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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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Frank M, don't get me wrong. I really liked the person who came up with the poster. It was all praise. :)


Same here. We may disagree on a few things, but I think we're on the same page with this one.

Posted on: 2012/10/19 12:30
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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Frank M, don't get me wrong. I really liked the person who came up with the poster. It was all praise. :)

Posted on: 2012/10/18 21:14
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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Someone please hand the poster maker a Pulitzer!!!!!!!!!!!!


Spending our money while instilling fear is a brilliant combination. How much did the FBI just piss away, again, foiling their own bomb plot?

Posted on: 2012/10/18 14:15
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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heights wrote:
What is you definition of 5 Star service ?? What is PATH rated you you book and what can they do to leave a better taste in your mouth ? Even at full capacity the train line still would not meet their financial needs to sustain themselves it's just the nature of the beast. They are doing a darn good job with what they have to work with.


Oops

Did you read JoyOfSound 's attachment

Posted on: 2012/10/17 23:44
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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Someone please hand the poster maker a Pulitzer!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on: 2012/10/17 22:52
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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Posted on: 2012/10/17 21:04
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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Keep in mind that the "13 station system" operates 24/7, is expected to transport 78.4 million people per year (an increase of 5.1 million passengers over last year), and has its own police force.

Most of the employees are either in Operations or Maintenance. See p33 of the budget linked earlier.

As a point of comparison:
LIRR = 6700 employees
Metro North = 5800 employees
New York City Transit Authority = 49,000 employees

I.e. Port Authority doesn't have a bunch of (unpaid) Oompa Loompas running the trains.

Posted on: 2012/10/17 11:00
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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fat-ass-bike wrote:
All this tells me is that top end management are over-paid and inept at running the system cost-effectively. Its not like the trains are empty with no commuters or the service is 5 star!

What is you definition of 5 Star service ?? What is PATH rated you you book and what can they do to leave a better taste in your mouth ? Even at full capacity the train line still would not meet their financial needs to sustain themselves it's just the nature of the beast. They are doing a darn good job with what they have to work with.

Posted on: 2012/10/16 22:41
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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All this tells me is that top end management are over-paid and inept at running the system cost-effectively. Its not like the trains are empty with no commuters or the service is 5 star!

Posted on: 2012/10/16 22:36
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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Dolomoti,

Thank you for shedding light on some of the basic facts.

Parts of the report are rather frustrating to read. To wit:

"The PATH preliminary operating expense budget for 2012 is $303 million, which represents a 6.3%
increase from PATH?s 2011 operating budget. A total of $102.4 million will be devoted to PATH
operations, $73.4 million to maintenance and $52.9 million to security and policing costs. "

The three expenses mentioned obviously don't add up to $303 million. But its unclear from the pie chart, etc. where the extra money is going in the operating budget.

Its quite a surprise to me that it takes 423 people to maintain a 13-station rail system. I suppose that the cars break down a lot (?).

Posted on: 2012/10/16 21:00
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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FYI, the Port Authority's 2012 Preliminary Budget is here: http://www.panynj.gov/corporate-infor ... 12-preliminary-budget.pdf

A few key highlights:

? PATH trains lost $362 million in 2011, and is projected to lose $389 million in 2012.

? Port Authority does NOT actually use any tax revenues. It makes its money on airports, bridges and tolls, and loses on everything else -- PATH, WTC, bus stations, ports etc. If there's a shortfall, they borrow money independently of NY/NJ state governments, e.g. issuing their own bonds.

? Port Authority as a whole lost $46 million in 2010, and expect to make $121 in 2012.

? Salaries aren't killing PATH. ALL operating expenses for PATH is a projected $102 million, and capital expenditures is $351 million. They're also union, which means Port Authority can't just slash salaries and/or positions at will.

? PATH ridership is expected to grow, mostly at Grove & Harrison due to development.

Posted on: 2012/10/16 13:48
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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ianmac47 wrote:
Quote:

WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
1. It's possible to be profitable, but like most government programs, the costs are spread out amongst the tax base as much as possible so that the direct costs are hidden.


What are you even talking about?


What confuses you?


Quote:

2. The issue with public sector jobs is that they can only exist through taxation. So propping up a public sector job when the private sector is struggling seems unfair to me because it's just shifting resources from one group to another. Everyone should take a hit when the economy goes south, including the public sector.

Quote:

You lack a basic understanding of economics. The last thing the government should do is constrict the supply of money in a downturn.


How do state governments increase their money supply?

Posted on: 2012/10/16 11:31
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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WhoElseCouldIBe wrote:
1. It's possible to be profitable, but like most government programs, the costs are spread out amongst the tax base as much as possible so that the direct costs are hidden.


What are you even talking about?



Quote:

2. The issue with public sector jobs is that they can only exist through taxation. So propping up a public sector job when the private sector is struggling seems unfair to me because it's just shifting resources from one group to another. Everyone should take a hit when the economy goes south, including the public sector.


You lack a basic understanding of economics. The last thing the government should do is constrict the supply of money in a downturn.

Posted on: 2012/10/16 6:02
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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ianmac47 wrote:
1. Transporting people is not profitable without subsidies. Drivers don't feel the subsidies because we pay for capital projects and maintenance through general tax funds. Ships and and airlines get direct and indirect subsidies. Even the railroads in the heyday of robber barons mostly made money from freight or real estate rather than transporting people. The expectation that public transit needs to be a profitable or self sustaining is as absurd as expecting toll-free interstates that are well maintained and capable of handling traffic volumes.

2. Public sector jobs should be solid, middle class jobs. Government should lead by example. How can we expect private corporations to pay a living wage if the government doesn't? No one will become -- nor should they-- a millionaire working an hourly public sector job, but they certainly should be entitled to a solid middle class life without worrying about healthcare and retirement. If a public sector job can't provide a middle class life, the middle class as we know it, is done.


1. It's possible to be profitable, but like most government programs, the costs are spread out amongst the tax base as much as possible so that the direct costs are hidden.

2. The issue with public sector jobs is that they can only exist through taxation. So propping up a public sector job when the private sector is struggling seems unfair to me because it's just shifting resources from one group to another. Everyone should take a hit when the economy goes south, including the public sector.

Posted on: 2012/10/16 1:13
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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bill wrote:
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People do get married and have a baby at 21 it is not uncommon. And you must have been a burden on your parents with your child-like thinking.


Childlike thinking to wait to have a family till one can afford it? Wow.

Quote:

I guess we should all make minimum wage with your theory.


You are nuts, how do you get from me saying $23/hr is a good starting wage to we all should get paid $7.25/hr (minimum wage).

$23/hour is $47,840 per year. And this is a "good job", as my parents would say, with benefits, and the satisfaction of working for a good, secure, outfit. But it's an insanely low salary, could even a SINGLE person afford to live anywhere near a PATH station or terminus on it?

@bill - So who should have children? I make 2/3 again as much as the aforementioned "train maintainer", and can't envision supporting a family on that (and I'm 50, running out of time here...). Are only those who make $250,000 mature enough to start families?


Having children is of course a personal decision, but you should be able to financially take care of them (along with savings if you're laid off) before you have them. You can survive on 48K here - you just have to be frugal. And if you can't, nothing is forcing you to stay here - there are certainly cheaper places to live.

Posted on: 2012/10/16 1:07
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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1. Transporting people is not profitable without subsidies. Drivers don't feel the subsidies because we pay for capital projects and maintenance through general tax funds. Ships and and airlines get direct and indirect subsidies. Even the railroads in the heyday of robber barons mostly made money from freight or real estate rather than transporting people. The expectation that public transit needs to be a profitable or self sustaining is as absurd as expecting toll-free interstates that are well maintained and capable of handling traffic volumes.

2. Public sector jobs should be solid, middle class jobs. Government should lead by example. How can we expect private corporations to pay a living wage if the government doesn't? No one will become -- nor should they-- a millionaire working an hourly public sector job, but they certainly should be entitled to a solid middle class life without worrying about healthcare and retirement. If a public sector job can't provide a middle class life, the middle class as we know it, is done.

Posted on: 2012/10/15 19:41
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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ExUWSguy wrote:
But it's an insanely low salary, could even a SINGLE person afford to live anywhere near a PATH station or terminus on it?


That is $7k (inflation adjusted) more than I made out of school. I walked to the PATH.. I could afford a place by sharing an crappy apartment with equally low paid (or lower) roommates. Would I want to go back to that type of life? No... but I was in my early 20's.. it beat moving back home. I wasn't living in luxury by any means.. but I wasn't starving or wanting of basics either.

Posted on: 2012/10/15 19:12
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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bill wrote:
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People do get married and have a baby at 21 it is not uncommon. And you must have been a burden on your parents with your child-like thinking.


Childlike thinking to wait to have a family till one can afford it? Wow.

Quote:

I guess we should all make minimum wage with your theory.


You are nuts, how do you get from me saying $23/hr is a good starting wage to we all should get paid $7.25/hr (minimum wage).

$23/hour is $47,840 per year. And this is a "good job", as my parents would say, with benefits, and the satisfaction of working for a good, secure, outfit. But it's an insanely low salary, could even a SINGLE person afford to live anywhere near a PATH station or terminus on it?

@bill - So who should have children? I make 2/3 again as much as the aforementioned "train maintainer", and can't envision supporting a family on that (and I'm 50, running out of time here...). Are only those who make $250,000 mature enough to start families?

Posted on: 2012/10/15 17:51
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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daedalus702 wrote:
In a recent article about WTC as boondoggle, the author Scott Raab mentions offhandedly that the PATH loses $400 million per year.

http://www.esquire.com/features/world ... ding-0912-3#ixzz29IeYiZ7A

This is perplexing. How can this be true? That $400 million can't possibly be losses on operating costs. The PATH appears to be running at capacity or near capacity during most waking hours.

This is mindboggling if true.

The issue is NOT that PATH "looses" money per ride (although, it is arguable that the Port Authority wastes money on politically motivated moneypits such as the WTC site) - the question should be how much of the cost-per-ride is covered by the 'farebox'. The national average is 35%:
http://www.slate.com/articles/busines ... ways_paved_with_gold.html

What is harder to suss out is information on how much of the average car ride is subsidized - some on-line information suggests as little as 8%, based solely on data for local funds for roads. Others argue it is significantly higher, when you factor in other things we all have to pay for, such as the mortgage deduction (subsidizes car-centric suburban development), various wars in the Gulf to protect oil sources.

Posted on: 2012/10/15 17:40
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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People do get married and have a baby at 21 it is not uncommon. And you must have been a burden on your parents with your child-like thinking.


Childlike thinking to wait to have a family till one can afford it? Wow.

Quote:

I guess we should all make minimum wage with your theory.


You are nuts, how do you get from me saying $23/hr is a good starting wage to we all should get paid $7.25/hr (minimum wage).

Posted on: 2012/10/15 3:06
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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heights wrote:
Who said anything about an entry level job.


I did, that's what the $23/hr is referring to. These people don't run trains. I think they are responsible for washing them.

Posted on: 2012/10/15 3:01
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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bill wrote:
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heights wrote:
You make $23/hr. sound like a windfall you can barely survive on that at today's rate of inflation. Could you imagine doing that with a family. A living wage is what they calll it.

$23 an hour for an entry level job is pretty good for a position you might not even need a college degree for. If you are 21 and have a family already, that's your burden.

People do get married and have a baby at 21 it is not uncommon. And you must have been a burden on your parents with your child-like thinking. I guess we should all make minimum wage with your theory. As far as $23 being a good salary we here in the U.S. should be paying next to nothing for imported products due to the cheap overhead costs over in Asia as well as the inverted outsourcing as we funnel in workers from other countries that to is imported. It is time that the American work force gets their just due !

Posted on: 2012/10/15 2:32
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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Who said anything about an entry level job. All railroad jobs require a test to take and are all based on responsibility especially when you have a train to run. As you gain more seniority and years on any particular job the salary goes up. Could you imagine paying someone peanuts even on a starting salary you would get workers that don't care about the safety of their job or doing it well for that matter but give an employee a good salary with union backing he or she will protect that said job so he or she does not loose it not to mention treating their job with respect.

Posted on: 2012/10/15 2:26
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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heights wrote:

You make $23/hr. sound like a windfall you can barely survive on that at today's rate of inflation. Could you imagine doing that with a family. A living wage is what they calll it.


Even after adjusting for inflation, that is way more than I made during my first three jobs after leaving college.

Posted on: 2012/10/15 1:12
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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heights wrote:
You make $23/hr. sound like a windfall you can barely survive on that at today's rate of inflation. Could you imagine doing that with a family. A living wage is what they calll it.


$23 an hour for an entry level job is pretty good for a position you might not even need a college degree for. If you are 21 and have a family already, that's your burden.

Posted on: 2012/10/15 0:36
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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bill wrote:
Yeah the pay is pretty nice. Entry level positions like general maintainer start at $23/hr.
http://seethroughny.net/payrolls/
Go to public authorities > Port Authority > Rail Transit for a full list of salaries
EDIT: Firefox worked on my other computer.
Link wouldn't work in firefox but does in IE.

You make $23/hr. sound like a windfall you can barely survive on that at today's rate of inflation. Could you imagine doing that with a family. A living wage is what they calll it.

Posted on: 2012/10/15 0:12
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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bill wrote:
Yeah the pay is pretty nice. Entry level positions like general maintainer start at $23/hr.

http://seethroughny.net/payrolls/

Go to public authorities > Port Authority > Tunnels, Bridges, Terminals for a full list of salaries

Link wouldn't work in firefox but does in IE.

Some of the salaries almost double with overtime, I did get it to work in Firefox.

Posted on: 2012/10/14 20:33
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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Yeah the pay is pretty nice. Entry level positions like general maintainer start at $23/hr.

http://seethroughny.net/payrolls/

Go to public authorities > Port Authority > Rail Transit for a full list of salaries

EDIT: Firefox worked on my other computer.
Link wouldn't work in firefox but does in IE.

Posted on: 2012/10/14 20:22
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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I don't think any modern passenger trains make money, the money to be made in RRs are in shipping freight. Even in Europe and Japan passenger trains get substantial subsidies by the gov't.

Posted on: 2012/10/14 20:22
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Re: Is it really possible? Does the PATH really lose $400 million per year?
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Back when the fare was $1, it was said PATH costs about $3 per passenger. If you want an idea where some of the money goes, take a look at the salaries paid to PA employees. I used to have a link to what the train engineers made with overtime as well as other employees (can't find it at the moment).

To be fair, PATH when it was the Hudson Manhattan railroad started to lose out when the Holland tunnel opened. By the 1960's, the railroad was pretty much broke.

Posted on: 2012/10/14 19:33
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