Joined: 09 Dec 2013
, given: 8
Request to rate my AWA - just 5 days to go for the Real Test [#permalink]
26 Feb 2014, 10:40
Can you please provide feedback on this. I intend to use this structure on my actual test day - 5 days from now! Look forward to your thoughts.
The following appeared in the editorial section of a local newspaper.
“Commuter use of the new subway train is exceeding the transit company’s projections. However, commuter use of the shuttle buses that transport people to the subway stations is below the projected volume. If the transit company expects commuters to ride the shuttle buses to the subway rather than drive there, it must either reduce the shuttle bus fares or increase the price of parking at the subway stations.”
Discuss how well reasoned...
The argument mentions that the subway train is used by more people than was projected but the number of commuters of shuttle buses is below expectations. While the argument has some merit in suggesting reducing fares of shuttle buses or increasing the price of parking at subway stations, they may not have the desired effect of increasing commuters riding the shuttle.
The argument assumes that all subway commuters would fall into two categories of (a) commuters driving to the stations or (b) commuters riding shuttle buses. However, there might be alternative means of transport such as buses operated by the government that people may be using. Hence, increasing parking price or reducing the fare of shuttle buses might not be fruitful. In addition, it would be useful to understand the price sensitivity of the shuttle service. It is possible that demand is highly inelastic, i.e. change in fares does not lead to a significant change in the number of commuters. Any evidence in this regard will be helpful to strengthen or weaken the argument.
Moreover, the real reason behind the unpopularity of shuttle service must be known. It is possible that the shuttles are too crowded, are not reliable, or just too infrequent for people to keep waiting for them. Hence, it will be helpful to evaluate the real cause of the relatively low commuter numbers. A survey of regular commuters of the subway might reveal the true cause and help devise effective solutions to the problem.
Also, as the argument mentions that commuters of the subway and the shuttle are above / below projections, it is important to understand the basis of these projections. It is possible that a key underlying assumption of the projections may have changed. For instance, if the projection is based on the assumption that >50% of the people will take the shuttle to the station, this might have been impacted due to recent improvements in public transport system or the recent popularity of “car pools” among colleagues
Hence, while the argument suggests solutions to solve the problem at hand, it does not fully explore the real causes. Hence, it is important to bring out the underlying causes such as quality of the shuttle service, the competition from local transportation, etc. and then suggest solutions, addressing the real cause of the problem.