13 p a g e mass transit negative bdl no solvency

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Unformatted text preview: t effectively eliminating its service. Rail transit’s fundamental problem is its failure to attract sufficient patronage to reduce its high (and increasing) average costs. This problem has been complicated enormously by new patterns of urban development. Rail operations, unfortunately, are best suited for yesterday’s concentrated central city residential developments and employment opportunities; they are decidedly not suited for today’s geographically dispersed residences and jobs. At best, urban rail service may be socially desirable in a few large U.S. cities if its operations can be adjusted to mirror successful privatization experiments conducted abroad. Ironically, however, rail transit enjoys powerful political support from planners, civic b oosters, and policymakers, making it highly unlikely that rail’s social cost will abate. 13 | P a g e Mass Transit Negative BDL No Solvency – Social Inequality [____] Turn- promoting Mass Transit as the answer to Social Inequality only hurts social welfare- it empirically won’t help but will prevent real solutions Winston, Maheshri, 2006 – Brookings Institution, U.C. Berkeley (Clifford, Vikram, “On the Social Desirability of Urban Rail Transits,” Brookings Institution, 08/23/06, ystems_winston.pdf)//AX Could any system be transformed to have a positive effect on social welfare? We are unable to find ways to significantly raise the net benefits of the nation’s transit systems given their current operations. However, recently privatized rail transit systems in foreign cities, notably Tokyo and Hong Kong, have been able to eliminate deficits by reducing labor and capital costs and by introducing more comfortable cars and remote payment mechanisms, a mong other innovations, that have reduced operating costs and expanded ridership. W e therefore investigated which, if any, U.S. rail transit systems would become socially desirable assuming privatization reduced short -run total costs 20 percent—a plausible estimate based on U.S. and foreign experience with bus transit privatization (Winston and Shirley [3]). With the exception of BART, which already generates small net benefits, we found that such a cost reduction would result in only the New York City and Chicago systems producing positive net benefits. W e are not aware of any public officials who have endorsed complete privatization of rail transit. On the other hand, a few have encouraged bus transit agencies to contract with private companies in an effort to reduce costs. Private contracting would be a politically more feasible alternative to privatization, but it appears that at best it would enable only a few rail systems to be socially justified. Because no policy option exists that would enhance the social desirability of most urban rail transit systems, policymakers only can be advised to limit the social costs of rail systems by curtailing their expansion. Unfortunately, transit systems have been able to evolve because their supporters have sold them as an antidote to the social costs associated with automobile tr...
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