Comment 94073

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted November 01, 2013 at 09:32:39 in reply to Comment 94062

This is a straw man attack. No one is claiming that non-drivers should pay nothing towards the roads. And the result show they pay 41-23%, which is a significant proportion.

The constant claim from some drivers annoyed at fuel taxes is that drivers actually pay MORE in fees and taxes than are needed to pay for the direct and indirect costs of the roads and there they are being used to subsidize general government spending. This is not true.

In particular, non-drivers DO pay for the cost of roads associated with goods movement because the cost of transport is passed on to the end consumer. This should be obvious! Basic free market economics says that all direct and indirect costs should be passed on to the consumer, not subsidized by others.

And there is the basic fact that 80 people in one bus along a particular bus route take far less space and inflicts far less wear and tear than 67 private cars (at 1.2 occupants per car) that must be provided with an entire road network. And walking and cycling inflict negligible wear and tear on the roads than driving. In fact, it could be argued that each person who decides to cycle or walk or take public transit is actually generating a positive externality for drivers by reducing congestion and the cost of road maintenance. And, of course, this is why we see campaigns to encourage people to do just that.

Remember that when private cars were less common (before WWII) the road network was far less extensive, and the post-WWII period saw a huge campaign of road widening and construction beyond what is required for goods movement. And transit users typically travel fewer kilometres per year because they make fewer individual trips.

And, of course, in households which share a car everyone in the household is typically contributing to the cost of running the car through shared expenses (drivers and non-drivers).

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2013-11-01 09:51:06

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