The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

Let's Talk About Numbers and Context

Trains, Math, KRM, Metra, RTA, State Politics

Quick!  Which is bigger -- three-quarters or four-fifths?  How much bigger?


Milwaukee - An Amtrak spokesman says more people are deciding to skip the crowded highways and take the train to Chicago.  Ridership on the Hiawatha service from Milwaukee was up eight percent in December when compared to the year before.  Those numbers offer optimism for the future of high-speed rail service between Madison and Milwaukee.  Construction on the route is expected to start later this year, with service offered in 2013.  About 810 million dollars in federal stimulus money will pay for the project.


Source: Pierce County Herald

H/T Dan Cody


8% of what, how many?


Math exercise: Train ABC last month had 16 riders for Train ABC to have an 8% increase how many new riders would it be? 


16 riders * .08  = x (rider increase)


          x = .08 / 16


          x = 1.28


  2)  x + 16 riders = total riders


1.28 + 16 riders = 17.28 total riders


Let’s  look at another way.


It's probably easier to see how this works if you use variables instead of numbers.


If your original amount is A, and the percent increase is p, then

the new amount is


  A' = A(1+p)


A'= 16(1+.08)




Quick math tells us if it increased 10% it would increase 1.6 riders to 17.6%


Context is missing!  Conclusions that go way beyond the numbers


Reminder - A ratio and a percentage are not the same thing.  Percentages are all built from a base of 100.  Ratios are simply comparisons of two numbers.  "The ratio of potatoes to onions was 2-1."


Now look at these older Amtrak articles and the numbers or lack of info and to get perspective!


Amtrak Hiawatha ridership down

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ridership on Amtrak's Hiawatha service between Milwaukee and Chicago dipped 1.5 percent in fiscal 2009, but revenue for the route increased, according to figures released Monday.


Hiawatha ridership declined to 738,231 for Amtrak's fiscal year ended Sept. 30, compared with 749,659 the year before.  Revenue for the route grew to $13.3 million from $13.1 million.


Due in part to the renovated downtown Milwaukee rail station, ridership on the Hiawatha Service continues to rise.  For the period October 2007 - April 2008, ridership was 393,435, an increase of 18.2 percent when compared to the same period a year ago.  The on-time performance of the service is among the best in the Amtrak national system.


The arithmetic works only one way.  To simply tell us 8% increase without numbers and context is misleading on purpose, there is an agenda here!


I am SHOCKED!  Shocked I tell you!


On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity.

- Adam Smith - Scottish philosopher and economist


Remember trains eat money every day but, of course, it was that required a non-stop diet of cash from the taxpayers!


"The Usual Suspects": “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.”


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