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funding public transport

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  • Simon Norton
    There is only one way of funding public transport that will work in the long run. That is to ensure that enough money is available to do the job. Whether this
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 22, 2005
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      There is only one way of funding public transport that will work in the long
      run. That is to ensure that enough money is available to do the job. Whether
      this comes from a land tax, congestion charging, or whatever is immaterial from
      this point of view (though it will of course have other impacts, for example
      less money will be required to support a given level of service if car travel is
      strongly discouraged).

      If we attempt to fit a public transport system to the funding which is
      considered to be available by penny pinching politicians, as is almost always
      the case in the UK, we will have difficulty avoiding the "downward spiral"
      scenario.

      On another issue, the relative fuel efficiency per passenger km of cars and
      buses is also irrelevant. What matters is the overall system efficiency, which
      goes down with every modal shift from bus (or train) to car. I hope that the
      reason for this does not need explaining to anyone on this list, but the main
      ones are load factors for public transport, congestion, and fact that (as Eric
      Bruun has said) high levels of car use are inevitably associated with sprawl.

      Simon Norton
    • Wetzel Dave
      Simon wrote: There is only one way of funding public transport that will work in the long run. That is to ensure that enough money is available to do the job.
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 24, 2005
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        Simon wrote:

        "There is only one way of funding public transport that will work in the
        long run. That is to ensure that enough money is available to do the job.
        Whether this comes from a land tax, congestion charging, or whatever is
        immaterial from
        this point of view (though it will of course have other impacts, for example
        less money will be required to support a given level of service if car
        travel is strongly discouraged)."



        Unfortunately the choice of funding is not immaterial.

        It is wrong to confuse "congestion charging" with "transport finance" for
        the following reason:

        London has shown that Congestion charging is a good way of reducing
        congestion, and for providing all the benefits such as reduced pollution,
        reduced traffic, more reliable bus services, fewer road crashes, more
        efficient deliveries etc .........but as we spend half the revenues on
        collection (staff, cameras, signage, advertising, computers, a call centre,
        links to the DVLA, chasing non-payers, payments to congestion charge sellers
        in shops and petrol stations etc. etc.) it's a bloody awful tax!

        At £5 per vehicle (now £8), we collected circa £160m pa and spent about £80
        pa leaving "only" £80m pa to be spent on buses, walking and cycling. This
        compares to our total budget spend of £5,800 pa!



        The difference between someone giving you £50 or £50.80p - the 80p extra is
        welcome but does not make a huge difference to your budget.



        Alternatively, Land value Tax, collected annually represents between 17% to
        40% of GDP - a massive amount!



        Also, LVT is:

        Cheap to collect;

        Can't be avoided;

        Promotes the use of empty sites - thus providing more homes and jobs

        Discourages urban sprawl;

        Reduces the cost of land and hence makes it cheaper to occupy buildings;

        Returns to the community the increased land values that transport creates;



        If it had to be a choice: -

        I know which I'd rather have as a source of funding.



        But why not both?

        Dave
        Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.



        -----Original Message-----
        From: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Simon Norton
        Sent: Saturday, October 22, 2005 10:15 PM
        To: newmobilitycafe@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] funding public transport



        There is only one way of funding public transport that will work in the long

        run. That is to ensure that enough money is available to do the job. Whether

        this comes from a land tax, congestion charging, or whatever is immaterial
        from
        this point of view (though it will of course have other impacts, for example
        less money will be required to support a given level of service if car
        travel is
        strongly discouraged).

        If we attempt to fit a public transport system to the funding which is
        considered to be available by penny pinching politicians, as is almost
        always
        the case in the UK, we will have difficulty avoiding the "downward spiral"
        scenario.

        On another issue, the relative fuel efficiency per passenger km of cars and
        buses is also irrelevant. What matters is the overall system efficiency,
        which
        goes down with every modal shift from bus (or train) to car. I hope that the
        reason for this does not need explaining to anyone on this list, but the
        main
        ones are load factors for public transport, congestion, and fact that (as
        Eric
        Bruun has said) high levels of car use are inevitably associated with
        sprawl.

        Simon Norton
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