Friday, July 14, 2006

So let's talk transportation

Below is an email I received from Barbara Reese at VDOT. In it she lays out the financial projection in needs(wants) and revenues.

Since we will be discussing transportation, I thought that we should start with some of the basics and then get into other areas. As we are talking about a potential level of expenditure in the $200 BILLION dollar range over the next 20 years, this might be a good place to save some money.

Delegate Saxman:

The unmet need is calculated as follows in the VTRAN 2025 report:

Transportation needs for the 2005-2025 period are expected to exceed $203 billion. Best estimates of revenues are $95 billion, resulting in unmet needs of approximately $108 billion. (203 - 95 = 108)

Of that $108 billion in needs, the breakdown is as follows:

$74.2 billion - highways
$30.7 billion - rail/public transportation
$3.1 billion - aviation
$0.4 billion - ports

What I sent this morning as I understood your question was if the Senate or Governor's package were approved, what share of this total unmet need would be addressed?

If you assume $1 billion X 20 years (with no revenue growth), you would collect $20 billion. The figures I cited do grow the revenues by 2.71% compounded. As a result, for $1 billion in year 1 X 20 years X 2.71% compounded, the estimate is $26.1 billion.

In addition, I have assumed the nationally recognized studies' estimate that 20 percent of the unmet needs can be addressed thru tolls, bonds, and other private sector participation.

So the calculation is as follows:

$108.4 billion in unfunded needs - $21.7 billion in tolls,bonds,private sector = $86.7 billion in unfunded needs

If you assume $1 billion a new revenue in year X 20 years X 2.71% compounded = $26.1 billion in new revenues to address the unfunded needs

$86.7 million - $26.1 billion = $60.6 billion remaining unfunded need.

In summary from the top:

$203 billion total need
- 95 billion in estimated revenues

= 108 billion in unfunded needs
- 21.7 billion from bonds, tolls, private sector

= $86.7 billion in unfunded needs that need public sector support

If you assume $1 billion a year in additional state revenue for transportation to address that need:

$ 86.7 billion
- 26.1 billion in new revenues over 20 years

= $60.6 billion remaining unmet need


  • I guess we need the 4 bil a year Chichester wants :)
    Great post Chris.

    By Blogger GOPHokie, at 7/15/2006 10:04 AM  

  • this number assumes that a total build out for everything the local planning organizations say they need, I mean want, to build. It includes things like bike paths and pedestrian facilities. There have been several Bacon's Rebellion articles in the past few months on spending the money in the right ways to increase effectiveness and impact in actually reducing congestion. If we did that, our unmet needs are much, much smaller than suggested.

    On another note, why did we turn away potential private sector money for Dulles Toll Road? If there was such a need we should have studied that more before we signed our rights over to the airport authority.

    By Blogger gfsegal, at 7/16/2006 9:57 AM  

  • I do think it is probable that extending past rates of growth to predict future transportation needs is unrealistic. We will not likely see the same surge of women entering the worforce as we had in the past. We will not see the surge in Boomer's children reaching driving age again, etc.

    And higher fuel prices will result in less driving. But Bacon's Rebellion is simply wrong when they suggest that changing our land use will result in reducing travel in any predictable way. There are, of course, things we could do better.

    Near my home is a T shaped intersection that is obscured by a hill. It is the source of frequnet minor accidents that result in the guradrail being repeatedly rebuilt, and the signage being repeatedly replaced. Some VDOT crew or contractor is making a virtual career out of this work. But the whole thing could be solved by just putting a short crash ramp on the other side of the intersection. All it takes is a little grading and some soft gravel, plus imagination and incentive.

    Another wasteful VDOT activity is constantly replacing all those little green plastic posts that are mounted on top of the median barriers to reduce traffic headlight glare from the opposite direction ( and maybe reduce rubberneccking). Those devices are contantly failing from exposure, and each one requires two brackets and four bolts to intall. There must be millions of them, and they are constantly being replaced. Surely we can come up with something better and cheaper for the same purpose.

    By Blogger Ray Hyde, at 7/17/2006 10:23 AM  

  • Delegate Saxman,

    I think we are headed down another wrong road...

    Sorry if this doesn't go with the current subject, but I was wondering why our Governor doesn't care about the leading industry in Virginia and your district, agriculture. He has yet to appoint a Commisioner of Agriculture for a full term. But yet has appointed an big time Dem fundraiser with no ag experience as a Deputy Commissioner of Ag (Sada L. Shami). I have heard rumors that he is considering two time loser Lowell Faulk for the position. We may as well keep the current one, as bad as he is. It would be like replacing Barney Fife with his cousin Goober. When will we get good people in these positions instead of party gifts?

    By Blogger William B. Blunt, at 7/31/2006 8:07 PM  

  • Dear William,

    You suck....

    any democrat running in the Valley is going to be a two-time election loser.

    As I'm sure you don't know Lowell personally,I'm fairly certain that Lowell knows more about agriculture than most, so please keep your ignorant comments to yourself.

    By Blogger republitarian, at 8/14/2006 12:42 PM  

  • FYI, The new Deputy Commissioner has numerous contacts with countries that we can export Virginia products to....but, of course, you knew that too...didn't you.

    By Blogger republitarian, at 8/14/2006 9:33 PM  

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