BusTalk Forum Index BusTalk
A Community Discussing Buses and Bus Operations Worldwide!
 
 BusTalk MainBusTalk Main FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups BusTalk GalleriesBusTalk Galleries   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

A sample of what I do

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    BusTalk Forum Index -> Transit Employee Discussion, Information, & Issues
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
timecruncher



Age: 67
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:17 pm    Post subject: A sample of what I do Reply with quote

I realize that most of the visitors to this forum are primarily interested in the buses themselves, but as we in Louisville prepare for a 10% service reduction to get our expenses in line with our service, the old timecruncher has put together a set of service "adjustments" (how do ya like that spin?) designed to keep most of us employed for a few more months.

This kind of stuff is happening all over the country, no less so in Louisville, although I really hate to be cutting service when we have overcrowding here and there in our system today. This was considered better than raising fares, since we did that twice in the past three years. Politics, of course, has something to do with this, of course.

Anyway, this page on the TARC website outlines the changes, has the times and locations for the requisite public hearings and links to pdf files of each and every route schedule that I have prepared. Routes that don't change aren't listed, of course. Our graphic artist altered our pocket schedule maps to outline where routes are being cut back or altered on the routes that have changes. The schedules, alas, are mine alone...

http://www.ridetarc.org/alerts.asp?ArticleID=386

Can't wait for the public hearings next week when we get to hear from an annoyed to outraged public tells us how we're going to affect their lives with these changes.

And for the bus fans -- these service reductions will result in the retirement of all Flxible Metro units currently in the active fleet.

timecruncher
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timecruncher -

Thanks for the helpful supporting account. I have warned about this for ages now, i.e.: The pervasive public control beset with some
real downside problems...

Here, in your report, the local politicos follow the "nice guy" approach to fares. It is all part of the attitudes of denial of how vicious the
effects of inflation. Much that no one really wishes to speak up, and report that the three cents of 1913, startup of the Fed Reserve, is
today's (nominal) dollar...

If fare levels don't lockstep with "made whole" inflation adjustments, then the alternative is the dread, "...death by a thousand cuts..."
We learned all of this, of course, in the era of private sector control. Overall, the involved regulators (PSC, PUC, et. al.) would not
authorize fare increases that simply embraced "made whole" (constant dollar) adjustments...

.....................Vern.................
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RailBus63
Moderator



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is really no different than the types of adjustments that are occurring throughout private industry and in most households in the United States. I appreciate that TARC, Centro and a few others have decided to live within their means and make an honest effort to prioritize service to their core constituencies. Now is not the time to be protecting underutilized express buses, tourist trolleys, circulators, etc.

One would hope that this new practicality would eventually extend to equipment purchases as well, but there seems to be no slowdown in the purchase of hybrids, overstyled ĎBRTí vehicles and other feel-good vehicles. Centro is one of the few agencies that has come out publicly and said that while they love the environmental benefits of hybrid buses, the promised improvements in fuel economy do not come close to offsetting the far higher purchase price compared to diesel and CNG.

Jim D.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ripta42
Site Admin


Age: 39
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
Posts: 1024
Location: Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RailBus63 wrote:
One would hope that this new practicality would eventually extend to equipment purchases as well, but there seems to be no slowdown in the purchase of hybrids, overstyled ĎBRTí vehicles and other feel-good vehicles.


Practicality doesn't apply when there are Federal funds on the table that can only be used for capital improvements. On the bright side, the operational budget gets some relief from maintenance and fuel costs.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
timecruncher



Age: 67
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our funding would be adequate for fixed-route service, as it was designed in 1974. It is inadequate for the additional cost of paratransit service, which was not considered when setting up the original funding mechanisms.

On buses: Our bretheren to the north routinely operate buses well in excess of 30 years old, and raise fares to cover at least 50% if not more, of operating costs. The 55-cent fares in 1974 when Louisville Transit gave up would be equal to about $3.00 today. Not unreasonable to my thinking, but oh boy would the liberals scream at that spectre!

As for hybrids and other gimmick buses, I am appalled that we would get 9 new hybrids late next year rather than 15 straight diesel buses for the same price.

Then again, they would be replacing buses that are only 12 years old and have held up well. A 12-year complete overhaul would make sense for our 1998 Gillig low-floor coaches, upgrading HVAC, signage and paint is about all that is needed, then run 'em for another 10 years! The $4.5 million those 9 hybrids will cost would go a long way towards a complete overhaul of buses already on the property and in need of a little 'updating.'

Hard not to argue that route makes a helluva lot more sense than retiring them just because we can.

timecruncher

timecruncher
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

timecruncher -

timecruncher wrote:
...On buses: Our bretheren to the north routinely operate buses well in excess of 30 years old, and raise fares to cover at least 50% if not more, of operating costs. The 55-cent fares in 1974 when Louisville Transit gave up would be equal to about $3.00 today. Not unreasonable to my thinking, but oh boy would the liberals scream at that spectre!...


Exactly! Which motivates my long held concerns the nation has little, if any, rational transport policy! Add to that, in this instance, the "politicizing"
that comes with public money, and it just gets messier...

In the Bad, Old Days, had the served cities believed the services so vital and essential, they coulda' - shoulda' helped. That is, provide funding of
new equipment. Depending on how vital they thought it all to be, they coulda' made the payments to GE Leasing. Whether they wished to pass
thru the entire amount to the transit entity (which would remain private in this scenario) should have been entirely local discretion? I do know that
classic regulation does not work, absent frequent, "pass through, made whole" constant dollar adjustments to nominal fares. Been there. Done that.
Seen the train wreck!...

No matter how much I dig, any Constitutional guarantee of public paid rides for all simply isn't in there...

..................Vern..............
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RailBus63
Moderator



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ripta42 wrote:
Practicality doesn't apply when there are Federal funds on the table that can only be used for capital improvements. On the bright side, the operational budget gets some relief from maintenance and fuel costs.


I have a problem with this when federal funding is not distributed in a comprehensive manner and some agencies are denied funding and are forced to operate buses past their intended service lives, yet other agencies are allowed to use federal dollars to buy hybrids and BRT buses. That same funding could be spread more widely and buy a larger fleet of standard clean-diesel or CNG buses.

I also think itís time to reconsider the concept of using federal funds to promote the purchases of hybrid buses. As far as I can tell, the benefits of hybrid bus operation still do not come close to offsetting the premium in purchase price over diesel and CNG buses. If the manufacturers cannot close that gap, itís time to move on and use that money more wisely to allow a greater number of American transit riders to enjoy the benefit of modern buses. If local cities and agencies want hybrids, let them pay the extra expense.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RailBus63 -

Bravo! You have a way of separating the wheat from the chaff!

Fact remains: A lightweight coach (read GMCs and others of some time back for comparables) with newer design, "computer chip" power plants
can be relied upon to deliver attractive fuel burn numbers...

You allude to a number of other known examples of sheer extravangance when it comes to use of the People's Money! What of fantasy proposals
of claimed urgently needed Light Rail projects? There is paper out there where the proponents lavishly overstate possible ridership numbers!
(So, I'll guess one does not have to sign off on these proposals, "...under penalty of perjury...", common to tax documents?)

....................Vern.............
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    BusTalk Forum Index -> Transit Employee Discussion, Information, & Issues All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group