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"Ticket" to give to harrasing drivers

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Old May 6th 04, 04:02 AM
Trudi Marrapodi
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Default car subsidies

In article . net, "Robert
Haston" wrote:

"Trudi Marrapodi" wrote in message
In article et, "Robert
Haston" wrote:

I agree about buying a bike license for education purposes, and because

would be cheap and a good symbolic gesture.

But the real problem is thousands a year per auto in subsidies. These

definitely punitive to cyclists as they directly threaten our lives by
raising the amount of heavy machinery we must operate amongst.

Removing subsidies would save most drivers, as once the true costs were

front, they would seek alternatives to reduce driving. For example, a
driver figures he can save $1000 a year in subsidies if he carpools. He
then saves $2000 a year in auto costs.

This would apply across the board. With more people using mass transit,
transit subsidies can be reduced.

How do you figure that? Because they can make more money from passengers
than in subsidies? I would hope so, but...

First because most busses run at way under capacity. Add more people, and
you can cut subsidies.

But how do you do that? By telling people they don't have to pay subsidies
if they take the bus? Is that enough, really?

Also because once you charge drivers the true cost,
you can raise bus fairs to closer to the true cost.

Raise them? Not sure I like the sound of that.

Imagine (due to
elimiantion of massive urban auto subsidies) someone who takes advantage of
a car pool / rental club and sells off her car. She wants to go shopping.
She can pay a dollar an hour and 40 cents a mile for a rental, and 20-40
cents a mile to rent a share of the road, and another buck or two for
parking. She can say screw it and shop later or on line, she can take the
bus for about 3 bucks each way (taking her bike to get around at her
destination) or she (like many people in such a society) can plan to have a
"day out" with a friend or two, saving her 50 or 66% and making it nearly as
cheap as the bus.

And you know what? I think that sounds great, but most people would
absolutely shudder at the idea. Not be able to hop in that car parked in
the drive and go anywhere they please at a moment's notice? Horrors!

Imagine combining cycling, car pooling, telecommuting, car sharing
(neighborhood rental) and transit hubs. You ride your bike to the

hub (convenience store, coffee house, newspaper stand, gym, day care,

then four of your co-workers pull up in a mini van. You log into your

and start making money while commuting. You once spent 8 hours a week
driving to work, plus 8 hours working to drive. Now the money you once

in subsidies pays for the few thousand miles a year you now drive.

coming home, you want to go out. The same vehicles people used for
carpooling are at the transit hub and other neighborhood locations. For

cents a mile and a dollar an hour, you can rent whatever you want.

Some of this sounds great, but some of it will never happen. For example,
not everyone can, or wants to, telecommute. It would be nice if more
people who wanted to could, though.

Sure, manual laborers won't benefit by tele-commuting. But consider how
much of their (and everyone's) free time is sedentary. Even the simple act
of reading the paper on a bus is a good example. Imagine someone riding a
stationary bike on a train - weird - but better sense than driving to work,
then the gym.

Oh, I think commuting without driving is great. You can actually do things
like put on makeup without being a danger to yourself and others. ;-)

And there are other workers who really benefit from being in a work place
every day. I for one am one of them. I feel isolated and unmotivated when
alone. Telecommuting wouldn't work for me psychologically. I need to be
around people when I work.

But the biggest mental block you are going to have is in persuading
America, a country of individualists, to give up driving to work in its
own private car and taking a minivan with three coworkers it may not even
like. In a big city where a lot of people do it more or less by necessity
and culture, yes. In smaller cities and towns, no way. You will take away
their right to drive their own cars to work when you pry their cold dead
hands off the wheel.

The point isn't trying to persuade anyone. The real first step is giving
people the opportunity to avoid all persuading going on on TV by auto
advertisers (who really decide what the news media says about things liek
tele-commuting or the farsical "hydrogen future") All pay television would
stop the brainwashing going on.

And when are you going to get that to happen? (Then again, given what a
cable bill costs, don't we already have "pay TV"?)

The big joke is the world's largest socialist program is covered by the
guise of "American Individualism" How psychotic. We like to act like
individualists, so we socialize the costs of driving to the tune of 10% of
our GNP to keep it expanding. This is Stalinist reshaping of our society
under the guise of individualism, complete with dozens of billions in
auto-propaganda a year, de-facto ownership of the news media (and the choice
of TV programs) by the advertisers, our capitol controlled by the lobbyists
who run it all. They have achieved near total hegemony, with peopel across
the land right now voting to increase sales taxes to build roads - in other
words trying to solve congestion by jacking up driving subsidies another

You can talk about it that way, but I wouldn't call it Stalinist. If
anything, it's capitalism at its worst...sell people on the idea that the
only way to show your individualism is to BUY something that displays it.

I'm about 80 pages along on a book about why and how we need to switch to
ad-free TV. I did this because I realized it was pointless to write a book
about transportation inside a brainwashed society.

If people are brainwashed by ads, it's their own fault. Not that I
wouldn't like to see advertising change, especially the execrably bad
stuff. But really, one's brain does not need to be beholden to anyone
else. Even children are capable of being taught to see through ads.
Trouble is, they are seldom taught.

Not that the first book
will change the world, but you first have to see how screwed up America's
world view is.

Everybody has world views that are screwed up and skewed in some way.

"Boy, there sure is a lot of tension around here tonight. It's like a Joan Crawford movie."
Old May 6th 04, 10:57 AM
Curtis L. Russell
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Posts: n/a
Default car subsidies

On Wed, 05 May 2004 23:02:46 -0400, etent
(Trudi Marrapodi) wrote:

But how do you do that? By telling people they don't have to pay subsidies
if they take the bus? Is that enough, really?

No, not for a lot of people that don't work 'normal' hours. In the
Washington, DC area service deteriorates dramatically if you work
late. Missing a late bus or train can cost you an hour or more
(especially MARC trains out of Union Station). And the commuter
support services (ability to call in an occasional special support
ride) assume that you will be unable to keep a normal schedule one or
two days a month. I have weeks worse than that.

Used to use MARC, tried to use Metro. Both cost more and took at least
an hour more a day when things went well. Missing a MARC train could
turn a slightly long day into getting home after 9:00 pm. A bad day
could cost you a couple of hours on top of a long day to begin with.

My final conclusion was that the DC Metro is an expensive solution
that is designed to support the city and MD and VA only to the suburbs
around the stations. They make it expensive and time-costly to use if
you live beyond that area and aren't a nine to fiver.

IOW, move into the city or drop dead if your job has any demands at
all. Personally, since it works best for the city and near 'burbs and
the government workers, I'm finally moving to the side of those that
think they should be the ones to subsidize it.

Curtis L. Russell
Odenton, MD (USA)
Just someone on two wheels...

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