Thursday, July 31, 2008

Subsidy and Busolotics

Slate has a great article up on auto subsidies we don't talk about a lot...like tax deductions.

Also, Streetsblog LA has a link to the latest BRU screed. I know Damien is trying to give equal time, but these guys had an excellent chance to prove their point with the consent decree and got little new ridership from it. BRU, go away.
While the special master has ordered a one-third increase in the size of the bus fleet, “the actual number of people we carry on the bus has remained flat,” said MTA CEO Roger Snoble. (The BRU says bus ridership has increased about 1 percent per year.) “We’re not taking cars off the street. In fact, we’re adding buses to the streets, which is causing more traffic jams,” said Snoble. Since it costs about $200,000 per year to operate a bus, and most buses are only about 30 percent full, something isn’t working. Unconcerned, and despite $1 billion spent to comply with the consent decree, the BRU continues to push for even more bus purchases, doubling the size of the fleet to 4,000 buses, and a ban on all rail construction.

3 comments:

arcady said...

I think pretty much everything you need to know about the BRU is their position during the month-long strike in 2003 that shut down the MTA completely: they were on the side of the drivers, rather than the hundreds of thousands of the poorest Angelenos who had no way to get to work for a month. And indeed, this is perfectly consistent with their anti-rail position. After all, rail requires significantly fewer drivers to move the same number of people.

Damien Newton said...

It's not even "equal time" as much as it is that I think they're going to have an impact on whether or not the sales tax proposal is eventually passed this November. If the BRU does more than token opposition and the pols in San Gabriel Valley keep up their tough talk, the proposal is in real trouble.

Loren said...

The Wikipedia article on the Bus Riders Union links to some anti-BRU pages that imply that the BRU is run by some left-wing ideologues whose biggest priority is politics rather than transit.

But fortunately, they've got competition: a Rail Riders Union, that is more focused on transit advocacy. In particular, some of its members want a "Pink Line" from Hollywood through West Hollywood to Santa Monica, where it would meet a "Subway to the Sea" extension of the Purple Line.