Why not lease a BMW X-5 SUV for each Belen–Albuquerque commuter?

From P.J. O’ROURKE: “There are just two problems with mass transit. Nobody uses it, and it costs like hell.”
There is the huge up-front cost. Also, and “less obviously, there’s all the money spent locally keeping local mass transit systems operating.” For example, the Hiawatha Line in Minneapolis is estimated to cost $19 for each ride. At that rate “commuting to work will cost $8,550 a year. If the commuter is earning minimum wage, this leaves about $1,000 a year for food, shelter and clothing. Or, if the city picks up the tab, it could have leased a BMW X-5 SUV for the commuter at about the same price.”
Since the state taxpayers would be picking up the tab for Belen-Albuquerque train riders, let’s do something really cool and lease them BMW’s instead.

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2 Replies to “Why not lease a BMW X-5 SUV for each Belen–Albuquerque commuter?”

  1. Right on, Harry. It’s suspicious that so far no cost estimates have been furnished for the various New Mexico rail proposals. Yes, there have been “studies” of the initial cost of construction. But nowhere have we seen estimates of ridership, revenues, or operating costs.
    Here’s an idea for increasing the nuber of train riders: When the state starts using the permanent fund to buy fine art and mustical instruments, why no display these objects on commuter trains in order to hype ridership of art lovers? Just a thought.

  2. Finally an estimate of operating costs has emerged from the planners–$12 million a year.
    Let’s see. Assuming $10 per round trip ticket, and 250 round trips per year, the break even point (just on operating costs, not capital costs) would require 4,800 passengers per day, or roughly the entire adult population of Belen.

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