Saturday, April 10, 2010

Unlikely allies in parking reform

Bill Dwyer of the LA Times is angry that the California taxpayers are footing the bill for a new shuttle bus to Dodger Stadium. Here is the nut of his argument and analysis:
Let's crunch some numbers: If those 2,500 bus-users represent 1,250 car-parkers, at $15 each, the Dodgers have taken a revenue loss of $18,750 a game or $1,518,750 for the 81-game home season. But also, if 1,000 of the bus-users have been enticed to go to the game and buy a ticket because of ease of transportation, and they pay $25 a ticket, that's a revenue gain of $25,000 a game, or $2,025,000 a season. Speculative numbers, of course.

Let's tally up. The air will be better. Traffic will be improved. There will be less stress just getting to the game. The Dodgers won't lose any money and will probably make more.

So Bill Dwyer thinks that cross-elasticities of demand with adequate substitutes favor reducing parking in order to increase ticket sales. I didn't expect a throaty defense of parking and transit reform on the sports pages. Of course, if he believes this for Dodger games he must also believe this for other activities.* So I'll count Bill Dwyer as an unlikely ally in parking reform.

*I don't actually think he supports parking reform. I think he likes complaining about the Dodgers.

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