Today’s Headlines

  • NYC Riders Pay Biggest Share of Transit Costs in the US (News)
  • Bicyclists Suing City Over Critical Mass Arrests (OnNYturf)
  • "Public-be-Damned" Attitude Emanating From Albany (ReformNY)
  • Pricing to Address Bay Area Traffic and Climate Change (Planetizen)
  • Venezuela’s 7 Cent Gallon Fosters a "Revolution of Hummers" (NYT)
  • Dollar and Oil Hit New Records (FT)
  • Cars Getting Heavier, More Powerful, Less Efficient (Car&Driver)
  • Reimagining the Automobile as an Electricity Powerplant (NYT)
  • America’s 20 Most Sedentary [Southeastern] Cities (Forbes)
  • Small Growth is the New Smart Growth (NYT)
  • Berkeley, CA May Pay for Up-Front Costs of Solar (Grist)
  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said the subway system here is older and more costly to maintain than other systems. The fare, he said, is “competitive.”

    Ooh, that’s a tough job, Aaron.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Of course taxpayers and toll payers pay the highest share of their income in the country to subsidize transit here, as I showed on Room 8 last May or June.

    Based on the most recent data, the cost of NYC Transit not covered by the fare amounted to 1.5 percent of all the income earned by city residents in 2005. Nationally the entire state and local tax burden averaged just 10% of income, with transit accounting for little of it.

    Both riders are taxpayers pay more for transit here because we have more of it. But that means we save more on the additional autos we don’t own, and miles we don’t drive, compared with other Americans — I think it was an average of around $4,000 per household last I checked.

    In any event, neither riders nor others are paying enough, in that the MTA is borrowing $12.5 billion for ongoing normal replacement in the 2005 to 2009 capital plan. They say no fare increase is required because the MTA has a surplus, meanwhile the agency is borrowing $2.5 billion per year for ongoing expenses!

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Enough depends upon the eye of the beholder. The MTA has the highest fare box recovery rates and the highest percentage of capital funded by the farebox as well of US cities. However, as much as anything else that is a measure of overall urban density. These are very difficult apples and oranges issues. A private bus line in Omaha may actually recover 110% of its operating costs. So what, it only runs during rush hour over a very specific and limited route. Operating deficits are also a function of how much service is offered off peak, transfer requirements and possibilities.

    I propose a measurement built upon how much urban space is created by a systems capital structure and operation. One better based on the land value of that space created by transit.

    Operating ratio is both a result and a stimulant of density.