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Funding roads (taxes, user fees etc)
#31
Yeah but it's never free Big Grin
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#32
And on our amusement park digression, I'm a huge fan of the free virtual queueing / Disney FastPass type things. Having people stand in line for a ride isn't really an efficient way to manage usage of the park and with technology we can do a lot better for everyone.
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#33
(12-20-2016, 01:27 PM)Canard Wrote: Yeah but it's never free Big Grin

Hah, true.
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#34
(12-20-2016, 01:28 PM)SammyOES2 Wrote: And on our amusement park digression, I'm a huge fan of the free virtual queueing / Disney FastPass type things.  Having people stand in line for a ride isn't really an efficient way to manage usage of the park and with technology we can do a lot better for everyone.

Disney's approach (with FastPass), I think, is the best for fairness and managing guest satisfaction; everyone can use it, because it's free to all guests - it has limits and can't be abused (you can't get another FastPass until your current one expires), and you still have to wait. You can just be out doing other things.

FastPass+, on the other hand... it's just too complicated!
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#35
(12-20-2016, 10:55 AM)SammyOES2 Wrote: ijmorlan: "Since the road is being paid for by everybody’s tax dollars, it’s perfectly reasonable for us to argue for efficiency improvements, even if it causes some inconvenience to those currently receiving the benefits of free roads. Beggars can’t be choosers … except when it comes to free roads, apparently."

I pay thousands of dollars in gas tax.  Tens of thousands of dollars in property, income, and consumption taxes that go towards road development.  Frankly, your continued use of "free roads" just tells me you're either disingenuous on this issue or not able to accept facts that contradict your beliefs.  Either way, I don't really see much use continuing a discussion with you.

Your point about gas tax is valid. It functions as an approximate partial pay-per-use for the road system.

But talking about property, income, and consumption taxes as if it represents you paying for your road use is incorrect. The whole point I’m making is that the general taxpayer pays for most road construction, regardless of how much they use the road network. Motorists don’t pay for the roads (except for the 407); everybody does. Since there is a large overlap between “motorists” and “everybody” it’s a bit hard to see what is really going on. But motorists do in fact get (almost) free roads. And they pay the same no matter when they choose to drive.

If we tolled all the roads, property, income, and/or consumption taxes could go down correspondingly. Or the money could be spent on other things. But suggesting that tolls are a tax grab is incorrect and nonsensical. Tolls are almost a prototypical example of a charge which is not a tax.

Again, you have no right to have the populace at large pay for enough roads for you to drive, congestion-free, at rush hour. It’s just an absurd expectation.

I think a lot of this would be much clearer if motorists were a smaller fraction of society. It would be obvious they are being paid for by everybody else. But in this time and place, the “everybody else” is actually a fairly small minority (doesn’t even include me, although I rarely use a private vehicle to get to and from work).
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#36
...But most of Canada does.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#37
(12-20-2016, 01:50 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: ...
I think a lot of this would be much clearer if motorists were a smaller fraction of society. It would be obvious they are being paid for by everybody else. But in this time and place, the “everybody else” is actually a fairly small minority (doesn’t even include me, although I rarely use a private vehicle to get to and from work).

I'm not sure it doesn't. The problem is, even in a place where most take transit, even like NYC. Those making many of the decisions continue to drive.

This is even more apparent in Toronto. That's why I'm so surprised by the tolling plan.
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#38
Something being "subsidized" isn't the same as something being "free".  This is just basic English.

If two people X and Y pay for service S but only X uses S, it's just completely wrong to say that X gets S for free.  It makes absolutely no sense.
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#39
ijmorlan, let's go with this. Why don't you post a source showing that motorists get "(almost) free roads"?

I showed one showing there's 65-85% cost recovery.
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#40
(12-20-2016, 02:16 PM)SammyOES2 Wrote: ijmorlan, let's go with this.  Why don't you post a source showing that motorists get "(almost) free roads"?

I showed one showing there's 65-85% cost recovery.

Some of the glaring issues with that report:
It considers Vehicle Registration Taxes, which in places like Toronto no longer exist, and which are not inconsequential amounts of money.
While some suggest that we need roads and should subsidize them in order to have transport trucks able to deliver goods to anywhere in the country, this report taxes the other view, wherein we should seek to put a huge proportion of road costs onto those vehicles due to their weight. Yes, it does increase wear, but we aren't building 10 lanes of 401 here in the region to accommodate those vehicles.
They consider licensing and traffic violations as sources of revenue intended for roads, which is not how we apply things in practice, nor is it good practice.

Most glaringly, they consider your purchase of a vehicle as a form of payment for the road. Compare that their view of the combined cost to society of infrastructure, pollution, congestion, and accidents is 18.5 cents per kilometer driven, but a whopping 45 cents of "costs to society which drivers pay for" is the cost of the vehicle itself, which of course is paid for by you. This is NOT payment for roads, this is your payment for your vehicle.

Put it this way... you only cover 65-85% of the costs when you include the cost of your car in the "societal burden" costs package, and make that responsible for (45 / (45 + 7) x 100% =) 86% of the costs to society, you are massively overstating what drivers actually pay.
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#41
"Put it this way... you only cover 65-85% of the costs when you include the cost of your car in the "societal burden" costs package, and make that responsible for (45 / (45 + 7) x 100% =) 86% of the costs to society, you are massively overstating what drivers actually pay."

I don't believe this is accurate.  The 85% was using "A direct, expenditure-based (pay as you go) approach."  You can see on the graph that they have revenues at ~6 billion for the 3 years and the costs at 6-7 billion over the three years.

None of those numbers in the graph below "Summing-Up How Much Users Pay" include direct vehicle costs.

Edit: Yeah, you can see in the article they say vehicle ownership and maintenance costs are ~50-60 billion dollars.  So its not being considered in the 65%-85% numbers.  When you include vehicle costs its basically just 100%.
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#42
"Basically just 100%"...I'm done with this conversation.

It's like claiming pedestrians should count the food they eat, and the clothes they wear towards the cost of their mode of transportation.
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#43
(12-20-2016, 02:16 PM)SammyOES2 Wrote: ijmorlan, let's go with this.  Why don't you post a source showing that motorists get "(almost) free roads"?

I showed one showing there's 65-85% cost recovery.

This is an absurd question. Ok, this afternoon I drove to an appointment. Did I have to pay to use the roads?

No. My finances are exactly the same now as they would have been if I had walked to the appointment.

End of story, undisputable, with the possible exception of the gas tax (not HST, the gas-specific tax). If you want to claim otherwise, you need to explain how my finances are different, how I was billed, what fee I was charged, what price I had to pay to use the road.

That’s (almost — gas tax!) free.

The fact that I am paying for the roads in my capacity as a taxpayer is irrelevant. I am not paying for them in my capacity as a driver.

Even the gas tax is arguably a poorly-implemented carbon tax, so it’s arguable.
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#44
(12-20-2016, 03:49 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: "Basically just 100%"...I'm done with this conversation.

It's like claiming pedestrians should count the food they eat, and the clothes they wear towards the cost of their mode of transportation.

lol, dude.  I already said that was an absurd statement when I first quoted the article.

I was just pointing out that the 65-85% number DID NOT include vehicle costs because if they DID it would be basically 100%.

Edit: Here's exactly what I wrote originally: 

"Notice how they call out: "If we look at the total cost of driving, including vehicle costs, cost recovery will tend to be closer to 100 per cent". Which is just silly."
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#45
So to dig a bit more into their report, I would disagree with them (and you, and anyone) that GST/HST on gasoline is a "payment for roads." Yes, it happens to be collected on that particular piece of economic activity, your purchase of gas, but it is a general, across-the-board tax, and does not belong as a part of the equation. Similarly, it is disingenuous to include the toll revenues that the 407 operators collect, as they are a private company, just as it is disingenuous to include the monies derived from its sale as monies for cars. Had they sold the 407 in complete form or had the consortium been sold each individual piece and done the work themselves, it is not "road user revenue" for any level of government. Parking fees are similarly not intended for covering road use, they don't even cover the lots themselves. All told, if you do add these things up, as well as a lot of the conference boards' instances of "we can't know what the cost is, but we will make some assumptions, and they could be incredibly important to the process if we are wrong", we wind up with well south of even 50% cost recovery, and with many dubious assumptions into even that number.

Yes, they thankfully didn't wind up including the cost of a car as a contribution to road cost coverage, but that they even brought it up as though to suggest it was, to go briefly down that route of "I bought a mansion, I deserve lots of things," is to call into deep question your ability to be taken seriously.
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