We need to start reversing this trend by working against global markets and corporations. You cannot control or hold accountable businesses this size...everyone knows that. So that means all of the incumbents must go!!! When you listen to the news with all of the corporate angst regarding Congressional actions......as if that is the reason for stagnation, look at the international news to see US businesses are expanding in leaps and bounds....there is no stagnation, they are doing just as they planned. Domestically we never hear that because the intent is to hand all that is public over to private hands and they need the drama of this deficit to do it. ALL OF THIS IS A LONG PLANNED SCHEME AND THERE IS NO CRISIS....ONLY BAD POLICY AND BAD PEOPLE IN LEADERSHIP.
NPR has now become the harbinger of things to come. They slowly expose the public to the next phase of the 'New Economy' by highlighting the next phase....in this case it is transportation. Here in Maryland we have already been exposed to high speed rail and the need to raise gas taxes 6% to pay for more road infrastructure...and we cannot manage it without partnerships. Taxpayers build the ICC at such a leverage as to require private companies to build others and collect tolls at a profit.
THE RECURRING THEME IN MARYLAND AND BALTIMORE IS MARTIN O'MALLEY'S SIGNATURE AND WHY HE WAS TAPPED FOR NATIONAL OFFICE:
LEVERAGE THE HECK OUT OF ALL GOVERNMENT TRANSACTIONS AND MAKE THE PUBLIC TIED TO WALL STREET DEBT. IT IS VERY SIMPLE. THINK OF WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO DO WITH THE SCHOOL BONDS IN BALTIMORE AND ALL THAT LEVERAGE.
The last article shows Veola yet again. This is an example of how Maryland is not only being sold to Wall Street, but is being used in this global game of quid pro quo in corporate expansion. Take a look at this global corp and its history to see that, like the sale of BGE energy company to Exelon, O'Malley has literally blown Maryland's public out of the water.
Local transportation observers say that if Maryland motorists want new or wider highways, the state’s next alternative would be allowing private companies to build and operate roads for a profit. That, of course, would lead to motorists paying more tolls.
ICC puts strain on Maryland’s transportation funds
The Washington Post -
By Katherine Shaver, Published: November 21, 2011 | Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 6:42 AM
The 18.8-mile Intercounty Connector, which opened in full Tuesday, could be the last publicly funded highway built in Maryland for a generation, as the state’s tolling agency, which financed its $2.56 billion construction, reaches its debt limit, local transportation experts said.
Financing for the six-lane toll road linking Interstate 270 in Montgomery County with Interstate 95 in Prince George’s County leveraged the Maryland Transportation Authority’s statewide toll collections.
But the transportation authority’s debt capacity is tapped out from borrowing to build the ICC and $1 billion in express toll lanes on I-95 northeast of Baltimore, state budget analysts said. Mounting debt recently prompted the authority to raise tolls statewide as the authority also struggles to maintain its aging bridges, tunnels and roads.
“You’re probably looking at another 20 years before we see another major road like this be built,” said Lon Anderson, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Supporters say the ICC provides a vital east-west link long missing from Maryland’s highway network, but some critics worry about the toll road’s long-term financial effects. They say the ICC’s hefty price — it’s the most expensive road Maryland has ever built — has hamstrung the state’s transportation finances for years.
“The state has mortgaged its transportation future in many ways to the ICC,” said Montgomery County Council member Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville), a longtime critic of the highway. “The opportunity cost of building the ICC has been huge, because it’s foreclosed improving many other roads.”
HERE IS NPR PREPARING US FOR THE MUST-NEEDED PARTNERSHIPS IN TRANSPORTATION. REMEMBER......WE ARE OWED TRILLIONS IN FRAUD FROM THESE VERY DEVELOPMENT CORPS WHO WILL BE BROUGHT IN TO BUILD THIS INFRASTRUCTURE AND THEN THEY WILL PAY FOR IT BY CHARGING EVER HIGHER TOLLS. CAN'T AFFORD THE TOLLS? MOVE OUT OF MARYLAND IS THEIR MOTTO!!! THEY USED ALL OF YOUR TRANSPORTATION TRUST FOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS IN WASHINGTON SUBURBS AND NOW ALL OTHER STATE CONSTRUCTION WILL BE PRIVATIZED AND TOLLED
Below you revisit the Mass Trans as it is a model for Maryland....Baltimore just inherited Boston's development person.... just like Maryland after two decades of record growth and profit (albeit fueled by fraud) no investment in infrastructure happened. Now the roads and bridges are like Baltimore's defunded, blighted neighborhoods in need now of corporate rescue. Boston on the other hand is still trying to recover from the Big Dig and public losses to massive fraud there.
WE DON'T NEED DEVELOPERS INVESTING AND DECIDING WHERE AND WHAT OUR TRANSPORTATION WILL BE.....WE SIMPLY NEED CORPORATIONS TO REPAY FRAUD AND PAY THEIR TAXES INTO OUR GENERAL FUND.
Prospering Public Transportation Air Date: Week of November 23, 2012
Urban walkers (photo: bigstockphoto.com)
With more and more people riding the train, public transportation systems are becoming increasingly crowded. Yet many are deep into debt; for instance Boston's system, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is 130 million dollars in the red. George Washington University Transportation researcher Christopher Leinberger discusses his plan to revitalize public transportation and curb climate change with host Steve Curwood.
Transcript CURWOOD: It’s Living on Earth, I'm Steve Curwood. As more and more people move into walk-able city centers, public transit ridership is on the rise - and under stress.
Nowhere is the trend more stark than Boston, home of the nation’s first subway system.
[BACKGROUND NOISE, SUBWAY]
WOMAN: This morning I was on the 6:00am Heath Street train and there was a broken down car ahead of us and we had to get off of three different trains and back on, and everyone on the train was late for work. They did a lot of service cuts recently, I feel like they’re just short on people or something. I don’t know, but it’s definitely been way worse than what I’ve experienced in the past few years.
MAN: I actually waited last week for like a half an hour for a B-line train, I think. I saw a bunch of other trains go by and then mine came and it was so full that I had to wait for the next one. And then the next one came and that was even still full so I just squeezed my way on, shoved my way on.
CURWOOD: Despite the boom in ridership and a recent fare hike, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is in deep financial trouble, with some routes strained to the breaking point. The combination of debt, operating deficits, long deferred maintenance, and growing ridership looks like an intractable problem, especially with governments' budgets squeezed.
But there is a way to finance operations and expansion that taps the profits that transit can bring to business, according to Christopher Leinberger, a George Washington University transportation researcher. He says - think of transit attached to walkable districts as a means of sustainable economic development that then helps pay the transit tab, and fights climate change.
LEINBERGER: Transportation, whether it be roads or rail transit, or bike lanes, have always been subsidized. The airlines have been around 100 years, and the net profit that those airlines have made in that 100 years, is zero, the few good years get offset by crushing losses. The question is – who pays? We have a situation where the federal government is not going to play its historic role funding a significant amount of mass transit, the state governments are in the same situation, so where does that money come from?
And I’m suggesting, and Locus is suggesting, and a lot of developers are suggesting that we need to learn from how we used to build our transit systems 100 years ago. This country 100 years ago had the finest rail transit system on the planet. And the vast majority of it was paid for by real estate developers, and it’s not as if the economics were different then than now – those rail transit systems, those trollies, those subways in New York, lost money. So why did developers build them?
They built them to get their customers out to their land, so land profits subsidized the transit, and that’s what we’re proposing with value capture as well. Value capture is capturing the value that’s created by transportation improvements. And it’s not as if you can just assume that developers are just going to pay for it all, that’s not going to happen. Think of it as a layer cake of different financing sources.
Some is going to be from the federal government, some is going to be from the state government, and some will be from the developers that will commit a portion of their profits, a portion of their up-sides that pay off the bonds that build those transit systems.
CURWOOD: So, tell me, how could this concept of value capture work for existing transit systems? Consider Boston for example, the fare box just pays for the debt, but businesses have been getting the MBTA for free, so why would they now want to pay?
LEINBERGER: Because they could get increased density, possibly. So that you could go to the existing property owners and say, ‘we will zone a higher density for you. In exchange, we want a piece of that upside to help pay for either the operations of or the capital improvements of the rail system.’
CURWOOD: Let’s focus for a moment more on new transit systems – how does value capture work exactly for those new routes of mass transit?
LEINBERGER: With a new system, such as the new line that’s going out to Tyson’s Corner in northern Virginia from downtown DC, about a third of that cost is being paid for by the property owners at Tyson’s. Tyson’s, 25 years ago, led the market in DC, the highest rents, the highest absorption, they were the king of the hill. Today, they’re near the bottom, and that’s because the market wants more walkable, urban, higher-density places.
So, the Tyson’s developers, very intelligently, said they have to bring metro out to Tyson’s. And so they taxed themselves to pay for about a third of the cost of that very expensive rail system. Another way is the New York Ave. metro station in DC, a bunch of developers got together and said: We’d like to build a station, and we so need this station that we’re willing to pony up, again, about a third of the cost, and they put the money upfront.
And I’ve talked to one of them recently and he says it’s the best investment he’s ever made because money in that metro station increased the value of his land so much that he made a phenomenal return on that investment.
The Washington DC tube (photo: bigstockphoto.com)
CURWOOD: What about Boston? Boston wants to extend its green line out from the Lechmere area out to Somerville. How could value capture work for that new route?
LEINBERGER: Well, there’s a number of new developments that are being proposed along that green line, and there are some very substantial developers that are proposing it. They too could help pay for the stations and they could also cut a deal with the MBTA to maybe share a piece of their financial upsides to help pay for the operations.
Because, with transit, you’ve got both the issue of capital costs and operating costs – most systems, the operating costs are not even covered by the fare box and then you have to find separate sources of funding to pay for the capital costs, and that’s just the way it is, so we have to deal with that.
CURWOOD: What’s the formula for having this economic success. If you bring a transit line to a certain place, what needs to be there to get the development that you say, and how critical is walkability?
LEINBERGER: Walkability is driving this. Walkable urban places have a significant price premium over drivable suburban, and so much so that the variability in economic performance, about 2/3s of it is explained by how walkable it is. It’s a major economic driver. The other two, by the way, happen to be job density and work force education level, how many people have their college degrees. That explains over 90 percent of the reason why these walk-able urban places perform so well economically.
A passenger waits for the T in Boston (photo: bigstockphoto.com)
CURWOOD: How does Boston move forward? What do you recommend?
LEINBERGER: Think of it as a baseball team. Think of it as the Boston Red Sox. And the infielders are the walkable urban places, whether they be in the suburbs or the city. The outfielders are the 128 drivable suburban places. They’re both important, but you have pent up demand for more walkable urban places and the market wants a lot of those to be in the suburbs.
The center city is growing and the suburbs are not just not growing, they may be shrinking.
WONDER IF O'MALLEY, ANTHONY BROWN, MAGGIE MCINTOSH, AND RALWINGS-BLAKE IS WORKING FOR THE CITIZENS OF MARYLAND, OR FOR THE 1% WITH GLOBAL INTERESTS?
SINCE VEOLA HAS TAKEN OVER MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION WORKERS FROM TAXI DRIVERS TO BUS DRIVERS HAVE BEEN FORCED TO TAKE WAGE CUTS AND LOSS OF BENEFITS. TAXI DRIVERS WERE MADE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS WHO NOW CAN'T AFFORD HEALTH INSURANCE.
THESE GLOBAL CORPORATIONS ARE CUT THROAT AND HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL OF HOW SERVICES ARE DEVELOPED AND RUN. THEY ARE BROUGHT TO THE STATE TO DO THE DIRTY WORK OF IMPOVERISHING WORKERS THAT USED TO BE MIDDLE-CLASS. WITH TAXPAYERS PAYING ALL THE CAPITAL COSTS......SHAREHOLDERS ARE ON EASY STREET. NOW, AFTER EXPANDING FROM WASTE MANAGEMENT AND WATER SYSTEMS, TO TRANSPORTATION, I HEAR THEY ARE GOING INTO THE ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE BUSINESS.
WHY WOULD WE WANT THESE KINDS OF BUSINESS CONNECTIONS? WE DON'T!!! IT IS JUST PITIFUL!!!
Veolia Rejects Federal Mediator's Proposal, PG County Bus Service Continues to Suffer Veolia Management Refuses to Allow Workers to Return WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --
Members of Teamsters Local 639 working for Veolia/TheBus remain on strike today after the company refused to agree to a settlement proposed by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service that would have resulted in an end to the current job action and an immediate restoration of regular bus service to the residents of Prince George's County, Md.
Late Wednesday night, the union agreed to a proposal by Federal Mediators to end the strike, return to work and extend the current contract another six months to allow for additional bargaining between the two sides. Veolia negotiators refused to immediately agree to the proposal, promising to give their answer to the Federal Mediators the morning of Thursday, Sept. 30. Late Thursday night the mediator was informed that Veolia completely rejected an extension and refused to allow drivers back to work.
"We have done all we can to settle this dispute," said Tommy Ratliff, President of Local 639 in Washington D.C. "The County Executive has been notified that the company is refusing to agree to a six-month extension, and is effectively refusing to negotiate. Our members are ready to get back to work, but the company is stonewalling."
Company representatives have made it clear that they are unwilling to accept even the most reasonable offers during negotiations, turning down every proposal the union put on the table – even those that would have saved Veolia more than $150,000 in health care costs.
"When the Federal Mediators are stunned by the company's behavior you know something is wrong," Ratliff said. "We received nothing but compliments from the mediators for our efforts to resolve the dispute. The only way I can describe Veolia's actions during bargaining is bizarre, and that may be an understatement."
Veolia is a French Multi-national company with operations throughout the US and Canada. The Teamsters represent thousands of Veolia members at all three of its North American subsidiaries. Veolia derives over $1 billion in revenue from its U.S. operations and more than $7.6 billion worldwide.
In contentious contract negotiations in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday, hundreds of workers at Teamsters Local Union 104, Amalgamated Transit Union Local No. 1433, and the International Union of Operating Engineers 428 agreed to a contract extension through midnight Sunday. All three unions are preparing for strike action, while the company has indicated that they intend to lock workers out if there is not an agreement by Sunday. In Phoenix, Veolia's maintenance staff is represented by Teamsters Local 104, Amalgamated Transit Union Local No. 1433 represents the more than 600 bus operators, and the International Union of Operating Engineers 428 is the bus mechanics' union.
Local 639 represents more than 8,000 workers in the Washington Metro area, a large number who reside in Maryland. Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
SOURCE Teamsters Local Union 639
THIS IS FROM BEFORE VEOLIA CAME TO MARYLAND/BALTIMORE. THERE IS A LITANY OF LAWSUITS ET AL THAT YOU CAN READ ABOUT WITH THE LINK BELOW.
Terminate Indianapolis's Contract with Veolia Don't let Veolia into your town or city
Excerpts from http://www.polarisinstitute.org/files/veoliapdf.pdf Return to Home
Since the late 1990’s, the multinational corporation Vivendi (now known as Vivendi Universal) has gone through a number of fundamental shifts in operational focus. Moving away from the environmental services management business and towards communications and media, Vivendi Universal has almost completely retreated from its roots in the water services industry where it began operations in France 1853. The Vivendi legacy, however, synonymous with water privatization and corruption, lives on in a new corporation created in 2002 out of their water and wastewater services division. The new company, Veolia Environment, which was known as Vivendi Environment until 2003, carries all of Vivendi’s history and reputation into its new corporate entity.
Vivendi, the notorious water services privateer, originally called Compagnie Générale des Eaux, was formed in the 1850s in France as a private water services provider. After more than a hundred years of global expansion in the water and wastewater services business, they expanded its business in the 1980’s with the acquisition of a waste management services and transportation provider and an energy services provider. In 1998, following the acquisition of several communications and media companies they changed its name to Vivendi. The same year Vivendi continued to extend its global environmental services activities with the acquisition of the leading water and wastewater treatment services company in the US, United States Filter Corporation.
In 1999, Vivendi created Vivendi Environment to conduct all of its environmental management activities. At this point, because of its now huge scope, Vivendi began to fall into some serious financial difficulties. Investors began to believe that the company was overstretched, causing a major sell-off of shares and a drop in Vivendi’s share price. They had to write off almost $17 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2002 and took $4.85 billion charge on their 2nd quarter earnings statement, because the value of their assets had dropped after the stock tumbled.
In April 2003 Vivendi Environment changed its name to Veolia Environment (VE).4
At the same time VE became a limited liability company under French law with a Board of Directors, replacing a Management Board and Supervisory Board structure used under its former core shareholder VU. This move essentially split VE from its former majority shareholder.
Like its predecessors, Veolia Environment profits from pro-privatization policies. VE has allied itself with international institutions and capitalized on its extensive links with the French government to ensure that the use of public private partnerships is a widely promoted and accepted economic development initiative. VE makes money managing privatized water utilities and it is in their interest to influence governments and institutions to privatize public services.
VE has also been charged with corruption, bribery and anti-competitive business practices on a number of occasions.
002 – 2004: Indianapolis, Indiana – Indianapolis authorities are realizing the mistake they made when they bought a 130-year old water utility from NiSource in 2002 and handed it over to US Filter instead of keeping it a public utility. Since US Filter was awarded the contract, lawsuits have been filed and customer complaints have gone up by 250% for the water utility, which serves over 1 million.
Within one month of requesting management proposals, US Filter was granted a contract. Opponents criticized the excessive secrecy and “fast-tracking” surrounding the agreement. At its first opportunity, the company, limited by the contract from firing employees in the first two years, began to cut corners by slashing employee benefits. A report by Public Citizen, member of the Indianapolis Citizen’s Water Coalition, states that “non-union employees lost their valuable "defined benefit" pension; health care coverage was reduced, vacation time, personal days, sick days and holidays were all reduced.85 The employees claim that over $9000 in annual benefits have been lost or $4.3 million per year. Employees are angry and fearful as talk of the first layoffs in 130 years circulate. CEO Jim Keene told employees, ‘Being fair does not mean having a job for life’.” The employees have brought a federal lawsuit against the City charging breach of contract.