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Signs of Trouble for Public Transit

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Signs of Trouble for Public Transit
Posted by JPS1 on Thursday, October 29, 2020 8:22 PM
According to a study by Upwork, 11.5 percent of the surveyed population, which included a cross section of U.S. communities large and small, say they plan to move to more affordable communities.  A higher percentage of those living in major cities (20.6%) said they planned to move for affordablility. 
 
“As our survey shows, many people see remote work as an opportunity to relocate to where they want and where they can afford to live,” Upwork chief economist Adam Ozimek said in a statement.
 
According to a Wall Street Journal article, more than 500,000 people have fled New York City since the pandemic began.  Although it is a small percentage of the total population, approximately 7 percent, it could be a harbinger of things to come. 
 
One indicator of the impact is shown by apartment rentals.  In Manhattan the rent for one-bedroom units fell by 15.4% in September; in San Francisco they dropped 24%.  For the first time since 2009, the median price of a one-bedroom apartment in NYC has fallen below $3,000 per month.  
 
If the best and the brightest flee the cities, which is a possibility, what does it mean for public transit, especially commuter rail? 
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Posted by GERALD L MCFARLANE JR on Thursday, October 29, 2020 9:02 PM

Keep in mind, the only company I know of so far that has said they're going to not adjust salaries for where their employees remote work from is Reddit...all others have said salaries will be adjusted for cost of living in the actual location people live in.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, October 29, 2020 10:38 PM

GERALD L MCFARLANE JR
Keep in mind, the only company I know of so far that has said they're going to not adjust salaries for where their employees remote work from is Reddit...all others have said salaries will be adjusted for cost of living in the actual location people live in.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

In my general area the 'new developments' being built have their sales signs posted 'Starting from the low 600's'.  Yep that is affordable housing outside the city.

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Posted by JPS1 on Thursday, October 29, 2020 10:51 PM

BaltACD
 Ha! Ha! Ha!

In my general area the 'new developments' being built have their sales signs posted 'Starting from the low 600's'.  Yep that is affordable housing outside the city. 

The median price of an owner-occupied house in Austin is $312,300.  In Hutto, which is a fast-growing suburb approximately 29 miles northeast of Austin, the median price for an owner-occupied house is $184,100. 

The average commute time from Hutto to Austin, assuming the person fleeing from Austin still has to go to Austin for work, is 29 minutes on TX130, which is an 80-mph toll road.

As per the U.S. Census Bureau, which is the source of the above numbers, similar patterns exist for every large city in Texas. 

Affordable housing in this example or in the quoted survey does not mean affordable housing as defined by the Federal Housing Administration.  It means less expensive than the cost of housing in the core city.   

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, November 16, 2020 8:59 PM

JPS1
According to a study by Upwork, 11.5 percent of the surveyed population, which included a cross section of U.S. communities large and small, say they plan to move to more affordable communities.  A higher percentage of those living in major cities (20.6%) said they planned to move for affordablility.    “As our survey shows, many people see remote work as an opportunity to relocate to where they want and where they can afford to live,” Upwork chief economist Adam Ozimek said in a statement.   According to a Wall Street Journal article, more than 500,000 people have fled New York City since the pandemic began.  Although it is a small percentage of the total population, approximately 7 percent, it could be a harbinger of things to come.    One indicator of the impact is shown by apartment rentals.  In Manhattan the rent for one-bedroom units fell by 15.4% in September; in San Francisco they dropped 24%.  For the first time since 2009, the median price of a one-bedroom apartment in NYC has fallen below $3,000 per month.     If the best and the brightest flee the cities, which is a possibility, what does it mean for public transit, especially commuter rail? 

The underlying basis of your presumption is that others will not move into the city to take advantage of the falling prices and that the migration is only in one direction.    I don't think that will be the case.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Monday, November 16, 2020 9:15 PM

BaltACD
Ha! Ha! Ha! In my general area the 'new developments' being built have their sales signs posted 'Starting from the low 600's'.  Yep that is affordable housing outside the city.

In Texas just 20-25 miles is a significant difference in price for the exact same model of home by the same builder.    I have a feeling that is unique to Texas though due to land availability.   You can buy a 4000-5000 sq foot brick house for $400-500k that would sell for $3-5 million in the Chicago area by venturing out a little further from Dallas or Fort Worth.

My home sold new for $148k in 1999 at 2100 sq foot single level brick 4 bedrooms.    It sells for over $300k now and when I retire the price will be around $500k.   I did much better in stocks with the same amount of money over the same period but still, not a bad deal money wise.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 9:42 PM

CMStPnP

 

 
JPS1
According to a study by Upwork, 11.5 percent of the surveyed population, which included a cross section of U.S. communities large and small, say they plan to move to more affordable communities.  A higher percentage of those living in major cities (20.6%) said they planned to move for affordablility.    “As our survey shows, many people see remote work as an opportunity to relocate to where they want and where they can afford to live,” Upwork chief economist Adam Ozimek said in a statement.   According to a Wall Street Journal article, more than 500,000 people have fled New York City since the pandemic began.  Although it is a small percentage of the total population, approximately 7 percent, it could be a harbinger of things to come.    One indicator of the impact is shown by apartment rentals.  In Manhattan the rent for one-bedroom units fell by 15.4% in September; in San Francisco they dropped 24%.  For the first time since 2009, the median price of a one-bedroom apartment in NYC has fallen below $3,000 per month.     If the best and the brightest flee the cities, which is a possibility, what does it mean for public transit, especially commuter rail? 

 

The underlying basis of your presumption is that others will not move into the city to take advantage of the falling prices and that the migration is only in one direction.    I don't think that will be the case.

 

The "presumption" is to simply note the drop in rental prices within several cities, at least this year. It will be more clear if condo prices also drop. 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 7:03 AM

charlie hebdo
The "presumption" is to simply note the drop in rental prices within several cities, at least this year. It will be more clear if condo prices also drop. 

OK well if that all that there is.............just to note a drop in rental prices.   Why is it posted in this Forum again?    Scratching my head there since you severed the relationship to Mass Transit, and the comment on the best and brightest leaving the city.

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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Saturday, January 16, 2021 6:24 PM

And here's another reason people are bailing from big cities and their transit systems -lunatics everywhere

http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/742/t/284324.aspx

 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, January 17, 2021 8:09 PM

CMStPnP

 

 
charlie hebdo
The "presumption" is to simply note the drop in rental prices within several cities, at least this year. It will be more clear if condo prices also drop. 

 

OK well if that all that there is.............just to note a drop in rental prices.   Why is it posted in this Forum again?    Scratching my head there since you severed the relationship to Mass Transit, and the comment on the best and brightest leaving the city.

 

My comment was strictly about your response to the JPS post, in which you seemed to read something into it that was not tbere,  akin to a straw man argument. Maybe people will snap up condos in the cities,  maybe not.  It's a gamble, since it is quite possible that a lot of folks will not be working in downtown offices in the future as much as pre-Covid, thus removing one of the attractions of living there. 

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Posted by n012944 on Monday, January 18, 2021 11:35 AM

charlie hebdo

  It will be more clear if condo prices also drop. 

 

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/petertaylor/2020/10/28/is-new-york-citys-real-estate-market-really-tanking-i-asked-three-experts-for-the-brutal-truth/?sh=567b564c16b8

"On the sales side, the data are even more bruising. As of September 1, the average median sales price for condos and townhomes in Manhattan year-over-year has decreased -24.3%. Closed sales have dropped -37%, even accounting for the decline in prices. "

 

 

On the flip side, my house appraised last month for almost double what I paid for it in the spring of 2018.  Houses listed in my area have multiple offers on the 1st day on the market.  Going for over asking price is the new normal here.  Florida is in, NYC not so much.

An "expensive model collector"

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 10:38 AM
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Posted by JPS1 on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 11:26 AM

charlie hebdo

This is an informative article.  How many people will come back downtown and when are big questions.  A read of the business press shows a variety of opinions.  Many of the writers believe that lots of the folks that are working from home or other remote locations will not go back to spending five days a week in a central office.  

Following the Spanish Flu Pandemic, people returned to the workstyles and lifestyles that they knew before the pandemic.  They did not have many if any practicable alternatives.  Now, however, technology has made alternate workstyles and lifestyles doable.  The nation is not going back to the way it was before 2020. 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 1:05 PM

JPS1

 

 
charlie hebdo

 

This is an informative article.  How many people will come back downtown and when are big questions.  A read of the business press shows a variety of opinions.  Many of the writers believe that lots of the folks that are working from home or other remote locations will not go back to spending five days a week in a central office.  

Following the Spanish Flu Pandemic, people returned to the workstyles and lifestyles that they knew before the pandemic.  They did not have many if any practicable alternatives.  Now, however, technology has made alternate workstyle and lifestyle doable.  The nation is not going back to the way it was before 2020. 

 

Exactly so!   We should also keep in mind several trends that were underway before the pandemic accelerated them. 

1. Office workers working remotely, at least part-time. And their employers may decide to downsize office spaces as a sensible cost cutting action.

2. Retailers are doing business more and more online. Macy's in Chicago has decided to close its WaterTower Place store. 

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Thursday, January 21, 2021 8:36 PM

When I call Fidelity, or a Medicine provider and other call centers, I frequently ask what call center I  have reached and in converstion with the reps, I have determined that almost all are working from home. They indicate it saves them commuting time and expense. All seem to like it. Like Derwinski says, we may have a new "NORMAL"!

P.S. I like to call it "Infinite Couriosity" which sounds better than "Nosiness".

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Posted by York1 on Thursday, January 21, 2021 8:54 PM

 

The issue of productivity seems to be all over the map.

Some employers say their work-at-home employees actually are more productive.

But there are many who believe that's an illusion that will change once the economy gears back after the virus has run its course.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-14/at-jpmorgan-productivity-falls-for-younger-employees-at-home

 

In my field, when something new came along, many said it was better or that they liked it more, etc.  However, when the true picture emerged, the results were not what was expected.

If we believe transit will eventually make a comeback, this may be the best time for transit systems to repair, replace, update, streamline, etc.

York1 John       

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, January 22, 2021 9:08 AM

York1
The issue of productivity seems to be all over the map.

Some employers say their work-at-home employees actually are more productive.

But there are many who believe that's an illusion that will change once the economy gears back after the virus has run its course.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-14/at-jpmorgan-productivity-falls-for-younger-employees-at-home

 

In my field, when something new came along, many said it was better or that they liked it more, etc.  However, when the true picture emerged, the results were not what was expected.

If we believe transit will eventually make a comeback, this may be the best time for transit systems to repair, replace, update, streamline, etc.

There are beneficial synergies that are developed with a work force working in personal contact with each other that cannot be developed any other way.  Zoom is not the replacement for personal contact.

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Posted by York1 on Friday, January 22, 2021 9:14 AM

BaltACD
There are beneficial synergies that are developed with a work force working in personal contact with each other that cannot be developed any other way.  Zoom is not the replacement for personal contact.

 

I agree completely.  I believe the same is true for schools.

York1 John       

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Friday, January 22, 2021 11:35 AM

It's all in flux.  In higher education,  my friends who are still active are finding online works quite well depending on the type of class and experience of the professor with online delivery.  

From my contact with parents, online works so-so for middle and high school and quite well with better students.  For grade school,  purely distance learning seems to be inferior to in-person and hybrid models. 

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Saturday, January 23, 2021 12:48 AM

I suspect that some middle management supervisors of remote employees can't see their employees working and if they can't quantify their production, grow suspicious that they are slacking off. And they want them back under their supervision. Call centers can get metrics of all the call counts, times, etc. So they are good for working from home. But creative persons are hard to get metrics for what they do. I believe that brainstorming is better in person with the team members. 

The bank I use has new ATMs that have a remote teller for transactions that can't be done by yourself. They could be working from home for all I know. The terminal can scan the item (front & back) and also "see" any document you need to show them. And dispense cash. It can't of course do loans.

I sold my house last month and almost all signing and other paper pushing was done remotely. Documents were sent electronically, signed, scanned, and emailed back. I never met the buyer. Had one in person meeting with my lawyer at his office.  Had some meetings with our realtor. Our lawyer deposited proceeds into my account. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, January 23, 2021 8:03 AM

Electroliner 1935
I suspect that some middle management supervisors of remote employees can't see their employees working and if they can't quantify their production, grow suspicious that they are slacking off. And they want them back under their supervision. Call centers can get metrics of all the call counts, times, etc. So they are good for working from home. But creative persons are hard to get metrics for what they do. I believe that brainstorming is better in person with the team members. 

The bank I use has new ATMs that have a remote teller for transactions that can't be done by yourself. They could be working from home for all I know. The terminal can scan the item (front & back) and also "see" any document you need to show them. And dispense cash. It can't of course do loans.

I sold my house last month and almost all signing and other paper pushing was done remotely. Documents were sent electronically, signed, scanned, and emailed back. I never met the buyer. Had one in person meeting with my lawyer at his office.  Had some meetings with our realtor. Our lawyer deposited proceeds into my account. 

For the most part management fails when it comes to supervising positions where THOUGHT is the primary work product.  Management wants to see physical actions to denote that the employee is actually working.  Management cannot see the thought process the employee is undertaking to come up with the proper physical action to solve the issues that are presenting themselves to the employee.  With this failing, it makes no difference if the supervision is remote or up close and personal.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Saturday, January 23, 2021 12:25 PM

BaltACD

There are beneficial synergies that are developed with a work force working in personal contact with each other that cannot be developed any other way.  Zoom is not the replacement for personal contact.

A couple of examples from the computer field:

In Lundstrom's book, "A Few Good Men from Univac", he had an example of how having a few engineers sharing an office helped productivity by allowing instant communication verbally and visually. For instance, one engineer could tell the group that he needed a particular signal and another would reply "you got it, use label XYZ for the signal". He had a counter example of where a project was split between two locations resulting in multiple foul-ups.

Intel had great counter-example with the 8086/8087 design, where the 8086 was designed in Santa Clara and the 8087 was designed in Israel. One glaring fault of the overall design was the 8087 had no way of signaling that the stack was full and had to waste time checking for a full stack. Related to that was no provision for pushing bottom of the stack to memory.

General advantage of working with personal contact is dealing with new situations, where members of the group know each other's strengths and weaknesses, e.g. "Harry probably has some insight on this".

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, January 23, 2021 12:39 PM

All true,  at least if the manager is a bean-counter type who only can see productivity,  etc. with metrics. 

On the other hand, in-person contact can cause distractions and impair performance sometimes, especially when the work is done by a team.**  I once had a patient who worked for Bell Lab > Lucent, where teamwork was de rigueur. Often it slowed things down and look what happened to that once proud outfit. 

 

** The concept of Social Loafing has been demonstrated repeatedly in social psych research dating back over 100 years but especially to Latane in 1979.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, January 23, 2021 4:38 PM

charlie hebdo
  I once had a patient who worked for Bell Lab > Lucent, where teamwork was de rigueur. Often it slowed things down and look what happened to that once proud outfit. 

Bean counters happened.  Bean counters can't comprehend anything other than busy work.  They have to see hands moving or keys clicking - and never give any consideration to the thought processes necessary to have the hands move productively or the key click to also be productive.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, January 23, 2021 8:37 PM

The concept of co-workers collaborating on ideas is ethereal, whereas office space rent is real money.  I wonder which a manager will chose.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, January 24, 2021 3:50 AM

Two railfans that also happen to work in Acoustics meet by chance in the lounge car of the eastbound Cincinatti Limited and...........

see:   http://proaudioencyclopedia.com/manfred-schroeders-frequency-shifter-an-audio-milestone/

 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, January 24, 2021 6:02 PM

Activated the link.  It's a very interesting article,  Dave. 

http://proaudioencyclopedia.com/manfred-schroeders-frequency-shifter-an-audio-milestone/

 

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, January 24, 2021 10:32 PM

Interesting story on CBS Sunday Morning today.  They interviewed both those who thought workers would go back to offices, and those who thought working from home was here to stay.  It seemed the CEOs would decide based on which style they favored.  However, just like activist investors have forced companies to shed costs thru layoffs and other savings, I think they will next target office rental costs.

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Posted by Former Car Maintainer on Saturday, April 24, 2021 10:48 PM

Some transit systems are at 20% of pre-pandemic ridership.

As far as remote work...I doubt punch in time clocks will ever go away...and sucking up to the boss is easier by going into the office than by zoom..

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