Transportation Choices & Their True Cost


ISBN 978-1-884829-98-7There’s a great article today (“The Light at the End of the Tunnel“; Ryan Mcgreal; Hamilton Spectator; 2007/03/20) about the need for us to critically assess how public spending (or lack of) shapes our transportation choices.

The article makes as much sense for London as it does for Hamilton:

  • Unlike transit, where user fees cover” a significant percentage “of the total, public spending covers 100 per cent of the cost of our roads.
  • We won’t increase transit ridership until we make transit faster and more convenient than the alternative.
  • Road capacity has grown far faster than population for decades, yet traffic continues to worsen.
  • We will never have enough pavement to meet the insatiable demand for “free” roads and “free” parking.

2007/09/18 – Pricing Out Parking
2007/10/01 – We Paved Paradise


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One Response to “Transportation Choices & Their True Cost”

  1. Ryan Says:

    I’m not so sure about that first snippet. The only places where user fees cover a significant percentage of the cost of transit are areas that are very well developed and have robust transit systems. IN the Detroit area that is not the case which makes the transit subsidy high. Couple that with some misconceptions about transit and dwindling state funding and you can have a serious problem.

    And while a gas and vehicle registration tax isn’t exactly a user fee, it is where the lions share of the funding comes from. It should be indexed in a way though so that it IS a user fee.


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