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The Money Issue

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The Money Issue was the March 2012 edition of Portland Afoot's 10-minute newsmagazine. Its cover story focused on

The month's installment of Foot Food featured The Frying Scotsman, a downtown fish and chips cart.


[edit] links

Links mentioned in The Employer Issue (April 2102):

Links mentioned in The Money Issue (March 2012):

[edit] Sources

Here's a listing of the non-obvious sources and calculations behind the cover story of the Money Issue. If you have a question, feel free to leave a comment below and we'll address it.

[edit] Dimes

[edit] Tens

  • Community Cycling Center bike cost: phone call.
  • Columbia Cascade bike staple cost: phone call. Does not include estimated $100 installation cost.
  • Automobile costs: AAA.
  • Train to Georgia: Amtrak.
  • Annual bike operating cost:
  • Evasion fine split: email from TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch.
  • Fine for "no contest" plea bargain: Portland Tribune.
  • Average hourly compensation in Portland: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Costs per vehicle-hour and labor costs at large agencies: NTD data for 2010. Vehicle-hours : email from TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch.

[edit] Thousands

  • Operation costs of the 12: email from TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch.
  • Revenue from paid park-and-ride spaces: TriMet Budget Task Force documents.
  • TriMet fare evasion revenue: email from TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch.
  • Electricity savings: estimate by TriMet Rail Equipment Manager Mark Grove that HVAC energy consumption is "probably like 2 percent or something like that" of a train's total draw on the power system, applied to total rail electric costs from NTD data for 2010.
  • Food cart startup cost: Food Carts Portland.
  • Fringe benefits per employee: Total fringe benefit costs in GM's office and TriMet's bus garages in TriMet's 2010 budget, divided by number of FTE positions at each.
  • Multnomah County average pay: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • McFarlane annual salary: TriMet actual expenditures for 2010.
  • Wage for bus drivers and fare inspectors: 2003 labor contract, adjusted for COLA based on interviews with operators Camelopardalis and Al Margulies.
  • TriMet's costs per 10,000 boarding rides: NTD data for 2003-2010.
  • Orange Line construction costs from TriMet.
  • New diesel bus cost from TriMet.
  • Hansen pension payments from, confirmed by TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch.

[edit] $100,000s

[edit] $10,000,000s

  • Total cost of Portland auto transportation system: Private costs reflect per-capita VMT per capita in the Portland metro area for 2005 (7,641.9) multiplied by 2010 metro area population (2,226,009) multiplied by approximate auto cost per mile of 22.5 cents. Public costs reflect average state and federal expenditure on roads on the Oregon side of the metro area, per the last two pages of this Metro packet. Local road costs, which are substantial, are not included. Nor are public costs on the Washington side, let alone the broader costs of health care, less productive land uses, military actions to protect oil access, etc.
  • Number of bills in rolling suitcase: estimate based on $2.4 million in a full-size briefcase.
  • Urban freeway cost: City of Portland via Politifact.
  • Replacement value of Portland bikeway network: City of Portland via Politifact.
  • Paris bikesharing system cost: 18,000 bicycles multiplied by Steve Gutmann estimate of $2,000 operating cost per bicycle for a modern bikeshare system.
  • Columbia River Crossing costs: low-end cost estimate in official CRC FAQ, confirmed by email from spokeswoman Anne Pressentin.
  • TriMet 2012 budget, TriMet executive salaries: TriMet.
  • Cost to rent every Portland transit commuter a personal stretch limo: $80 per hour rate from Twilite Limosine & Tour Company multiplied by 1,406,095 aggregate daily minutes on the one-way journey to work by transit in 2010 Census estimates. Note that Twilite currently asks for a 2-hour minimum, that travel times are for transit trips, not auto trips, that dispatch for the limousines would be logistically complicated and that non-transit users would face perverse incentives. It's a very rough and silly estimate.
  • Stumptown coffee costs: price of a small coffee multiplied by 260 working days multiplied by 65,515 Portland transit commuters in 2010 Census estimates.

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