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Old September 26th, 2011, 05:15 PM   #6081
Slagathor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Why not?
When you start shouting scary figures (8 times more!), it matters. I thoroughly despise the notion of oversimplified mathematics to get a hysterical point across. It's nonsensical.

I'm entirely aware of the disproportionate spending in PT vs passenger car infrastructure, but when the road lobbyists begin their frantic black-and-white tirades, it makes me wanna side with the PT-groupies. People I normally stay far away from.

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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
That statement is often heard, but very far from the truth. The far majority of the public transport travelers do not have a car at hand for everyday travel. Some can fix a car for short durations, but longer strikes have learned us shutting down public transport for a few days has absolutely no effect on traffic volumes. Only 3% of the public transport travelers have both a car and a drivers license. Furthermore, the amount of travelers by public transport and the amount of car drivers is not 50/50. Even if 50% of all public transport travelers would drive cars, the traffic volumes rise by only a few percent.
Shutting down PT for a few days is hardly an indication of what might happen if we remove PT from society once and for all. Nobody's going to buy a car for a 3 day PT general strike. But I guarantee you a lot of people will buy cars and get driver's licenses if we tear up all the railways. In the end, people need to travel.

Let's maintain a sense of realism here.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 05:27 PM   #6082
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And in general, the public transport question should also allways be a question, how much would the economy (and also the government) lose if the public transport would not be available.
If PT during peak-hours would be the same as in off-peak, it would surely benefit the economy. More peak-PT means a lot more costs for society. Why the hell should people who earn more than enough money be subsidized when taking PT... ? PT is needed for social reasons, it's a waste of money when it comes to creating extra transportation during peak hours. Politics years ago have declared PT as a goal on itself, no longer as a possible remedy - if a remedy at all...
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Old September 26th, 2011, 05:52 PM   #6083
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Nobody's even talking about tearing up the railways. However, once you point out the overly disproportional spending, people begin to throw doomsday transportation scenarios.... The fact that public transport needs a lot more money, be it 2, 4, 6 or 8 times more, is enough to be critical at new and existing projects. Everything must be fancy, high-frequency, high-standard and good-looking, which usually comes at a high price.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 06:16 PM   #6084
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So what do you think could be done to get a more balanced way to spend transportation tax money between cars and PT?

(I know no one is suggesting taking out PT altogether, but if that were the case in order to avoid spending this 2-8 times as much per passenger, our entire urban geography would have to change. I would argue that would come at a great cost to our economy, way beyond the scale of cutting PT spending.)
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Old September 26th, 2011, 07:51 PM   #6085
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The fact that public transport needs a lot more money, be it 2, 4, 6 or 8 times more, is enough to be critical at new and existing projects.
I dont agree on this so much. If we would compare automobile transportation passanger/km price with air travel we could sum it with this logic that we should only build airports and fly instead of drive cars because there the price per km is the cheapest.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 08:12 PM   #6086
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So what do you think could be done to get a more balanced way to spend transportation tax money between cars and PT?
Well let me point out that the Dutch road infrastructure spending compared to GDP is one of the lowest in Europe. Just a meager 0.5%. While it's necessary to increase spending significantly (at least by 1 billion), the way road expenditures happened in the 1990's and early 2000's leaves much to be desired. I'm talking about repaving, remarking and reconfiguring nearly 80.000 kilometers of roads in the Netherlands based on the "sustainable safety" program. I'm also talking about the signage changes that happened around the turn of the millennium.

Nearly all signs with the ANWB Ee font have been changed to ANWB Uu font, while this was not demonstrated to be an improvement (a lot of people critized the new font and sign layout). Although this doesn't bring in another billion, it is considerable unnecessary spending, most signs could've been around for another 10 - 15 years easily. Signs are more expensive than people think. Motorway signage contracts are usually within the millions, often within the tens of millions for just a few kilometers. The national accumulation is therefor quite big.

Keep in mind that with the current tight budget and budget cutbacks we are able to execute a large number of road projects, which weren't happening in the 1990's. Although some of that money has been reserved for quite some time, it shows that the road budget can be spend much more efficiently on projects with significant traffic improvements, and that doesn't include changing all signs 10 years before they're written-off. How the ANWB ever managed to sell this nonsense to provincial / municipal governments I'll never know.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 08:17 PM   #6087
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I like this discussion, however I think it will be fruitless if we dont come with the basic facts. Note that by governmental in this text I mean not only government but all public institution and organisations financed from public resources.

1)

How much money is spend for the road infrastructure overall. Every single piece of pavement paid from public budget would have to be counted, as well as every single related governmental spending. From parking places, public lights, educative and traffic safety programs, health costs, etc... These costs would have to be given both in yearly investment terms, and yearly maintenance terms. (invesments and depriciation). Lets call this group Public Costs of Private Transport. Without these costs, there would be simply no transport possible. A road to any house would fall under this cathegory. All the public money coming into this would have to be counted.

Then we would have to come up also with Public Costs of Public Transport. Here would be all the costs of public transport. Bus stops, railway lines, operating of these lines, public subsidies to transportation companies, etc. Again all the spent public money would have to be counted.

2)
With similar logic we would have to count also what is the governmental revenue in these two. And what also is the Net economic value of these two, thus not taking into account only government, but the whole economy. E.g. what would be the size of GDP if there were no roads and private transport possible (GDP with private transport and what would be the size of GDP if there were no public transport GDP with also public transport. Then would come comparing.

Now, the whole economy approach is the key one, since it shows us also indirect governmental revenues Gov revenues with private transport and Gov revenues with also public transport. From purely economical sence there are only two imperatives for the government. It has to invest the public money in the most efficient projects and it should allways get back positive sum of the invested money and received money. Of course in some cases is the value very unclear. E.g. what is the value of being able to visit your family even if you dont own car? What is the value of being able to travel for education? Etc. etc.

Lets make a table:

ad 1) First these conditions would have to be met in order to evaluate governmental intervention.

GDP with private transport>GDP with other project for same costs=> LETS make private transport possible.

GDP with also public transport>GDP with other project for same costs => LETS make also public transport possible.

ad 2)
a) Gov revenues with private transport (PRIV REV) >Public Costs of Private Transport (COST PRIV) => We can make private transport possible

b) Gov revenues with also public transport (PUB REV) >Public Costs of Public Transport (COST PUB) => We can make also public transport possible.

3) The problem we face is that point 1 is fullfilled but in point two we may have more complex situation resulting in following:

(COST PRIV + COST PUB) > (REV PRIV + REV PUB) => there has to be division of resources towards the more efficient variant (viz point 1).

or
(COST PRIV + COST PUB) < (REV PRIV + REV PUB) but either 2a or 2b doesnt hold. = > Then must come redistribution of resouces.

And thats most likely the situation we are depicting here in the Netherlands. The economy is bigger with both public and private transport then without them, however public transport is not able to finance itself, thus the resources are redistributed in order to achieve more efficient outcome then in situation where there is no public transport.

Last edited by Surel; September 26th, 2011 at 08:23 PM.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 09:00 PM   #6088
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A 4 kilometer long new 2x2 alignment of the N50 expressway opened near the town of Ens this morning. I recorded it this afternoon:

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Old September 26th, 2011, 09:22 PM   #6089
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
A 4 kilometer long new 2x2 alignment of the N50 expressway opened near the town of Ens this morning. I recorded it this afternoon:
Built like a motorway?
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Old September 26th, 2011, 09:30 PM   #6090
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It has no shoulders, but the alignment appears motorway-like. I could drive 120 km/h through the curves comfortably. It also has an exit number based on the A50.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 09:40 PM   #6091
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Yeah and the signage is NBA. Do you know why that is? Are there any plans on extending the A50?
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Old September 26th, 2011, 09:42 PM   #6092
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The road is owned by Rijkswaterstaat.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 09:44 PM   #6093
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Oh I get it.
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Old September 27th, 2011, 12:25 PM   #6094
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According to my opinion this discuss is on a wrong way. Comparing public transport and road transport is basically wrong since both of them have a very different role in everyday life.
I agree that public transport has no importance in the countryside, whith rail lines where there's a train in every hour, Sundays only in every second hour. Every singe euro from state budget to such a railway is wasting money, no doubt. (I say it although I like such regional railways but I don't think my hobby sould be subsidized by tax payers).

But we must take for sure that transport in city centers would collapse withouth an effective public transport. The biggest the city, the densest the center, the more public transport is needed. In mgreat metropolises like Paris 60-70% of motorized passangers takes public transport which is a really high value. The city in Frankurt am Main would be totally chaotic if employers used a car instead of the S-Bahn and U-Bahn.
Since Dutch cities are neither so big nor so concentrated as Frankfurt, public transport is definitely not so important but is definitely unavoidable.
Chris said that only 3% of rail passangers have a car. I'm sure he's right. But, I think, the question itself is wrong. We should ask: how many of them COULD buy and have and maintain a car if there were no effective public transport and s/he NEEDED a car? I am sure than in one of the wealthiest nations of the world this figure would be much (at least 10 times) higher then the 3% mentiond previously.
Imagine a couple that has one car which is used by one of them daily and the other one (usually the woman) takes a train, tram or subway. Many of them has the money for a second car but don't need it. BUT would buy one fur sure if there weren't an effective public transport which is adequate for their needs.
It is a fact that 25% of adult (age > 16) people use public transport daily in Rotterdam while 43% takes a car (approx. 2:3 ratio), in Amsterdam it is 22:26 (almost 1:1). The rest walks or takes a bicycle.
In EU level comparison 22-25% is quite low (but note that Dutch cities, together with Kobenhavn have extremely many cyclists so that pt:car ratio is rather high in the Netherlands in EU comparison).
Alone in Rotterdam if only 20% of pt users (i.e. 5% of all travellers) changed to car (which is pretty imaginable if pt would change to lower quality) car usage would grow from 43 to 48%, i.e. +12% in absolute figures. I am SURE such a grow of car transit needed a much higher financing of state/city budget than the money spared by public transport.
So in such environment having a nice public transport is effective financially and has a positive financial balance, no doubt.

After all, my solid opinion is that comparing simpy road:rail is improper. It must be done by much more detailed figures. There definitely are parts of public transport wich are unneeded and financing them by public sources is a bad habit which should be cancelled. But besides them there are also parts of public transport network that make Dutch life better and more effective even if you check it as a tax payer.

The main issue is that public transport development is usually not (or only partially) based on scentfic and financial researches but by pure political decisions so that ineffective line are maintained and sometimes even newly built while in other places where new developments were needed and were effective are lack of financial sources.

Sorry for such a long post :-)
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Old September 27th, 2011, 04:36 PM   #6095
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woutero View Post
So what do you think could be done to get a more balanced way to spend transportation tax money between cars and PT?

(I know no one is suggesting taking out PT altogether, but if that were the case in order to avoid spending this 2-8 times as much per passenger, our entire urban geography would have to change. I would argue that would come at a great cost to our economy, way beyond the scale of cutting PT spending.)

Dump a couple of unprofitable bad buslines, save a little bit on PT.
Increase PT price slightly or stop wasting money on unneccesary things ( like brand new subway trains or new trains, the old ones are fine with an upgrade like wifi.).

Increase road expenditure by 2-3x, all motorways should be 2x3 lanes standard, 2x4 in the Randstad. Major roads like the A4 R'dam- A'dam should be 2x5 lanes constantly, as should the A12 between Gouda and Utrecht.
Important N roads should be built to a 2x2 ''autoweg'' standard.

I haven't really got any idea how the roads in many cities look like, but to give Rotterdam as an example, the Maasboulevard should be made an ''autoweg'' with no traffic lights all the way to the Erasmusbrug... And more roads should be built without traffic lights but instead use sliproads/exits
There should be real intersections not major roundabouts or junctions (liek knp. Vaanplein) with traffic lights on major motorway exits like exit 25, exit 24 on the A16, exit 14 on the A20. Stuff like that.


Public transport is great if you live in a suburb and want to go to the city center, I admit it's acceptable. But from suburb to suburb or office area's on the edge of towns, it's completely shite, might as well walk: car, moped, and bicycles are the only decent form of transport there.

Many Dutch to not live or work in city centers, people who want to drive should be able to drive, it is easily doable to increase the road capacity, in cities too, but then the other side comes whining (NIMBY and environmentalists) and the ones spunging government subsidy's.

Most of the income from motorists goes to social security and health that is impossible to maintain imho.

There is enough money, it's being spent wrong...

I must admit though, if the government honestly would spend all of it on roads, I'd be willing to pay more tax...

Mobility must improve, not decrease.


And don't get me wrong, I'm all for decent PT, but I mean fast trains and subways by that. Buslanes are a waste of space and are better used by cars. Buses are only really useful during peak times. Most of the buses around here have 2-3 people in them outside of peak times and in weekends.
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Old September 27th, 2011, 04:51 PM   #6096
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Most of the income from motorists goes to social security and health that is impossible to maintain imho.
There is enough money, it's being spent wrong...
Please correct me if I understand your words wrongly. Do you mean that people that are ill should die instead of being cured in order to save money for building/ugrading roads?
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Old September 27th, 2011, 05:29 PM   #6097
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Coverage of city bus services is usually limited in Netherlands, outside the Randstad.

Here in Tilburg (pop 204.000), I could easily point a lot of places (not talking of farms, but build-up environment) that are far from the nearest bus stop by more than 800m. As it is a flat city, people end up biking and arrive faster, buses are often 10% full outside peak times (I can confirm that by looking through my window :p ).

The routes are design such that any trip from an area to an adjacent one that is not in the way of the train station requires a transfer. In most cases, that means a transfer at the central station.

Thank God, Tilburg doesn't have bus lanes, only bus priority at traffic lights. But he have bus gates, actually hideous designed high-and-wide bumps that cars can't travel through without scratching their bottoms like here: http://g.co/maps/maqyv
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Old September 27th, 2011, 06:15 PM   #6098
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An infantry fighting vehicle of the army broke down on the A58 near Best.



The source (Omroep Brabant) is calling this a tank. I doubt the professionalism of this news medium...
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Old September 27th, 2011, 06:19 PM   #6099
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You'd be surprised how many people call roads like the N33 or N34 a "snelweg".
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Old September 27th, 2011, 06:34 PM   #6100
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True, but considering the Army doesn't have any main battle tanks at all, this mistake is ridiculous...
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