Sunday, July 19, 2015

Firefighter pension solution, disturbing METRORail numbers, #1 Food City in America, and more

A few items this week...
"While the average annual income in Texas is $45,330, only slightly above the national average, MoneyRates.com says "workers in Texas get good value from those wages." That's due to our below-average cost of living and no state income tax."
"Adding all of this early data up, these three new rail lines are attracting only between 10 – 35 percent of their predicted ridership estimates.
...
All of this for some $2.2 billion in local and federal tax money. If you apply the U.S. FTA formulas for grant consideration to current ridership on these three rail lines (total capital cost $2.2 billion, multiplied by 7 percent ($154 million), then add the annual operating expense of these rail lines at roughly $1 million per direction mile for $25 – 30 million in annual operating costs), it would work out to costing somewhere close to $50 every time a new rider boarded along these new rail lines."
Ugh. If that doesn't make you nauseous as a taxpayer, I'm not sure what will.  Let's really hope the bus network redesign implementation and fall semester start at UH and TSU boost the ridership big time...

Finally, this data shows that firefighters have increased as rapidly as fires have *decreased*, yet we keep finding new jobs for them to do.  Maybe a solution for Houston's firefighter pension problem could be to scale back the department to just focus on fires and find more efficient ways to meet the other needs like emergency medical response?...

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1 Comments:

At 3:50 PM, July 26, 2015, Anonymous Rich said...

When trying to understand why expansion line rail ridership is so low here in Houston, can you believe this?

https://www.facebook.com/hmrdev/posts/866710293416631

Houston Metro has since confirmed its accuracy...

 

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