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Portland is a PR machine for light rail & streetcar

Here are Some Facts About Portland Oregon          

“It must always be remembered how cost-effectiveness works in the public sector: the cost IS the benefit.” - author unknown

Yes – Roads are Paid for by Users

One of the arguments frequently made by transit boosters is a defensive one in response to criticism that transit is heavily subsidized.  They respond by essentially acknowledging this truth but shifting it to, Well, roads are subsidized, too! This is an article of faith among them, and they can usually dig up a study or two by the Sierra Club and other anti-automobile outfits to justify their arguments.  The latest is from U.S. PIRG. that involves redefining a lot of terms to suit its pre-determined conclusion.

What if their claims are bogus?

With the help of a generous grant, the American Dream Coalition commissioned a study on road costs and revenues by Tom Rubin, one of the nation’s foremost experts in transportation accounting.  The study is found on the ADC main page under “ADC Special Report,” and the first thing you’ll note is its comprehensiveness.  He looks at ALL sources of road-related revenue and road-related expenditures.  He breaks it down state by state.  He details the methodology and provides links to the source data.  In other words, it is thorough and verifiable.  It’s the real deal!

And what are his conclusions?

“For the nation as a whole, using the most recently available full set of data, chiefly from the Federal Highway Administration’s Highway Statistics series for the 2007 reporting year, the answer is, yes, road users did pay the full cost of roads, with governmental revenues from road users exceeding governmental expenditures $196.7 billion to $179.4 billion, an excess of $17.3 billion, or 9.6% of expenditures.”

There is variation state by state, with 23 states collecting more revenue than they spent on roads and 28 states (including the District of Columbia) where expenditures exceeded revenues.  My state – Florida – collects more than it spends.  What about yours?

Read the whole article:

ADC Special Report: Do Highway Users Pay the Full Costs of Roads?(.doc)   (local PDF)

This analysis by transportation expert Thomas Rubin is accompanied by a detailed spreadsheet.   (local copy)

Yes – Roads are Paid for by Users 7¢/mile = 37¢/passenger-mile = 25¢/passenger-mile for the rest of us