Tuesday, March 3, 2009

At what cost?

Here's a great post that I just came across (first published in 1/2008) on "The Capricious Commuter", a Bay Area transit blog. (Gee, you guys have a lot of 'em.) The blogger is talking about the miscalculation of just how much our automobile-centric transportation system is costing us. He mentions that Bay Area governments spend 63% of their transportation revenues on transit service, which angers folks who see only 10% mode share for transit. The central problem with this analysis, in The Commuter's opinion, is that, while transit fares (a private expenditure) are taken into account as "transportation revenues", private automobile costs are not taken into account on the automobile side.

After juggling the numbers a bit, he shows that transit in the Bay Area represents only 8% of transportation expenditures. Even more telling, however, are all the comments on this post, pointing out some costs that were not included in the analysis. The purchase price of vehicles and parking were listed, as well as the social externalities of auto-driven development.

I now ask you, Riversiders, to consider that the official number for transit service in Riverside County, according to RCTC, is 35% of transportation revenues. Imagine what that figure is if you take into account the true cost of our car-dependency.

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