Other posts related to public-transportation

Bombinate the Message

| May 11, 2009 11:34 am

Sorry about all the videos lately, but looks like some really good stuff out there.

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Froward Towards Driving

| March 12, 2009 2:49 pm

TreeHugger has a great article comparing cars, buses, and bikes. They compare the real estate sacrificed by each mode of transportation.

This image pretty much summarizes everything.


(Image: Press-Office City of Müenster, Germany via TreeHugger)

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Footless Measures

| November 7, 2008 5:44 pm

Let me start by expressing my sincere disappointment with several proposals that passed across USA. They have to do with amending the state constitution to add a clear discrimination. This is understandable for the random bigot states, but it is really incredible that something like this happened in California. California is probably the most progressive state in the US, but looks like there is a large enough number of homophobic and discriminating people that something like this can pass. Unbelievable.

But, let me ask you something else. Regardless if you believe with discriminating proposals or not, how can the state constitution be modified by a simple and actually weak majority? By weak, I mean less than 50% of voters. In California there are over 17 million voters and only something over 5 million voted for this proposal. I usually associate a modification of constitution with a two third majority.

Now, this is where it gets weird. There was a “measure B” on the ballot, which has to do with a specific improvement of public transportation around the city of San Jose. It does not matter if you agree with it or not, but here is the interesting part. In order to pass this measure, you need a two third majority. And since only 66.41% people voted yes, the measure lost. By .25%.

Ok, now, let’s compare these two referendums. The amending of constitution requires a simple majority, while the referendum on spending some money requires two third majority. Think about this one for a second. Constitution versus spending money. Human rights… Money… Now you know where the priorities are. Think about this as you are contemplating a 850 billion dollar bailout for the financial industry without a referendum.

Human rights should always be protected. Any constitutional change that limits human rights should be passed extremely carefully. At least two thirds majority if not a two thirds of all the registered voters. On the other hand, financial conservancy is a good thing, but it if spending large amounts of money to bail out car companies and spend enormous amount of money to build roads without any referendums, it is interesting that this require two thirds majority.

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Peregrination Math

| August 27, 2008 3:14 pm

Should the bikes be on the roads? Well, this is a tricky question… for some people. For me it is pretty simple. Yes. But, let’s go baby steps. What is the best way to travel? It turns out the most efficient way is bike. The least efficient way is a single passenger car. In between are things like trains, buses, walking, etc.

But what is the cost of each mode of transportation? Well, walking is pretty much free. For biking, you got to buy a bike. Most people will say that trains are super expensive, because you have to build tracks etc. But what about cars? What is the cost of a car? Well, let’s do a quick math. My assumption is that we buy a car and throw it away 10 years later.

  • Normal car: $17,000
  • Gas for 10 years at 22 mpg and 15,000 miles per year and $4 per gallon: (15000 / 22) * $4 * 10 = $27,240
  • Oil changes every 3000 miles: (15000 / 3000) * $15 * 10 = $750
  • Repairs let say $500 per year: $5,000
  • Insurance and registration is another $900 per year: $9,000

Did I forget something? Anyway, according to my math, the total cost of having a car for 10 years is about $58,990. But is that the total cost of driving?

Let’s start by comparing this to a bike. Not completely fair comparison, but let’s try it anyway:

  • Normal bike: $800
  • Panniers, trailer: $600
  • Tubes, break pads, let say 10 tubes a year ($5), 2 tires a year ($20), 2 sets of break pads a year ($20): $1000
  • Repairs let say $200 per year: $2,000

Did I miss something here? Well, the total is $4,400. And this is for a bike that is tuned twice a year, gets new tires and break pads once a year, has panniers, trailer and so on.

Ok, how about public transportation. Assuming you live in the Bay Area, you are looking at the cost of a bus and Caltrain, Bart, Ace, or Amtrak. So, you are looking at anywhere from $5 to $12 per day for the commuter rail, and couple of dollars per day for the bus if you need a local connection. Assuming the worst, you are looking at $2 for a bus in the south bay, $6 for the Caltrain to San Francisco, and another $1.5 in San Francisco. This twice a day is $19 per day, which in 10 years is about $49,400. But this is the worst case. Also, all public transportation modes have 10 rides or monthly plans. Also, there are commuter tax breaks for the public transport. All these incentives can lower the cost of riding down to couple of $100 per year.

So, according to this, whoever can bike to work should. There is significant saving in that. So even ignoring impact on environment, health, and time, this should be enough motivation for most people to change their transportation habits.

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Egregious Statement

| August 8, 2008 4:09 pm

My favorite politician did it again. She managed to prove one more time that either there is no intelligent design, or the designer wanted to make its subject not intelligent. I mean, seriously… Just watch her video:

I guess she is trying to make the whole thing sound like some kind of communist country, but really beside the “government jobs” part it actually sounds really good. I would much rather take public transportation. I would much rather live in the city.

However, let’s play with her statement a little bit. My favorite politician seem to be in favor of Americans being uneducated, moving to the suburban isolation, live in the giant single family monstrosities, and take ASSUVs to their army contractor and oil jobs. Oh, how happy the world would be.

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