Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ReasonTV on Taxpayer-Funded Bike Rental Programs for Well-Educated, Rich White People


ReasonTV above exposes another expensive, government taxpayer-funded public transportation boondoggle, this one being the Capital Bikeshare program, which rents bikes at more than 165 outdoor stations in the Washington D.C. area.  And who are the main beneficiaries of this taxpayer largesse? Well, mostly highly educated, affluent white people.

As Reason explains, "There's nothing wrong with that, of course, except that the program has received $16 million in government taxpayer subsidies, including over $1 million specifically earmarked to 'address the unique transportation challenges faced by welfare recipients and low-income persons seeking to obtain and maintain employment.'"

And Washington, D.C. isn't the only city that is picking the pockets of taxpayers to subsidize bike transportation for highly-educated, relatively wealthy white folks (don't they have the financial resources to buy their own bikes??), it's spreading around the country like the food truck explosion to Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston , Denver, Boulder, Houston, Minneapolis, Madison, Omaha, San Antonio, and Des Moines.

HT: Mark Meranta

22 Comments:

At 6/20/2012 6:08 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Ahhh, taxpayer money giving liberal parasites a reason to get up in the morning...

 
At 6/20/2012 7:07 PM, Blogger bart said...

Oh my, what pikers they are in DC... just manually pedaled bicycles?!?!

They ought to have either fully paid chauffeur driven Harleys, or at least electric bikes to show how deeply and truly they care about the environment and the great unwashed masses...

 
At 6/20/2012 7:14 PM, Blogger MikeK said...

16 million?

 
At 6/20/2012 9:39 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

Of all the ways that government wastes money, I have to say that I find this among the least objectionable.

 
At 6/20/2012 9:45 PM, Blogger Bruce Oksol - oksol@yahoo.com said...

In Boston:

The largest award--$675,999 from the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Authority--would pay for the bulk of the operating costs of Hubway, the city’s bike share program that launched last year, which has an annual operating cost of $700,000 to $800,000, according to Freedman.

 
At 6/20/2012 9:48 PM, Blogger SteveH said...

Hello, there are cars available for transport. Anyone who is a moron rides a bicycle. It is a 19th century invention and it is kept alive by moronic exercise fanatics otherwise known as total morons. Remember that Lance married ms. one square. Ms. Crowe is the definition of moron. When I see an alien helmeted bicyclist my first inclination is to honk incessentantly and yell obscenities in a fullsilade that results in them stopping and flipping me off. This is so satisfying that I regularly piss off all bicyclists dressed in tights and alien like helmets. What's worse are children ensconsed in the latest protection gear. When I was a kid bike injuries were a badge of honor and BTW it is only children who whould be riding bikes not emaciated vegetarians on $2000 ego trips.

 
At 6/20/2012 11:08 PM, Blogger JakeW said...

@SteveH, are you serious? Bicycles certainly have their place as a mode of transportation. Why do you think delivery companies in large cities with dense downtowns often choose bicycles over automobiles? If their decision to use bicycles is so moronic, perhaps you should start a competing business that uses automobiles and crush them. Let me know the results.

 
At 6/20/2012 11:08 PM, Blogger JakeW said...

@SteveH, are you serious? Bicycles certainly have their place as a mode of transportation. Why do you think delivery companies in large cities with dense downtowns often choose bicycles over automobiles? If their decision to use bicycles is so moronic, perhaps you should start a competing business that uses automobiles and crush them. Let me know the results.

 
At 6/21/2012 3:24 AM, Blogger gadfly said...

For those who have not yet read Andrew Ferguson's "Bubble on the Potomac" - depicting how the new affluence flooding the nation’s capital sets it a world apart from the country it governs - it is here, outside of Time's paywall.

It is nothing short of frackin' scary, but there is the point quoted below about the nouveau riche residing in the DC Metro area. So we learn that the bike program is but the tip of the iceberg.

Bike-share racks have sprung up downtown and in the close-in suburbs to take advantage of the newly painted bike lanes that have squeezed grand thoroughfares like 14th Street down to two lanes. Local authorities have reserved hundreds of parking spaces exclusively for Zipcars, which customers rent for an hour or a day in place of buying a car of their own.

 
At 6/21/2012 3:25 AM, Blogger Kevin Carter said...

Will the rental revenue be self-sustaining once the program graduates from the start-up phase? If so, how much tax revenue will be collected over 10 years? If not, how does this subsidy compare to the offset savings for subsidies to other forms of public transit?

What is the projected increase in commuters adopting cycling over 10 years inspired by the visibility of this program and what is the projected savings on road development and maintenance as a result?

As a professor of economics and finance, I'm sure you considered these and many other factors before criticizing something that seems, at worst, fairly innocuous.

 
At 6/21/2012 3:30 AM, Blogger gadfly said...

EEARGHH. Forgot the link!

http://pastebin.com/EZENnNMw

 
At 6/21/2012 4:02 AM, Blogger gadfly said...

Kevin Carter's question that attempts to justify big government based upon some economic benefit reminds me of the infamous Harvard Business School study dating back toi the 1950s, which found A & P's business strategy wanting. The study concluded that (and I am paraphrasing) "if every sale is priced to produce a loss, then management's solution should not be to sell more."

 
At 6/21/2012 6:20 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>>> Where's the Occupy Wall Street crowd? Wouldn't this be a good issue for them to protest?

Ummm... aren't they actually affluent, educated white people?

They use iPhones (not cheap), wear Nikes (also not cheap) and are complaining about their college loans (suggesting an education, albeit a useless one).

Check, Check, Check. Yep, mostly affluent, educated white folks.

So... was there a question there?

 
At 6/21/2012 6:32 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>>> Why do you think delivery companies in large cities with dense downtowns often choose bicycles over automobiles?

LOL, that's a BUSINESS MODEL, not a "mode of transportation" in the general sense.

There are excuses for using them, but primarily only for those whose jobs don't have a problem with arriving sweaty and hot, or soaking wet (i.e., rain).

I think Steve's comment is a bit over the top, but it's not entirely off, either. There are times and places where bikes make sense. But even mopeds make more sense as a general form of transport. They're on the whole faster and they take notably less time from point-a to point-b. And they don't make you all sweaty getting there.

>>>> "How about the $1 billion in agriculture subsidies sent to North Dakota in 2010?"

*sigh* Benny, Benny, Benny.

At WHAT point in ANY conversation around this ENTIRE blog's history have you seen Dr. Perry or just about anyone save a few liberal twits come out in favor of Ag Subsidies?

So your comment is pretty much, as usual, OT -- Yeah, the amount of this subsidy isn't that huge? So what? It adds up, and it's just another example of subsidies supposedly aimed to "help" the poor and downtrodden which actually wind up helping mostly people who have no need for such help.

This ought to be DUH to you by now, but, as usual, you figure failure to rail against whatever pet problem you're paying attention to somehow equates to support for said lunacy.

TRY and pay attention to the topic... N'Kay?

 
At 6/21/2012 6:33 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

The OWS crowd protests "Captialism" and "Wall Street"....whatever those are.

Which way to the drum circle?

 
At 6/21/2012 7:44 AM, Blogger EWM2 said...

Why does it matter what their race is? The problem is not that the money is used to subsidize "white" people, the problem is the money is used to subsidize people who don't need help. It would be equally as bad if they were Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, or African American. Until the mainstream media stops including a racial adjective in every sentence, this country will continue to have a race relations problem.

 
At 6/21/2012 10:08 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

How dare they take money away from the auto industry and the gas cartels. Not to mention trying to help the environment. We have the most anti-environment House in the history of Congress and we want to keep it that way. And white people using bikes. Where are the blacks, indians and chinese? DC is full of other races. We can't have those whites being more environental aware. I say rent only to other races.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:06 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

"Environmentally aware"? I love that meaningless idiot jargon.

If whites are so much more "environmentally aware", then let them buy their own damn bike. Nobody is taking anything from the oil industry. It's all coming out of the pockets of taxpayers.

Maybe instead of being so meaninglessly "environmentally aware" your lot should become more aware of basic economics. Plugging into general reality wouldn't hurt either.

 
At 6/21/2012 11:14 AM, Blogger Ken said...

arbitrage,

Of all the ways that government wastes money, I have to say that I find this among the least objectionable.

This is precisely why government grows out of control. Obamacare was fluke. Government usually kills with a thousand tiny cuts, not a broadsword.

The very fact that people look at these "small" wastes is precisely why there are so many of them.

 
At 6/21/2012 12:11 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"This is precisely why government grows out of control. Obamacare was fluke. Government usually kills with a thousand tiny cuts, not a broadsword"...

Well ken how about some of this 'broadsword' action?

$9 Billion in ‘Stimulus’ for Solar, Wind Projects Made 910 Final Jobs -- $9.8 Million Per Job

 
At 6/21/2012 3:56 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> Why does it matter what their race is?

LOL, i concur with this but the simple fact is that most of the people being helped are essentially white, while much of this is extracted with the idea that some large percent of the impoverished are black, and it's somehow racial in nature... but an amazing percentage of these various "help" programs harm (or "help least") the poorest and most downtrodden -- social security, being utterly unfunded, basically transfers money from the pockets of poor black men (with the shortest life spans) to wealthy white women (with the longest life spans).

 
At 6/21/2012 9:55 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

This could be viewed as a diversity program

Most bike riders are white children. So, bike riding is now being diversified with inclusion of rich white adults.

Inclusion. Diversity. Use the buzz words and this might help you keep the goodies being distributed.

 

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