Our Economic Illiteracy Malaise; Saving Bixi

The Montreal Gazette cheered the decision, dismissing the concerns of naysayers. If the city were to discontinue the bike-sharing service, one editorialist wrote:
“the almost $40 million Montreal has pumped into the venture in loans and other bailouts would [be] money down the drain, and those clunky grey bikes and hulking stands would be left to gather cobwebs.”
Whether this fine example of the “sunk costs” fallacy (Exactly. A sunk cost doesn't preclude a rational person from making a proper economic decision. What the Gazette is saying let's continue to spend and waster - derp, derp. It's illogical. Because we irresponsibly pumped and wasted money into the program doesn't equate to us needing to keep it going. Sometimes you have to cut your losses. Who continues to piss money away? Oh I know. Bureaucrats with access to tax payer dollars and dumbasses in the press with no regard for spending in love with stupid green programs with limited appeal and no profit potential) was one of Coderre’s reasons for keeping the grey-coloured white elephant in the city’s enormous menagerie, no one can say. The reasons he expressed were… typically compelling:
“Bixi is part of the signature of Montreal,” said the mayor. “Our engagement today supports the non-profit organization, because it represents part of our efforts to position Montreal as a leader in public and alternative modes of transit, for the benefit of all Montrealers.”
So. That's that. If the idea fits the agenda then, yes, we will operate a loss for the environment.

Sometimes I wonder if politicians go back and actually read what they say. 

It's beyond irresponsible fiscally. It's plain stupid.

"Does Bixi benefit all Montrealers? Not really. In October, the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University published a detailed report on bike-sharing programs across North America, including Bixi, which clearly demonstrated that the programs cater disproportionately to the rich.

Why is that? The report identifies two major reasons: Fewer bike stations are located in low-income neighbourhoods, and the systems typically require a credit card for rentals.

Supporters tend not to emphasize this aspect of the operation, preferring to focus on its ecological benefits.

Bixi Montreal is currently looking into the feasibility of accepting Opus metro-pass cards (no doubt at a major cost for retrofitting the 461 stations), but Bixi will probably remain a curiosity for low-income Montrealers, who will continue to pay for it regardless.


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