Stimulus package already bringing about changes

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's interesting to watch some of the concrete changes taking place now that the stimulus package has been approved. One of them is shown here on the Washington Post, whereby transit users have their monthly benefit doubled starting Sunday, which apparently makes transit free for most.
Good news for transit riders: Starting Sunday, the monthly transit benefit allowance increases to $230 from the current $120, thanks to the recently enacted economic stimulus package.

The new federal legislation allows employers to subsidize their employees as much as $230 a month, or $2,760 a year, in public transportation benefits. Or an employee can receive the benefit as a pretax payroll deduction or some combination of the two.
Here's who benefits the most:
The benefit could boost ridership among commuters who have the longest and most expensive rides, officials said. On VRE, about 65 percent of commuter rail riders are federal employees who receive the free monthly transit subsidy. A $230 monthly subsidy would pay for a rider's entire commute on the Manassas line and all but $40 for Fredericksburg line riders traveling the farthest distances, said VRE Chief Executive Dale Zehner. A monthly pass between Manassas and Union Station costs $220.90; the monthly pass between Fredericksburg and L'Enfant Plaza costs $270.

What I'd like to see though is an article on the effect this has on those facing foreclosures or struggling with rent (because I know pretty much nothing about the Washington D.C. area). This article says that:

RealtyTrac, which collects foreclosure data, recently reported that foreclosure activity in January was 18 percent higher than in January 2008.

"We feel extremely sorry for the people who have to go through the [foreclosure] process," said Thomas R. Kunz, president and chief executive officer of Century 21 Real Estate. He attributed much of the downward pressure on prices to the huge inventory of homes for sale, many of which are foreclosed properties.

Maybe I'll email Nate Silver to see if he'd be interested in whipping up a quick analysis on the benefits of increased funding in public transportation for those struggling with paying off huge mortgages.


  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP