Reconciling assholes for nearly a decade.

Why pay less?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4574246.stm#quote

Gutted

I've never going to be able to drive due to an eye condition I have and so _have_ to use public transport :/

Anybody commute to work? Peak prices hurt even more
Permalink Dan 
January 2nd, 2006
HA ha. I ride my bike to school, it's 10 minutes away.

The MTA had a budget surplus so they "gave back" to the public by giving them half price fairs in December. Only, the Transit Worker's Union went on strike for 3 days, and people had to spend HOURS getting to and from work each day.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 2nd, 2006
They had a surplus, but couldn't pony up $20 mil for pensions instead choose to force a strike costing the city a hundred million plus. Oh, wise men of power.
Permalink  
January 2nd, 2006
Pensions are frikkin expensive, but I agree. Don't throw your money away (do you think more people will ride the subway because you make it a dollar?) and then complain you have none. There are also bright & shiny ads that say "We hope you like our newer, more modern subway cars, because we bought a lot of them." They are *really* nice, but are they "more important than our employees" nice?
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 2nd, 2006
New York is the greatest city in the US. Largely, perhaps entirely, because of that damn subway. Please please please don't let them fuck that up.
Permalink  
January 2nd, 2006
First rule of government when presented with new technology? How can we tax it or use it to tax something else?
Permalink example 
January 2nd, 2006
you mean like they did with the internet?
Permalink  
January 2nd, 2006
They keep trying.
Permalink example 
January 2nd, 2006
>First rule of government when presented with new >technology? How can we tax it or use it to tax something
>else?

This problem came about because the government split up British Rail into 150 different companies because apparently then they'd compete. That was the *theory*.

Of course, none of those companies competed. They all had regional monopolies.

Damn, the Tories were incompetent.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 2nd, 2006
example,

Internet Tax Freedom Act was voted on in 1998 in the Senate. It passed 96-2-2.

In 2004, the 108th Congress passed S. 150 (Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act). This was described as "A bill to make permanent the moratorium on taxes on Internet access and multiple and discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce imposed by the Internet Tax Freedom Act." This pased 93-3-4.
Permalink  
January 2nd, 2006
The primary opponents to the moratorium are the state and local governments because they're losing the most money from cross-border internet sales.

http://www.ncsl.org/programs/fiscal/history.htm

and

http://www.streamlinedsalestax.org/Final%20Agreement%20As%20Amended%2004-16-05.pdf
Permalink example 
January 2nd, 2006
They're not "losing" any money.

They're just taking less from their residents.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 2nd, 2006
streamlined tax code at 99 pages! Steve Forbes where are you when I need you.

How many of those internet taxes that the states want would pass the nexus test under Bellas Hess and Quill Corp anyway? They can't tax unless the company has operations in the state, just like a catalog, right?
Permalink  
January 2nd, 2006
The annoying thing about trains is that they always go on about how efficient they are while carefully ignoring that the electicity used to power them is generated at only 50% efficiency. The best thing they could do with the railways would be to stop all trains, tarmac the routes and allow special coaches to compete on the routes.
Permalink Ross 
January 2nd, 2006
Capital idea, Dan! Let's replace a system that's about 40% efficient and uses an easily replaceable form of energy (electricity) with one at most 30% efficient and relies on a single fuel source whose demand already exceeds its supply.
Permalink Devil's Advocate 
January 2nd, 2006
Ross, not Dan.
Permalink Devil's Advocate 
January 2nd, 2006
Where does the number 50% efficiency for the generation of electricity come from?

I mean, say we are making it from coal? What does that mean 50% efficient?
Permalink  
January 2nd, 2006
Generally speaking, my understanding of efficiency calculations is based on the useful energy produced compared with the energy potential of the original 'stuff'.
consequently it you have a combined heat & power plant (still comparatively rare) you get a far higher efficiency because you are utilising the waste heat that would be otherwise be thrown away.
Permalink Ross 
January 2nd, 2006
(The problem of course is that these calculations do not factor in the cost to the environment).
Permalink Ross 
January 2nd, 2006
Devil's advocate completely proves my point - 40% of 50% is only 20% efficiency. Also, electricity is not currently easily replaceable and even if it was - why not have electric coaches?
Permalink Ross 
January 2nd, 2006
Ain't nuthin new

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolleybus
Permalink trollop 
January 2nd, 2006
"Pensions are frikkin expensive"

The real problem (in New York) is that the NYS Comptroller from during the 90's until 2002, who is the sole trustee of the NY public employees pension system, wanted to run for governor in 2002.

One of the things that he did to garner support was eliminate employer contributions to the pension system, which was making money hand over fist from the stock market boom... so local governments and public authorities like MTA spent the money they should have contributed like drunken sailors.

Then, fast forward to 2003... the new comptroller has to make up for shortfalls, and the employers have to contribute again. All of the sudden, agencies like MTA and city and county governments are crying poverty, because they blew money on new buildings, computers, equipment and even fine art in some cases.

The heart of the MTA crisis is mismangement and corruption.
Permalink Duff 
January 2nd, 2006
fine art? for fucks sake...
Permalink  
January 2nd, 2006
I understand the trains are bright and new and 90-something percent of them run on time and they're actually quite cheap as the result of years and years of "investment" from the fares.

On the odd occaisions I do use the trains, I demonstrate my unfortunate luck by always ending up in a train with ancient rolling stock which starts off running late and staggers its way down to London losing time at every signal. In a dozen trips, there hasn't been a single return journey unaffected by some sort of delay, the record being a near doubling of the hour-and-a-half trip to Euston.

It's astonishing how when 90-something percent of trains are on time, pretty much 50% of the ones I get on are late. I must be the most unlucky passenger in the UK. It's a sort of "throwing 30 tails in a row" train karma.

Or they're lying.
Permalink Katie Lucas 
January 3rd, 2006
>The annoying thing about trains is that they always go on
>about how efficient they are while carefully ignoring that
>the electicity used to power them is generated at only 50%
>efficiency.

Not all trains run on electricity.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
January 3rd, 2006
I thought most of our electricity came from Niagra Falls... During the recent blackout there was a whole bunch of talk about how our electricity came from there (or at least that general vicinity).
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 3rd, 2006
Ah Katie - you have to remember to count as late a train has to be more than a certain time late - the exact time being subject to change.

We've certainly got new rolling stock - replacing old slam door trains from the 50s however their introduction was not without incident. Such as the day every train crashed - I sorry I'll read that again - every train's computer crashed leaving them stranded in stations. I managed to get to the end of the Underground by changing from failed train to soon-to-fail train before getting onto the miracle of mid-twentieth century technology that is the District Line and thence to work only an hour or two late.
Permalink a cynic writes... 
January 3rd, 2006
Something similar happened in NY. A switching station caught fire (we're not that modern - these are more mechanical than digital), and they thought the "A" line wouldn't work for a few years until they fixed it.

Turns out the problem wasn't as serious as they thought, but we're susceptible to the same kinds of things... But the redundancy means incidents are isolated to individual lines. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 3rd, 2006
Way to go - biTch like craZy:

http://www.connexwhinger.com/

Meanwhile it's all political style over substance - tourists please note the accurately named Spencer Street Station is henceforth to be called Southern Cross in an attempt to increase your social interaction with residents ("Say buddy, where's the station?")

http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,17559445%255E2862,00.html

The true effect of late train == missed connection can be savoured on a wet day in winter standing on Richmond Station, an elevated monstrosity with clear views to the South Pole. New murals? Yawn.
Permalink trollop 
January 3rd, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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