Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Transit Must Pay for Itself!

Anyone want to comment on transit subsidy in relation to automobiles? Or airlines? Or Fannie/Freddie?

8 comments:

thirdrail said...

Can you provide an example of a transit system in a major metropolitan area that currently does "pay for itself"?

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Can you provide an example of a mode of transportation that isn't heavily subsidized in one way or another?

fpteditors said...

A subsidy is public money that benefits a particular private company or industry. Public transit, like public schools, is an investment.

fpteditors said...

btw... the auto companies are back at the public trough asking for $50 billion in loan guarantees to build "fuel-efficient" cars.

taxpayer said...

Most places, transit does earn its way, it just fails to collect its earnings. The benefit of transit is reflected in the higher land values of areas served by transit. Rather than allowing private landowners to collect the whole thing, transit authorities could be authorized and directed to impose a land tax to cover what fares don't.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I hope people realize that I was being completely snarky with the title. I've heard that argument so many times (Transit must pay for itself!) it makes me a bit sick...

MZ said...

taxpayer-
Some of the current thinking is to have property tax assessments pay for improved transit infrastructure. However, just the capital costs. Buses, and especially rail, loose money operating as well.

Anonymous said...

Just the fact that the road in front of your house is not judged on a profit of loss basis is worth a lot.