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Cars suck!

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Nov. 19th, 2001 | 10:42 pm

I just renewed my auto insurance.

$771 for the year.

I feel ripped off. blech. I probably was ripped off.

You know over the past 10 years I end up spending an average of $2000/year on the privilege of having a car.

A years worth of bus passes would cost me $500. It looks like equivalent service in New York, would cost $756, and I've heard rumors that new york even has a functional mass transit system.

Not only that, a recent study claimed that automobile users only pay for about 1/3 of the total social costs of our automobile dependence[1]. So misusing that data somewhat, the actual costs of me having a car are closer to $6000/year.

I wonder what the total costs of mass transit are? Considering the distaste US culture holds mass transit in, I suspect mass transit programs are closer to actually paying for themselves.

[1] 2001 State of the World, pg 112, World Watch Institute
[2] Originally from: A review of the Social Costs of Motor-Vehicle Use in the United States, Jan 1998, Journal of Transportation and Statistics.

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Comments {8}

Life Rebooted

NYC transit

from: hopeforyou
date: Nov. 20th, 2001 12:12 am (UTC)
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I've heard rumors that new york even has a functional mass transit system.

No rumor, get it from the source: New York City has a very functional mass transit system. I'd have to argue in terms of hours and coverage, it's the best out of any American city. Washington DC has rail lines but they shut down, as do a lot of San Francisco's and LA's. NYC's are 24/7, pretty much, and stop often. Also, you can go a lot further for the same price in NYC than you can in DC and other places because you can switch trains (transfer) for no extra charge as long as you can reach that train without having to leave the turnstiles -- and there's no cost per distance travelled differential (it costs the same to take a train 5 stops as it does 20).

Now in terms of comfort and beauty, NYC doesn't have that in its transit system. The floors are scuffed up (no carpeting on any NYC train) and garbage is often left on subway cars. Homeless people sleep on the trains as a means of shelter. They are crowded and during rush hour it's difficult to get a seat. The buses are pretty much the same story, too. But in terms of getting there, and getting there on *time* -- they are very effective.

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

Re: NYC transit

from: artemii
date: Nov. 20th, 2001 06:58 am (UTC)
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boston's also shut down.
before last call, even.

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Diane Trout

Re: NYC transit

from: alienghic
date: Nov. 21st, 2001 12:30 am (UTC)
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You'd think the liquor companies might suggest that trains should run until after last call. In theory drunk driving can prevented in two ways.

Though on the other hand I'm not sure I'd want to put up with a bunch of drunks on a train.

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

Re: NYC transit

from: artemii
date: Nov. 21st, 2001 12:34 am (UTC)
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blame the cab companies for that whole stupid arrangement ...

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Diane Trout

Re: NYC transit

from: alienghic
date: Nov. 21st, 2001 12:28 am (UTC)
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24/7 service... wow...

I think around here the mass transit is designed to just get poor people to work. As anyone else should have a car, and once they have a car they'd never actually use mass transit to go anywhere.

I've heard that new york is also one of the few 24 hour cities? You can actually go out whenever and there'll be stuff that's open.

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Weapon of Mass Disfunction

(no subject)

from: papawheelie
date: Nov. 20th, 2001 08:21 pm (UTC)
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My car costs me something in excess of $9000 a year, not including parking...

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Nov. 21st, 2001 01:06 am (UTC)
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Gack! That's a lot of money.

Why spend so much? Do you find that it brings you $9000 worth of happiness?

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Weapon of Mass Disfunction

Re:

from: papawheelie
date: Nov. 21st, 2001 01:12 am (UTC)
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Not at all, I got spoiled by my last car....

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