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# A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private

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Re: A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private [#permalink]
A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private vehicles entering the city, claiming that the fee will alleviate the city's traffic congestion. The mayor reasons that, since the fee will exceed the cost of round-trip bus fare from many nearby points, many people will switch from using their cars to using the bus.

Mayor's reasoning is: If people had to choose between paying x amount to take a private vehicle into the city or paying less than x amount to take a round trip in a bus. People will shift to using the bus. And this will reduce the traffic congestion in the city.

Which of the following statements, if true, provides the best evidence that the mayor's reasoning is flawed?

Please note, even a small change in congestion is a win for the mayor. e.g. if 100 people were taking private cars, causing congestion and If only 10 people shift to buses, even then this is a success for the mayor. Since, yes, the traffic congestion will be alleviated.

Let's find answers which will weaken the mayor's prediction.

(A) Projected increases in the price of gasoline will increase the cost of taking private vehicle into the city.

This is an OS answer. Projected increases in price of gasoline = Increase cost of taking private vehicles. We are not concerned with impact of projections on fuel prices on congestion but impact of entry fee on congestion

(B) The cost of parking fees already makes it considerable more expensive for most people to take a private vehicle into the city than to take a bus.
Okay, this seems to attack the mayor's reasoning that increase in costs will deter people to take buses.
If the parking fee is already considerably MORE EXPENSIVE, and is insufficient to deter people, why should a \$5 increase in their cost do the trick? This seems like the answer. Let's keep it.

(C) Most of the people currently riding the bus do not own private vehicles.

This is OS, we are not concerned with people who are currently not causing congestion because they take the bus. We are concerned with people who are currently using private vehicles.

(D) Many commuters opposing the mayor's plan have indicated that they would rather endure traffic congestion than pay a five dollar per day fee.

Many commuters: means there are some commuters who will follow mayor's plan. As mentioned earlier, even if there is a small number of people who shift to public transport, we will have to consider mayor's plan a success because at some level he would have managed to alleviate the congestion. This will not help us weaken mayor's claim.

(E) During the average workday, private vehicles owned and operated by people living within the city account for twenty percent of the city's traffic congestion.

So what if private vehicles are 20 percent of entire traffic congestion. It doesn't strengthen or weaken the mayor's plan. OS.
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Re: A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private [#permalink]
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durielk wrote:
The original information did not disclose that there were parking fees or any info relating to parking. The whole quiz is therefore invalid, as bringing in a new subject in the answer is not acceptable. Why isn't the nuclear missle landing on the town considered in the conclusion?

Notice this question is asking which statement "provides the best evidence that the mayor's reasoning is flawed?" As as long as an answer convincingly points out a flaw, it should be correct.

In other words, the correct answer doesn't NEED to refer back to information that was given directly in the passage, as long as it points out a flaw in the argument. Since (B) does just that, it's correct (check out our earlier analysis of (B) here).

As you point out, it's possible to imagine some outlandish scenarios that would indicate a flaw in the argument. For instance, if the government were about to ban all buses, the mayor's reasoning would fall apart. Because if there were no more buses, people could not "switch from using their cars to using the bus." You could also probably come up with a creative answer involving nuclear missiles or aliens, though I'll leave that to your imagination.

In short, don't worry if an answer choice doesn't refer to something already mentioned in the passage. Just ask yourself: how does this answer choice affect the argument? As long as it causes the argument to fall apart, it counts as a flaw.

I hope that helps!
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Re: A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private [#permalink]
GMATNinja wrote:
The mayor concludes that the proposed fee of five dollars per day on private vehicles entering the city will alleviate the city's traffic congestion.

How does the mayor reach that conclusion?

• "The fee will exceed the cost of round-trip bus fare from many nearby points" - So it will be cheaper to take the bus than to take your car and pay the fee.
• According to the mayor, since the bus is the cheaper option, "many people will switch from using their cars to using the bus."
• If many people switch from using their cars to using the bus, that should alleviate the city's traffic congestion (fewer vehicles on the roads).

The mayor believes that people will choose the cheaper option. Is that necessarily the case? Maybe there are other factors besides cost that affect commuters' transportation decisions.

We are looking for evidence that the mayor's logic is flawed:

Quote:
(A) Projected increases in the price of gasoline will increase the cost of taking private vehicle into the city.

If this is true, then people would have even greater financial incentive to take the bus. This would make the mayor's plan more likely to succeed. If gas prices were going to decrease, then the mayor might have a problem. As is, choice (A) does not describe a flaw in the mayor's reasoning. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) The cost of parking fees already makes it considerable more expensive for most people to take a private vehicle into the city than to take a bus.

If the fee is implemented, the bus will certainly be the cheaper option. According to the mayor, this financial incentive will cause people to opt for the bus instead of taking their own private vehicles.

But choice (B) tells us that taking a private vehicle is ALREADY considerably more expensive than taking the bus. So the existing CONSIDERABLE financial incentive to take the bus is not enough to alleviate traffic. In that case, why should we expect that a small increase in the financial incentive will make people switch to the bus?

Sure, the \$5 fee might be enough to persuade some people to switch to the bus. Everyone has their own "price point" for taking their own vehicle. Slightly increasing the cost of commuting by private vehicle might be enough to push some people over the edge.

But the mayor's entire argument rests on the power of financial incentive. Choice (B) shows that traffic congestion exists despite considerable financial incentive. This suggests that an incremental increase to the financial incentive will not be enough to convince MANY drivers to take the bus. Choice (B) doesn't prove that the mayor's plan will fail, but it certainly exposes a flaw in the mayor's reasoning. Keep (B).

Quote:
(C) Most of the people currently riding the bus do not own private vehicles.

The mayor doesn't care about people who already ride the bus. Will people who currently drive private vehicles switch to the bus if a \$5 fee is implemented? Choice (C) does not provide evidence either way, so eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) Many commuters opposing the mayor's plan have indicated that they would rather endure traffic congestion than pay a five dollar per day fee.

Choice (D) tells us why many commuters oppose the mayor's plan. But commuters' opinion of the plan is irrelevant. If the plan is implemented, will many drivers switch to the bus (regardless of whether they are happy about it)? If so, then the mayor's plan will be a success. Choice (D) is irrelevant and can be eliminated.

Quote:
(E) During the average workday, private vehicles owned and operated by people living within the city account for twenty percent of the city's traffic congestion.

Obviously the mayor's plan will not affect the 20% who live in the city and drive their own vehicles. If this percentage were much higher, then (E) might demonstrate a flaw in the mayor's reasoning. But if only 20% fall into this category, then the fee will likely affect a large chunk of drivers from outside the city. If anything, this actually supports the mayor's reasoning. Eliminate (E).

Hello again folks - read over the explanations, still cannot justify (B), here's what I am thinking -

> Say currently the parking cost for the commuters are \$30 (considerably higher), whereas the bus round trip is \$5.

Now adding another \$5 might make SOME people to go over their budget cause now it is \$35 to bring the car into the city.

Even if it deters 1 person to bring their car into the city ... it will REDUCE the congestion, at least in theory, so the mayor is RIGHT!

What am I missing?

I crossed out (D) because of "Many" as there can still be some that might be deterred by the fees to bring vehicle

Bossman GMATNinja egmat please help ... AndrewN would love to know your thoughts on this too .... if you have time my friend ...
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Re: A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private [#permalink]
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IN2MBB2PE wrote:

Hello again folks - read over the explanations, still cannot justify (B), here's what I am thinking -

> Say currently the parking cost for the commuters are \$30 (considerably higher), whereas the bus round trip is \$5.

Now adding another \$5 might make SOME people to go over their budget cause now it is \$35 to bring the car into the city.

Even if it deters 1 person to bring their car into the city ... it will REDUCE the congestion, at least in theory, so the mayor is RIGHT!

What am I missing?

I crossed out (D) because of "Many" as there can still be some that might be deterred by the fees to bring vehicle

Hey IN2MBB2PE

Happy to help.

The trick lies in pre-thinking the mayor's assumption precisely.

Mayor's Argument: since the fee will exceed the cost of round-trip bus fare from many nearby points, many people will switch from using their cars to using the bus.

Two Key Assumptions here are that these people want/are looking for a cheaper means of transport and that reduction in private vehicles entering the city will alleviate the traffic.

Answer choice B targets the first assumption: The cost of parking fees already makes it considerably more expensive for most people to take a private vehicle into the city than to take a bus.

What choice B implies is that the higher cost of using a private vehicle (cost of gasoline + cost of parking + misc. costs) is not a deterrent for those commuters. They are already paying more to enter the city. In other words, they are not looking for cheaper alternatives to transportation. Had they been sensitive to such costs then the high parking fee itself would have been reason enough for them to have taken the bus. Hence, a move to increase their cost of travel by \$5 per day in order to deter them from using their private vehicles will likely result in failure simply because 'cost' is not a constraint for these individuals. They can afford to pay more.

Hence, the mayor's reasoning is flawed.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Abhishek
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Re: A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private [#permalink]
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IN2MBB2PE wrote:
Hello again folks - read over the explanations, still cannot justify (B), here's what I am thinking -

> Say currently the parking cost for the commuters are \$30 (considerably higher), whereas the bus round trip is \$5.

Now adding another \$5 might make SOME people to go over their budget cause now it is \$35 to bring the car into the city.

Even if it deters 1 person to bring their car into the city ... it will REDUCE the congestion, at least in theory, so the mayor is RIGHT!

What am I missing?

I crossed out (D) because of "Many" as there can still be some that might be deterred by the fees to bring vehicle

Bossman GMATNinja egmat please help ... AndrewN would love to know your thoughts on this too .... if you have time my friend ...

The question doesn't ask us to destroy the argument that traffic will be reduced. Instead, we're looking for something that provides evidence that the mayor's reasoning is flawed.

What is that reasoning? He/she thinks that many people will switch from using their cars to using the bus because the fee will exceed the cost of round-trip bus fare from many nearby points. In other words, he/she thinks that the key factor is the comparison between the \$5 fee and the bus fare.

(B) blows a huge hole in that reasoning by showing that it's already more expensive for most people to drive a car than to take the bus, and they drive a car anyway. So the comparison that the mayor outlined really isn't at play for most people.

Could traffic be reduced a bit by the overall increase in price due to the fee? Sure! But remember, we're not trying to prove that traffic won't be reduced -- we're trying to poke a hole in the mayor's reasoning. That reasoning depends on the fee vs. bus fare comparison, which is not the determining factor in the scenario that you've outlined. If traffic is still reduced for other reasons (e.g., the cost of parking + the cost of the fee), then the mayor's reasoning is still flawed.

I hope that helps!
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Re: A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private [#permalink]
Its A vs B.
B is a clear winner.
In A, gas prices will increase but no information will they be more than purposed fee?
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Re: A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private [#permalink]
The mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private vehicles entering the city, with the claim that it will alleviate traffic congestion by encouraging people to switch from using their cars to using the bus. To evaluate the mayor's reasoning, let's examine each of the given options:

(A) Projected increases in the price of gasoline will increase the cost of taking a private vehicle into the city.
This statement suggests that higher gasoline prices may make driving more expensive. However, it does not directly challenge the mayor's reasoning. Increased fuel costs alone do not necessarily undermine the effectiveness of the proposed fee in incentivizing people to switch to the bus.

(B) The cost of parking fees already makes it considerably more expensive for most people to take a private vehicle into the city than to take a bus.
This statement provides the best evidence that the mayor's reasoning is flawed. It indicates that the cost of parking fees already makes it considerably more expensive for most people to take a private vehicle into the city compared to using the bus. If parking fees are already a significant deterrent, adding a five-dollar fee may not have a substantial impact on people's decision-making, reducing the effectiveness of the proposed fee in alleviating traffic congestion.

(C) Most of the people currently riding the bus do not own private vehicles.
This statement does not directly challenge the mayor's reasoning. The fact that most bus riders do not own private vehicles does not necessarily weaken the argument that the fee would encourage car owners to switch to the bus. It focuses on the characteristics of current bus riders, rather than providing evidence against the effectiveness of the proposed fee.

(D) Many commuters opposing the mayor's plan have indicated that they would rather endure traffic congestion than pay a five-dollar per day fee.
While this statement suggests that some commuters may choose to tolerate traffic congestion instead of paying the fee, it does not directly address the mayor's reasoning. It focuses on the preferences of those who oppose the plan, rather than providing evidence against the effectiveness of the fee in reducing traffic congestion.

(E) During the average workday, private vehicles owned and operated by people living within the city account for twenty percent of the city's traffic congestion.
This statement provides information about the contribution of private vehicles owned by city residents to traffic congestion. However, it does not directly challenge the mayor's reasoning or provide evidence against the effectiveness of the proposed fee. It merely highlights the presence of city residents' private vehicles in the overall congestion.

In conclusion, among the given options, (B) provides the strongest evidence that the mayor's reasoning is flawed. The statement that the cost of parking fees already makes it considerably more expensive for most people to take a private vehicle into the city than to take a bus undermines the mayor's argument that the additional five-dollar fee will incentivize people to switch to the bus. If parking fees already act as a significant deterrent, the proposed fee may not have a substantial impact on people's decision-making process. Therefore, the mayor's reasoning that the fee will alleviate traffic congestion by prompting a significant shift to bus usage is weakened by this evidence.
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Re: A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private [#permalink]
[quote="MamtaKrishnia"]A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private vehicles entering the city, claiming that the fee will alleviate the city's traffic congestion. The mayor reasons that, since the fee will exceed the cost of round-trip bus fare from many nearby points, many people will switch from using their cars to using the bus.

Which of the following statements, if true, provides the best evidence that the mayor's reasoning is flawed?

(A) Projected increases in the price of gasoline will increase the cost of taking private vehicle into the city.

(B) The cost of parking fees already makes it considerable more expensive for most people to take a private vehicle into the city than to take a bus.

(C) Most of the people currently riding the bus do not own private vehicles.

(D) Many commuters opposing the mayor's plan have indicated that they would rather endure traffic congestion than pay a five dollar per day fee.

(E) During the average workday, private vehicles owned and operated by people living within the city account for twenty percent of the city's traffic congestion.

it is causality based question:
Fees will exceed the cost of cost of round-trip bus fare from many point (x)-------many people will switch from car to bus(Y)
what about option(B) says, parking fee is already more expensive for most people to take a private vehicle into the city than to take a bus(Z).
Z introduces the alternative reasoning to switching From car to busy , there is no need to collect a fee from private owner .
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Re: A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private [#permalink]
MamtaKrishnia wrote:
A certain mayor has proposed a fee of five dollars per day on private vehicles entering the city, claiming that the fee will alleviate the city's traffic congestion. The mayor reasons that, since the fee will exceed the cost of round-trip bus fare from many nearby points, many people will switch from using their cars to using the bus.

Which of the following statements, if true, provides the best evidence that the mayor's reasoning is flawed?

(A) Projected increases in the price of gasoline will increase the cost of taking private vehicle into the city.

(B) The cost of parking fees already makes it considerable more expensive for most people to take a private vehicle into the city than to take a bus.

(C) Most of the people currently riding the bus do not own private vehicles.

(D) Many commuters opposing the mayor's plan have indicated that they would rather endure traffic congestion than pay a five dollar per day fee.

(E) During the average workday, private vehicles owned and operated by people living within the city account for twenty percent of the city's traffic congestion.

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 236: Critical Reasoning

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Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review, 2nd Edition

Practice Question
Question No.: 39
Page: 131
Difficulty:

Option A is Irrelevant
Option B Sure, It is in a way telling that people are already using Private vehicles even after paying the parking choice so may be there are other aspects than just financial angle to it. BUT this argument is vulnerable as few people might get tripped with \$5 extra fee but we can't assume that everybody will just switch to bus.
Let's keep this option for now
Option C Makes no difference even if the plan is implemented.
Option D This is in fact supporting to what mayor is saying BUT we have to find the best evidence that the mayor's reasoning is flawed
Option E It is talking about the people living in the city and in the premise it is mentioned that fee will be charged from private vehicles entering the city. If you fell for this option then may be you just failed to notice the fact given in the premise.

Well, I am open for any suggestion or doubt on this.