Sunday, November 02, 2014

Bad transit investments, Econ 101 for planners, expensive liberal cities worsen income inequality and reduce standards of living, and more

1. Capital costs are costs.
2. Maintenance costs are operating costs.
3. Economic growth requires new economic activity.
4. New economic activity requires lower costs or higher quality.
5. Whenever possible, user fees are the best way to pay for infrastructure.
6. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
7. If you subsidize something enough, people will come, but that doesn’t make it a success.
8. If you create of shortage of something, the price will go up, but that doesn’t mean you have increased demand.
9. Demand is a line, not a point.
10. If most people who like something fit a certain demographic, that doesn’t mean most people in that demographic like that thing.

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At 12:47 AM, November 10, 2014, Anonymous Rich Robins said...

In Mexico, train-related procurement contracts endure public scrutiny for possible corruption:

Here in Houston, though, Metro charges taxpayers over a hundred million bucks per mile of light rail expansion. Meanwhile cost-overruns and delays continue to accumulate...

At 11:54 AM, November 10, 2014, Anonymous Dom said...

It's just silly to say one transit is better than the other. It all depends on the context as all modes work well in particular contexts.

I think the only LRT Houston needs for the foreseeable future are the Uptown, University, and Main St lines. These lines would provide reliable and high capacity service directly to Houston's largest and/or densest employment centers, major cultural institutions, all major league stadiums, major parks, and major educational institutions. Not to mention how these lines would greatly help our growing tourism industries by connecting the dots.

BRT is great too, and we need more of it. I think a Westheimer line from way out west to HWY 6 all the way east past UH to I45 would be a grand slam. We need BRT down Bellaire (we can do better), Gessner, Bissonnet, Richmond, etc., I'm mostly familiar with SW Houston. We need the re-imagined bus system which might be a great turning point for our system overall.

Lastly, we need regional P&R and HOV lanes to feed into our LRT system and bus system. It will take an actual plan and money to accomplish this. We can't keep repeating the same mistakes and we keep adding a million people per decade.


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