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Re: SG-W:/ apologies...


I think AATA covers roughly 25% to 50% of its total cost from fares -
probably on the low end of this range.  This is not unusual for bus
systems outside of urban areas, and even for some urban areas.

Most of the balance comes from property taxes.  I believe only Ann Arbor
residents pay an AATA tax; a few other towns use general funds generated
by property taxes to get very limited bus lines to their communities.
But I hope you and others will check out your last few property tax bills
and report back on whether you also have an AATA line on your bills so we
cut to the chase on this question.  By the way, Phil D'Anieri wrote a fine
Observer article earlier this year on AATA operations and funding that
might interest you.

This is a tax I'm glad to pay.  The "average cost" of each bus ride taken
by our household is not low if you add in the tax burden.  But the
alternative of no bus system would impose far higher costs on us.  We'd
have even more crowded roads (accidents, time wasted, stress), even less
parking, even more air and water pollution, and even more sprawl.  I can
think of several other negative impacts.

In fact, my wife and I would be glad to pay the AATA tax even if for some
reason we never rode a bus ourselves.  A good mass transportation system
is a basic public ammenity with the unusual feature of improving the
quality of life for every resident - even those who live outside of the
service (and tax) area - whether or not they use it directly.

Doug Cowherd

On Sat, 20 Oct 2001, Ron Torrella wrote:

> I inadvertently left out reference to Rebecca
> Head, in the quote in my last post. Ms. Head posted that bit about no
> transit system being self-supporting (did she mean *country* or just
> county?).
> Ron Torrella

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