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Fares are just taxes by another name

Mass Transit[B' Spokes: in light of Assembly pushes for higher MTA fares the following seems appropriate.]
via Google Maps Bike There

Fares are just taxes by another name

Posted: 30 Mar 2011 03:09 AM PDT

So says Noam Chomsky in his book Class Warfare (pdf). This means that an increase in fares is an increase in taxes. We should oppose these tax increases, which are very regressive, aimed at everyone but the rich — because, generally speaking, rich folks don’t take public transit.

And now that bike-sharing schemes are increasingly falling under the umbrella of ‘public transit’, it is likely their fares and fees will be raised, too — for example, up to 70% for Paris’ Velib system (hat tip: World City Bike).

Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a socialist to be against raising taxes against those who can least afford it — even relatively conservative/capitalist institutions like the Editorial Board of the New Jersey Star-Ledger understand that raising public transit fares is tax that is going to make it even more difficult for working families to get by. Even avowed individual capitalists understand that class war is being waged by the rich against everyone else, and the rich are winning.

There may be reasons why we may decide that having non-rich folks pay more in taxes for public transportation is required or desirable, but for me, I’d rather we have rich folks start paying some taxesand corporations, too.

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The animated history of Metrorail.

Mass TransitHow the rail system in DC expanded. It would be nice if Baltimore's rail system eventually expand in a similar manner.

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NE Corridor Needs High-Speed Rail

Mass TransitBy Jack Kinstlinger
Chairman Emeritus, KCI Technologies,Inc.

The Northeast Corridor is the seond most dense in terms of population in the world, second only to the Tokyo-Osaka corridor that has been blessed with superior fatality free Tokaido-Shinkansen high speed rail service operated profitably for over 40 years by the for profit Central Japan Rail Corporation.It is the only corridor in the US that resembles much of Western Europe with a major downtown every 50 mile or so.Clearly, frequent, reliable high speed rail service-over 200 MPH - in the Northeast over dedicated right of way separate from the current Amtrak operation will be profitable and decongest highways and importantly, decongest critically congested East Coast airports by diverting short haul air passengers to rail.The prospects are so attractive that significant private capital will be attracted , a public private partnersghip should lead the effort which may or may not involve Amtrak.
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We Need to Make Alternatives Attractive

Mass TransitBy Patrick J. Natale, P.E.
P.E., Executive Director, American Society of Civil Engineers

The price of gas is irrelevant. Fluctuating gasoline prices are not the problem, but they do serve to intensify the challenges we face after decades of under-investing in surface transportation. If the price of gas goes up, drivers start using other modes that cannot handle the volume. If it goes down, we still have a massive congestion problem and current revenues from gas taxes are not sufficient.
The cynical person might interpret that trend as a clear sign that Americans prefer driving over other modes of transportation. That may well be, but it could also be an indication that we have not done a good enough job making the alternatives attractive.
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$5 a Gallon Gas Could Spur Up to 1.5 Billion Additional Passenger Trips on U.S. Public Transportation Systems

Mass TransitWait, I thought we needed to cut transit so we could build more roads because people wanted to drive more, which is it?
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Sustainable Growth too Costly says the House Environmental Matters Committee

Mass TransitSmart Growth, Transit Orientated Development and Sustainable Growth are buzz words that I will simply restate as looking at transportation planning and other planning as one unit or in effect let's look at transportations costs as well as housing costs and lets try and make the total as cost effective as possible.

Or Sprawl is unsustainable and we can't afford to support that model any more.

But apparently with House Bill 948 we can't afford to do any differently then what we have been doing either. Keep the status quo! :(
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“Mad Men” Stars Have a New Product to Pitch: High-Speed Rail

Mass TransitU.S. PIRG has made two video to promote high speed rail, the Mad Men video is cute <a href=""></a>;
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Rapid Bus

Mass Transitimage

Personally, I am a big fan a rapid bus, which is basically light rail without the rails but it still has stations far apart to make for a more time efficient ride. Not to mention you pay fairs to enter the station so boarding goes a lot faster. The big question of course will MTA trash this like they have other bus service or can they actually get that mass transit is a substitute for driving and needs a interconnected network for fast and efficient travel. Mass transit is not a substitute for walking and biking with short circumambulated routes that require frequent transfers just to travel a main transportation corridor.

Updated: Apparently Greater Greater Washington has concerns that Rapid Bus will suffer from what he calls "BRT" creep. "BRT creep" makes bus rapid transit inferior to rail

Read Streets Blog Can the U.S. Make Bus Rapid Transit Work as Well as Latin America? for their commentary of issues.

And this video from Street Films:

Moving Beyond the Automobile: Bus Rapid Transit from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

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Walker Budget Eliminates Transit As Transportation, So No Dedicated Money From Gas Taxes

Mass Transitfrom by Angie Schmitt
In an enormously destructive move, Scott Walker’s budget removes transit as a transportation category – - per Walker, transportation budgets are not the private preserve of the road-builder – - so “financing transit operation aids from the general fund will begin in fiscal 2102-2013.”

That means bus systems will have to fight with other services for state aid in a shrinking state budget – - while highway aids gets a $410.5 million increase.

Look for local bus systems to raise fares, cut services, lay off drivers, then die.

We’ll be arriving at the Walker Promised Land, where every low-income person has a car, insurance, money for maintenance, repairs and fuel.

As gas goes to $4.

Something like 30% of City of Milwaukee residents do not have access to a car, and rely on the bus system – - transit, only since rail has been disallowed by Republicans since light rail planning was killed fifteen years ago.

Like the rest of his budget which hammers public schools and social services, this budget is aimed squarely at lower-income Wisconsinites.
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Buses vs. Rail: Conservatives Do Battle Over Which Mode is Better

Mass Transitfrom Streetsblog Capitol Hill by Tanya Snyder

Bill Lind is a big man. The director of the Center for Public Transportation at American Conservative stands well over six feet tall, and when he really gets going, he seems to loom even larger. Maybe that’s why he hates buses so much. “Those seats are designed for garden gnomes,” he said.

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