Rod & Betty Jo wrote:
> Public transit is subsidized.....locally each bus ride costs the
> approx. $25.00 but the ticket is about a buck......across the
> in Portland Max (light rail) costs about $40.00 per ride.......with a
> price of around $2.00. Other than having zero riders at actual cost how
> does one justify such a subsidy? Rod
As someone once said to me, taxes are the price we pay to live in an
Simply for the sake of discussion, consider the following:
A locality spends $25,000,000/year to operate a public transit system
that cost $10,000,000,000 to build.
During the year, only one person took one ride on that system.
You could make the argument that the cost of that ride was $10,000,000;
however, there is a benefit to the local community of just having a
transit system, regardless of it's usefulness that reduces the cost of
that $10,000,000 ride.
How much? Who knows?
What is the value of having a convention in your town, or securing a
business that brings new jobs, etc, etc, because the local transit
system was available?
Who knows, but there are think tanks out there that can answer those
The point is that good infrastructure investments usually provide great
rewards over long periods of time that are best measured directly.
The last major bricks and mortar infrastructure project in the US was
probably the interstate highway system that is now over 50 years old.
Eisenhower wanted a highway system built to quickly deliver military
goods across the country.
The result was the interstate highway system.
Guess the military got some benefit; however, with out the interstate
system, where would we be today?
Did the US make a good infrastructure investment?
You tell me.
ride cost the