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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:11 PM
Original message
Public transport use surges despite falling gas prices.
'Despite plunging petrol prices, Americans are using public transportation in record numbers, with more than 2.8 billion trips taken on metros, buses and light rail in the third quarter of the year, a report showed Monday.

Ridership numbers marked a record 6.5 percent increase over the same three-month period in 2007, when around 2.67 million people rode public transportation in the United States, the report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) showed.

"This is the largest quarterly increase in public transportation ridership in 25 years," APTA said in a statement.

During the same period, vehicle miles traveled on US roads declined by 4.6 percent, data from the Federal Highway Administration showed.'

>>http://rawstory.com/news/afp/US_public_transport_use_su... >



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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. No or poorly paying jobs = no cars. (nt)
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 10:12 PM by w4rma
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Or it could be
Why take a chance on getting into an accident, stuck in traffic, irritated or harassed by crazy/inconsiderate drivers, have a breakdown or flat tire in the center lane, etc., etc., when you can relax and leave the driving to someone else who is cruising through the bus lane?
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Has any of that changed recently? No. Then that's not the cause. (nt)
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I don't know where you are, but
in my neck of the woods, roads are getting more crowded, drivers are getting more ornery, inconsiderate and impatient, so yes, from where I sit things are changing for the worse
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Another thing to remember is that people DO reach a breaking point
Maybe they get a flat tire and get yelled at/flipped off by too many drivers for blocking traffic, and say to hell with it. Or maybe they get one too many traffic tickets for going a few miles over the speed limit. Or maybe their insurance goes up because of the tickets or other reason. Or maybe their car gets vandalized where it is parked during the day. Or maybe they finally get tired of paying outrageous repair bills for problems that often don't even get fixed.

Really, it's not a static situation, and there are all sorts of variables that could be at play.
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. Getting people who don't want to drive off the road is a plus in this car girl's book (nm)
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Tandalayo_Scheisskopf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yup.
The Oil Producers and sellers slit their own throats this summer, whith their games. Created the final tipping point. Demand destruction will be long and tough to break.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Like the owners of those companies care. They already stole their money and power. (nt)
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 10:27 PM by w4rma
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. Insurance @ $70 a month minimum negates owning a car
when you're poor, life can suck.
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blue neen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
9. I feel that my family and I have permanenty changed our driving habits.
After all the screwing around that the oil companies have done, using every excuse from hurricanes to holidays to hangnails to raise prices, how can we know that prices will remain on the lower side?

They are just biding their time. The oil companies' greed will not go away.
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economicgeography Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
10. re:
If wages are falling roughly at the same rate as gas, then aside from confidence issues (which are certainly present) there in theory shouldn't really be any significant change in gas consumption.

I.e. the price drop is much more likely due to deflation due to dropping demand than increased efficiency in production methods (secular deflation)
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Nobody asked for your Libertarian nonsense. Scram. n/t.
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economicgeography Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. re:
Haha. I provide an utterly positive analysis on why prices drop without even adding an iota of political commentary. My point was that the cost of running a car relative to income might not be any different.

I can understand you not liking my views but that's not even an opinion I offered. There's three ways prices drop; falling demand, rising supply or an increase in purchasing power. I don't see anything political in that.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Sorry for being so snarky.
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 11:27 PM by Odin2005
It's just that all too often right wing "economists" take the functioning of the current exploitative system and treat it is an immutable law of nature. THAT is what pisses me off so much.
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economicgeography Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. re:
Like all sciences anyone can take any research and torture it enough till they get results they like. Price theory and S+D models are pretty safe from policy implications. They really don't try to make assertions on how things should be (normative analysis) but rather try to describe what is happening without value judgments(positive analysis) and let others decide.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. I appreciate reading your apology.
I've never studied economics, but I know there are some analyses I can understand and agree with, and some I can't agree with. And I don't think 'economics' is subject to 'immutable laws of nature!'
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economicgeography Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. re:
As you're probably aware of, it's almost impossible to get a fact or law in the scientific sense. I mean even gravity is till just the 'theory of gravity'.

There is, for example, the 'law of demand', but even then there are violations of it sometimes (giffen goods) so is it really a law?

Probably the biggest hurdle in that regard is that it is infinitely complex in trying to model human behavior (it is impossible to account for all variables so as economists we just concede and will only focus on one variable and leave the rest to assumptions)

That doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. Empiricism (mathematical modeling) helps reduce (of course it can never eliminate) bias in analysis.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Thanks.
I'm a lawyer, so I don't usually have to 'bother' with getting a law in the scientific sense, but I have become amused and frustrated observing opposing parties' economic witnesses in a proceeding!
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. Excellent points!
I have a friend who has a Masters in Economics and his Master's thesis was a paper of the economics of illegal drugs. Basically, my friend's main point in his paper is that if drugs are decriminalized and addiction was treated as a medical issue inner-city crimes would drop by a lot because you wouldn't have druggies stealing and robbing in order to pay for their addiction. Incredibly interesting stuff. My friend is currently working on his doctorate and is working on fascinating stuff in Game Theory.
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economicgeography Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. re:Excellent points!
And for the same reasons gangsters flourished during Prohibition. Legalization undercuts the black market. We all know you can't legislate away demand with the stroke of a pen and the sad part is that (Supply/Demand models supports this) that black markets not only limit competition but raise revenues for the drug dealers.

But hey. At least we're tough on crime.
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silverojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #21
25. Just asking one little favor...
Please don't title every subject as "Re:". Put a real title in your subject...the DU board automatically shows which thread you're responding to. Thanks. :)
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. And I'm hoping that dropping demand
can be accounted for by #9 comments, that is, deliberately changing use habits. This could be caused by many things, INCLUDING 'CHANGE: WE CAN DO IT.'
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
11. A lot of people had their car taken by the repo man? n/t.
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navarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
14. my gas consumption's gone WAY down since I lost my job.
that's one benefit
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
20. This is why it is important for the US to seriously consider high-speed mass transit.
We are decades behind Europe and Japan on this front. We can't afford to remain at the back of the line in the industrialized world any longer.

Hopefully, Obama is far more open to mass transit public works programs than Bush.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. I agree,
but we've got to keep in mind the differences between this country and Europe and Japan, geographically. The markets reasonably subject to successful high-speed mass transit are quite different.
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