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$30,000 subsidy per subway rider? OMG – we're all gonna die . . .

Poll - Total Votes: 4
set subway fare higher to cover repairs and maintainance
every couple of decades, have a $25 billion bailout crisis
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You can only vote on one answer.

[i][b]Photo above [/b]- are these guys included in the official headcount of subway riders? Or do they live here? Wait - it can be two things at once, can't it?[/i]

If you needed any more proof that government bureaucrats and politicians are too inept to do ANYTHING, check out the link at bottom. Boston's says it needs [b]$25 BILLION (with a B) [/b]to maintain and repair its mass transit system.

This is such an astonishing number, I immediately googled [i]“How many daily riders does the MBTA have?”[/i] The answer seems large enough – 760,000. Until you divide it into the $25 Billion which the transit bureaucracy is demanding. [b]It works out to $33,000 PER RIDER !!! [/b]Of course, Boston won't need $25 billion EVERY year - just until the next time repairs and maintenance get out of hand.

You can probably predict what my next Google query was. [i]“What top rated cars can I buy for $30,000?[/i]” How about Motor Trend's 2024 “Car of the Year” - the all-new Toyota Prius? It gets 57 miles per gallon. You can't make up stuff this bizarre - in our version of all the infinite universes it costs more to put a guy on the subway than to give him a brand-new car for free. I also tried to find out how many gallons of fuel per passenger mile Boston's MBTA uses. Good luck with that - if you can find a source, let us know. So let's stick to the known facts . . .

- Boston's subways and light rail run on electricity, which is mostly generated from aging coal fired plants

- The subways operate at less than half capacity – sometimes less than 10% of capacity - during much of the day.

- A subway car weighs 40 tons. And it's usually closer to empty than full. And you need thousands of them to move the 760,000 passengers. If each car was occupied to capacity (100 riders), for a 2-way commute, you'd need more than 4,000 subway cars. (Check my math please)

[b]The real story though - the one not explored in the CBS report - is “how did Boston get $25 billion behind in it's subway maintenance?”[/b]

The answer may sound like a snark, but it's not: When public infrastructure is involved, there is rarely enough money budgeted for repairs and maintenance. It's not just Boston I'm condemning here. It's almost every city or state government. Bureaucracies have 2 choices –

1 - Set daily fares (or KWH electric rates) high enough to cover the actual cost of maintaining competent service, or . . .

2 - Keep rates lower, and let things go to the point of failure . . . THEN plead for a bailout.

Since the bailout will ALWAYS be needed far in the future the guys who pick door number 2 are always off the hook. The new guys – 20 years later – inherit the billion dollar repair problems.[i] “Our subways are a dangerous monstrosity” . . . “Another million acres of California brushland burned because we have century old high-tension wires” . . .“The city of Lahaina is destroyed. It burned to a crisp in less than an hour – both the electric wires AND the water system were grossly deficient.” . . .[/i]

$30,000 per rider! Okay . . . I'll give that a break. California and Hawaii pay the highest electric rates in the nation. The HIGHEST! In many cases DOUBLE what it costs people living in normal places. How much more would electricity in paradise cost if electric grids dating back to the Woodrow Wilson administration had been properly maintained and modernized? No wonder there are crazy high incentives to install rooftop solar. If we depend on the grid, we're doomed.

I live in Florida, but I'm not going to gloat here. Shitty mass transit is a feature (not a bug) of urban life. Even Washington DC, which built the most modern subway system in the world a few decades ago, is now castigated for spending zero to keep it nice. DC metro apparently has the highest rate of breakdowns in the USA – worse than Boston and NY. Where I live (near Tampa, Florida) we don't actually have subways. Something about not being able to dig more 3 feet down without striking an underground river. So, while Floridians are spared the ongoing nightmare of public transit run by morons and shyster politicians (who are more concerned with banning library books) we have our own problem: Fresh water - not enough of it. Florida's ground water is all pumped out. Seawater is infiltrating in, making it undrinkable. This is due to massive population growth, failing infrastructure, and an unwillingness to charge what it costs to purchase desalinization plants and reservoirs. Florida is the state that couldn't even snuff out a few hundred invasive Burmese pythons - and now we have 100,000. Why should anyone expect that safe drinking water could be handled competently?

I'm just sayin' . . .

[b][u]MBTA says it needs $24.5 billion to repair transit system - CBS Boston ([/u][/b]
beckyromero · 36-40, F
Keep in mind that's it's more than just about "$30,000 per rider."

Those riders are staying out of their cars and off the streets. That's less pollution and less congestion. Less congestion means SAVINGS for those in their cars, both in time otherwise wasted sitting in traffic jams and more money otherwise spent on gas. Businesses save money, too, with truck drivers making deliveries faster - savings that can be passed on to consumers in lower prices.
SusanInFlorida · 31-35, F
@beckyromero but i submit that its NOT "less pollution". If you have 4,000 subway cars, each weighing 40 tons, being propelled by electricity from coal fired electric plants.
Pretzel · 61-69, M
I live in a county with approx 320,000 residents. I have taken the bus to/from work for about a year and a half. Our routes make no sense and getting from here to there is difficult, if not impossible.

The results? I happen to live a block from the bus stop and live a block away from the terminal so I can take the bus. I pay 70 cents one way. There are normally 3-10 people on the 35 seat bus on the way in - less than 5 on the way home.

Not sure how much the government is paying for it - but it's simply not getting the best bang for the buck. They are missing a prime opportunity to provide transportation to one of the biggest employers that provides 24 hour call center services.

But then you can't ask the government to think like a business.

One thing they provide - and good for them for it - is transporation to disabled people. And they do it for way less than Uber can do it.
SusanInFlorida · 31-35, F
@Pretzel in my prior job (cafeteria manager in a public school) i would pass a full sized bus each morning, on my way to the middle school campus. About 9am. Invariably, only a SINGLE rider - a middle aged woman. The destination of the bus was a shopping mall about 10 miles away. At first i thought she was a legitimate shopper. Then I was told (not sure if this is true) that she was actually fast food worker at the mall, and a special route had been created for her by local government to get her to her job, at virtually no expense to her. Figure about $100 an hour for the bus, fuel, driver, and depreciation though.
Pretzel · 61-69, M
@SusanInFlorida they probably got extra money from the government for the "special needs" passenger.
[quote] Boston's subways and light rail run on electricity, which is mostly generated from aging coal fired plants[/quote]

Does this look like 70% coal to you??

[quote]$30,000 per rider! [/quote]
Spread over how many years?

[quote]- in our version of all the infinite universes it costs more to put a guy on the subway than to give him a brand-new car for free.[/quote]

Cool, and because roads are free, and because it costs [i]nothing[/i] to add 760,000 cars to Boston's road grid during commuting hours and get everybody to work in a reasonable amount of time, we don't have to worry any of the costs associated with [i]operating[/i] those 760,000 cars during commuting hours.

[quote] [b]Inside Boston's Changing Commute: How Traffic's Changed at Rush Hour and More[/b] Jan 26, 2023

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation says 95% of all drivers are now on the roads, which means that on any given day there are roughly 750,000 people commuting into the city. [/quote]

Sure, you're gonna DOUBLE the number of cars commuting to and from the city, and DOUBLE the demand for commuting lanes and for parking places, and you're pretending it's all gonna happen without consequences for free. [b]ROTFL!!![/b]
SusanInFlorida · 31-35, F
@ElwoodBlues the main energy supplier for the state of Massachusetts is "Eversource". Below is a picture of their largest electric plant.

Thanks for taking the bait. You are reliably uninformed and gullible.

@SusanInFlorida [big][b]!!! BZZZZT !!! WRONG !!![/b][/big]

That's the biggest COAL plant in New England. Why? Because it's the ONLY coal plant in New England!! And it's owned by Granite Shore Power, not Eversource. It's called Merrimack Station. And it only runs part time - because it's a 'peaker' plant.

[quote] Merrimack Station produced 238,000 megawatt-hours of electricity throughout 2017.[/quote] Divide that by 8760 hours/year, and you get an average output of 27.17 megawatts.

I'm gathering you don't work with energy numbers much, so I'll give you a few comparisons. The Pilgrim nuclear plant in MA has one operational unit putting out 677 megawatts. The Seabrook nuclear plant (not far from Merrimack) puts out 1200 megawatts. Here's an even bigger clean energy souree: "To date, more than 130,000 Eversource customers have installed more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of customer-sited solar." All these sources DWARF the only coal plant in New England. The average output of Merrimack is TINY.

In failing to look up basic facts, and in supplying FALSE information, you have [u]exceeded[/u] your usual standard! And your idea that you can judge the coal usage of a whole statewide utility from a single photo is a grade school level mistake. You are reliably uninformed and and reliably gullible, [b]LOL!!![/b]
beckyromero · 36-40, F
Because of the water table, what you guys need are monorails.

They're much cheaper than subways and it's very Disney-like. Especially since Walt Disney built the first monorail in the U.S.

The system's first travelers?

Then-Vice President Richard Nixon and his family.
SusanInFlorida · 31-35, F
@beckyromero i have actually been on Disney's monorail. it goes about 10 miles an hour. A commuter's nightmare. An ordeal just to take it from your disney hotel to the park itself.

the world of tomorrow.
beckyromero · 36-40, F

😂 Maybe Florida needs to increase its speed limits.

Apparently, the one in California has a maximum speed of 30mph.
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SusanInFlorida · 31-35, F
@jshm2 we are agreed. every political body uses best case assumptions, but allows practically unlimited cost overruns and engineering modifications.
jackjjackson · 61-69, M
Something smells really bad about this.

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