Comment 14671

By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted November 28, 2007 at 14:30:16

Privatization is a useful thing if you have a certain necessary factor, dare I say it? Competition. There, I said it.

Ah, duh, beancounter!

Since transit is a natural monopoly, where is the competition? Cars? Roads are largely subsidized by income and dwelling taxes, with a relatively tiny contribution from gas tax by european standards. Market forces cannot work with this degree of subsidy i.e no monetary negative feedback loop to prevent extremely wasteful resource utilization = single occupancy cars.

1 seat / 5 seats = 20% utilization. Do you know of any hotels, warehouses or factories that can economically operate at 20% of capacity?

So when Hamilton has the factors London has, namely massive congestion, tolls, high gas taxes, carpooling lanes, and a dense built environment, then maybe privatized transit could compete with the car. Without these factors, privatization is a recipe for disaster.

If I understood the city presenter correctly at COW, Hamilton has the lowest relative spending on transit in the province. Council's dominant response appeared to be "well done, lets keep it that way"

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