Cape Flyer

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Safetee
Posts: 361
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:07 am

Re: Cape Flyer

Post by Safetee »

One of the great fallacies of "modern" thinking is that passenger trains do make or should make money. If passenger trains really made money nobody would take them because they would be too expensive. and that cost of public transportation in terms of the fares charged is typically along with the service the criteria for people who gauge as to whether they or not they drive their car which,as we all know, is absolutely free "except for the gas".

So getting back to the Flyer which is a part time seasonal train, how do you truly figure the marginal costs for that operation viz a viz a regular commuter train from Boston to Providence? Part of the problem with the T is that figures that they spin today spiral out of control tomorrow with the resultant ever growing T deficit. My point is that if a jammed commuter train running five days a week doesn't make any "profit", how could the Flyer possibly be making money? Ultimately public transportation is a societal needed service that is heavily underwritten by taxpayer dollars.

Falmouth Secondary to Otis
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:12 pm
Location: Cape Cod, MA

Re: Cape Flyer

Post by Falmouth Secondary to Otis »

You really can't be serious in saying that driving a car is absolutely free " except for the gas " ? There is nothing free about owning a car as you put out the cash and interest also if you get a loan for purchasing a car, yearly maintenance / repair costs , licensing, insurance, sales / excise taxes, parking fees if required, then you pay for the gas with federal & state taxes included. Certainly not free !

The Cape flyer has always been promoted as only covering it's operational cost's and some. It's infrastructure / train's are largely paid for and maintained with State and Federal tax dollars that we all pay. The rest is any charges for the use of the tracks to any other private Railroad, ridership fees, advertising revenue, and any real estate income from leased / rented out State owned property to private vendors.
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Arborwayfan
Posts: 983
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Re: Cape Flyer

Post by Arborwayfan »

I think Safetee means that when people who already own a car are deciding whether to drive or take public transportation, they treat driving as if it were free except for gas and tolls -- because they are paying to own the car anyway and don't give a lot of thought to whether driving will mean they need a new car sooner. I don't think he's saying they are right.

Falmouth Secondary to Otis
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:12 pm
Location: Cape Cod, MA

Re: Cape Flyer

Post by Falmouth Secondary to Otis »

Then Safetee's viewpoint need's some updating then if that is the case, because cars operational / ownership costs are certainly not free.
Last edited by CRail on Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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nomis
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Location: MRS 20 (was QA 9 & QB 2)

Re: Cape Flyer

Post by nomis »

I guess you missed the sarcasm in Safetee's sentence of
[...] whether they or not they drive their car which,as we all know, is absolutely free "except for the gas".
Emphasis mine. Most people have a thought that the operational and ownership costs are a 'Sunk Cost' in many peoples minds and those types of figures do not weigh into the simple calculations of taking a round trip of either: $40 train or $20 of fuel+tolls for a single occupant.
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Arborwayfan
Posts: 983
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Re: Cape Flyer

Post by Arborwayfan »

Sarcasm. Exactly. Safetee can tell us for sure, but I am pretty sure they're not saying that it actually is free, just that many people treat them that way. And they do. It's measurable. Transportation economists and so on have documented it. And, really, once you've bought your car and agreed to pay the car payment and pay the insurance, you do have a large cost every month that you can't avoid by taking public transit. Your car rides aren't free, but a big part of their cost is prepaid and so it's rational to treat them as free as long as you think you're going to keep prepaying. That's one reason that public transit gets a lot more riders when it's good enough that lots of people really don't ever need a car -- and why plentiful cabs and ZipCars and so on are good for public transit.

wicked
Posts: 450
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:17 pm
Location: MBTA Red Line, formerly WMATA Blue/Yellow

Re: Cape Flyer

Post by wicked »

At what point of service does the train not cover operating costs? Four RTs per week? Two RTs every day? I’m assuming the CCRTA has researched this. I know there is regular bus service between Boston and Hyannis, but I’d feel better about taking the train down if there was a second RT each day it’s in operation.

MickD
Posts: 717
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Dennisport,Ma

Re: Cape Flyer

Post by MickD »

Won't happen..at least not in the forseeable future
I use CCRTA often and know several people directly associated with The Flyer..
Other than possible Columbus Day extension...
What you you see is what you'll get

Backshophoss
Posts: 6637
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Cape Flyer

Post by Backshophoss »

The Cape Flyer is funded seasonal service,with all parties adding $$$$ to the pot in some form,including the farebox.
Not sure if the Bike/Cafe car adds to the pot, due to "limited"service time(Cafe not active on MBTA territory).

Saftee:Fuel(gas or diesel) ain't FREE,look at all the taxes the Fed and state put on fuel!!! :P
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

eustis22
Posts: 346
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:23 am

Re: Cape Flyer

Post by eustis22 »

I would be surprised indeed if fully loaded T trains don't cover their operating costs. I suspect the deficit the T always faces is from capital improvements and upgrades/maintenance to their physical plant/rolling stock.

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