractions thereof) . And what do we see? a madness to add new debt and service. Why? At what point does reality return? There are many approaches to balance. The low-hanging fruit are reductions in service levels and increases in fares. Pick out the worst offenders- like buses- double the fares and cut service in half. Users have disposable income levels to support higher fares. Ken Patrick
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:10 am

KEN PATRICK wrote:It's incorrect to use the debt as an excuse for t losses. One needs only to look at the financials to learn that operating expense is double revenues. Debt service is small in relation to operating loss. I've opined that fares need to be doubled or operating expense halved to break-even( or some fractions thereof) . And what do we see? a madness to add new debt and service. Why? At what point does reality return? There are many approaches to balance. The low-hanging fruit are reductions in service levels and increases in fares. Pick out the worst offenders- like buses- double the fares and cut service in half. Users have disposable income levels to support higher fares. Ken Patrick


Still pushing that slant?

C'mon...there is nothing small about the debt. Their debt service payments reduce by $100M if the Big Dig debt comes off the books. That's a leg to stand on for reforming the rest where nothing is going to work if that debt remains on the books. It's been written about ad nauseam in surgical detail by experts much more knowledgeable than any of us.

You spam this same exact "financials" post about expenses in every RR.net forum because you've got an agenda to push. I won't discount there being nuggets of truth in there, but it's a whole other thing to selectively skew the ratios into some wholly alternate reality. This is agenda-pushing. We can tell the difference. Relentless repetition does not make turn that agenda into fact.
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:34 am

KEN PATRICK wrote:Users have disposable income levels to support higher fares. Ken Patrick


SERIOUSLY?

Folks, please do not reply to this person. He only drags things off topic!
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby BandA » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:42 am

Boston Herald Editorial, Funding Transit Lard, Friday 3/15/2013 http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/opinion/editorials/2013/03/funding_transit_lard

Gov. Deval Patrick wants $1 billion of his $2 billion tax hike to pay for his transportation program. The rest is for education related programs and other odds and ends. We reiterate — because it can’t be said enough — there is no “crisis” here except for the need to bail out the MBTA.


...more responsible voices have said at most only $800 million is needed to fund transportation needs...including the proposed South Coast Rail boondoggle (starting costs of $1.8 billion) and a $1.3 billion expansion of the Green Line to cover the three mile stretch...
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby KEN PATRICK » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:47 pm

Again- please do not blame the debt for the t woes. Interest ( $265mil)and debt service ( $177 mil) are more than covered by the sales tax and local assessments of $1,123 mil. However wages and fringes alone ( $650mil) exceed fares ($508) . I don't understand the fairness of sales tax revenues dedicated to this enterprise. That $ 1,123 mil could be more effectively used for a sales tax reduction or property tax reduction. Why use state-wide sales taxes to benefit a small portion of our population? Doubling the fares and reducing service is the only fair way to correct this seemingly intractable situation. ken patrick
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby CRail » Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:53 pm

KEN PATRICK wrote:Interest and debt service are more than covered by the sales tax... However wages and fringes alone exceed fares. I don't understand the fairness of sales tax revenues dedicated to this enterprise...

So it's better that our taxes go to privately owned banks than to individual people who are working for a public service?

KEN PATRICK wrote:Doubling the fares and reducing service is the only fair way to correct this seemingly intractable situation. ken patrick

Easily said by someone who doesn't rely on the system daily. What upsets me is not that the person quoted above says these things, because we all know he is trolling, but there are lots of people in the state who don't use the service that spout this nonsense while they ride on their 100% subsidized highways (except for the Mass Pike and tunnels, which are not more expensive than a base subway fare).

Don't blame the cause of the problem, just use it as an excuse to bludgeon the lower class while the better off can put that money into private interests that don't need them.

KEN PATRICK wrote:Why use state-wide sales taxes to benefit a small portion of our population?

Clearly, you don't understand the point of taxes.
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby MBTA3247 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:09 pm

sery2831 wrote:
KEN PATRICK wrote:Users have disposable income levels to support higher fares. Ken Patrick


SERIOUSLY?

Folks, please do not reply to this person. He only drags things off topic!

What does it take to get a troll banned from rr.net?
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby NH2060 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:08 am

aside from the elimination of a few bus routes it looks like the proposed service cuts are now off the table http://www.boston.com/news/local/2013/0 ... story.html if this is what will indeed happen (me being a rider of the commuter rail on weekends) I'd personally breathe a great sigh of relief if it weren't for the fact that a great number of low income riders will be greatly affected and inconvenienced by the bus service reductions and fare hikes.
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby BandA » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:07 pm

1) Defering $45M in maintenance is a Bad Idea. It's not going to get that much better next year. Stop kicking the can down the road. Someone have a backbone? Ms Scott? Deval? DeLeo? Davey?
2) The MBTA should not be thought of as a welfare benefit. It should be valuable infrastructure that riders will gladly pay mostly for themselves, because it is the fastest, most efficient way to get around. The poor will also ride for the same reason.
3) Exception: "The Ride" is a welfare benefit for the disabled. Unless it can become some kind of innovative service that can attract full-price riders too.
4) Build safe commuter bike paths to replace the services that have to be cut.
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby NH2060 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:09 pm

BandA wrote:1) Defering $45M in maintenance is a Bad Idea. It's not going to get that much better next year. Stop kicking the can down the road. Someone have a backbone? Ms Scott? Deval? DeLeo? Davey?

In all fairness to T management they've been trying to make due with what little flexibility they have with their finances. If anyone's to blame it's definitely the state. Deval wants to spend over $100M to upgrade the Berkshire Line to the CT/MA border (?!?!) Keep in mind these are the same people who gave the T a VERY bad deal on the Big Dig debt. Why would they start changing their tone towards public transport now?..
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Re: FY 2014 Transportation Plan and Fare Hikes Discussion

Postby octr202 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:21 pm

Keep in mind that the governor and his staff didn't get where they are without an understanding of politics (regardless of what you think of them). The more you read it, the more it looks like projects like the Berkshire service and Inland Route restoration were put in as much to provide fat to cut when (not if) the Legislature balks on the total package.
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