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Please Rate My AWA...Thanks!!!!!

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Please Rate My AWA...Thanks!!!!!  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2016, 00:56
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The following appeared as part of a mayor's proposal to the city council:

Traffic in the central city is the number one complaint of our residents, so I urge you to consider this solution. We should invest in doubling our bus service and adding a light rail system, giving more options to those who don't want to drive through the city. Furthermore, we should make public transportation more accessible by reducing the fees to ride. With less traffic people will be more productive, and with higher productivity comes higher revenue and more taxes, so the system will likely pay for itself.

My response:

The above argument is flawed because it lacks information that is vital for the proper evaluation of the proposal made above.
Firstly, the mayor assumes that by increasing the bus service and adding a rail system the problem of traffic in the city will be reduced. However, no information regarding the willingness of the public to use the bus service and rail system has been provided on the basis of which this assumption has been made. We need to be certain that a current and sufficient demand for public transport exists to justify the outlay of huge expenses that will go towards doubling the bus service and expanding the rail system. The number of automobile owners may be more than those using public transport and they might not be ready to abandon their vehicles or their driving habits so readily. They may need more of an incentive than just reduced ride fees to start using public transport. The mayor has not mentioned how he intends to convince such long time drivers. Secondly, the mayor proposes that the public transportation should be made more accessible by reducing fees to ride. This is based on the assumption that currently the fees is too high and that is why public transport is not popular among the masses. However, there might be other reasons for its unpopularity such as the already over crowded stations and inconvenient long routes of buses. Maybe the existing structure needs to be improved and not expanded which can solve the problem. One need not spend extra money to solve traffic congestion. He also incorrectly assumes that a reduced fee will be enough of an incentive to coax people into using the public transport system. Although the reduced fee may provide temporary relief, it may also lead to an overcrowding of already overloaded routes and lead to delays for the existing users of public transport.

Additionally, we do not know exactly how much capital will be required to put the solution suggested by the mayor into effect. If the city has the necessary funds then it shall be easy to buy more buses and expand the railway line. However, if the city lacks funds then most likely the burden of the expenditure will fall on the city's population in the form of increased taxes. Additionally, no information has been provided about how long will such a plan take to come into effect.Usually the construction and expansion of railway systems takes a long time and spans over years before they can come into use and till then the public has to suffer the high cost construction and disruption of daily routes as a result.

Thirdly, the mayor directly links reduced traffic to higher productivity.While, less traffic does lead to less stress no studies have clearly demonstrated a direct correlation between increased productivity and reduced traffic. There are other ways of increasing productivity as well such better working environments, employment and unemployment benefits and higher wages that are known to show a direct correlation.

To summarize, till we have enough information regarding the funds that are required for such a project and from where they will come and how they will be allocated in addition to how long it shall take for the project to start yielding benefits for the public, we cannot conclude with certainty whether such a proposal is viable or will prove to be useful for the city.
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Re: Please Rate My AWA...Thanks!!!!!  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2016, 02:37
Hi there,

I wanted to post my response as well. Maybe I will get some feedback or maybe someone may find it useful.

PS: i followed "How to get 6.0 AWA....my guide" which is a great help!!! If ure struggling with an essay, take a good look at chineseburned's post!
how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html



Traffic in the central city is the number one complaint of our residents, so I urge you to consider this solution. We should invest in doubling our bus service and adding a light rail system, giving more options to those who don't want to drive through the city. Furthermore, we should make public transportation more accessible by reducing the fees to ride. With less traffic people will be more productive, and with higher productivity comes higher revenue and more taxes, so the system will likely pay for itself.

The argument claims that traffic is the number one complaint by the residents, so the author suggests a solution that is supposed to increase the public transportation ridership. This solution will need some investment but will result more productivity and higher revenue and more taxes. Hence, the author concludes that his solution will pay for itself. Stated this way the argument fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated. The conclusion relies on assumptions, for which there is no clear evidence. Therefore, the argument is rather weak, unconvincing, and has several flaws.

First, the argument readily assumes that traffic in the central city will be tackled by doubling bus service, adding rail system and reducing fees. This statement is a stretch and not substantiated in any way. The author assumes that providing more options to residents who don’t want to drive will decrease the traffic. There are numerous factors that contribute to traffic congestion such as road quality, overcrowded number of vehicles or an inefficient public transportation system. However, targeting commuters who don’t want to drive will be illogical and flawed. The author fails to mention any solution for commuters who have to drive due to their hectic schedules, unavailable transportation or their wish to drive. Also, the author fails to mention any information about the current public transportation situation and its capacity. What if the current system is already working at full capacity and the reduced fees will create even more ridership which will add more delays and overcrowded bus or rails? This way, the city traffic will be worse off since commuters are likely to choose to drive. The argument would have been much clearer if it explicitly gave information about the current cause of traffic congestion and the current public transportation situation.

Second, the argument claims that reduced traffic in the city will increase productivity and will result higher revenue and more taxes for the city government. This is again very weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between traffic load and productivity. In fact, the author does not even draw a parallel with how the stress or complaint caused by the traffic congestion affect productivity. While it is undoubtedly true that higher productivity brings higher revenue and more taxes to the government, it is unclear if the productivity is slowed down only due to the traffic congestion. In addition, if the argument provided evidence that the reduced traffic leads to higher productivity and revenue, the argument could have been strengthened even further.

Finally, the author concludes that the investment for public transportation will likely to pay itself because the traffic will be decreased and the city government revenue and taxes will be increased. From this statement, again, it is not at all clear how the more bus service and additional rail system will contribute to higher productivity and revenue. Without supporting evidence and information how the reduced traffic increases revenue and taxes and returns the investment to the city, one is left with impression that the argument is more of a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence. As a result, this conclusion has no legs to stand on.

In summary, the argument is flawed and therefore unconvincing. It could have considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all relevant facts. In order to assess the merits of the argument, it is essential to have all relevant factors.
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Re: Please Rate My AWA...Thanks!!!!!  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2019, 22:43
This is my response

The mayor has stated that investing in doubling the bus service and adding a light rail system and reducing fares would reduce the traffic and also goes on to say that with reduced traffic people will be more productive and result in higher revenue and more taxes that will help pay for the system. Stated in such a way the argument reveals examples of flawed judgment and leap of faith and also fails to provide us with key factors on the basis of which it could be evaluated.

First, the mayor has readily assumed that doubling the bus service and adding a light rail system will sufficiently increase the adoption of public transport by people who don't want to drive through the city. There are multiple factors that will have to taken into account to reach such a conclusion, there is a possibility that many people drive through the city to reach reach suburbs on the other side of the city to which the public transport system does not serve. There is a possibility that inconvenience of multiple stops or having to make multiple transit stops may discourage prospective passengers from using the system. Last mile transportation services also help in a big way in increasing adoption of public transport. From the argument It is not clear if the mayor has adequately considered these issues in reaching the conclusion that the adoption of public transportation will increase.

Second, the mayor has assumed that reducing the fees will increase the adoption of the public transport system. It is not clear if the fees charged for the usage of public transport is a key factor for prospective users of the system. There is a possibility that there are other factors other than the fees charge that is preventing a broader adoption of the public transport system.

Third, the mayor has assumed that less traffic would make people more productive, increasing the revenues and tax collections. This is a stretch, the mayor has failed to provide us with the basis for reaching the conclusion. There is a possibility that there is no time saved because of greater adoption of public transportation even though there is less traffic. Further, it is also possible that people would spend the time saved if any on leisure activities or other similar activities that do not increase the productivity as such. The mayor has exhibited leap of faith in concluding that the system would sufficiently increase revenues and taxes to pay for itself. Further the payback period has also not mentioned and has hence hence prevented us from suitably evaluating the plan.

In conclusion the argument is flawed and not a well reasoned one due to the above mentioned reasons. It would have been more clear if the mayor had suitably provided us with the assumptions made by him in reaching the conclusions.
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Re: Please Rate My AWA...Thanks!!!!!   [#permalink] 03 Feb 2019, 22:43
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