Public roads are supposed to be paid for through fuel taxes, which every Uber and Lyft driver pays. California has gasoline taxes of:
* 55.22c per gallon (second only to Pennsylvania)
* 18.4c per gallon (federal)
* 2.25% sales tax
Additionally, taxing only ridesharing companies may increase incidences of drunk driving. Is another, poorly conceived, tax really a solution?
If you were to apportion out the maintenance cost due to personal cars, they are overpaying.
Reference 1 lead me to this: (Page I-11)
"The load equivalency factor increases approximately as a function of the ratio of any given axle load to
the standard 18 kip single axle load raised to the fourth power."
That is also cited here, on page 14:
Because the damage scales with the 4th power, then the damage ratio is the 4th power of the axle weight ratio:
(16k/2.5k) ^ 4 = 1677x as much damage.
Edit: Sorry, that oversimplifies it a bit. For the same vehicle, the damage scales that way, but for a fair comparison, you'd have to account for the fact that the weight is distributed over more and bigger tires on each axle. Still, that should show you how the math works.
Which is why the California tax on gasoline is 48.7¢/gallon and the California tax on diesel fuel is 67¢/gallon.
Federal tax on gasoline is 18.4¢/gallon, and diesel fuel is 24.4¢/gallon.
I'm not defending the trucking industry. I think more stuff should go by train instead. But truck fuel is taxed more heavily than car fuel. (For those of you in other countries, the number of cars running on diesel in the United States is about 3%.)
> don't have to travel as far by road
It doesn't have to. It can (and it does because it's better).
Then many trucks could be adjusted to have more axles and lighter loads, saving money on both ends.
The end result is a better system.
"like 1000 times more" is not a full proposal. Yes you would reduce car taxes appropriately. Yes you would figure out the actual amount to balance the budget.
This would adversely affect the poor as they drive less and still need milk.
so unless you have a solution with no drawbacks, there's nothing you can do to not 'affect the poors'
Also, we need to get much better at helping the poor.
Part of getting better at helping the poor is helping them directly rather than using extremely inefficient and indirect subsidies on various industries to do so.
Imagine a package-switching network comprising an (electrified) rail backbone with roads spreading from terminal nodes to the destination points, fully automated package store-and-forward, electric self-driving trucks.
This would cost loads of money and loads of jobs. It might also solve parts of the problem. Maybe Amazon's successor is already thinking of something like this?
That is not true. Road gets you to where the road serves, just like rail. With a good enough coverage, virtually all transportation needs are met.
If we could properly price externalities (not just road wear but also ground water contamination, CO2 emissions etc.) there are many parts of our economy which could be made dramatically more efficient and less harmful without that much overall change to human quality of life.
For example: Exxon mobil profits in 2017 were 19.7 billion. Fukushima cleanup costs exceed 180 billion.
There is no way to do what you are proposing without massive price increases in electricity, gasoline and virtually every other good. I wouldn't be surprised if when you priced all of this in you discovered that people couldn't really afford electricity anymore.
Also this economy would never be able to have exports because the price of producing goods would just be insane.
The truth is we can't afford the externalities without an economic implosion that would realistically end with an extreme political group taking control in the ensuing chaos and undoing everything you are proposing.
Think 85 trillion USD, real value. That's about 1/3rd of the total current wealth of the entire world, by my back of the envelope calculations.
So you could cleanup one of the worst "spills" in history with a mere 10 years of a single company's profits?
That sounds perfectly OK.
How much of our wealth is being wasted this way? I'm guessing that it's a lot.
 If your argument is that these are all 'light' vehicles, my city disagrees with you. They recently cited road damage from the variety of garbage hauling services as a reason to limit our options. Not that I entirely buy that as the only or even main reason they did so... local politics and all that.
 However they have been known to use secondary streets when they shouldn't.
Drought map https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonito...
Reservoirs are doing well http://cdec.water.ca.gov/reportapp/javareports?name=rescond....
Of course, this is an El Niño year, so we’ll see whether we return to severe drought in the coming years.
Also, while salt makes the road drive-able in the winter, it actually does long term damage to the road (increases the number of freeze/thaw cycles.) Similar with plows: they increase the rate at which the road surface deteriorates. While they both are necessary to keep roads operable for vehicles in the winter, they are the opposite of maintenance longer term as far as the road surface is concerned.
Without some sources to back up your claims, I'm not sure if it's accounting for that or not. Can you supply your sources so we can look into exactly what that statistic means?
A truck does more damage then a car? Great. But there's an upfront road maintenance (not to mention construction) cost that you have to pay, regardless of who uses the road. Gas taxes do not come close to capturing that.
The state effectively charges for the use of roads both to pay for maintenance and to make sure that the road remain usable to a reasonable cross-section of people. This is just as landlords charge for the use of land even when that land isn't consumed.
We do however all have spikes on the cars in winter, I'm guessting this helps a lot. The trucks usually does not have spikes. There is a lot of trucks too, hauling wood out of the forests.
The damage done by cars is usually from snow tires.
California's crusade on sedans to cut down on pollution is a joke.
Medium and Heavy duty trucks: 425 Tg CO2
Light-Duty Vehicles (passenger cars + SUVs, pickup trucks, etc): 1,106 Tg CO2
Which is why I always laugh when I hear people complaining about evil subsidized high-speed rail in America. That's just talking points from the airline and trucking industries, which are already far more heavily subsidized than rail.
There's only one major state where you can build cost-effective high-speed rail in the US - Texas. They're going to do what California couldn't and at ~1/4th the cost per km of rail. 20-30 years from now Texas will probably have high-speed rail between all of its major cities.
You are also incorrect suggesting that $5 per gallon is “about equivalent to what other rich countries tax motor fuel.” In France, it’s $2.77 per gallon. In the UK, it’s $2.83 per gallon. Netherlands is $3.5 per gallon. Sweden is $3.51. In Australia, it’s $1.12 per gallon, New Zealand is $1.58. None of those countries are even close to $5 per gallon.
As for transporting air conditioning units, trailers and cargo bikes are a thing. You can move a refrigerator by bike
Electric assist bicycles can transport even more cargo.
This is incorrect, in the UK at least.
The best price I get is about £1.21 per liter.
Which is $1.61 per liter
Or $7.31 per Gallon.
So we are well over $5 a gallon. Don't forget the USA is pretty much the only country to measure liquid volume in gallons, we all use liters - 1L = 4.54609 Gallons
Though I had forgotten that the US used a different one. So my maths is off above. Thanks for pointing that out!
Using the US Gallon:
£1.21 per liter == $1.61 per liter == $6.09 per Gallon.
Use a trailer? While not possible for everything, we could easily do with 1/10000 of the cars we have.
I still regret having bought an expensive percussion drill to install a bathroom vanity, when I could have just rented one from the local hardware store chain. 
This comes to $6.72 per US gallon for gas. More than half of this price is VAT and duty. On top of this we pay road taxes based on the weight and fuel type of your vehicle, about €50/month for a small (1000kg) gas powered car.
Compare the UK and the USA, conveniently adjacent in the table. Both have refineries, so the untaxed price should be similar, but the UK taxed price is $4 higher.
It definitely adds up to around £1 a litre in the UK of tax (59p duty plus 30p VAT) depending on exact wholesale prices. This works out at around $5 per (US) gallon.
A better solution would be to charge all drivers the exact cost to run their cars including all road maintenance for the roads they use and the cost to the health system and environment that their cars create.
Then provide multiple options such as rail and bike lanes. People will naturally gravitate to the best solution.
I often see complaints about how this will raise the cost of products like food because they need a lot of road and fuel resources. But the thing is you already pay for this cost through other means. By charging the true cost the price of an apple may go up but the price in your tax goes down. And this way the seller of the apple is now incentivized to source the apple locally and reduce the transport costs because its no longer paid for by everyone.
Do you penalize users/tax payers who have a lower use
and less scaled systems? (e.g. should it cost more to mail my grandmother a letter because her post office is less at scale than mine?)
Do you increase the costs if some of your users leave (and risk even more attrition)?
This has been investigated in depth with schools and local businesses. Gov gives them a sweetheart deal with the hope that they contribute back and as the deal get's less good (and Gov starts ramping taxes to deal with paying infrastructure costs) businesses leave. For me the natural conclusion is the government has to provide some balancing (rain day funds, progressive taxes, ...)
Of course electric presents even bigger problems that many states now have a surcharge on them during registration. It is obvious that fuel taxes are going to be outdated in 10 years or so as EVs become more popular. Real-time tolling has been suggested as an alternative to this problem in Europe, but that probably wouldn't fly in the states.
There are many options there, at the cost of making audits/complaints harder, such as e.g. only keeping GPS traces for a very short time (or not at all), and gradually overwrite more and more details, such as coordinates, reducing time precision, and finally consolidate to amounts owed. Those settings could be left under the control of the car owner as well, or let you dump a signed record of the precise data if you as the owner suspect inaccuracies and want to collect evidence, and then allow you to wipe the details from the device and only leave aggregate numbers.
The point is if the device is tamper-proof enough, you don't need it to record your movements, you just need it to monitor your movements and location with sufficient precision to decide what amounts should be added to running totals of tax.
Of course there is a risk some governments will decide they'd really like more detailed records.
I would assume that there is some law which requires the detailed data to be deleted, but I'm not sure about that.
Trucks have been doing it for years with transponders in the cabs. That's how when a semi fills up with fuel in one state and ends its trip in another state the state in between still gets some fuel tax to pay for road maintenance.
California already does that. (ZEVs pay a supplemental $100 annual fee.)
> But given CA's environmental goals, this would be counterproductive.
That is irrelevant, we are reaching a point where taxation on road miles driven vs. fueled used becomes unavoidable. What will wind up happening is that efficient and clean energy vehicles will still need to be taxed to account for usage, while less efficient vehicles will be taxed even more (to discourage use).
Internalizing the environmental externalities of operating them.
> If they are already paying more for fuel, doesn’t that already “tax” them more?
Fuel taxes are a mechanism for the additional (that is, beyond road usage, in the context of the grandparent post) taxes on inefficient vehicles.
> It seems like such a tax is regressive — rich people can buy new efficient cars more easily than poor people.
That's actually a reason you might want a method other than exclusively fuel taxes to implement the additional taxation (which may be via, say, a means tested tax subsidy for purchase of more efficient cars, rather than directly another extra tax on inefficient ones), because fuel taxes are operations taxes but don't directly effect purchases (they may be taken into account, but the poor who feel they need a car will often buy what they can afford up front even if it is not fully rational because real people tend to fall short of rationality in some predictable ways, and discounting deferred costs is a big one.)
Taxation serves two purposes: (a) to fund roads, and (b) to discourage society damaging behavior. For (a), we need to tax all vehicles, for (b), we need to tax some vehicles more than others.
True. Perhaps the efficiency tax can be built into the initial new car purchase while the use tax is ongoing (those old cars will eventually fall apart or fail an emissions test anyways and be taken off the road). Anyways, these things can be worked out.
Here's the Norwegian tax authorities form for calculating taxes. While not all the descriptive text is available in English it seems most of the form is:
The problem is that Uber/Lyft drivers "cruise" when the demand is slack rather than park.
So, for certain areas and times (generally about a hour before when that area is about to go from slack to busy), your street becomes a never-ending stream of ridesharing cars--generally doing stupid traffic maneuvers when they finally get summoned.
Isn't the whole point that the apps limit cruising time? I recall a study that claimdd the average traditional taxi cruises for half an hour on average between each trip. Are there plans to tax traditional cabs by an amount commensurate with their cruising time? If not, this legislation seems more like protectionism for traditional cabs.
Traditional taxis already pay a steep annual franchise fee to the city (even after it was cut down on recent years, probably in part because less-taxed rideshares reduced the level of franchise fee that was supportable).
In the presence of a substitute service not subject to them, they do not.
Actually, since there seems to be both a non-automatic approval process and a franchise fee, they don't really even without such competition; the approval process shields them from competition, the franchise fee is a pure cost. (Of course, there is a linkage between the two, but as long as the process is in place, incumbent taxi firms benefit from minimizing the fee.)
This is because efficient cars are usually smaller, and cause much less damage to the roads.
It is a good thing for society that they are using Priuses. It makes road maintenance cheaper.
Why should we be trying to lose money, by discouraging behavior that helps the city out? IE, fuel efficient, smaller cars.
Corolla: 2,840 lbs
Prius L: 3,075 lbs
Camry: 3,241 to 3,572 lbs
Model 3: 3,686 lbs
Model S: 4,769 lbs
No, they aren't, at least in California; fuel excise taxes (and diesel, but not gasoline, sales tax) are a part of road funding, but other sources, including general revenue (largely, sales taxes and personal and corporate income tax), are used.
EDIT: Not that taxing ride-sharing is likely to reduce congestion. It plausibly could increase it, if it induces residents of mostly walkable communities (which, sure, LA has fewer of than it should) who might otherwise rely on ride-sharing for occasional car needs to instead keep a personal vehicle, which then tends to encourage additional, less-necessary driving.
Using this logic, they should be taxing all companies that use public roads (food delivery, package delivery, service companies), instead they are specifically cherry picking Uber and Lyft to target. These sort of anti-business policies are causing companies and people in masses to flee California and New York. Perhaps that is the goal.
Even in California, collected gas taxes do not remotely approach the cost of construction and repair of roadways.
I think the implication is that people with cars keep using them and people without cars use Uber instead of alternative transport.
I do think you really have to question an economic model where Uber/Lyft have clobbered cabs using an unsustainable VC-funded model that will eventually run out and substantially increase cost to the end-user.
Drivers who drive full time can afford to pay for the car expenses (variable and fixed). Drivers who drive part time are able to cover the variable costs (and they already had their fixed costs anyway). Uber is probably not losing money in Boston. If all three of those things are true, Uber is sustainable in Boston.
They're undercutting public transportation and traditional taxi services that need to operate with a realistic budget that isn't fueled by billions of VC dollars.
If they're undercutting public transport and doing so at a sustainable price, I view that as healthy competition. If they're undercutting solely based on VC subsidies, that will inevitably end. In the Boston market, I think they're likely profitable on an overall basis, just as grocers are overall (very slightly) profitable, even when they sell loss-leaders and give other subsidies to consumers.
Then you have maintenance, wear, healthcare, retirement, etc... Just accounting for fuel and maintenance these drivers are making minimum wage without any benefits, even if they drive full-time.
The so-called gig economy is bullshit that erodes just about everything it touches, from workers rights to public services.
- No Uber taxes outside of rush hour, since they're not contributing to congestion then.
- Money is specially allocated to mass transit projects and subsidies for Uber pools/Lyft lines at rush hour where they are carrying multiple passengers.
But of course, that's not the proposal, it's just another golden goose.
It would be ridiculous to use the tax to subsidize Uber as they don't pay the tax, the riders do.
The article seems to imply otherwise, that tons of money has been spent on improving public transit.
Not agreeing with you or the article either way, just pointing that out.
I know a number of transplants from NYC, Chicago, and DC who ditched their cars after they moved to LA because it's possible to get everywhere worth going by Metro.
Some States do, California does not. The underlying issue is that California roads can infamously cost an order of magnitude more to build and maintain per mile than the same road segment in other States (e.g. interstate highways). It is possible to pay for roads with fuel and use taxes, in some other States it is a constitutional requirement, but the extreme cost of roads in California make it difficult to fund the DoT that way and there is no evidence that California is going to curtail the obvious waste anytime soon.
Why is that? It's not like they have harsh winters like New England or anything.
All of taxes deter productivity from increasing. It is better to tax the land date trees grow on, than to tax the output of the trees themselves.
What kind of stupid.........sigh.
The point of having public roads is that it benefits the city by increasing economic output.
Did he forget that there are PEOPLE in those Uber and Lyft cars? Those same people he is supposed to serve? Or does he think the cars are driving around for no purpose making profit the whole time?
Many of them are tourists or business visitors, not the people local government is supposed to serve. Local government fees designed to milk those people (which incidentally also hit residents) are not at all unusual.
Do Uber and Lyft pay those drivers' fuel costs?
Uber undercuts both public transit and traditional taxi services with prices that are unsustainable and can't provide a living wage for their drivers.
This was OK initially because taxis in many places were benefiting from localized monopolies and also screwing many drivers, but in the long run it means Uber kills all the competition and then just jacks prices back up anyway.
I don't dig the drunk driving fear mongering either. If I hired the homeless $3 a trip to carry drunk people home that doesn't mean my exploitative program should suddenly be free of municipal adjustment.
Imagine if a private company substantially raised the price of its premier product (streaming movies, for example) to build tons of infrastructure for the product that nobody wants (DVD distribution hubs, for example) and neglected to build out the infrastructure required for the product in demand. It'd be gone overnight. This is absolute insanity.
The real solution:
- Tax all road users - most easily accomplished through license/registration taxes (IE, you pay an annual fee for a sticker that gives you permission to drive your car/bus/truck in the taxed area) and fuel taxes
- By statute, require the money to be spent to improve/expand the road infrastructure
- Where pollution is a problem, (optionally) spend a portion of the tax to build out EV infrastructure, and encourage EV use by charging reduced fees to EV users
- Subsidize use of ride-sharing type services for people who would normally use public transit services
This would provide efficient, clean, point-to-point transit services for ALL users. Economically disadvantaged folks could finally stop paying the hidden 'poor people transit tax' (increased transit times).
For cities that want people to be able to get around AND for the roads to be relatively uncontested, the only reasonable solution is to lower demand by raising the cost of driving - ie. significant congestion pricing (tolls) across the metro - and invest the proceeds into a vast increase in more space efficient transit options. Typically this means express bus and rail service, although the number of people who can cycle efficiently on a dedicated bike way is pretty impressive, and with the scooter revolution there are a lot of other personal mobility choices for people who are less physically able.
Traffic congestion is a problem of geometry and public will - with public will being the primary impediment to progress.
You can also reduce the need to travel by increasing density, which LA is attempting in certain respects.
People who oppose luxury apartment construction need to explain how they will prevent rich people from competing with poor people over existing housing and causing the prices to go up.
Yes, those kind of policies seem to be on the more reasonable spectrum to me, though I'd prefer having incentives instead of hard requirements. Of cause prices for luxury space would go up, but this doesn't seem like much of a problem for most residents.
You seem to see new luxury apartment as only option over currently existing housing. That might be the only realistic option when owners want to maximize profits, but for society it might be better to optimize other metrics, like people living there.
but once you dig the hole, it’s like building the same building but starting 30 feet (or whatever) lower in elevation (yes, that requires reinforcing the ground, more environmental review, etc., but still...)
> public will being the primary
> impediment to progress.
Most of American city-dwellers want to “have their cake and eat it too,” that is, they want to live in a major metro AND be able to easily drive and park everywhere they want to go.
Those two things (major population and easy driving) are mutually exclusive, because car oriented development doesn’t scale beyond rural / suburban size very well.
But so far I haven’t seen any public leaders or communities acknowledge that and start working on alternatives. Instead they play games like blaming Uber and Lyft and pretending that an extra tax on them will make any real difference, when in reality it’s political theater.
This may be true without implying any defense of something that is contrary to the public will.
The public can be totally awful and that doesn't mean people who have contempt for the public are any good.
After we acknowledge that “public will” is an impediment, we can then probe whether the problem is really so bad after all, what “public will” really means, whether it is self-contradictory, how strongly entrenched those interests/ideas are, whether there are ways of reframing the conversation to significantly sway public perception and action, and so on.
It might turn out that everyone loves griping about traffic congestion but isn’t really too bothered. Or that “public will” is just reflexive opposition to misunderstood alternatives conditioned by decades of deliberate propaganda. Or that “public will” is very weakly held and malleable if an alternative proposal does a charismatic marketing blitz. Or that the disparate powerful interest groups involved are in direct opposition and political progress working towards compromise is at a total impasse and impossible. Or ...
Not just that the public is generically “anti-progress”.
Roads are expensive and we don't have room to build anymore anyways. Without an effective way to increase capacity, something obviously has to give.
All that does is increase the cost of living.
Either people need to drive or they don't. People don't drive just for the fun of it anymore.
And if you succeed and do manage to reduce travel you also managed to reduce economic activity.
If you goal is to get people to switch, then you have to do it on the other end: Make the alternatives better than driving.
This isn't true. Some people live in places where it's possible to reduce their driving quite a lot, but when they decide to do that, it isn't as easy as simply choosing not to drive. Once they're motivated, they start to figure out opportunities to drive less. They start to figure out which other forms of transit are practical in their area, and they figure them out one by one. They start to figure out how they can adjust their habits to reduce driving. (Fewer, larger trips to the grocery store, for example.)
There are a lot of degrees of "not driving." You might bike to work in perfect weather at one level of motivation, and bike to work in the rain at a different level of motivation. One level of motivation might prompt you to make fewer, larger trips to the grocery store; at another level of motivation, when you run out of milk unexpectedly, you might walk five blocks to a corner store of driving ten minutes to the supermarket.
The only perspective from which it seems like a clean either/or is for people who haven't yet found a reason to try. People living in the same neighborhood with the same economic means can and do drive drastically different amounts depending on how motivated they are.
Charging tolls does not fix anything. All that does is enable those with money to have a slightly less stressful commute and add an empty lane to an otherwise crowded highway.
Unfortunate that the sprawl is so heavily subsidized. In a world where it wasn't, people would make different choices about where to live and work.
I totally agree with you that people are driving mostly because they have to, not for fun. However, retrofitting car-oriented development to be viable for non-car users is exceptionally difficult.
I can’t imagine any way of accomplishing that, unless we begin by acknowledging that cars won’t scale up any farther and that we have to redirect our efforts into things that will.
If you introduce congestion charges without also providing a functional public transit alternative you'll be voted out of office. Plain and simple.
Congestion charges worked in London, for example, because public transit is amazing there and people could stop driving without decreasing their quality of life. Yet it was still a source of much controversy in London at the time. What are people supposed to do in LA -- walk everywhere?
I agree, but public transit projects take years to complete, so in the interim you'd have very expensive driving and worse congestion than before (due to construction), which sounds like hell on earth. Would it be feasible to invest the costs up front and collect the payout later?
I did not quote, but I did address "Make the alternatives better than driving."
You have things completely backwards, first you want to make everyone miserable, then hopefully they'll fix things.
> retrofitting car-oriented development to be viable for non-car users is exceptionally difficult.
It's actually not about retrofitting, it's because cars are just that good. Nothing else comes close.
> unless we begin by acknowledging that cars won’t scale up any farther
They'll scale just fine if we space out our cities a bit more.
It's actually pretty self balancing, when we run out of road space, people spread out a bit more. So there's no scaling issues, there's plenty of space in the world.
I mean if your goal is to pack people in like livestock then it doesn't scale, but that's not something I want.
> and that we have to redirect our efforts into things that will.
Such as? So far nothing exists. And I'm not just saying that. I tried it. I exclusively used public transportation for 1.5 months, in a city that is world renounced for probably the best public transportation of anywhere. (There was literally nowhere you couldn't go with public transportation.)
It was horrible. I feel really bad for anyone who has to use public transportation.
That's the reality.
If you want change, change that first. You won't need to tax cars off the road, they'll leave on their own.
Ubers and Lyfts pull over at unpredictable spots (wherever the app says to) and then just throw on their flashers. It doesn't matter if they're blocking a lane in rush hour they just stop.
I will never for my life understand why an Uber or Lyft driver thinks it's any better to double park in an active lane of traffic than to temporarily pull out and block a driveway or a red zone. Both are illegal, but at least one of those doesn't block traffic and endanger other drivers/bikers.
Almost every day I see an Uber driver double-parked within 50' of somewhere they could have pulled over safely.
If the cops would give out a few more tickets for this, the behavior would get better and so would the traffic. And then we wouldn't have to tax the road use. Taxing the road use is crap, everyone should be able to drive their vehicle on public roads as much as they want as long as they follow traffic laws.
Pretty sure one $200 ticket can wipe out 2-4 days of hard driving profits.
Only people in the valley see it as a problem because there are limited choke points into and out of LA proper which keep people from getting to work.
LA's limited transportation infrastructure prevents DTLA's homeless from getting to Beverly Hills, Long Beach's gang-related activity from getting to Brentwood, etc.
If LA wanted to fix their transportation problem then they could build trains parallel to the 405 and 110 and solve the problem, but they don't want to fix the problem because the problem allows them (us?) to keep the city segregated by income.
Also, Buses run from downtown to Beverly Hills, and getting from Long Beach to Brentwood can be done entirely by public transportation.
Sorry, I see now the above comments are more a refutation than a statement of, "Look how good the transportation system is." I'll leave these though just to make my general point about how horrible the options are.
-- END EDIT --
Just pulled up google maps for Long Beach to Brentwood:
Public Transit Option: 3 hours
Car: 39 minutes (29.9 miles)
Just pulled up Downtown to Beverly Hills
Public Transit Option: 1h30
Car: 30 minutes
I suspect the car would still be faster though.
Gangsters have cars and don't rely on public transportation. DTLA homeless can and do use the MTA bus that goes literally from downtown to Beverly Hills.
Care to clarify your comment?
Subway and train systems are fundamentally different modes of transit than bus systems. They are more accessible, run on regular schedules, and they are anonymous.
The urban poor in other cities utilize them disproportionately which is why Beverly Hills shuts down every hint of a conversation of adding public transit connection beyond commuter buses.
It's too bad if you're offended by what I said, but LA has more nimby's per capita than anywhere I have lived which is exactly why we do not have a public transportation system.
What makes you think I'm offended? I just didn't understand your argument (and still don't), and I wanted to see what you meant.
And what does it mean "my perception of LA's public transportation is out of touch"? I only said two sentences, one about gangsters typically having cars, and the other about homeless people often taking MTA bus from DTLA to Beverly Hills. Which of those was incorrect?
Edit: I can think of a reason why rich people may not like subways going to their neighborhoods. Slow and unreliable buses are a problem not for gangsters and homeless, but for the hard-working middle-class and poor people who need to commute to work - even if they have cars, traffic makes it very tough, and subway would have made it really nice. It's quite possible that rich people don't want too many middle-class and poor people getting jobs in their neighborhood. I have no idea if it's true, but at least it sounds plausible.
People have been trying for years to do things like add safe bike lanes, rebuild the streetcar system, and build a subway system. Angelinos have been far more concerned with the temporary traffic disruptions, slight inconveniences, and potential demographic shifts of each.
My entire neighborhood threw a fit when someone tried to install a roundabout instead of a 4 way stop to reduce congestion.
Nobody would have been negatively impacted for more than a few months, but the people here just don't care about collective benefit, at all.
And that's before we start discussing the people who have deliberately induced greater congestion by adding speed bumps to side streets in an effort to protect property value.
LA chose to have this problem. It's not something that just happened on its own.
For people who think a congestion tax will improve traffic, it won't. Congestion taxes work if they can shift behaviors to alternate modes of transportation. If there aren't any alternatives, it's just a levy.
Time and time again cities learn this does nothing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_demand
There are no alternatives to a road system in LA for most residents. If the roads were choked and there was an underutilized subway that I could use, I’d totally get the argument of taxing the road system or capping capacity, so as to push people toward more efficient methods. But, it’s not feesible to build out a subway system in this city that is expansive, so we need to work with what we have- Cars.
Make LA the autonomous car capital of the world. Let’s be the best and first at linking cars together in convoys and shuttling them fast down our massive freeway network.
Let’s build tunnels under the mountain passes to add more connections into Hollywood so people have better access than winding canyon roads.
Let’s build expansive subway networks through south central and downtown to bring cost effective transportation to lower income neighborhoods.
Let’s do a ton. But let’s also build a bunch of roads.
This is an interesting idea. I just measured it out, and assuming you could build a straight tunnel to bypass the canyon at the 405, it would be 5.3 miles.
To bypass Laurel Canyon would be a 3.0 mile tunnel.
Coldwater bypass would be 4.1 miles.
So the question is, do we the technology to build tunnels that long and deep (all of those are about 1000 feet). And is it a good idea to build a 1000 foot deep tunnel in an area known for earthquakes?
This would indicate to me that they are already OK with the level of congestion they currently have. But that's not what they say. Some kind of disconnect.
The simple fact of the matter is that LA has a serious housing and urban planning crisis with no real solution. The city has already been investing heavily in public transportation for years now with multiple heavy rail lines been under construction (purple and crenshaw) and some already opened (gold) - but the fact of the matter is that until a public transportation system that can replicate the freeway system - meaning a system that can replicate both the breadth and depth of the system (Think a 'good' Euro rail system spread across a 30-60 mile radius) - LA will always be a congested mess - unless a paradigm shift in transportation occurs (hyperloop, Uber Elevate, etc.)
This is obviously somewhat anecdotal, though; it's possible that for some reason my sample is skewed enough that it's different from the population's views in general.
Hmm, $401 million / 20 cents * $2.75 = $5.51 billion.
Is there some "law" that public transportation officials never account for the fact that increased fares or taxes will reduce demand?
Maybe most people don't care, but I find it hard to take seriously anyone who doesn't believe in price elasticity of demand. Perhaps they are ignorant of economics, or perhaps they are so well off that that $2.75 isn't worth counting. Either way…
"Metro also is considering a fee on bicycles, electric scooters, and other devices"
Reducing congestion isn't just about making it easier to drive, it makes is safer as well.
I distinctly remember staring out of the Hilton at Universal City in 2006, on my first visit to California, with a group of Canadians marveling that there could be a traffic jam at 10PM at night.
Just a guess but if the route planning models are good then an uberpool with 2 passengers + driver qualifies for 3+ carpools and will be much faster than a car that doesn't qualify for carpool with a single passenger and driver.
Solution? Try to ruin it.
Instead, maybe we should embrace it and provide incentives for ridesharing vs driving alone? E.g. give uber a lane on the highway for 2+ passengers and tax only single rider transits. Give a few lyft ride coupons with every monthly bus pass. Provide benefits to using busses (which are a terrible experience) by occasional free lyft rides ...
It's a semantic point, but a valid one. Words matter.
* no access to red lanes
* only app-based payment
* unique pickup/dropoff locations at airports and other such places
If we called them computer-dispatched taxi we’d confuse that with Flywheel-style stuff which can use red lanes, take cash, and use taxi locations. We could call them Taxi Type 2 but that’s super confusing.
“TNCs” is just an awful name so we use something that sounds intuitive “ridesharing”, since we know that pooling is possible on these services. It’s just a name. No one has proposed an alternative simple enough.
Can you cite a source? At least where I am (Seattle) Uber Pool and Express are quite popular - and I rarely see hard numbers.
Uber and Lyft fares are unsustainably low right now, and at their current prices, they depress public transit interest and ridership. But what happens in 5 years when these ride sharing companies need to turn a profit? Self driving cars is potentially a solution, I suppose, but will it be ready at that scale by then?
Not only that, but in the meantime, they may be causing more environmental harm than good: https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/04/how-uber-and-...
However, it feels unsustainable. I can't imagine the fares remaining this low, and because of people like me, transit ridership is declining. I don't think these rideshare companies can sustain such low prices indefinitely, and my guess is it's delaying real improvements to transit infrastructure.
That's just my hunch though.