RTA Funding Could Buy All Their New Riders New Cars, And Pay For Their Fuel and Insurance To Boot!
The new Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan is out today with their transportation master plan to soak taxpayers in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties for another $ 3.3 billion in property taxes over a 20 year period. RTA CEO Michael Ford released the regional mass transit plan RTA will submit to voters on November 8th under PA 387 of 2012. A 1.2 mill property tax increase and $ 1.7 billion in new Federal & State subsidies will provide four new bus rapid transit lines, 11 cross county connector lines, one regional rail line, and some extended/intensified local service.
Let’s have some fun by subjecting the new RTA regional mass transit plan to some real, pre Common Core, mathematics.
RTA finds that the four transit agencies involved in their master plan carried 156,654 paying riders each weekday during October 2014. Since almost all of these passengers would have taken two trips, outbound and then their return, this means that the number of people using their services was only 78,327 per workday. These riders paid $ 1.50 or more for each ride, so weekday daily revenue for the four systems amounts to a minimum of $ 234,981. Over a period of 20 years, this would be $ 1.22 billion in fare revenue.
Totaling all this up over the 20 year RTA plan, we are looking at $ 1.22 billion in fare revenue, plus $ 3.3 billion in property taxes, plus $ 1.7 billion in additional Federal & State subsidies. A grand total of $ 6.22 billion. Let’s say that the relatively modest increase in transit vehicle revenue miles provided by the RTA master plan – 32% – doubles their ridership. That $ 6.22 billion cost, divided by 78,327 new workday riders, equals $ 79,411 per rider over the 20 year period.
You can purchase a nice, new car for around $ 20,000 OTD today. The increase in vehicle revenue miles envisaged in the master plan – 6,674,000 per year over the entire system – works out to $ 7.10 in gasoline per day if those 78,327 new riders purchase new cars getting 30 mpg at a cost of $ 2.50 per gallon of gas. A grand total of $ 36,920 in gasoline costs over a 20 year period of using the vehicle every weekday. The automobile and its gasoline together would cost a total of $ 56,920 over the twenty year period.
The $ 56,920 is $ 22,491 less than the $ 79,411 cost of the RTA master plan per incremental passenger. This $ 22,491 would allow each passenger $ 1,125 each year to cover their PL/PD insurance costs. About what Mayor Duggan is suggesting his ‘D’ stripper insurance plan would cost.
Doubt these numbers? Just look at the increment in personal income that the RTA master plan posits: $ 4.4 billion over the 20 year period. To achieve this, property taxes increase $ 3.3 billion and government subsidies (from other taxes and borrowing, not thin air) increase by $ 1.7 billion, a total of $ 5.0 billion over the same 20 year period. Everyone in Southeastern Michigan gets poorer, except for the well paid bureaucrats and employees of the RTA.
The dismal math of socialist economics. Now on offer by the RTA. Created by our Republican Legislature.
Who needs Democrats?