Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Guess which city has the most expensive parking tickets?

From a story on priceonomics:

San Francisco has the most expensive parking tickets in the entire United States...In fact, at $74 a pop, the city's standard parking tickets are the most expensive in the country---by nearly $10. To put this fee into perspective, Boston, which has roughly the same land area and a slightly smaller population, only charges $25, one-third of SF's fine, for a meter violation (San Francisco Parking Meters: A $130MM Industry).

The story provides the latest numbers on how much the city makes from parking meters and parking tickets:

Note how much more the city makes on parking tickets than it does on parking meters.

But the story doesn't include numbers that show even more income that City Hall and the MTA get from preying on motorists who drive what the bike people call "death monsters": $39 million[Later: Actually, that was more than $80 million when I made this post] from the 20 parking garages the city owns and $9 million from the residential parking program. Add it all up, and the city makes more than $182 million every year from those who drive in San Francisco (Transportation Fact Sheet).

Another number to keep in mind: there are more than 6,000 people working in the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Thanks to Meter Madness for the link.

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High-speed rail damaging Europe's rail system

From Low-Tech magazine:

The introduction of a high speed train connection invariably accompanies the elimination of a slightly slower, but much more affordable, alternative route, forcing passengers to use the new and more expensive product or abandon the train altogether. As a result, business people switch from full-service planes to high speed trains, while the majority of Europeans are pushed into cars, coaches and low-cost airplanes.

China has the same problems with its high-speed rail system.

Thanks to the Antiplanner for the link.

In other high-speed rail news, Kathy Hamilton reports that the High-Speed Rail Authority routinely stonewalls requests for documents: 

Attempting to get information from the High-Speed Rail Authority is like pulling teeth, since they often delay or refuse to give information when it may be detrimental to the project.

This is probably the kind of information they don't want the public to have.