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  1. #51
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yote223 View Post
    Why do you think that I have always hated the constant "tax and spend" political climate in my state? If it wasn't for the BWCA/Voyagers I would have moved a LONG time ago. I've had enough of the State and Fed sticking their nose where it does NOT belong. Quit spending my money on FORCED social control. Jmo.
    Kind of ironic that the one thing keeping you in the state is largely funded by tax dollars.

    It's really not that surprising though. I agree that there is a lot of waste when it comes to state (and federal) spending. We are a high tax state, yet in spite of our harsh climate we rank consistently near the top when it comes to quality of life measures (at least in the US). I don't think that is a coincidence.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  2. #52
    Senior Member yote223's Avatar
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    A quality of life that Very Rapidly going down the toilet due to other policies that the gov continues to pursue.
    It's hard to soar with the Eagles when you're flying with Turkeys
    Charter Member of PSIP Coalition.

  3. #53
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yote223 View Post
    A quality of life that Very Rapidly going down the toilet due to other policies that the gov continues to pursue.
    10 capitalization rules every writer should know | Impertinent Remarks AAAA

    I try not to be a grammar nazi, but random capitalization of words makes me wonder about the writer since it seems common in rambling manifestos of psychopaths.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I'm unaware of any subsidies for Taxis, or for private vehicles of all kinds. In fact cars are heavily taxed via parking lot taxes. Likewise, no shoe leather subsidy so walkers are on their own.

    The economics of bike shares are very favorable, and they do get a significant subsidy in the form of free storage/docking space, so there's absolutely no reason this can't be priced correctly and paid for by user members, with some help from paid advertising. Given the comparative cost per trip, the operators should be able to charge enough to recover capital and operating costs and make a profit.
    It's worth pointing out that ordinary vehicles actually do get subsized through higher taxes and fees paid by commercial vehicles. For starters, the taxes applied to diesel fuel are higher than gasoline and a tractor trailer pays an average of $5,000 a year per vehicle just in permits and fees. A tractor trailer traveling the length of the NY Thruway alone is going to pay about $200 just in tolls.

    And even with all this, the federal highway trust fund is essentially broke, which is why many major projects are on hold. Add that to the fact that Congress has forbid adding any new toll roads to the interstate system and you're not going to have a solution there anytime soon.

    NYC's bike share has been hobbled to a degree by poor financial modeling and perhaps not negotiating a lucrative enough contract in return for prominent naming rights.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafzali View Post


    ....NYC's bike share has been hobbled to a degree by poor financial modeling and perhaps not negotiating a lucrative enough contract in return for prominent naming rights.
    I suspect that what really happened is that the operator elected to go with a very low subscription price initially to get a vary large subscription base as soon as possible, figuring they could raise the rate once people decided it made sense for them. The Rope a Dope strategy would have worked, but the technical issues, and the city stepping in to block any increase left them between a rock and a hard place.

    They don't need a subsidy (so far) nor a grant, they just need to be allowed to raise prices to where they need to be, and be freed from some of the mandates imposed by the city. Bike share is viable without any help as long as there's no interference either.
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  6. #56
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafzali View Post
    It's worth pointing out that ordinary vehicles actually do get subsized through higher taxes and fees paid by commercial vehicles. For starters, the taxes applied to diesel fuel are higher than gasoline and a tractor trailer pays an average of $5,000 a year per vehicle just in permits and fees. A tractor trailer traveling the length of the NY Thruway alone is going to pay about $200 just in tolls.

    And even with all this, the federal highway trust fund is essentially broke, which is why many major projects are on hold. Add that to the fact that Congress has forbid adding any new toll roads to the interstate system and you're not going to have a solution there anytime soon.

    NYC's bike share has been hobbled to a degree by poor financial modeling and perhaps not negotiating a lucrative enough contract in return for prominent naming rights.
    Doesn't help that they keep funneling the money into non-road related transit projects. I wouldn't mind spending more in gas taxes and licensing fees if they would actually make some improvements to the roads.

  7. #57
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I suspect that what really happened is that the operator elected to go with a very low subscription price initially to get a vary large subscription base as soon as possible, figuring they could raise the rate once people decided it made sense for them. The Rope a Dope strategy would have worked, but the technical issues, and the city stepping in to block any increase left them between a rock and a hard place.

    They don't need a subsidy (so far) nor a grant, they just need to be allowed to raise prices to where they need to be, and be freed from some of the mandates imposed by the city. Bike share is viable without any help as long as there's no interference either.

    Fat chance there. Once the government gets its hands in something they never let go even if those hands are choking the life out of it.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Doesn't help that they keep funneling the money into non-road related transit projects. I wouldn't mind spending more in gas taxes and licensing fees if they would actually make some improvements to the roads.
    The only rational, long-term financing system for roads would be tolls. But Congress, especially Republicans, doesn't go for this approach. Tolls are a much more transparent way to finance roads and you don't have any penalty with increases in fuel efficiency. Although commercial trucks still pay for the lion's share of the surface transportation system, another big factor is declining fuel usage as a result of increased fuel efficiency. If you're going to mandate better fuel efficiency standards, which is a good idea, then you've got to realize that's going to have a big impact in road construction financing.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Fat chance there. Once the government gets its hands in something they never let go even if those hands are choking the life out of it.
    That sounds good to say, but the government is actually the people. And, bottom line, nobody turns down government money. Add to that, most people vastly exaggerate the amount they pay in taxes and underestimate the amount they take out in services. As far as pricing for these types of programs, what hobbles them generally is the fact that there's always a clammor for an unlimited plan and the prices and usage associated with the unlimited plan ends up being revenue negative. While these folks pay more up front, over the long term, they always take more out and their increased usage leads to more expenses.

    That's the chief reason why NYC's subways didn't have any kind of unlimited ride option until the mid 1990s. And once it did, ridership increased that placed the normal associated burdens on the system's infrastructure.

  10. #60
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    As regards Bike Share programs, it's easy.

    Count how many programs are up and running without Federal help.
    Count how many are up and running with Federal grants.

    The No Grant's have it.
    I believe a portion of the start up costs for the Minneapolis program was paid for through a Federal grant (the Federal Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program).
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Fat chance there. Once the government gets its hands in something they never let go even if those hands are choking the life out of it.
    It's always been NYC policy to coordinate repaving jobs with planned construction or understreet work by ConEd, Nynex, or the water dept.

    As soon as they have schedules in hand, they run out and repave the entire section before the work commences.
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  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    I believe a portion of the start up costs for the Minneapolis program was paid for through a Federal grant (the Federal Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program).
    That seems to be the case. So the person wishing for grants (about which I posted) got his wish, and debate is moot.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  13. #63
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    I think some on here need to get better informed before presenting any type of argument for or against something. Generalized & blanket statements are about as accurate as they are loved by the ignorant.

    The government's job is to facilitate a populace with a livable and orderly existence. What some call interference is simply the people governing themselves, just you don't see the bigger picture. Sure, not all projects do the most good, or are guided by poor policy, but if we did not have a federal or state government, we would have no cohesive or orderly existence.

    315 million people plus undocumented, visa holding or permanent non-residents is a lot of individuals to look after, and not everyone will benefit from things that will benefit others. If you don't like it, you can either A. vote differently, B. run for office, C. move elsewhere, or D. deal with it.

    There is nothing wrong with nationally pooled tax dollars from the entire tax base paying for improvements in specific locations. The key is to make these improvements as sustainable and effective as possible. You also have to have a realistic tax rate structure, and a high percentage of compliance.

    If you don't like this, i'm sure one could fashion a cabin in a wilderness somewhere or set sail for international waters.

    I for one would welcome anything that would improve the quality of life, whatever the funding source. Less stress means you live more efficiently and cost the economy less money.

    Now, back to the bike share topic, i guess, and lets stop the nonsense about "government poking in".

    - Andy
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  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post

    The government's job is to facilitate a populace with a livable and orderly existence. What some call interference is simply the people governing themselves, just you don't see the bigger picture. Sure, not all projects do the most good, or are guided by poor policy, but if we did not have a federal or state government, we would have no cohesive or orderly existence.
    So you think that the federal government should fund projects that are mismanaged, and wasteful simply because they seem to do some good?

    Because that's the question as far as NYC's bikeshare program goes.

    You have a contractor who mismanaged the project, and a city administration making unreasonable demands which will drive the contractor to bankruptcy.

    OTOH you have a customer base willing to pay if only the city and the contractor can get their act together.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  15. #65
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    So you think that the federal government should fund projects that are mismanaged, and wasteful simply because they seem to do some good?

    Because that's the question as far as NYC's bikeshare program goes.

    You have a contractor who mismanaged the project, and a city administration making unreasonable demands which will drive the contractor to bankruptcy.

    OTOH you have a customer base willing to pay if only the city and the contractor can get their act together.

    Uh, no.

    Way to take my comment and bend it into a pretzel to fit your own argument.

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  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
    Uh, no.

    Way to take my comment and bend it into a pretzel to fit your own argument.

    - Andy
    I didn't do this to bend your argument into a pretzel, but to show that the remedy has to match the problem. Citibike doesn't need a seed grant, they're past that, and are up and running. They need good management, and for either the rock or hard place they're between to move.

    I strongly suspect, that this is going to end up in the hands of a bankruptcy judge, who'll force movement on all sides and either negotiate or impose a solution, or force a sale to a new entity which can use the capital stock and create a new operations plan.
    FB
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  17. #67
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I didn't do this to bend your argument into a pretzel, but to show that the remedy has to match the problem. Citibike doesn't need a seed grant, they're past that, and are up and running. They need good management, and for either the rock or hard place they're between to move.

    I strongly suspect, that this is going to end up in the hands of a bankruptcy judge, who'll force movement on all sides and either negotiate or impose a solution, or force a sale to a new entity which can use the capital stock and create a new operations plan.
    Ok.

    - Andy
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  18. #68
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WVU_Engineer View Post
    Curious why would someone pay an amount for a year to use a bike that may or may not be available when and where they need it for the same price they could buy an el cheapo bike that they actually own?
    Despite my fleet,I've had a CaBi(DC bikeshare) membership for several years now. I use it for two reasons. First,Metro. Most of the time it's just more convenient to use bikeshare because they're by all the Metro stations,and a couple blocks from my place. That way I don't have to lock one of my bikes up at a Metro stop(high rate of theft/stripping/vandalism and I have to come/go from the same stop),drag around a folder,or deal with a bike during crowded rush hour. The second reason is for winter riding. They go nuts with the road salt around here,and if I don't have far to go,I much prefer riding their bikes through the salt than mine. This past winter,from Dec to Mar,I only rode one of my bikes once. CaBi was less convenient,but saved me from having to clean my bikes and replace chains/cassettes.

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  19. #69
    Senior Member WVU_Engineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    I don't have to lock one of my bikes up at a Metro stop(high rate of theft/stripping/vandalism and I have to come/go from the same stop)
    First time I went into DC I came back to a car that had been broken into at the New Carrolton station.

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