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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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Other then in Japan, I don't think any public transport provider turns over a profit..............even the private service providers like the ny waterways gets abatements and hand-outs from government.

All we can hope for is that their clean, on time and safe to travel on.

Posted on: 2010/12/31 4:27
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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i enjoyed a nice foot of snow on the platform this morning. thanks NJT!

Posted on: 2010/12/28 17:06
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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Once I see a case of this outside Switzerland, I will do so. The chance of it happening in Jersey is somewhere between 0.0000 and 0.00001.

Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
[snip]

Let's not give short shrift to well trained, motivated and supervised civil service work forces.

Posted on: 2010/12/23 2:58
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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Why would anyone want to have a public service ran by ANY private company?

Not only are you paying for the services, but you are paying for that companies profits? If profits fall for the company, then they will cut services/maintenance costs to cover the short fall or raise prices. Either way the public is at the mercy the % of profits, which to me is no way to run a public service.

Posted on: 2010/12/21 16:41
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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even the machines suck. You have to put in a $20 and then subtract the money you don't want to add to it, as opposed to just saying "I want $5 here is a $20 bill." It's such a scam meant to trick people into accidentally depositing more money than they meant to.

Posted on: 2010/12/21 15:47
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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Remember that the various NYC subway lines were at one time private entities. The efficiencies of the private sector were not sufficient to allow public transport to run as a for profit private business.

The trend has been away from privatized operations, even operated under subsidy from the MTA. The MTA eventually had to take over most of the private bus lines because, even with subsidies, operators could not make a go of it.

Certain matters have to be contracted out. It is not feasible for government entities to do large scale construction projects in house. Such things have to be put out for bid. On the other hand, the craze of privatization has led to entities trying to contract out basic maintenance repair, and operations, and the results have never been , particularly impressive.

Remember that contracting out means that there is going to be a profit margin that has to be met. I'm not convinced that the efficiencies of the private sector regularly make up that difference.

Let's not give short shrift to well trained, motivated and supervised civil service work forces. We have a Governor in Trenton who makes a sport out of attacking them. But on balance, Americans pay much lower percentage of their incomes for government functions, which nevertheless work pretty well.

Posted on: 2010/12/21 5:19
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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I went to the public hearings on the light rail and voiced my concerns about the tracks. I suggested the light rail should be elevated to avoid traffic. Light rail is very slow, it would move faster if it was elevated. But the politicans and develpers wanted the trains at ground level. The trains would attract more riders if it moved faster.

Posted on: 2010/12/18 4:34
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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The HBLR operates for many riders as a Last Mile / First Mile service. For HBLR trains originating in Hoboken, a large number of passengers are connecting from NJ Transit commuter rail and going the 'Last Mile' to their job site in Jersey City. It would be impractical or at least very expensive to build a commuter rail hub in downtown Jersey City. Connecting suburbs to such a mythical commuter rail station with high frequency would also be impractical. But for trains to terminate in Hoboken leaves commuters still a mile or two from their final destination. So the light rail is also adding value to commuter rails terminating in Hoboken by extending the range of that terminal. However, there calculating the revenue generated from users of commuter rails that transfer to the light rail is difficult to do.

Meanwhile, it also serves as a 'First Mile' connection linking areas not in close proximity to the PATH or Hoboken Terminal at a much lower cost than building more underground trains connected to the existing system.

Because so many passengers on the HBLR are transferring to other routes on the NJTransit system, it is difficult to estimate the full revenue generated by any given commuter; moreover, because many commuters are transferring to the PATH, fare revenue is split by different agencies.

Posted on: 2010/12/6 18:32
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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No passenger railroad in the world operates at a profit, they are all subsidized. Additionally, in the US automobile, bus, and airplane travel is subsidized. After world war II governments in Europe and the US took two different approaches to infrastructure. Europe focused on subsidizing and building out a rail system, the US a road system.

Posted on: 2010/12/6 17:20
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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Quote:

hero69 wrote:
I think they should put in turnstiles but I see the HBLRT as a net positive to society even if it doesn't make money. How much money does the highway make?


But that's... that's....SOCIALISM!!

Yeah, more big lies about our society meant to confuse people. Much of our social infrastructure is not meant to be profit making, despite the robber baron era history of some of the roads and rails. They could not have been profitable without a huge amount of govt subsidies in the form of land and incentives, and a labor environment devoid of any rules whatsoever.

Another local example of subsidized transit is the Staten I ferry: completely free. Cost: $60m to transport roughly 60k/day

HBLR: $45m to move 43k passengers daily, with a net subsidy required of $30m.

So by my analysis, trips cost roughly the same, but we actually subsidize only 2/3 of cost.

Posted on: 2010/12/6 16:56
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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I think they should put in turnstiles but I see the HBLRT as a net positive to society even if it doesn't make money. How much money does the highway make?

Posted on: 2010/12/6 15:01
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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Bear in mind that some revenue can't be tracked. I frequently take the light rail, but never buy a ticket. Before I moved to JC, I could use my monthly NJ Transit rail pass. Now, I get a 2 zone bus pass, also good for the light rail.

Posted on: 2010/12/6 14:53
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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Quote:

CatDog wrote:
newsflash: public transit and highway systems never make money. Doesn't mean they're not a good investment, as the returns come in different, less measurable ways than ticket sales.

+1. We're such a capitalist society that we tend not to look beyond the profit/loss numbers. Nobody ever looks at the gains in terms of quality of life such as less pollution, time saved for commuters and greater accessibility to those who may not be able to afford a car. There are also economic benefits to communities/neighborhoods with direct rail access.

Posted on: 2010/12/6 13:31
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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Quote:

HudsonCity wrote:
Jersey City residents would you agree or disagree with this story:

Link: http://www.northjersey.com/news/93873 ... s_millions_each_year.html
newsflash: public transit and highway systems never make money. Doesn't mean they're not a good investment, as the returns come in different, less measurable ways than ticket sales.

Posted on: 2010/12/6 4:07
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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The problem with all mass transit's profits vs. cost ratio is that costs are internalized and profits externalized. The opposite is true of highways. Maintaining the trams on the light rail line, the cost of drivers, the cost of fare enforcement, the cost of electricity, the cost maintaing ticket machines-- these add up into a single line item in the NJ Transit budget.

The costs of a highway are externalized. The only line item on the cost of a highway is maintaining the road and expanding capacity; car maintenance, gas, insurance and even emergency response to accidents are externalized by individual users of the system.

Meanwhile, benefits of mass transit--like not spending the capital to build a new highway lane-- are not added to a line item as a net gain to the transportation budget. The added value on reale estate, the efficiency of energy consumption, the increase in collected income taxes on higher salaries cannot be quantified and included as a net gain. This is true of the light rail. Its also true of the cancelled ARC tunnel.

As to the fare collection system on the light rail line-- stamped tickets work across Europe and not just for buses and trams but commuter rail too. This method saves the transit systems a great of money in not paying the salaries of conductors. The light rail systems could probably do with a more aggressive fare enforcement procedure, but the method of payment is widely used by hundreds of millions people around the world. Its unlikely there is a fault in the system itself and much more likely that there is a fault in the implementation of that system.

Posted on: 2010/12/6 2:58
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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it's not about validating a (light rail) ticket, it's buying it. you can buy a ticket but forget to validate, you still paid it and money for the Port Authority. it's impossible to put a turnstile since it's in the open. So, forget that. Lightrail should have boarding pass checkers before the train leaves the station. they should do it like San Francisco trolley for every boarding and stop there should always be a personnel to sell tickets.

Posted on: 2010/5/30 18:31
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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I admit, I have run into a train without a ticket. Not intentionally, but I saw that the train was coming in and I ran in and forgot to validate my ticket.

I'm not sure if they can do turnstiles...how would they manage that? You have to walk through the light rail stop sometimes to get to the other side of it, depending on the stop.

Posted on: 2010/5/30 17:30
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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of course they're losing millions, no one is checking riders' ticket IF they bought one. kids especially in groups just hop on the train without buying a ticket. duh!

this is a stupid stupid idea of not having a personnel checking for boarding tickets.

Posted on: 2010/5/30 3:09
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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There are a few things of note:

@FG: one of the folks on northjersey.com had it mostly correct - the POP system is implemented worldwide, and the fine structure still makes it profitable, even when poorly policed. Turnstiles are not only unnecessary, but have a large capital implication, and would totally change the design of the area and the flow of traffic, and not in a beneficial way.

I don't disagree with the fact that it's pretty poorly policed though.

@Chocolate cake, I completely agree about the influx of revenue, business, and housing in the region that is directly linked to the existence of the HBLR. I'd love to see an ROI formula that integrates these sources (I'm sure they exist somewhere). Hell, highways kill neighborhoods, and that's never stopped us before. Big Dig, anyone?

@JP: It would really be interesting to see a cost audit for this line; I wonder how much NJT is getting killed by their contractors.

Amazingly, in spite of this, people (even politicians) still seem to be supportive for the HBLR and light rail development in the area. Now if JC gets the embankment and... (can of worms).

Posted on: 2010/5/29 17:35
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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Whenever I've taken the light rail and seen fare inspectors, just about everyone checked had their tickets and paid the fare. One can talk about ways to improve fare collection. But there is no indication that the Proof of Payment system is responsible for the scope of the loss.

Posted on: 2010/5/29 12:15
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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I have a better idea... make turnstiles.

Enforcement of the fare is a farce. And these kids hop on and off all the time without buying tickets.

Instead of having this system where you buy a ticket and then stamp to validate, and get on...

have a system where you buy a ticket and have to go through a gate before getting on. This way there is NO FREE RIDE.

FG

Posted on: 2010/5/29 3:03
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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I've read a bunch of articles which pointed out these latest figures. But none of them explain what is behind the huge spike in losses.

Ridership has quadrupled over the past few years. Although there would have been some increase in operating costs as the system expands, it couldn't be so much that the losses would increase that markedly as ridership increased so much.

I wonder how the cost of construction of the expansion is accounted for. I've assumed that this is under capital expenses but if it is somehow considered part of operating expenses then that would explain it.

One thing nobody talks about, HBLRT was a Design-Build-Operate-Maintain (DBOM) contract. Basically all aspects of the construction operation and maintenance have been contracted out (the HBLRT operators are not NJT employees, they are employees of 21st century rail). Perhaps the whole contracting out process is not as efficient as its proponents make it out to be.

In any event, without further explanation, these articles shed very little light.

Posted on: 2010/5/29 2:35
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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No one ever looks at whether or not a highway "loses money" or "makes money" every year...they just keep building them, seemingly with no questions asked, because we live in such a car-centric country. The money generated by new businesses, housing developments, etc. that have sprung up near the light rail is never factored into the earnings.

Posted on: 2010/5/29 1:57
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Re: News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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Reduce on street car parking places, create bike paths, increase parking fines and costs, create very cheap parking hubs at light rail stations, then see how the light-rail loss decrease.

JC should do everything to reduce their carbon footprint

oh yea, an audit on wages and all expediture would and should uncover heaps of 'shonky' practices that could also improve over-heads........................anything associated with JC / NJ is always shifty!

Posted on: 2010/5/28 22:37
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News: Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Loses Millions ($) Each Year
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Jersey City residents would you agree or disagree with this story:

Link: http://www.northjersey.com/news/93873 ... s_millions_each_year.html

Posted on: 2010/5/28 18:25
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