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Guelph Transit
#16
(11-09-2015, 02:42 PM)SammyOES Wrote: I'd be interested in seeing that data.  I know lots of people that would rather a 1 hour bus on their route than nothing.

The data does not bear this out, those people end up driving, except for a handful of teenagers and old people. You are just describing the empty buses of KW two decades back.

Quote: And I'd argue that you just pointed out a situation where cutting service when there isn't the expected demand makes sense.  Dropping routes is cutting service too.


I'm not against cuts if the money isn't there. I'm against cuts like those proposed which end up losing more money per passenger. Concentrate on the main routes, make the service frequent and let people bike to the stops during the summer. Forget about suburban buses meandering through subdivisions. Those are low ridership to begin with and even more so in the Summer.
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#17
(11-09-2015, 02:57 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: Concentrate on the main routes, make the service frequent and let people bike to the stops during the summer. Forget about suburban buses meandering through subdivisions. Those are low ridership to begin with and even more so in the Summer.

This is completely correct. It does require leadership to get that done, though. Politicians are loathe to be seen cutting service from a specific neighbourhood.
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#18
(11-09-2015, 02:53 PM)MidTowner Wrote: Guelph is calling for about a 2.5% decrease in the tax-supported budget for transit. I wonder if ridership will decrease even more than that proportion, actually increasing the subsidy per-user (and serving fewer users).

That is exactly what happened in KW. Subsidies per passenger has gone down dramatically with the increase in service. We doubled the budget and quadrupled the ridership. Before we were spending a lot of money with almost no effect on transit, now we are spending more money but removing a substantial number of people from the roads and into the buses. How many? about 22 million trips per year last I checked.
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#19
(11-09-2015, 02:51 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(11-09-2015, 02:46 PM)SammyOES Wrote: What are the numbers on the comparative subsidies?  My guess would be that other forms of transit are not being subsidized as much as buses on a per-user basis. (And even if true - that might be ok because public transit is 'better' in many different senses).

Your cul-de-sac or suburban street is one of the most heavily subsidized roads. Very little traffic built at a cost of millions of dollars per mile. Each trip during the lifetime of the street costs about the same as a bus ticket for a much smaller travelled distance.

Source?  I assume most of these streets are built with development charges or by the developer directly (meaning the cost is ultimately passed on to the home owners) and I'm highly skeptical that a mile of suburban road costs millions of dollars to build.
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#20
(11-09-2015, 03:27 PM)SammyOES Wrote: Source?  I assume most of these streets are built with development charges or by the developer directly (meaning the cost is ultimately passed on to the home owners) and I'm highly skeptical that a mile of suburban road costs millions of dollars to build.

I know Ontario isn't Florida, but this link was the first result I got from google puts the cost for a "New Construction 2 Lane Undivided Urban Arterial with 4' Bike Lanes" at $4,266,105.41 per mile. When you think of the land costs, labour, materials, services required to support and maintain it, it doesn't really seem that outrageous to peg the costs in the millions per mile. I imagine labour costs being higher in Canada would push the cost per kilometer to be even higher.
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#21
I don't think an Urban arterial road with bike lanes is comparable to what we're talking about with a "cul-de-sac or suburban street".

And again, the cost of land/construction isn't necessarily being subsidized by the city.  It's often being born by the developer and ultimately the home owners on that street.  And given that a home owner is paying more in property tax than someone that doesn't use a street like that - its not obvious how much of the increased maintenance cost is an actual subsidy.
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#22
(11-09-2015, 03:27 PM)SammyOES Wrote: Source?  I assume most of these streets are built with development charges or by the developer directly (meaning the cost is ultimately passed on to the home owners) and I'm highly skeptical that a mile of suburban road costs millions of dollars to build.

I researched a while back on google, finding many matching quotes. I knew people who drive would be surprised. They simply assume that driving is cheaper. As per development charges many of those are highly subsidized by the city. Here's one link for the cost:

http://capitolfax.com/summary.pdf

as I said, I found many others. Another one:

Construct a new 2-lane undivided road – about $2-$3 million per mile in rural areas, about $3-5 million in urban areas.

http://www.artba.org/about/transportation-faqs/faqs/#20

Lastly, even if in some cases is fully covered by developing charge, suddenly a $1 subsidy per transit rider looks a lot smaller when each of your trips out of suburbia costs $1-3 just driving out of your cul-de-sac (not including gas or car) be it paid by the developer or the city.
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#23
No offense, but those numbers don't really seem particularly relevant to the cost of a suburban road or cul-de-sac in Guelph.

There's a huge difference between costs paid by a developer or paid by the city. The developer portion isn't a subsidy by any definition of the word. It's a cost born by a private company that is making profit on the enterprise.

I also don't find the "an additional $1 subsidy per transit rider looks a lot..." line of reasoning very compelling either. It's lazy logic that could be used to justify almost anything.
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#24
(11-09-2015, 04:59 PM)SammyOES Wrote: No offense, but those numbers don't really seem particularly relevant to the cost of a suburban road or cul-de-sac in Guelph.

There's a huge difference between costs paid by a developer or paid by the city.  The developer portion isn't a subsidy by any definition of the word.  It's a cost born by a private company that is making profit on the enterprise.

I also don't find the "an additional $1 subsidy per transit rider looks a lot..." line of reasoning very compelling either.  It's lazy logic that could be used to justify almost anything.

Actually they give a rather good ball park figure where the costs are. You simply find the subsidy too jarring: the data is there, from three different sources.

And my point stands, people who are unaware of the true costs of transportation are shocked at $1-2 subsidy for transit passengers while unbeknownst to them similar costs are incurred by driving, much to their surprise.
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#25
Sammy, do you have any sources for your assertions?
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#26
(11-09-2015, 03:51 PM)SammyOES Wrote: And again, the cost of land/construction isn't necessarily being subsidized by the city.  It's often being born by the developer and ultimately the home owners on that street.  And given that a home owner is paying more in property tax than someone that doesn't use a street like that - its not obvious how much of the increased maintenance cost is an actual subsidy.

Municipalities in Ontario have been making it clear for a while now that the development charges they are allowed to charge do not actually cover the capital cost associated with new developments. I have read that development charges cover half, three quarters, whatever. But, no, the development charges born by the developer and home purchasers do not cover the whole thing- the rest of the capital cost is an initial subsidy by existing ratepayers.

That's the first thing.

Second, when you say "...given that a home owner is paying more in property tax than someone that doesn't use a street like that..." that doesn't make sense. Our property taxes are not based on the infrastructure we consume and the resources we use (in Waterloo Region, neither are our utilities). They are based exclusively on the market value of our property. On BuildingScout's hypothetical cul-de-sac, there may be eight houses sharing sixty metres of road that is of no use to anyone else at all (since it doesn't connect to anywhere else). The residents of those houses will be completely car-dependent and may inflict many times more wear and tear on our roads than someone living in a condo downtown. But, if that condo and one of those eight cul-de-sac homes are assessed at the same value, both pay exactly the same amount to maintain our roads. I don't think it's hard to see the cross-subsidy there.

And, to tie it back somewhat to the topic of this thread, that cross-subsidy will be a lot more significant than the few dollars a transit user's trip might be subsidized, especially taking into account that the transit user might be saving the municipality some costs by not putting another private vehicle on the road.
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#27
I love how it's pushed back on me to show my sources when I was the one asking for cites to all of your claims.

I don't know the answer. I just know anyone claiming the cost of a road is all subsidy - without taking into account developers costs, development charges, gas taxes, property taxes, etc. is being disingenuous.

And once again the idea that we shouldn't worry about 1-2 dollars more per passenger is silly. We can keep using that logic to justify almost anything.
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#28
(11-09-2015, 06:33 PM)SammyOES Wrote: And once again the idea that we shouldn't worry about 1-2 dollars more per passenger is silly. We can keep using that logic to justify almost anything.

Strawman, no one claimed that $1-2 is nothing to worry about. All was claimed is that is comparable to what your cul-de-sac road costs which it is.
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#29
Lets take this from a different angle. What is the amount in the budget for building suburban roads? We don't necessarily care about the cost or the development charges or anything like that.

This started with the comment about subsidies so we should be able to see what the city is paying in the budgets.
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#30
(11-09-2015, 06:53 PM)SammyOES Wrote: This started with the comment about subsidies so we should be able to see what the city is paying in the budgets.

When I initially used the word 'subsidies' in that comment, I meant in the sense that Guelph Transit (and every other transit system in our neck of the woods) does not cover all of its costs through user fees, and is supported through the general tax levy.

And, of course, operating costs of Guelph roads (which, yes, are used by commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, transit vehicles, but principally private passenger vehicles) are covered entirely through support from the general tax levy, since there are no user fees.

Every resident of a municipality pays for the roads, regardless of the extent to which he or she makes use of them. And there's no attempt to rectify that issue. Instead, municipal governments (in this case, Guelph) often ask transit users to pay more out of pocket while the support to transit from the general levy (and so, service) is reduced.
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