Saturday, October 29, 2011

Free is cheaper

When fares are removed from urban buses and streetcars, the savings are big.

Increased return on investment. Public transit involves large fixed costs. When fares are gone, there are more riders per vehicle, getting more value from the investment.

Reduced parking costs. With free transit, fewer people will park downtown. City parking authorities can cost $180 million a year, paid by fines, which are just a tax on customers and delivery services.

Reduced traffic congestion. Studies have shown that the time lost in traffic costs urban economies hundreds of millions of dollars.

Less money exported for gasoline. A medium sized city can export 1 million dollars a day in gasoline money for cars. Free buses will reduce this considerably.

Better quality of life, priceless. In Hasselt, Belgium, when fares were removed, people in hospital started receiving more visitors.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thai Flood May Lead Insurance companies to speak against #climatechange

Chrisophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images 
Thai Flood May Lead to $2.5 Billion Payout by Japan Insurers - Businessweek: "Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s casualty insurers may face about 190 billion yen ($2.5 billion) in net payouts to cover damages from Thailand’s floods, according to Deutsche Bank AG."
Expect a sudden change of tack by climate delayers. The insurance industry will soon be forced to split with the oil industry -- flipping the "debate" to the side of real science.

Monday, October 24, 2011

How to identify trolls on #ows and #agw

In the #occupywallstreet campaign, and #climatechange struggle, we are plagued by provocateurs and agents of oil and the 1% which attack from the outside and from within. Here are some tips on how to identify them.
  • high tweet/follower ratio on twitter (amazingly useful metric)
  • super-radical terminology with confusing array of targets
  • insistence on moral absolutes, one must be for/against x
  • focus on divisions in the 99%
  • focus on any path (money, law, celebrities) except mass unity 
  • obsession with corporate media coverage
  • focus on conspiracy or implying explosive hidden truth
  • asserting belief required for understanding
  • asking for money (unless homeless, then give)
  • saying "I support your cause, but..." (if they really support, it's their cause)
  • always criticizing 99% leadership or persistently negative
  • ad hominem attacks, or scatology (to make new people give up in disgust)
  • generalized misanthropy - "all people are greedy," "all politicians are crooks"
  • claiming all the answers are in one document or candidate
  • blaming government for everything
  • never directing comments against the banks or oil industry
These characteristics apply to both internal and external trolls. Use common sense and trust your instincts. There are always honest people who are misled and temporarily fall for scams. Some are just people trying to sell something.  Just keep shining daylight on the subject and the trolls will scatter.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oil prices. Too high? No, too low.

In the article quoted below. Senator Sanders correctly points out that the American people are being fleeced by commodity gambling. No matter which gambler wins, the people lose. But we need to ask ourselves why such high prices are plausible enough to make such a game possible. The fact is we are on the downward side of oil. The long emergency is well underway. While there will be great fluctuation, the only way for oil price is up. That may be expressed in terms of price, subsidy, externalities, or wars. Or, of course, human die-off.
What Wall Street doesn’t want us to know about oil prices - Newsroom: Bernie Sanders - U.S. Senator for Vermont: "A June 2 article in the Wall Street Journal said it all: "Wall Street is tapping a real gusher in 2011, as heightened volatility and higher prices of oil and other raw materials boost banks' profits." ExxonMobil Chairman Rex Tillerson, testifying before a Senate panel this year, said that excessive speculation may have increased oil prices by as much as 40 percent. Delta Air Lines general counsel Richard Hirst wrote to federal regulators in December that "the speculative bubble in oil prices has concrete detrimental consequences for the real economy." An American Trucking Association vice president, Richard Moskowitz, said, "Excessive speculation has caused dramatic increases in the price of crude oil, which harms end-users like America's trucking industry.""

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Why I’m hooked on being carfree! - Getting There - Capital Region development - - Albany NY

Why I’m hooked on being carfree! - Getting There - Capital Region development - - Albany NY: "The first thing I noticed about not driving everywhere was an immediate connection to my neighborhood and my community that just wasn’t there when I drove all the time. To put it simply, being a pedestrian feels more human than being a driver. Walking connects me visually to my surroundings: I notice the interesting architectural details I never saw when driving at 30 mph, and I watch the scurrying squirrels or look at the intricacies of the plants, flowers and lichens growing on tree bark. Walking connects me auditorily : I hear the chatter of the birds that changes with the seasons, I listen to the wooshing of the passing vehicles, and hear snippets of the conversations of passing pedestrians and puppies. Walking connects me to other people: it’s an opportunity to get to know neighbors and folks at the bus stop whose path I never crossed when I was rolling around town in that isolated metal box."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 » The $125,000 Commute: Not as Uncommon as You’d Think

That suburban dream home comes with a hidden cost: $125,000 in transportation costs each decade. Photo: Flickr, Remodeleze » The $125,000 Commute: Not as Uncommon as You’d Think: "Well, wonder no more. A personal finance blogger who goes by the name Mr. Money Mustache has done the math. Calculating at the federal reimbursement rate of 51 cents per mile, a car commute can get pricey fast. In fact, a 19-mile SOV car commute translates into $75,000 in costs for that commuter over 10 years, plus about 1.3 years of work time wasted in traffic. For a two-car household driving financed cars, that’s $125,000 and almost 3 years of potential working time wasted every decade."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 17, 2011

#occupywallstreet bearing fruit. Feds release $928M for #transit

FTA grants will support more than 300 transit projects across America - Welcome to the FastLane: The Official Blog of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation: "I was happy to tell Governor Snyder and Mayor Bing that 16 Michigan transit projects were awarded a total of $46.7 million as part of the $928.5 million in total Federal Transit Administration Alternatives Analysis, Bus Livability, and State of Good Repair grants announced today for transit projects across the country."
The #occupywallstreet movement has widened the split the U.S. elites. The oil-companies are losing political clout. They can't get religious conservatives to reject environmental concerns. Social conservatism is failing as young people reject racism and homophobia. Their tea party is a national embarrassment. Other wealthy corporations are less and less willing to put their own interests second to oil. They know that transit investment is one of the best stimulants. They are more and more ready to throw their oil buddies under the bus.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

1% Stupidly orders crackdown on #occupyboston

Occupy Boston: "At 1:30 this morning hundreds of police in full riot gear brutally attacked Occupy Boston, which had peacefully gathered on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The Boston Police Department made no distinction between protesters, medics, or legal observers, arresting legal observer Urszula Masny-Latos, who serves as the Executive Director for the Massachusetts branch of the National Lawyers Guild, as well as four medics attempting to care for the injured."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 10, 2011

U.S. fighting over $8B for #transit for whole country, while France commits $30B for one city

France - Paris Project Is Approved - "The project, whose approval was noted in an official decree published Friday, will include the construction of more than 100 miles of automatic subway lines and 57 new stations, linking the suburbs around Paris in a massive figure 8. "

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Is your local #transit authority "cash-strapped?" Here's why...

Occupy America: protests against Wall Street and inequality hit 70 cities | World news | The Observer: "One of the favourite messages of the protesters is that almost 40% of US wealth is held in the hands of 1% of the population, who are taxed more lightly than the majority of Americans. Steinkamp was holding a sign saying "I am the 99%". And there is widespread anger that ordinary people have born the brunt of the financial crisis with dire job losses and house repossessions."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Saudi Arabia Vows Collective Punishment - A War Crime

Saudi Arabia Vows ‘Iron Fist’ After Attack in Oil Province - Businessweek: "The government called on “rational members of their families, those of whose loyalties we have no doubts, to bear their responsibilities towards their sons,” the interior ministry said. “Otherwise, all will bear the consequences of their actions.”"

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Growth Trends Propel Public Transit to $55 Billion Industry

Growth Trends Propel Public Transit to $55 Billion Industry: "The report shows that America’s public transit systems carried more than 10 billion passenger trips for the 5th consecutive year in 2010, the highest levels since 1957. It also shows support for better public transportation through public approval of transit ballot measures. These ballot measures have a 73 percent approval rate over the past 12 years."

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Rochester NY, exporting $1.5M per day for gasoline

RECONNECT ROCHESTER » Ride RTS FREE On ‘Critical Mass Transit Day’ — October 20 ...Go Transit!: "Critical Mass Transit is a joint effort by Regional Transit Service (RTS) and Reconnect Rochester, a transit advocacy group that suggests by using public transit as an alternative to driving a car, Rochesterians have the power to reinvest those dollars back into Rochester’s economy.

THE SAVINGS ARE VERY REAL! According to, those who drive to work everyday alone can incur costs that exceed $1 per mile. That includes fuel, maintenance, parking and depreciation, and depends on vehicle type and driving habits. By comparison, a ride on an RTS bus costs one dollar.

In addition to the personal savings, every one-dollar invested in public transportation can generate $4 in economic returns for our area. Conversely, nearly every dollar we burn on gasoline leaves Rochester."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 2, 2011

People arrested for walking, while wall street thieves ignored

Thousands of people want to go the same way at the same time. They choose to walk. They spill into the street naturally as a way to move more people efficiently. They are arrested for blocking auto traffic.

If each of these people had a car. How long would the blockage have lasted? We don't know. But there would have been no arrests.

Next time, gamble with other peoples money, cause financial meltdown, bring a car, and you will be safe from arrest.