Friday, November 10, 2006

Transportation Costs Skyrocket

Personally, I spend just over 650 dollars per month just in transportation costs; this includes my car payment, insurance, fuel, and my commuter rail pass for taking the public transportation. However, yesterday it was announced that my commuter rail pass was going to increase by 22 percent and that there were likely more increases coming. For me, this puts my transportation costs at over 700 dollars per month. This is about a quarter of my entire net pay each month. This is absolutely insane!

I am looking forward to eventually being done with my car payment and I am going to now look into reducing my car insurance bill to try to offset the increase. However, as much as I am concerned about my own wallet, I am also concerned about the social implications. This change will result in approximately 11.9 million fewer riders of the mass transit system which will mean more pollution and increased emissions contributing to global warming. This is a real concern. Furthermore, the poorer you are, the more this level of increase hurts you. It pinches my wallet and I am making ok money. I cannot even imagine how the poorest people feel when this happens to them. How do you survive?

By letting people keep less and less money that they work for, we are increasingly encouraging people to be lazy in society. It is not a good trend. Furthermore, I genuinely feel that the increase is too much. Some of this money should be handled by better negotiations and/or better management. Not to mention the fact that there should be some taxes contributing to the system. The convenience of having transportation makes business possible for the economy and nearly everyone benefits. The complete burden should not be put on those who are riding the system. I barely use the roads, but I still have to pay my full share of tax dollars to keep them up. The same standard should apply to mass transit.

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