What Would Henry George Say?
Still Relevant, Still Poignant
By Michael Gold
March 23, 2022
By Dr. Marty Rowland
On March 23, 2022, the New York Times published an article by Michael Gold, found here: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/23/nyregion/nyc-subway-chief-richard-davey.html. Gold says the fares of subway riders are crucial to financing the subway’s operation, and it should be Richard A. Davey’s, the new subway chief, first priority to grow ridership.
What would Henry George Say?
It is common for fares to account for only a small percentage of transit operations costs, as low as 15% (https://www.govtech.com/fs/transit-fares-only-partially-cover-public-transportation-costs.html). For New York City, the rate is 37% (https://cbcny.org/research/getting-facts-straight-metropolitan-transportation-authority-fare-ratios). This does not include capital costs, so these low percentages are actually an over-estimate. It is also common knowledge among transit professionals that when land values in the vicinity of transit stations are returned and recycled to transit agencies, the “farebox recoveries” are in excess of 100% (https://www.lincolninst.edu/publications/conference-papers/transit-value-capture). Let’s hope that Richard A. Daley knows what is really “crucial” and “essential.”
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