Democratic Socialism Comes to Southeast Michigan

RTA Funding Could Buy All Their New Riders New Cars, And Pay For Their Fuel and Insurance To Boot!

RTA Transit Map aThe 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.Michael Ford Smiling 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.

Ford Focus SYou 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?

You Betcha! (16)Nuh Uh.(0)

  9 comments for “Democratic Socialism Comes to Southeast Michigan

  1. KG One
    May 31, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    I see a repeat of Proposal 1 all over again.

    You Betcha! (8)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Corinthian Scales
      June 1, 2016 at 9:05 am

      Nah, what you see is the DIA bailout and, Detoilet Zoo all over again. Citoits gotta be communalism citiots.

      You Betcha! (4)Nuh Uh.(0)
  2. Sue Schwartz
    June 2, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks again 10x25MM. We need so many constitutional amendments: 1. to abolish all pretend gov. agencies with "authority" in their name and give us our money back. 2. no state or local gov. or agency may take federal funds (or grants) of any sort or nature--if you can't pay for it you don't need it. 3. part-time legislature. There, that should just about do it.

    You Betcha! (6)Nuh Uh.(0)
  3. Sue Schwartz
    June 2, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    I use to ride the bus from Pontiac to Work in Downtown Detroit for years. This was before the authority was created. I remember the vote, and asked all my fellow riders to vote no on the ballot proposal. We were joking then that we could buy new Chauffeur-driven cars for the elderly and handicapped (the hysterical logic used for this proposal) and it would be so much cheaper than what the ballot proposal would eventually cost. It passed. Ridership did not go up, the service did not get any better and the cost to ride went up. At the same time, I believe the People Mover monorail in Detroit was being built and some of those funds were diverted to building it. Is the People Mover still operating? All this money sounds to me like the funds are going to go toward building an interstate rail system east/west and north/south. Somebody should be checking the Pension Legacy situation to see if those funds are current as it relates to this "authority". What I know for sure--the money can't come from us--we're tapped out! As for me, I'm voting NO on any tax renewals or ballot proposals coming my way in the foreseeable future.

    You Betcha! (6)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • 10x25MM
      June 2, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      Detroit People Mover is still running, when it works, and becomes part of the RTA immediately. The QLINE [Woodward/M-1 Avenue Light Rail] becomes part of RTA in late 2017.

      Maintenance, or rather lack of maintenance, is a major issue with all these mass transit schemes. Federal subsidies facilitate initial construction, but do not exist for maintenance. Fare revenue does not even cover labor and bonded capital costs, so the sharpies who develop these schemes always underplan for the cost of maintenance. Pretty quickly you wind up with derelict systems like the Detroit People Mover and the entire DDoT bus system. Even prestige projects like the Washington DC Metro have become decrepit due to deferred maintenance.

      Bus systems have come into favor due to their purported lower maintenance costs, but this is an illusion because maintenance of the roads they travel on is foisted off on passenger car drivers. But even this sleight of hand is not sufficient to maintain bus systems, much less light rail systems, so they have to soak members of the public who never use mass transit to keep these white elephants running.

      You Betcha! (4)Nuh Uh.(0)
  4. Mark
    June 2, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    I was south bound from Montmorency County to South Lyon today and had the "Conservative" Frank Beckmann radio program on. He was busy at Mackinac Island slobbering all over politician's butts. As an aside, he sure do love him some Mike Duggan.
    Anyway, in the last hour of the program he had Paul Hilligonds on talking about the millage proposal to raise property taxes in four counties to pay for the light rail. One of the last points made by Hilligonds was that taxpayers are more willing to vote to increase their taxes if they know the project will be well managed, and in this case we will all know that our tax increase will be less because of the Federal matching dollars. I'm happy to know that my tax dollars remitted to Uncle Obama will come home to keep my taxes lower when I pay for this frigging transportation system that I will never use even if it does get built. Beckmann was all in agreement with those points.

    You Betcha! (4)Nuh Uh.(0)
  5. JD
    June 3, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Not sure what all the fuss here is (by the way, great job as usual 10x25MM)..as we've got at least $9.4 million "extra" that they are currently attempting to steal out of the "transportation economic development fund" created just for these ridiculous type projects.
    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2015-2016/billengrossed/House/pdf/2016-HEBH-5706.pdf

    We Michiganders pretty much funded the driverless car through our billions in unnamed MEDC "transportation" tax breaks...so why should we be 'up in arms' over further funding a fleet of buses, trains or anything else out there which 'may' someday benefit our fellow man?

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
  6. JD
    June 5, 2016 at 6:22 am

    ^^^^
    ...just in case you were wondering about that $9.4 million (above) and where it came from:
    http://www.michiganvotes.org/2016-HB-5706

    OABTW...Kudos to Rep. Kelly for being the only legislator in the entire state to stand up against raiding the state forest fund:
    http://www.michiganvotes.org/RollCall.aspx?ID=732313

    Weren't issues such as these (raiding critical funds/refusing to make the cuts needed; as the MPC eloquently states in their extremely brief analysis) the very 'backbone' of gray-haired tea bagger movements (everywhere) in '09? Or is there but one patriot still standing? (whether he resembles one on any other vote is not the point).

    Which begs the larger question..who IS the #1 rated conservative in the Michigan House or Senate at this moment given (I'm guessing) more "unanimous" (or close to it) votes of late than in any legislative period in Michigan history? Exaggeration?
    Or are we simply witnessing the reach-across-the-aisle/sound legislative "ideal" which legislators constantly brag about achieving?

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)

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