The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal

Informed but opinionated commentary and analysis on urban transportation topics from the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

Our Mission: Monkeywrench the Anti-Transit Forces

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Sunday, August 18, 2002

Example of Why Wendell Cox is a Mediocre Researcher, At Best

From the Cabalmaster:

See for a example of what is generally wrong with Wendell Cox's (or is some of it the "Secret Anti-Transit Cabal" mailing lists'?) work.

At first glance, this table showing auto ownership and availability in France appears reasonable. In this table, shows us that the "automobile share" of French households is 79.1%. Certainly the base data displayed, total households and total number of vehicles, is quite correct.

But a closer looks reveals the fallacy inherent in the data. A key, central piece of data is missing. That is:

Average number of autos owned by households that own autos!

By definition, each auto-owning household in France owns at least one auto.

But if the average auto-owning household in France owns an average of 1.2 ( we think not unreasonable given the U.S. average is probably close to 2 per household), then the actual "automobile share" will be 65.9%, NOT 79.1%.

This would mean that 34.1% of households in France don't have an auto, not the 20.9% implied by the Cox analyis.

So Mr. Cox, what is the CORRECT number of autos per auto-owning household in France? We assume the data source used by Cox et al would have information this could be derived from, even if working backwards from data about non-auto owning households.

Cox has dismissed The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal because we've questioned his motives and also his scholarship. But if even we, who are avowed opponents of his point of view, can spot such oversights with literally about 2 minutes perusal (note: at a site we only occassionally look at, and a page on that site we randomly selected!), imagine what we could find if we had more than 30-60 minutes per day to double check the Cox Cabal numbers!

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