-By Dan Scott
Every taxpayer needs to brace themselves for the coming porkfest of the 2009 transportation budget with it’s associated earmarks. Liberals will be pushing mass transit as the PC solution to our energy problems. Please, before you, the taxpayer, are forced to fork over yet billions more dollars down the pork hole demand that Congress address the basic problems of the existing mass transit systems. The problem with mass transit in a nutshell is in most cases it is not more energy efficient than a car and those few that are, are not cost effective given the huge subsidies to compete with the automobile.
Enough of liberal gold plated boondoggles costing the taxpayer billions of dollars on the false premise that if you can stuff enough people in the same space you’ll use less energy and it will be cost effective. Again, very few light and heavy rail systems in the US use less energy per passenger mile than a car and those very few that do are massively subsidized to the point a car is still more cost effective. All other metro areas that use mass transit actually use more fuel to transport people than if they took a car. The reason is utilization rates vary from hour to hour during the day. Running a huge operation with empty buses and trains during off hours more than gobbles up any savings that might be achieved during rush hours. The only thing that hinders individuals from making their own energy efficient and cost effective decisions in transportation is the refusal of city planners to allow the building of parking garages, they intentionally created the lack of parking in cities to push public transportation in the misguided belief that they not the public would be making the most enlightened decisions. We call that hubris, and it’s also called creating a problem to take the credit for solving it.
Here are the only mass transit systems that actually are more efficient than a car with only one person in it:
Boston – Heavy rail 153%
Philadelphia – SEPTA Heavy rail 115%
Washington DC – Metrorail 125%
CA – BART 105%
NY – PATH Heavy rail 216%, NYC Subway 351%
A light rail system might be cost effective if “properly designed and run”, so far the record of 6 out of 48 systems (12.5%) is pretty unconvincing given that only 3 are light rail. So basically what we see here is that mass transit is an expensive public make works jobs program to increase the city employee rolls. This is the same mentality as with the public schools, and what we get is poor results for the billions of dollars we are forced to put into it. The bottom line is “efficient government” is still an oxymoron 87.5% of the time. Given these type of odds of failure why bother, isn’t the national debt high enough?
There are only three forms of transportation that are more cost effective and energy efficient than a car: Walk (some contend this form is actually more energy intensive based on energy expenditure for distance), bike or horse. Economies of scale may work for many industrial processes however, humans are not conformable to industrialization, only brain dead zombies are. Look up the origin of word “robot” or “robotnik”, hint it’s a Czech word.
There are actually four virtually zero cost practical means of significant energy savings that the public could do with no need of the government meddling in people’s affairs or fleecing the taxpayer yet again on another panacea:
1. Car pool, thus doubling the passenger mile per gallon by having one passenger in addition to the driver; only two mass transit systems in the US could ever match the passenger mile efficiency of two people in a car, both are in NY, see the list above!
2. Four day work week (4 – 10 hr days), a 20% reduction in travel miles and hence a 20% reduction in fuel cost;
3. Telecommute one or more days a week if your desk job would allow it. That’s a 20% per business day fuel savings for every day of Telecommuting. There is no reason why with the internet and phone lines you can’t remotely conduct office business, small business owners do this all the time. We might finally achieve the idea of a paperless office by shuffling computer files instead of hard copy otherwise use the fax machine.
4. Teleconferencing instead of flying to business meetings and conferences.
If you want to be better informed on the subject before you get that sales call from your local Democrat pushing their latest great idea, here is a very interesting link referencing articles talking about Mass Transit. If you are enamored with big government projects spending lots of money to accomplish the same thing as the individual does for way less money, then don’t read it.
Dan Scott calls himself a “Member of the Global Capitalist Cabal preaching Capitalism and personal responsibility as the economic solution to world poverty.” He is also a member of the 14th Amendment Society — victimhood is a liberal code word for denying the civil rights of others. He is also a proud member of the Global Warming Denier Cabal, insisting that facts not agendas determine the truth.
Dan can be seen on the web at http://www.geocities.com/fightbigotry2002/ as well as http://www.geocities.com/dscott8186/saidwebpage.htm, And can be reached for comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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