Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"Let them drive"

I was watching a local news-talk thing last week and the topic of the North Shore Connector was the issue at hand. Now, the debate over the NSC is one thing, but one of the people on the show (it really isn't important who.. this seems to be a theme I hear from various quarters) just said honestly that he didn't believe in any public support for transit, period. That is clearly a value judgement one can have. The thing that gets me is the response people have to this opinion, which is usually, "but would you mind all of those extra cars on the road?"... and then the counter to this which was essentially "sure, and they will all be paying fuel taxes and we can spend more on roads"...

Huh? Is ameliorating congestion the main reason for public transit? I hate to point out the obvious, but both sides in that argument missed some real basic facts. I would peg the number of people living in households without a single car at 150K in Allegheny County alone. Those people will not be jumping into their cars to add to congestion becasue they don't have a car. There are also another 400K in households with just one car, of those who are in multi-worker households, you probably get a fair number of people using public transit during the day for one reason or another. How about the elderly who are significant users of public transit. Many of them have cars, but choose to use the bus becasue it's cheaper, easier or safer for them. No public transit means you will force many senior drivers who are currently doing the responsible thing and staying off the road and instead forcing them to drive.

all that and I should have just said... Marie Antoinette had a similar idea.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always bugged me that when you donate your used car to most charities, they resell (or scrap) the car and keep the money. Always seemed that a year or two of transportation for someone who can't afford a car is far more valuable than the few hundred dollars in cash that goes to a non-profit organization.

The hurdle for someone trying to make ends meet to buy a car is bad enough, but it takes a lot more to maintain a reliable car needed to work somewhere without public transportation. Once you save up a few hundred for a clunker, you've got $0 in the bank for repair expenses. Your car doesn't start one morning and you don't make it to work, you don't get a paycheck to pay to fix the car.

There should be a program where people can donate their old cars, and they are given out for free to people who can show they need them for work AND they have the few hundred saved up (that otherwise would have gone to buying the car) to use for maintenance.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 8:53:00 AM  
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Monday, July 13, 2015 2:57:00 AM  

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