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Are roads heavily subsidized

spider

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Prepare to be carpet bombed by aggrieved transit and cycling fanatics who have just lost their favourite hammer if this is true.
 

TheTigerMaster

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I have a real hard time believing their findings.

Never have I seen a study claim that drivers overpay to subsidize their driving, regardless of the jurisdiction. The most I've seen reported is about 80% subsidized in the State of Delaware. I'd expect the subsidy from drivers to be far less than that here in Ontario, since we are relatively car friendly regulations.
 

TOareaFan

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I have a real hard time believing their findings.

Never have I seen a study claim that drivers overpay to subsidize their driving, regardless of the jurisdiction. The most I've seen reported is about 80% subsidized in the State of Delaware. I'd expect the subsidy from drivers to be far less than that here in Ontario, since we are relatively car friendly regulations.

You have a hard time believing because you think they erred in their methodology or findings? Or just because it goes against common thinking on the matter?

Here is the Star's report on the study (it talks a bit more about what was included in revenue from drivers and what was not)

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/201...dy_paying_a_toll_for_ontario_roads_study.html

Interestingly, one of the CAA people quoted is on that Golden Panel that is re-studying the Metrolinx idea of revenue tools
 

rbt

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Why not dispute their findings not their funding?

Their problem is in the article itself:

"If we look at the total cost of driving, including vehicle costs, cost recovery will tend to be closer to 100 per cent."

That is true for cycling as well. If you include the cost of the bike, bicycle related clothing, etc. then the cost recovery ratio is quite high.

They also do not consider anything except direct costs. They note that money goes into general revenues but do not consider the ambulance/healthcare, police (OPP), etc. services which come out of general revenues; nor indirect subsidies like oil and vehicle manufacturing tax breaks.

Yes, fuel taxes are high enough to pay for maintenance of provincial highways. I don't think this has ever been in debate.


The second major issue is the fees are to enable drivers to move more freely on the highway. It's the "I want to drive faster! Too many cars in my way!" fee. Raising the cost will decrease congestion along those routes with the increased fees as will providing alternatives.

If drivers want to have a 2 hour evening commute home in a decade; so be it. If they don't, then they need to look at reducing their numbers. Making it illegal for even numbered plates to drive on odd numbered days is another way of doing it (forced carpooling).
 
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TOareaFan

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Their problem is in the article itself:

"If we look at the total cost of driving, including vehicle costs, cost recovery will tend to be closer to 100 per cent."

That is true for cycling as well. If you include the cost of the bike, bicycle related clothing, etc. then the cost recovery ratio is quite high.

According to the star they only included the taxes and fees not the cost of cars :

thestar said:
The study used three methods to calculate the revenue generated by drivers of light duty vehicles — cars, pickup trucks, vans and SUVs. Researchers included only revenue that the government would lose if people drove less. So fuel excise tax was incorporated but HST was not, because people would spend that money even if they didn’t use it for gas, Gill said.

They also do not consider anything except direct costs. They note that money goes into general revenues but do not consider the ambulance/healthcare, police (OPP), etc. services which come out of general revenues; nor indirect subsidies like oil and vehicle manufacturing tax breaks.

Again, according to the Star, they did include, at least, some of that:

thestar said:
Researchers found Toronto-area drivers paid about $3.7 billion in fuel excise taxes, licensing fees, fines and other expenses, compared with $2.7 billion that governments spent on building, policing and maintaining the region’s roads.

Yes, fuel taxes are high enough to pay for maintenance of provincial highways. I don't think this has ever been in debate.

It covers, apparantly, more than just maintenance of roads...but also building and policing them.


The second major issue is the fees are to enable drivers to move more freely on the highway. It's the "I want to drive faster! Too many cars in my way!" fee. Raising the cost will decrease congestion along those routes with the increased fees as will providing alternatives.

They are quite clear that they did not do this to block any new costs....just to establish what is already being charged and what that covers.

thestar said:
“We’re just looking at total revenues and total costs. There’s a very good reason you might want to collect those revenues in a different way with more efficient types of charges,” he said.

If drivers want to have a 2 hour evening commute home in a decade; so be it. If they don't, then they need to look at reducing their numbers. Making it illegal for even numbered plates to drive on odd numbered days is another way of doing it (forced carpooling).

What about plates with no numbers? ;)
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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Commercial trucks and transit vehicles were separated out, as were different classes of roads, such as highways, arterials and local lanes.

Once you remove Highways, Arterials, and local lanes how much of the transportation network is left? I think that is the key question we should be asking.

For example maintaining the DVP/Gardiner is a large chunk of change in my mind, why take them out. Do the regions drivers not use this? How about the 400 series highways? Again a large cost is there that has been ignored.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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Actually, it does neglect to take into the account the cost needed to maintain traffic on the roadways to a usable state - i.e. if public transit isn't available, what is the cost of building and maintaining a level of road capacity that is sufficient for the same level of service.

AoD
 

k10ery

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The news coverage is all about the spin, not the study.

The study says that drivers currently pay 60-80% of the cost of the road system. (To get it even this high, they had to include things like municipal parking revenues. But that's nothing to do with running the road system. Why not include the cost of the Tim Horton's coffee people are drinking in their cars too? Fuel taxes and licenses only cover 40-60% of road costs.)

So, the right conclusion is that road taxes should immediately be INCREASED so that drivers pay 100% of the cost. Then, we should consider new tolls on highways to deal with traffic congestion.

In other words, this study says that drivers are not paying nearly enough. Only the Star and Driver would spin this to say drivers are paying too much.
 

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