The Maine Turnpork Authority offered up a wonky and unconvincing rebuttal to the Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation's regional bus expansion proposal. It's too bad it was published on the Monday of a long weekend, when few people would actually read it, because it does a great job of showing where the MTA's priorities lie.
Assuming the same 0.8 percent market penetration as Biddeford/Saco, these two corridors would yield a total of just 66 new bus riders for the additional $7 million MAST proposes to legislatively force the MTA to invest in Zoom.
|Round-trip costs between Biddeford and downtown Portland||Single-occupant vehicle on Maine Turnpike||ZOOM bus||Proposed Downtown ZOOM route||Notes|
|COSTS TO INDIVIDUAL COMMUTER:|
|Tolls and Fares||$2.00||$5.00||$5.00|
|Gasoline plus maintenance and insurance||$22.00||$1.10||$0.00||(at Federal rate of $0.55 per mile, assuming a 1.5 mile drive to Biddeford P&R for ZOOM trip)|
|Public parking in Portland ($5/day)||$5.00||$0.00||$0.00|
|Loss of productive time||$20.00||$3.33||$0.00||(Turnpike column assumes a 30-minute one-way trip, without congestion delays, at a rate of $20/hour; ZOOM column assume a 5-minute one-way trip to Park and Ride lot)|
|Total costs to individual:||$49.00||$9.43||$5.00|
|COSTS PER COMMUTER TO SOCIETY, EMPLOYERS, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:|
|Operating subsidy||$0.00||$15.00||$15.00||Fares cover roughly 25% of ZOOM service costs. Does not include federal tax subsidies for automobile ownership and oil.|
|Congestion externality||$10.80||$0.54||$0.81||Peak-hour congestion costs on urban LOS E streets and highways is $0.27/mile (TTI 2003 and Littman 2010). ZOOM congestion cost based on an assumed 20 passengers per vehicle, and increased by a factor of 1.5 to account for more frequent stops.|
|Parking subsidies||$15.00||$10.00||$0.00||Difference between nominal parking rents and market-rate prices for similar real estate in downtown Portland. See Peninsula Transit Study, 2008. ZOOM column reflects subsidies for Biddeford Park and Ride lot, where land values are lower.|
|Noise, water, and air pollution costs||$3.00||$0.30||$0.45||Average automobile pollution cost per mile is $0.075; the average new diesel bus pollution cost per mile is $0.15. Second and third columns assume an average 20 passengers per bus (Sierra Research 2000, Littman 2010).|
|Total exported costs:||$28.80||$25.84||$16.26|
|Sum of all costs (individual plus social):||$77.80||$35.27||$21.26|
|Total annual costs of 180 commuters (average daily ridership on existing ZOOM route)||$3,360,960||$1,523,664||Based on 2009 ridership and 240 annual work days|
|Total costs of 294 commuters (projected daily ridership on proposed ZOOM route)||$5,489,568||$1,500,106||Based on a projection of 294 daily riders on the proposed downtown ZOOM route (assuming a conservative 5% market share among workers whose origin and destination are within 1/2 a mile of the route) and 240 annual work days|
|NET ANNUAL SAVINGS FROM ZOOM SERVICE||$1,837,296||$3,989,462|
Sierra Research COMMUTER Model, US Environmental Protection Agency Transportation Air Quality Center, 2000.
Evaluating Public Transit Benefits and Costs, by Todd Littman. Victoria Transportation Policy Institute, 2010.
Urban Mobility Study, Texas Transportation Institute, 2009.