Ministry of Transportation Policy Reviews
Public Secretary's Notes: Below are a collection of policy possibilities within the Ministry of Transportation - as costed per quarter.
Road and Highway Construction
Note: Although environmentalists often argue that more roads just lead to more congestion, not surprisingly this isn't how the motorist who is sat in traffic sees it. Building new roads is a very expensive and very slow process, but some suggest its vital to keep our economy functioning.
Present Policy: Basic Maintenance (700 million)
Possible Options: Minimal Upkeep (65 million - 375 million) - Basic Maintenance (375 million - 1,000 million) - Quality Repair (1,000 million - 1,600 million) - Modest Expansion of System (1,600 million - 2,200 million) - Major Expansion of System (2,200 million - 2,850 million) - Develop Major New National Road Network (2,850 million - 3,200 million)
Note: Setting legal limits on exhaust fumes helps to reduce air pollution, especially in cities, but it's unpopular with motorists who look upon it as yet more bureaucracy and tax.
Present Cost: 2.5 million
Possible Range: 0 million - 50 million
Ban Fuel Inefficient Automobiles
Note: With gas prices climbing constantly and nature being polluted from all sides, banning cars that use too much fuel may be the right step to protect the environment and help with excessive fuel usage. A big street cruiser might look cool, but it's way too expensive and wasteful and should be banned from the streets. What is good for the environment is good for society.
Possible Range: Minor Restrictions (2.5 million) - Moderate Restrictions (3.75 million) - Major Restrictions (5 million)
Ban Women Drivers
Note: Whether the justification is some passage in a religious text, or just a general cultural attitude that implies women can not or should not control a motor vehicle, this policy represents restrictions on 50% of the population in terms of their freedom to drive. This may be popular with extreme conservative and religious groups but is the extreme opposite of liberalism and gender equality.
Possible Range: 7.5 million - 23 million
Note: To encourage people to switch from car to bike, a financial motivation is sometimes needed. By introducing bicycle subsidies, it will now be easier and cheaper for people to buy bikes. And this will result in more people actually using a bike instead of driving a car or staying inside, boosting the health of all citizens by a little.
Possible Range: 19 million - 140 million
Develop Dedicated Bus Lanes
Note: Setting aside specific lanes of a road for use only by buses (and perhaps taxis and motorbikes) is one way to get traffic flowing faster and avoid congestion. It also shortens journey times for public transport and therefore encourages usage. There are noticeable costs involved in setting up such schemes, and motorists can be annoyed if the bus lanes seem empty while they remain stuck in traffic.
Possible Range: 60 million - 140 million
Note: Biofuels can reduce oil demand, by mixing ethanol derived from corn with petro-chemical fuel. This is generally popular with environmentalists. Farmers who earn money producing corn for biofuel use also benefit. Biofuels with a higher mix of ethanol can be subsidized through tax breaks.
Possible Range: 2 million - 280 million
Subsidise Bus Transport
Note: Traffic congestion and pollution can be reduced by encouraging people to travel by bus instead of car. It can be an expensive option though, and some motorists may resent a transport system they do not use being subsidized.
Possible Range: 75 million - 970 million
Car-Pooling Media Campaign
Note: It often takes some encouragement for people to come together and make better use of the resources at hand. Car-pooling is a good example of that, so this campaign will make people realize how fun and helpful it can be to car-pool, all the while reducing traffic congestion. And if you still end up in a traffic jam, you at least have people to talk to while waiting.
Possible Range: 12 million - 40 million
Clean-Burning Fuel Subsidies
Note: A Subsidy for cleaner fuels such as Ultra-Low Sulfur fuel in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of motoring. The subsidy will reduce the costs of fitting catalytic converters to older cars, and provide an incentive at the pump to choose less damaging fuels.
Possible Range: 45 million - 220 million
Note: An extreme measure to fight pollution, closing down all airports will have severe effects on trade, foreign relations and tourism but will cause much less pollution and increase the usage of other transportation. In this modern day, we simply cannot turn a blind eye to the damage to the environment that is being done by our air travel industry. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Possible Options: Ban Heavy Freight and Private Flights - ..and Domestic Flights - ..and Near-International Flights - ..and Far-International Flights - Ban All Air Traffic
Urban Congestion Fees
Note: In many large cities, the number of cars travelling in each day is simply unsustainable. Although a fairly blunt instrument, simply charging (through number plate recognition) every vehicle that enters a city each day has proven to be an effective way to reduce congestion in extreme cases.
Possible Income: 0 million - 110 million
Cycling Media Campaign
Note: This campaign highlights the many advantages that bikes have in our cities. Whether it is to get through heavy traffic with ease, save money for fuel or to help prevent unnecessary pollution, the bike offers many things for many different people, they just don't know it yet.
Possible Range: 15 million - 50 million
Driver-less Car Regulations
Note: Driver-less car technology is booming. The manufacturers are encouraging the government to allow their use on public roads.
Possible Options: Private Land Only - Dedicated Lanes - Within Urban Areas - High-Speed Roads
Subsidise Electric Vehicles
Note: The introduction of a standardized nation-wide recharging system for electric cars has lead to increased sales of such vehicles. Encouraging the acquisition of electric cars reduces our countries dependence on oil. Environmentalists are happy about every car that does not emit carbon dioxide.
Possible Options: Electrify All Public Road Transport Vehicles - ..and Electrify All Commercial Vehicles - ..and Electrify All Private Vehicles
Subsidised Bus Travel for Children and Elderly
Note: Traditionally, free bus travel is offered as a concession to those citizens of retirement age. This can be expensive, but it's a great way to reduce car usage and thus reduce pollution and congestion. Some oppose such a distortion of the market however.
Possible Range: 75 million - 275 million
Fuel Efficiency Standards
Note: Mandatory standards for new cars which dictate the minimum level of fuel efficiency. This is a long term measure aimed to raise the fuel efficiency of the country's cars, and thus reduce our dependence on oil, as well as reducing the cost of driving over the long term. It will be unpopular with car manufacturers, but a hit with environmentalists.
Estimated Cost: 14 million
High-Speed Rail Subsidies
Note: This is not a standard rail network that drags along at mediocre speeds, but a modern high-tech rail system fit for the twenty first century, connecting the country and allowing super-fast travel between major cities. The costs are high, but the benefits for commuters, the economy and the environment are clear.
Possible Options: Regional Rail [140kmph/85mph] (850 million - 1,450 million) - High-Speed Regional [160kmph/100mph] (1,450 million - 2,650 million) - Bullet Trains [260kmph/160mph] (2,650 million - 3,850 million) - Experimental MagLev [325kmph/200mph] (3,850 million - 5,000 million) - Experimental Vacuum Hyperloop [550kmph/340mph] (5,000 million - 5,750 million)
Urban Vehicle Restrictions
Note: Cars are a major factor in air pollution, especially in big cities. Adding a congestion charge or outright banning them from cities will help greatly in fighting air pollution in cities and will increase the use of public transportation. It might look a little extreme to ban cars altogether but it's still better than to breathe in all that poison.
Possible Options: Alternate-Day Driving - Ban Private Vehicles - Ban Commercial Vehicles - Ban All Vehicles
Subsidise New Car Purchases
Note: New cars are expensive but also cause less strain on the environment, while old and used cars may be cheaper but also cause more pollution. Using new car subsidies will help people buy new cars that are safer and protect the environment while making motorists happy. New car smell for everyone!
Possible Range: 35 million - 500 million
Satellite Tracked Perpetual Tolls
Note: An expensive system that requires transponders to be fitted to everyone's car and keeps track of what roads people use (and when). Allows per-road pricing for car usage which gives local authorities fine control over reducing congestion without burdening motorists in more remote rural areas who have no alternative transport system.
Possible Income Range: -1,600 million (tracking only) - 1,250 million (income)
Note: So much prestige is wrapped up in a national airline, that literally flies the flag for our country, that its often considered worthwhile to have a state-owned and run airline, maybe run at a loss to encourage tourism, and patriotism.
Possible Cost Range: -110 million (income) - 250 million (cost)
Note: A state owned and run rail company that allows the government to run public transport at a loss, if so desired.
Possible Cost Range: -1,400 million (income) - 7,750 million (cost)
Municipal School Buses
Note: State subsidies for school buses ensure that every school kid has an efficient, and safe journey to school, whilst reducing the number of short 'school-run' trips carried out by parents, thus reducing traffic on the roads. Parents are also happier knowing that there are proper approved school buses.
Possible Range: 150 million - 325 million
Note: Telecommuting, or 'working from home' is seen as desirable because it reduces the pressure on the transport infrastructure, and can be an improvement to people's quality of life. It's also welcomed by parents. This policy offers tax incentives to companies supporting this option.
Possible Range: 25 million - 250 million
State Road Toll Company
Note: Toll roads charge motorists to use specific roads (normally major highways). This is a great example of directly applying market forces, by only charging those who use a particular route for the construction and maintenance of that route. Motorists tend to see this as just another form of taxation, whereas commuters appreciate not being charged for roads they seldom use.
Possible Income Range: 4,100 million - 52,100 million