Today’s Headlines

  • City Releases Data Showing How Many New Yorkers Bike, Walk, Drive, Take Transit to Work (NYT)
  • News Isn’t Convinced 34th Street Transitway Will Pay Off
  • Why Don’t NYC Kids Play Street Games Anymore? (Post)
  • …It Probably Has Something to Do With This (Post)
  • NYC Garbage Trucks Have Injured 294 People in the Last Three Years (Post)
  • SI Ferry Crash Injures 37 — Mostly Nicks and Bruises — Prompts Federal Safety Probe (NY1, AMNY)
  • Walder, Samuelsen Have a Confrontation in the Paper Over Work Rules (News)
  • New BMW So Quiet, You Can’t Tell When You’ve Left It Idling (News, Post, AMNY)
  • Cul-de-Sacs Totally Fail to Deliver Purported Benefits (Infrastructurist)
  • Why Car Companies Feel OK Portraying Teen Drivers as Dangerous, But Not Seniors (538)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    From the commute patterns survey:

    “The median cost of driving to work either by car ($1,932).”

    I calculated that our car costs $5,200 per year, and I don’t even drive it to work. They must only be including the marginal cost, or only assigning a small portion of the total cost of the car to commuting.

    “The city calculates the cost of biking, walking (9.2 percent) and working from home (3.3 percent) at zero.”

    Well if you ride 3,000 miles per year that isn’t necessarily true either, once tires, broken spokes, worn out chains, gears, seats and brake pads are factored in.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Some bus depots have pool tables in crew rooms for drivers to use on their so-called swing shift, a period of time when drivers receive half-pay but aren’t behind the wheel. A typical bus driver’s schedule can span 12 hours: driving a route for four hours during the morning rush and another four hours in the evening rush, the peak travel periods when service is most needed.”

    I have to agree with the union on this one. Does the MTA expect to send workers home, an hour each way, between shifts and not pay them at all? Half pay is fair. That’s the cost of peaking, and perhaps it should be reflected in the cost of peak hour fares.

    “Walder’s gripes, though, extend beyond the break room. He also is miffed that when a driver who is behind the wheel eight hours a day calls in sick, he gets paid for the full 12-hour run,’ including the swing span.”

    Now THAT’s a ripoff. The MTA would be better off complaining about clearly abusing rules.

  • David King

    This study is deeply flawed. The cost of driving does not include the cost of parking, which can be many hundreds of dollars per month in Manhattan. If the cost of parking is included driving alone is by far the most expensive mode. The cost estimates for driving alone are based on the standard mileage charges allowed under IRS guidelines, which likely underestimate the expensive insurance of the NY area as well as the cost of parking at home. Delay and environmental costs are also unreported.

    But a bigger problem with this study and many like it is for most people it seems entirely reasonable that you wouldn’t include the cost of parking in cost of driving calculations. You might as well ignore the cost of gas or engines. It is unthinkable that operating costs would be left out of a transit agency’s annual budget because you obviously have to operate the service. Quite simply, any attempt to value the full cost of driving that does not include the cost of parking should be treated as bogus. If this study is to be believed many of the taxi users and train riders are throwing away money by not driving alone, and that’s a bunch of baloney.

  • Ian Turner

    The study plainly looks at the marginal per-trip cost, which is fine; the outrageous thing is that they didn’t include parking cost, which would surely bump the private auto up above the taxi in total marginal cost. On the other hand, if you included all costs, even walking would not be free; you’d have to consider the cost of all those worn-out shoes and socks.

    If you included changes in healthcare cost, though, walking and bicycling could have negative total cost.

  • The issue I have with marginal per-trip cost is that it doesn’t measure the opportunity cost of having a motor vehicle.

  • Does anyone who worked on the study pay for parking?

  • Car Free Nation

    The other thing is the emphasis of the headline and the info graphic. Shouldn’t it be “Cycling is Fastest Growing Commuting Option” with a graphic that shows relative growth?

  • Westchesterite

    Street Games article in the Post. I live in a suburban town. Street games were killed by the sheer quantity of cars coming down the street. My kids could never complete their pitching wind-up before another car came up the block.

  • There are some kids who regularly play kickball at the end of my block in the middle of the intersection (Leonard St and Powers St in Williamsburg). This particular intersection is on my cycling route home. I felt like such a jerk interrupting their kickball game that I typically go a block out of the way if I see them out there.

  • When my mom was a kid in Yonkers in the 1950s, the family dog used to sleep in the middle of the street.