November 23, 2011
APTA list ranks Portland #11 in nation for transit savings
The American Public Transit Association (APTA) just released their Transit Savings Report, which estimates how much people save monthly and annually from taking transit instead of driving. Portland is ranked #11 among US cities, with monthly savings of $856 and annual savings of $10,269. The report uses the cost of a monthly transit pass to represent transit costs, while driving costs are calculated by plugging the local average fuel price and parking cost into AAA's formula for the cost of driving. The report does not take into account time costs, of course, and relies on certain assumptions about per capita vehicle miles traveled, but overall gives a good representation of how much someone could potentially save by switching to transit. It is also interesting to compare cities--for example, Seattle ranks better than Portland at #4, probably due to the much higher cost of parking in Seattle.
November 24, 2011 9:22 AM
This report only makes sense if you work downtown. If you work in the suburbs, as most people in the metro area do, then the opportunity cost of your lost time needs to be included as well. I live in Tigard, work in St. Johns. Maybe i would save a few bucks on gas but at a cost of a 3-4 hour round trip commute vs about an hour driving.
November 24, 2011 11:01 AM
Yeah, it definitely depends on how much you value your time and how convenient transit is for you. In Portland, driving is so easy and fast that transit has a very hard time competing. That's why I would favor tolling and higher parking fees to balance the scales. The money raised could partially fund more and better transit.
November 26, 2011 12:39 PM
Coercive tactics like tolling and higher parking fees to be punitive (for punishment sake only) to driving to make transit more appealing is not in the best interest of transit. The public generally looks down on activities like this, and I do too as a transit proponent.
Now, if we're talking about market-based transit/land-use initiatives that can definitely benefit transit, as I've argued on here for some time now, then we're on to something positive.
Transit cannot and will not compete with the automobile by being the jealous and annoying sibling.
Sorry, as someone who barely drives such as myself, we need to realize that the automobile does provide a transportation tool for a lot of trips that transit simply needs to do a better job of competing with.
Putting slow rail and cutting buses to nothing does not seem to be working well.
November 27, 2011 11:25 PM
zefwagner , to balance the scales I think it would be fair to have a special tax for anyone who drives outside of Multnomah County to destinations outside of it.
November 28, 2011 12:14 AM
Bob R. Says:
to balance the scales I think it would be fair to have a special tax for anyone who drives outside of Multnomah County to destinations outside of it.
Assuming that was sarcasm, I'll add a sarcastic comment of my own: Oh yes, that will be sooooo helpful. If fewer Multnomah county residents visit the rest of the state, that will sooooo help in creating understanding which will help bridge the urban/rural divide. Yeah.