Will Self-Driving Cars Cost California Millions in Revenue?

Thomas Lee : govtech – excerpt

The state collects around $300 millions from automotive fees based largely on human errors, but the influx of autonomous vehicles could cause this number to drop significantly.

When it comes to public finances, government officials tend to live in the moment. They might want to make an exception in this case.

Google, Uber and Tesla are all testing cars in which powerful software, not humans, operates the vehicles. It’s not hard to foresee the danger these self-driving cars pose to automobile sales, which is one reason why General Motors last week decided to invest $500 million in San Francisco on-demand car service Lyft. Smart move, since GM officials seem to be getting ahead of what could be the mother of all disruptions.

Mayors and governors should adopt GM’s forward thinking because driverless cars will inevitably drain hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue from public coffers each year.

Reduced car ownership will mean fewer automobile sales to tax. But perhaps more important, cops and meter maids will write a lot fewer tickets because smart cars presumably won’t double park, change lanes without signaling or bust through the speed limit. Since cars sit empty about 95 percent of time, self-driving cars can greatly increase efficiency by constantly being in use…

GAS TAX A FAILURE

“Increased fuel economy and electric vehicles have made the gas tax a failure,” said Richard Wallace, director of the transportation systems analysis group for the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. “Yet you see no political will to do something” to replace the revenue…

FEE FOR CAR USE

Still, autonomous vehicles hardly represent a zero sum game. If self-driving cars are safer than human operated ones, fewer people will get hurt in accidents, resulting in cost savings for the taxpayer. The National Highway Transportation Administration estimates that public revenue pays 7 percent of vehicle crash costs. Therefore, autonomous vehicles could save taxpayers about $10 billion a year, according to the Brookings Institute.

Throw in less traffic congestion and need for road repairs, the savings could jump to more than $100 billion a year, the think tank said.

But states and cities will still need to offset the immediate loss of direct revenue from parking and traffic violations. One idea is to move to a system where the government charges people who use self-driving cars fees based on usage, including miles traveled. Last year, Oregon became the first state in the country to start such a pay-as-you-use program for all cars, not just self-driving ones, which charges about 1.5 cents per mile.

In any case, officials probably won’t deal with the problem until they see a dramatic drop in revenue, Williams said.
“Things will get so bad that they have to dream up some approach” to the issue, he said… (more)

RELATED:
The Costs of Self-Driving Cars: Reconciling Freedom and Privacy with Tort Liability in Autonomous Vehicle Regulation

Tesla software update allows self-parking, limits speed

How many problems could we expect to see to our economy, legal liabilities, and personal freedoms if self-driving cars take over the roads?
The self-driving cars are more expensive than Teslas, so, not many people can afford to own one. Insurance rates will be high. Many industry-related jobs could be cut out of the economy.
No way around it, public transit costs more than private transit. There must be a balance to pay the bills. Who is going to pay for the public transit systems when you remove the car drivers from the equation?
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Downtown traffic seems worse, but studies show it moves faster

Michael Cabanatuan : sfgate – excerpt

Statistics, studies and comparisons don’t really matter when it comes to traffic. The worst congestion is the stuff you’re stuck in.

That matter of perception may explain why some commuters are grumbling that the streets of San Francisco are growing more and more congested even though most factual indications show otherwise.

With the economy recovering and technology and construction booming again in the city, it only seems logical that traffic would be slowing. Except that it’s not. Counterintuitive as it may seem, fewer cars are entering the city and they’re finding clearer streets while they’re here… (more)

Who do you believe, yourself or them? Look who is running the tests on their own system? Traffic is worse because they have cut out miles of traffic lanes and made streets impossible to drive on. And, they are doing this with OUR TAX DOLLARS. And, you better sit down for this one,

THEY WANT MORE OF OUR MONEY SO THEY CAN HARASS US MORE! If you are ready to beat them back sign the petition to encourage the Supervisors to support a Charter Amendment to FIX the MTA

 

RELATED:
San Francisco Cuts ‘Cruising’ for Parking in Half With Market-Clearing Prices
More hype on parking created by the same studies that show less traffic.

Muni might seek money through San Francisco voters

By: Will Reisman : sfexaminer.com – excerpt

Muni’s transformative transit initiative achieved an important planning milestone this week, but the ambitious project still faces major funding barriers and officials are considering asking voters for money.
Crafted in 2008, the Transit Effectiveness Project was the first review of Muni’s operations in a generation, and the recommendations from the plan included more bus rapid transit networks, an increase in transit-only lanes and other initiatives aimed at speeding up The City’s public transit system.
On Wednesday, the Planning Department issued its initial study of the project, clearing the way for the vital environmental reviews that must be completed before recommendations of the plan are implemented. The final environmental review is expected to be finished in 2014…
“We don’t have the confidence of the public today that we can spend and execute this money in an efficient manner,” Reiskin said… (more)

Ain’t that the truth!!!

Comment on sfexaminer. That is a good place to let the Mayor, Supervisors, and Ed know just how you feel about forking over more money, I mean increasing the public debt, to pay for their future vision of our city. Letters and emails work too.

It is time to end the era of rule by SFMTA desire. Too much authority and not enough oversight is a recipe for disaster. There is ample evidence that money is not the problem, but evidence that the experiment has failed.

San Francisco Transit Growth: Will The City’s Building Boom Cause A Muni Meltdown?

: huffingtonpost.com – excerpt – 1/24/2013

San Francisco Transit Growth: Will The City’s Building Boom Cause A Muni Meltdown?

San Francisco Transit Growth

SAN FRANCISCO — After decades of scant development, a barrage of new housing units are slated to be built in San Francisco at a furious pace, according to a report released earlier this month.
But the question of how to keep the city’s new residents from causing widespread gridlock looms large.
According to San Francisco’s most recent quarterly Pipeline Report, some 710 development projects are being considered, potentially offering up a staggering 43,600 new units of housing. Though it’s unlikely a large portion of those units will ever break ground, Gabriel Metcalf, the executive director of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, told The Huffington Post that “we are in the middle of a building boom.”…
Wiener recently requested that Muni begin issuing monthly reports to the Board of Supervisors detailing the state of its system. By crystallizing this data on a month-to-month basis, he hopes to see renewed political support for increasing Muni’s funding….
One such suggestion the lawmaker recently proposed? Increasing the city’s vehicle license fee for car-owners, creating funds which would ideally go directly into Muni’s coffers. Wiener hopes to place a ballot measure approving the hike before voters in 2014… (more)

RELATED:
SF Giants go for port approval of project

L.A. Parking Taxes Gone Wild: City Approves New Meters, Looks to Expand Street Sweeping

By Simone Wilson : LAWeekly – excerpt

The L.A. City Council knows our weak spot. In order to get almost anywhere in this godforsaken sprawl pit, we need to drive a car. Unless we can afford valet/a driveway, we often need to park that car on the street; and unless we’re perfect parking robots, we sometimes sprint back to our vehicles five minutes after the meter has expired or the street-sweeping window has commenced…

(more)

Time to get some relief at the state level. You are not going to get LA residents out of their cars. They have no alternative.