Public Transportation

Diesel Prices and the Effect on TARC's Budget

Everone says that "oil prices are going up exponentially". If that turns out to be the case, here's what diesel prices would look like in a few years. The purple diamonds extrapolate exponential growth of diesel prices from the last 12 month's data (Source: For comparison's sake, I've also included linear (lin) growth in the green triangles - which is still quite bad, of course.

TIME spells out what we already knew: lowered gas consumption makes life way better,28757,1819594,00.html

TIME Magazine lists "10 Things You Can Like About $4 Gas." Some are obvious (less pollution? really?), but there are a few surprises, such as "more cops on the beat." My favorite line: "cops are being told to cut down on idling their cruisers — which is sort of like telling a teenager to stop using his cell phone." 

How YOU can Work for Better Transportation Through CART

People are asking me "How do I fight for more buses and how do I support CART?". There are a lot of ways, pick the method that suits you best.

Feds move to help TARC

C-J: "U.S. House approves transit bill that would aid TARC"

Bottom line: 4.6 million over 2 years and Feds would pick up 100% match on either hybrid busses ($525,000 free!) or the cost difference between hybrids and diesels ($200,000 free!). Either way a good deal. This still needs to pass the Senate and get signed by the President. After that it will roughly negate half of the budget shortfall from high diesel prices. That's not counting the ~5% shortfall in projected occupational tax revenue. Bottom line: A promising step but not a pancea.

Metro Council Meeting On TARC Funding Increase

Okay, though I'm still waiting to hear back from some people, here's my take on the Metro Council meeting:

Tina Ward-Pugh asked us to speak on our proposal.

We got up and talked briefly on the "why" you might want to do this thing. Synopsis: have you looked at fuel prices lately?

Judith Green asked: "So does TARC actually support this proposal?"

We said: We can't answer for TARC.

CART Notes for T&PW Committee Meeting

Presenters: David Coyte, David Morse, Catherine "Katie" McBride.

Proposal: 0.2% increase to occupational income tax levy for TARC

  • Generates ~$40 million.
  • TARC's current operational budget is ~$67 million. (~$40 million from existing occupational tax)
  • This would be the first tax increase for TARC since 1975.

Transit has graduated from "social service" to economic safety net

The energy crisis is a long-term crisis. It is bad now. It is getting worse.

Show Your Support of Transit

CART to address Metro Council regarding increased TARC funding proposal

On Monday we need all friends of Transit to turn out at the Metro Council Transportation & Public Works meeting. Show our leaders that transit is a priority.

The meeting is at 5pm sharp at City Hall.

CART is proposing the city increase funding to TARC by $40 million to restore bus service to meet current demand and massively improve the system. Read our full proposal here.

After-party at Bearno's by the Bridge, 131 W. Main Street. 584-7437. Bring your own pizza money! Wheelchair accessible through the back.

CART Meeting Notes for Metro Council Presentation


Approve a ballot initiative generating $40 million in additional funding to TARC, by 0.2% increase in the occupational tax.

2008 marks the 'tipping point' on commuter behavior. An IBM study conducted this year shows commuter response to gas prices:

WSJ graphic

Graphic source: WSJ - Riders Swamp Public Transit

Metro Council Debates Transit

Just got back from Metro Council Budget, where there was a lively debate on transit options.  Download the entertaining audio files:

  1. Barry Barker's Initial Remarks - 13m
  2. Hybrids versus Clean Diesel - 9m
  3. TARC Senior Shopping trips, Charter busses, Q&A, TARC outside Jefferson Co. - 14m
  4. Commuter Rail on the Paducah & Louisville line, || Dixie Highway. "the Easiest way to add capacity to Dixie Highway" -BB. also: Louisville - Shelbyville - Frankfurt - Lexington line? - 2m
  5. Bus Rapid Transit corridors and neighborhood circulators - 2m
  6. Tina Ward-Pugh: More P&L, Dusting off T2 Light Rail, reasons for failure of T2 - 4m
  7. Grants, yet more P&L, Heiner: "Light Rail: the Sexiest Option" but expensive. Light Rail's effectiveness at blunting oil shock. - 5m
  8. TARC's Focus: BRT, not taxes. P&L cost estimate, Nite Owl, T.W-P on bridges - 14m

Bike Share Leads to 5% Drop in Paris Car Traffic

If true: Ho lee cow!

It's hard to walk more than two blocks without running into a bike rack, which helps explain why the program has already yielded a 5% drop in car traffic. Paris has also removed lots of parking spots to make way for bike stations.

Source: Time Magazine

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