Having redundancies and today’s technologies in transportation we have protected the system for nearly any eventuality. Today in California, the BART train tram system is trying to figure out how to continue with mounting costs and California’s financial debacle. The idea to fix this problem has been pondered and they have come to the conclusion they need to raise fees in order to save it.
This is linear in thought and sure to destroy the integrity of confidence with the riders and patrons. Although with rider ship down due to less jobs in Silicon Valley, East Bay and in San Francisco raising fees to cover costs will mean even less riders, as a matter of fact when you surpass the cost that the average person is willing to forgo that unit of trade we call a “Dollar” for the opportunity to spend it somewhere else, there is a hyperbolic curve of people willing to continue to participate with the voting of that dollar. Simple supply and demand comes into play. With the Bay Area in California losing population and jobs there will need to be some restructuring. The BART system is one of the finest in the world, with tunnels under the bay, huge stations, which can handle huge volumes, parking and easy access, as well as a network of private shuttle services, corporate shuttles, city buses, taxi cabs, trolleys, CalTrain, Amtrak, Greyhound and private carriers with matching synchronized schedules. But when the economies of scale cannot be supported in times of a weak economy we need to figure out how we can lower costs and go for the volume needed. Even as the Bay Area continues to recover this will not guarantee more rider ship. The biggest help has been gasoline and fuel prices making it more feasible compared to driving costs, but still remember if you want more riders and conservation you must lower prices and go for economies of scale.
Water companies ask us to conserve and then raise our rates because they have fixed costs and charge per unit used, this of course does not mean we should not conserve water only that the incentives to do so do not take into consideration the innate characteristics of mankind. Obviously we should conserve water because it is a finite resource in a given drought year. As new systems are built they will need ways to conserve costs and it’s finite capacity.
The number of commuters traveling into NYC is only 1% higher than in 2000 than it was in 1990 as per the Census Study done by the transportation department. Now a new super system which will be even higher tech than the BART system is being built in New Jersey by the same company, it will be a world class system, state of the art. We need to figure out ways to save money on these systems through operational efficiencies; not simply raising fees. Think about it.
“Lance Winslow” – If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs