#545 Redmond Bound

Today the bus had wifi and I was seriously grateful.  I had a few key things I wanted to research before getting to work today and needed to send and receive a few e-mails.

Today I got to thinking about a number of transit related questions I haven’t verified or researched lately, the most important being a verification of transportation costs for multiple modes.  I’d like to get a baseline, and the extreme costs for $5k, $13k (cheapest option), $22k car (median family car), and $40k car (the cheap BMW or something) and pair that to the same trips on transit for the average commuter.  Then break that down to trips that are transit friendly and trips that aren’t.

The other cost factor I’d like to see is how much we pay the Governments of our respective areas for transportation, infrastructure, etc., and how much we paid out of pocket 50 years ago, 100 years ago, and about 130 years ago (when streetcars were taking off).  My hypothesis is that transportation is actually more expensive today in net societal cost than the disciplined approaches of yester year, but for about 50% of the population it is cheaper out of pocket.  I’ll get to the bottom of this eventually.  Anyone else have some opinions to interject, I’d love to hear others’ hypothesis on the matter.


  1. One BIG purpose of transit is not how much money the rider saves by using it, we know it costs a bit more to run, but its the trade off that matters most I think.

    When your on your 545 next time, count how many passengers are on board. Then, imagine that many passengers, in cars, as single occupants, crowding the road space around right where you are, imagine 50 extra cars at that moment on the Freeway. Then multiply that by how many 545 runs there are in a day. Do this for every route, traffic will be enough to want to kill something.

    While giving a subsided car to every american might *seem* like a sound financial good idea, the quality of life would be far worse without transit, at any cost.


    1. Even with high union costs, uncompetitive practices(authorities are monopolies), and government bloat transit often comes in under the price of cars at a societal level, and drastically below the out of pocket price for all Americans.

      Overall though you make a very good point in reference to the spacing. If we could get just 3-8% more of society to take transit we would reduce congestion by about 80-90%. Hmmm, that gives me an idea for a blog entry. 🙂


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