Monday, July 27, 2015

LA Starts Electric Car Sharing Program for $1.6 million Vs BlueIndy's $49 million

NBC Los Angeles reports that the state of California has awarded a $1.6 million dollar grant for Los Angeles to launch an electric car sharing program. The program will launch in some of its more diverse and low-income areas, including South LA and Koreatown. The pilot intends to add a fleet of 100 cars, with residents being able to sign up and pay a monthly membership or pay on a per-hour basis. While exact rates are still being worked out, officials are saying they hope it to be lower priced than car sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.

For reference, Los Angele's base uber fee is $0 bae, $.18 per minute, and $1 per mile. Indianapolis' Uber fares are $1.25 base, $.18 per minute, and $.95 per mile.

While the report doesn't specifically say what type of electric car infrastructure that LA already has, I'm going to guess the answer is little to none. You can see some shots of charging stations being constructed in the background if you watch the news report clip on NBC-LA's web site. All in all, this works out to about $16,000 per car.

In contrast, the electric car sharing program BlueIndy is costing nearly $50 million for 500 cars. That cost likely doesn't take into account the millions of dollars of lost revenue when Dictator Mayor Greg Ballard (R) unilaterally removes hundreds of parking spots from public use to turn them over to the exclusive use of a for-profit company. Or the massive fines ParkIndy, the private operator of our public parking meters, will levy upon the city for the permanent removal of the parking spaces. Despite the $6 million dollar in help from city taxpayers, don't expect that to make it any cheaper to rent one of these cars. A 2014 estimate puts the estimate at $15 for an hour, or membership fees at $10-15 for a week or an annual membership costing about $15 a month.

Total costs work out to about 98,000 per car.

Had enough Indy?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Governor Pence Throws Gaming Commission Under Bus

The Indiana Gaming Commission has gotten into some hot water for sending out a letter to a Muncie-based assisted living home concerning a Euchre game that has a small betting pool and modest prizes. The commission's letter said it would require a charity gaming license to continue hosting this Euchre game.

In later reports, Governor Mike Pence (R) has ordered the agency to use "common sense" and specifically to leave the Muncie-based assisting living home alone. The WIBC report also says the gaming commission used a form letter, probably something they've sent out dozens, if not hundreds, of times. It is probably something they are fairly certain they can legally do.

I don't want to end up defending the Indiana Gaming Commission. I am no fan of legalized gambling, and really am disheartened that gambling seems to be seeping into our culture more and more. I don't think it adds any societal value. And in practice, gambling (Both casinos and the like as well as lotteries) disproportionately target poor and minority communities and little to no revenue from the taxes collected on gambling end up helping the populations it prays on.

But to me, it seemed like the Indiana Gaming Commission was just doing its job. Governor Pence has a law degree and probably has a few juris doctorate holders in his administration, and a few lawyers on speed dial. If the problem is the law, Governor Pence could've attempted to address it during the legislative session earlier this year.

But that wasn't important to Governor Pence then, and he shouldn't get to ignore the law now just because it isn't politically convenient.

For an opposing view, see Ogden On Politics.