Dear Free Public Transit Advocates:
 
I've attached two analytical papers for posting on your website. Before proceeding further, here is a brief summary of my professional qualifications:

I am a professional mathematician: UCLA Ph.D., 1969; Applied/Pure Mathematician in industry (18 years); Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at California State University Long Beach (36 years); Guest Mathematician at UCLA (1970 – 2005). Besides my research pursuits in pure and applied mathematics, I have spent many years doing mathematical analysis on issues relating to the public interest. In particular, I have done a lengthy analytical study on fossil fuel consumption and urban mass transportation from 1992 to the present, and have frequently updated the work by incorporating the most current data. I have included an up-to-date abbreviated paper on my work for your study:

The attached Power Point presentation, as well as the two page summary document, is for the world to see.  I urge you to study both attached documents, but here is a short summary of the lengthy, exhaustive analysis.

Summary

The talk explores the world depletion of petroleum and describes a Fareless Urban Mass Transit System (FUMTS) that can conserve well over 3.6 billion barrels of petroleum per year for all the urban regions of the USA as well as billions of barrels of savings in all the other urban regions on Earth.  The key facts about world/USA petroleum consumption/supply are these:

1.  The World Oil Journal states (2006) that 1.08 trillion barrels of petroleum reserves are left on Earth (probability of recovery is 90%).

2.  Very few new reserves are being found.
3.  World oil output peaked in 2006.

4.  Hubbert found a model for life of oil production of a producing well that correctly predicted that US reserves production would peak in 1970.

5.  Today the US reserve supply (2006) is less than 22 billion barrels.

6.  The annual world consumption (end of 2006) is 31.03 billion barrels; US consumption (2006) is 7.514 billion barrels (24.2 per cent of world consumption!); 67 per cent of US consumption (5.03 billion barrels) is used by transportation sector; of transportation share, 4.2 billion (56 per cent) is used by highway vehicles (243 million passenger vehicles and trucks – 2004 data); the US has 32% of the world’s 754 million passenger vehicles and trucks.

7.  At the current rate of world consumption (1.9% annual consumption-rate increase), all petroleum will be exhausted in less than 25.4 years!!

 

The Fareless Urban Mass Transit System (FUMTS) is the single most effective way of solving the universal transportation quagmire.  There exists:

• enormous waste and a staggering exhaustion of the rapidly diminishing non-renewable petroleum resources on Earth;

unhealthful air quality, resulting in death and impaired health for tens of tens of thousands, and contributing to global warming;

• pervasive and constantly increasing daily gridlock traffic conditions extending well beyond rush hour time frames of 15 or more hours, resulting in millions of wasted hours daily by millions of passengers;

• high accident occurrences, resulting in death and injury and extensive, expensive property damage and medical costs for thousands;

• staggeringly expensive vehicle insurance, maintenance, operational and acquisition costs for the hundreds of millions of licensed drivers who own hundreds of millions of vehicles;

• enormous road/street maintenance costs and waste of fossil energy for road construction and maintenance;

• ubiquitous parking space/parking lot congestion and expense for millions;

• unhealthful high and constant noise pollution, especially damaging to those in the vicinity of freeways and main roads.

 
 FUMTS can be financed easily by a method that literally involves no cost to 99% of the citizens 0f the USA.  The proposed method for financing this system for urban SCR (Southern California Region consisting of the 18+ million people living in the five counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside) and, indeed, for all large urban regions (50,000 or more inhabitants)  in California and the USA, is simple and effective.  The source of income is to come from a minuscule annual tax on the net wealth of the wealthiest one percent of the appropriate adult population.  In California, the wealthiest one percent of the California adult population has over $2.5 trillion in net wealth.  An annual tax of only 0.48% on this amount would yield over $11.94 billion annually; this is more than enough to finance FUMTS, and that amount would easily accommodate the annual California passenger miles traveled for all urban regions in the state!  For the entire USA, the wealthiest one percent has over $25 trillion in net wealth!  An annual tax of only 0.35% on this amount would yield $86.6 billion annually; this is more than enough to finance FUMTS, and that amount would easily accommodate the annual USA passenger miles traveled for all urban regions in the USA!  Such minuscule assessments would pose little, if any, hindrance at undermining the staggering  magnitude of this wealth.  Even though a fare-free mass transit system may not sit well with the major reapers of profit (the petroleum, auto and insurance industries) in our drastically antiquated current mode of transportation, the enormity of our common, long-standing and exponentially worsening traffic problems demands a solution for the many rather than a status-quo subjugation to the powerful few.

 

A public transit system that is fare-free for every user induces and enables everyone to use public transit for most or all of their trips.  Its use eliminates the nuisance and unnecessary bureaucracy of fare transactions, transfers, and the other impediments of fare-based systems.  As already mentioned above, the financial resources available in California and in the United States for this type of system, as well as the savings that would accrue to the body of all passengers, are staggering.  Yet another mind-boggling example of enormous wealth will drive home the point. In 2006, Forbes published the combined wealth of the 400 richest Americans; it topped $1.25 TRILLION, and ALL of the members of the list were billionaires!  The latter sum would finance a fare-free all-bus system (cost: $86.6 billion annually) for the urban residents of the USA (=95% of the population) for 14.4 years; if only 6.9% of this wealth were to be assessed annually, then that would finance this system for the indefinite future!

For SCR, urban California, and urban USA, we give the analysis that compares the costs, fuel consumption and pollution output of the proposed all-bus system with the current (nearly) all-auto system.

 

 FUMTS results for SCR, California and USA:

1).   The annual cost of the all-bus mode is only 8.47% to 9.01% of the annual cost of the current all-auto mode!  For every $1 spent for the all-bus mode, the average motorist spends $11.10 to $11.86!

2).  The annual fuel consumption for the all-bus mode is only 9.43% to 9.60%  of that of the all-auto mode!  For every one gallon of fuel used in the all-bus mode, the all-auto mode requires 10.42 to 10.60 gallons!

3).  For SCR, California and the USA, respectively, the annual fuel savings that accrue by use of the all-bus system are 5.68 billion, 10.35 billion, and 70.08 billion gallons, respectively; the annual savings in equivalent barrels of crude petroleum are 298 million, 545 million, and 3.69 billion barrels, respectively; the 10 year savings are 2.76 billion, 4.76 billion, and 30.5 billion barrels, respectively!  The last figure for the USA far exceeds the wildest, most optimistic estimation of petroleum reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!!

4).  The annual pollutants from the all-bus mode are 10.09% to 10.26% of those for the all auto  mode!  If natural gas buses are used instead of diesel, then the ratio drops to near zero!


 Clearly, the all-bus system is far superior to the current (nearly) all-auto system of transportation because its use would result in far lower costs for the entire body of passengers (especially vehicle owners), far lower fuel consumption and consequent fuel conservation, far less wasted energy,  far lower pollution (noise and environmental), far less wasted travel time for almost everyone, and a substantial alleviation or elimination of all of the problems described at the outset.

 

If we rigorously use our human reason both to discover and acknowledge the facts about our current transportation quagmire, and if we follow the logical implications for effective human action that such knowledge entails, then we can free ourselves of our plight.  Failing this, we are doomed by mindless apathy, irrationality, ignorance and the stranglehold of the powerfully entrenched corporate interests to suffer our endlessly worsening transportation afflictions.

 

John M. Bachar, Jr.

 

 

World Fossil Energy Crisis and Fareless Urban Mass Transportation: Buying Time and Solving the Transportation Quagmire at the Same Time (PowerPoint Presentation)

less Urban Mass TransportationBuying Time and Solving the Transportation Quagmire at the Same Time May 2007 Update.pdf