January 23, 2022 2:10 pm at 2:10 pm #2053716
I was reading this new article that urban planners are very nervous about a permeate change in workplace habits now with going into the third year of remote work without any noticeable difference in productivity.
The planners are concerned that the premise of funneling people into the urban core is changed forever and the mass transit big city model is in serious peril.
Based on the comments I saw like 80% of the comments have zero interest of going back to the old system.January 23, 2022 3:10 pm at 3:10 pm #2053764ujmParticipant
CS: And what’s your point?January 23, 2022 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm #2053774Abba_SParticipant
Forget about mass transit. If workers don’t come back to the office cities are going to lose a lot in taxes both from real estate taxes and income taxes. If tenant are not using office buildings they are not paying rent and the landlord can’t pay the real estate taxes. Likewise the workers don’t have to come to the office they can live in a less taxing area resulting in a loss of income tax revenue to the city.Also it will have a rippling effect on the local economy as these workers will not be spending money for things like lunch and shopping in the cityJanuary 23, 2022 3:38 pm at 3:38 pm #2053779
CS, I think you are right. Employers were reluctant to let employees work from home. Now, it is an accepted model. Not all, but many will stay. This may be akin to great plague in middle ages where reduced labor force created a new environment where labor became more expensive and more respected.January 23, 2022 3:38 pm at 3:38 pm #2053780
@UJM, its interesting what will happen in the near term, will people stick to remote or will they go back to the old system? and will it have a permanent change to status quo?January 23, 2022 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #2053807
CS, it is a good illustration how many things are done as a routine and nobody dares to try until something happens. In the Jewish context, consider Bayis Yaakov schools that Chofetz Chaim supported to begin with, but did not start until one brave lady did.January 23, 2022 8:09 pm at 8:09 pm #2053919GadolhadorahParticipant
If the 20th century urban planning model of building roads and fixed-rail mass transit systems as “hub-and-spoke” networks to shlep workers from the suburbs to “downtown” has materially changed, than we will have trillions of dollars worth of obsolete infrastructure whose financing costs will still have to be paid without sufficient revenues to cover debt service.
Otherwise, no problem and we all live happily ever after on Zoom calls.January 23, 2022 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm #2053933
@GH, after 9/11 airline security changed forever, ecommerce changed the face of retail and covid may change the way people work. The buggy whip, wagon wheel and harness manufactures all lost to the automobile, the trains lost ground to the airplanes in the 1950s and film lost to digital pixs.
Change my friend is constant and to the people who’s ox is being gored not exactly pleasant.January 23, 2022 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm #2053970charliehallParticipant
“we will have trillions of dollars worth of obsolete infrastructure whose financing costs will still have to be paid ”
Not an issue in New York City. The last major subway line was completed in 1940. The bonds have long since been paid off. Fewer commuters means that we might not have to build another half dozen lines to handle the still booming population. (NYC has about 1.3 million more people today than it did in 1940. That is roughly the population of Dallas.)January 24, 2022 8:07 am at 8:07 am #2054049
@Charliehalll, you are factually incorrect, last line completed was the 2nd Ave Subway in 2017.
The peril is mostly in the suburban systems such as LIRR, MNRR and NJT where ridership is off by 60%. And we are not just talking NY, Boston, Philly, Chicago, Denver and BART all are showing similar numbers due to remote work. What is scaring them the most is the concept of hybrid work where the commuter comes once or twice a week and they no longer buy a monthly commuter passJanuary 24, 2022 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm #2054102GadolhadorahParticipant
It will be tough to maintain costly rail networks for peak day service when huge crowds may flood the system while average daily travel wanes. Also, there are huge unfunded pension obligations for mass transit workers which are generally tied to general revenues but in some cases are funded by transit agency revenues.January 24, 2022 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm #2054113Yserbius123Participant
The mythical Second Avenue Subway is considered m’Toiras 1940 considering it’s long history.January 24, 2022 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #2054390
Unfunded pension obligations are improper accounting, most likely introduced by politicians to push projects through and pay off supporters. If those politicians are still alive, they should be sued for damages, or maybe even their families if they inherited money or jobs.January 24, 2022 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm #2054396
Maybe mass transit should be in peril.
While people count efficiency of shoveling people in train cars, this is not all to that. US reliance on individual cars is in support of individual liberty and ingenuity and against statism and monopolies. You can change your plans on a fly, you can change jobs without changing where you live, you can get to a job even if you live in a poor neighborhood as long as you can get a working car, you can drive to a different school. Goods can be delivered in trucks to a different customer. Your plumber can come from a different town. These are all great things for the country and we consider it a given, but it will all be different if we were tied to the mass transit.
As an extreme, I worked with a guy who was somewhat rudely dismissed from a contractor job. He said goodbye to us, found a contract in another state next day, packed into his van and left. The company realized that they made a mistake and called him back. He did not hold the grudge, but raised his hourly rate, finished negotiation while driving, turned the van around, and was at his workplace next day as if nothing happened.January 25, 2022 8:00 am at 8:00 am #2054441
@GH, “there are huge unfunded pension obligations for mass transit workers”
If the railroads go bankrupt the pension obligations are voided, but that will never happen in a region where they kowtow to the transit unions.January 27, 2022 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #2055625Abba_SParticipant
I am not sure if the commuter line goes bankrupt the pension obligation is voided. In many cases it is run by a government agency and the taxpayer are on the hook. It should be noted that the Railroad Pension Fund is similiar to Social Security but seems to pay more.January 27, 2022 8:30 pm at 8:30 pm #2055629amomParticipant
I’m not sure we have to worry. The price of cars and gas is so high, I’m sure there are plenty that will be forced to use mass transit vs buying/leasing cars.January 27, 2022 8:48 pm at 8:48 pm #2055634
@abba, if any entity goes bankrupt its pension liability is voided, quite a few cities filed for bankruptcy.January 27, 2022 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm #2055658
common > quite a few cities filed for bankruptcy.
just sell Manhattan back to Indians. It is worth lessnow (negative)( with all liabilities.January 28, 2022 8:13 am at 8:13 am #2055679
FYI, over 650 municipalities have filed for bankruptcy including Detroit, Harrisburg PA, Bridgeport Ct. Orange County, Vallejo, San Bernadino and Stockton Ca.
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