Jump to content
I am not joining the fray, so do not feel a need to answer my questions, which I put out simply for your (and all) consideration. 1) Who is the 'populace' and how does it differ from the 'free market'? Is not the free market simply the expression of the decisions of the populace? 2) How does this 'populace' know (in your word understand) what the free market does not? What is its mechanism for arriving at the truth as opposed to say a preconceived notion of what is 'good' and what is 'bad? 3) What is this thing called 'balance'? How does anyone know when it is achieved? What are the measurements? What are the costs? A reminder, cost is what we could not do, 'B', because we chose to do 'A'. Again, no response required, for contemplation only.
First, thank you for sticking with the congestion discussion. By this time, many others would have either resorted to AH comments or devolved to something like 'but buses are nice', or 'cars are bad', etc. Second, I will be leaving this aspect, i.e. congestion, with this note, because I believe we have gone as far as we can, and have two very different views of the actual congestion benefit of buses versus other options. We agree, I think that when there is no congestion, there is no difference. I would suggest that periods of actual, material congestion in downtown SS are few and fairly narrow, time-wise; say an hour or so in the morniing, another about mid-day and another in the evening. You use a 20 minute backup, which I have never experienced, and suggest may be experienced primarily in the time frames I mentioned above. In those narrow time-frames, back ups on Lincoln could be resolved by changing traffic light timing. In other words, the case you describe appears to be rather narrow, and what some friends would describe as a 'furphy'.
Again, I think there is no clear, material, real world congestion benefit from the buses. I think the issues around efficiency vs alternatives, as well as other potential effectiveness benefits remain open. Thank you.
You are going to have to describe what congestion looks like / feels like, in quantitative terms in downtown SS--with and without buses. I am thinking this may well be a distinction without real differences.
Yes, when buses carry many more passengers than say an Alpine shuttle could, for example. Otherwise no difference, and I think one could argue that buses may cause more congestion at low load times.
Thank you for researching the SS City budget. I have no problem with a guess that the bus life may be 20 years. My cost guesstimates were based on figures mentioned for other communities where, it would appear from your numbers, there are much greater levels of subsidization than we have here. Don't know if that is true, nor why it would be. Perhaps worth further research? I would imagine that there can be significant differences among communities' bookkeeping practices, so getting at comparable fully costed bus services is not an easy task.
On a slightly different tack, I have found when comparing and contrasting, to try to use two relatively orthogonal measures: efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency would be the number we have been discussing here, cost per rider-trip. Effectiveness contains the agreed upon non-direct cost performance measures. For example, if we were to compare say bus service to an on-call taxi service, the efficiecy measures would be their comparable costs. The effectiveness would be how well they deliver their services. In both, assuming that they delivered the same number of rider-trips, the parking issues downtown, for example would be the same, thus not enter the comparison. Ditto congestion. Again, for me, this is not an exercise to eliminate bus service, but rather to understand much better how much it really costs compared to realistic alternatives, at similar levels of service. You and Scott have helped make some progress in the cost area. Thank you for that.
@Scott & Others Interested
I think you are correct that the fed subsidies for vehicle purchases are not included. This I gleaned from reading on other city bus systems. Further, if that cost were to be included the cost would jump dramatically, to say double, triple or quadruple. Again, a personal guesstimate from info on other cities. So, as a first guess, our fully costed bus system here runs more than five and maybe as much as ten dollars per rider-trip. It would be helpful, if only to me, for a person more qualified than I to run down better numbers. While I appreciate that there are environmental, parking, even esthic arguments for our bus service, I personally feel very uncomfortable evaluating its merits not knowing just how much it costs, which of course would lead me to think about more cost effective alternatives for evaluation.
Thank you Scott. You said you are not sure if the number includes bus acquisition costs. If these are the usual accounting type figures, they would not, nor would they include the cost of capital. Do you know if they have been reduced via subsidies from either CO State or Federal government bodies?
This has been an interesting exchange, mostly emotional and philosophical, with only one number that I have seen--1,050,000 riders per year. I would invite those of you who have the time and the inclination to help us be better informed by providing the full cost of the bus service. That is, just how much would we save if we discontinued the bus service tomorrow? All costs. Including cost of capital. Right now I have no idea if the average cost per rider is 10 cents or ten dollars or something in between. Just to be clear, I am not proposing that the bus service be discontinued, simply trying to get a reasonably hard number, so that this exchange will have a bit more fact to it. Many thanks.
I hate to be a "fun sponge", and pour cold water on the entire process, but, if it is true as Scott W writes above that the voters never considered or addressed the ongoing costs of facilities that were built with the lodging tax, then, the only logical next step is to address it now, before spending any monies on new facilities. A new ballot measure, if that what it takes, needs to be presented to repair the obvious deficiencies. That the city builds anything without a consideration of how much its continuing costs will be, and how those are to be paid, is fiscal foolishness. The correct next step is to halt the process and correct the original ballot measure. And, oh, by the way, the lodging tax revenues then should be used first to pay for the ongoing costs of any facilities already built with the tax!
How about getting this thread back to topic--making decisions in logical order? Reading the articles and comments one has the clear sense that Yampa Street revitalization is a 'standalone' effort, independent of what may or must happen elsewhere within the city to promote economic growth while managing the necessary changes to services, transport, utilities, etc. The Urban Land Institute study did nothing to counter that sense for me. It would be very helpful to a relatively uninformed, relative newcomer to see just how the plans for Yampa St. fit into say, for example, handling traffic on US 40 through town, how that might fit into development on the edges across the river as well as toward Oak Street, and above. Will the revitalization of Yampa Street force businesses to leave Lincoln as the through traffic increases and alternatives are foreclosed? What will downtown feel like in say 20 years? Think of other towns east and west along US 40--Vernal, Heber City, or a bit closer, Craig or Granby. Which one is the model for future Steamboat Springs? Or is there another? It would be more than a little helpful to have a clear idea of the picture frame before repainting the picture.
Last login: Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Contents of this site are © Copyright 2013 Steamboat Pilot & Today. All rights reserved.