Comment 28911

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 20:37:39

It's actually pretty easy to get a rough estimate of how much more a motorist would pay than a transit user under a true user pay system.

A rough estimate suggests that the HSR buses drive about 9 million km per year (35 routes running at 20km/h between 6am and midnight 2 buses on each route simultaneously 365 days a year ... it's rough but it's the right order of magnitude).

The HSR had 1.3 million passenger in September 2008, so that makes about 15.6 million passengers per year. Therefore, the average km per passenger per ride is 0.6 (9 million km/ 15.6 million passengers). This is the equivalent 'wear and tear' on the road per passenger per ride.

Now, if the transit user takes the bus twice a day 365 days per year that works out to 365 km total wear equivalent on the road. Thus a regular transit user is equivalent to a car driver who drives 365 km per year.

Now, buses cause more wear to the roads, so transit users should pay proportionately more. How much more? The 407 charges heavy vehicles (over 5000 kg) twice as much as cars. So we should say the transit user is equivalent to a motorist driving roughly 800 km per year.

Now, the average motorist in Canada drives about 20 000 km per year, so we have our answer:

In a true user pay system the average motorist would pay 25 times as much as the daily transit user.

It's pretty clear who is subsidizing who here!

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