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

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

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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.


OA: B

P.S: @ Verbal Experts - can you please share your DETAILED analysis for this CR ?

Also, for Option D, I think FLAW means LOGICAL GAP in reasoning - something that weakens the ARGUMENT's CONCLUSION. Right ? If so,then while making any policy/plan if the customers'/end users' choice/preference is NOT considered then isn't it likely that the SUCCESS of that policy/plan will be in question/doubt - hence the reasoning of that policy/plan is flawed ?

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The mayor's plan: assess a $5 fee on private vehicles to persuade drivers to take the bus.
The reasoning: $5 is more than the cost of the bus.

So the plan here is predicated on the notion that commuters are making decision about how to travel to work based on cost. Personalize this argument. Imagine you're a commuter and you typically drive to work. If the mayor proposed a $5 daily fee on private vehicles, would you stop driving and take the bus? If you weren't taking the bus because you wanted to avoid the bus fare, then maybe. But if you preferred driving for other reasons (it's more convenient, it's faster, etc.) then you'll likely pay the fee and continue to drive. So that's the question: have you been driving primarily because it's cheaper to drive (the mayor's assumption) or have you been driving for other reasons (which would expose a flaw in the mayor's plan.)

A) This has nothing to do with the mayor's plan to assess a fee. It does suggest that driving will become more expensive in the future, which could potentially dissuade commuters from driving, but it sheds no light on whether the mayor's plan to assess a fee is likely to succeed.

B) Interesting. If driving already costs more than public transportation, then the mayor's assumption that commuters are predicating their decisions about how to travel to work based on cost is incorrect. This looks good.

C) Irrelevant. The plan is to persuade those who do ride in private vehicles to switch to the bus. Those who don't own private vehicles clearly won't be affected by the plan.

D) The mayor's plan isn't about making people happy - it's about getting drivers to take the bus. A plan can still achieve its objective even if it's making people miserable in the process. Moreover, if drivers really don't want to pay the private vehicle fee, they'll be more likely to take the bus, thus increasing the likelihood that the plan will work. We're trying to find a flaw in the plan, not strengthen it.

E)Irrelevant. The plan is to reduce the number of people driving to work. The precise percent of the traffic that private vehicles are responsible for doesn't have any impact on whether the fee will dissuade people from driving.

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@ Dave - I think by DRIVER you meant COMMUTERS themselves. Right ?

1. OA : If I construe that as cost of taking private vehicle is more than that of taking bus, mayor's plan would likely act as fuel for the car to bus switching by adding $5 further to the cost of taking private vehicle, then doesn't this actually strengthen the CONCLUSION of the argument ?

2. I understand your explanation on D. But don't get it how does D strengthen the CONCLUSION of the argument ? Can you please clarify ?

It appears that D conveys many commuters would NOT want to pay $5 fee to avail car, hence they'll avail bus. But don't get it how availing bus means enduring traffic congestion because argument says just the OPPOSITE that availing private vehicles/cars leads to traffic congestion -- that's why mayor proposes this PLAN so that people avail bus,decreasing traffic congestion. Right ?

Isn't this Option D itself FLAWED ?

3. Will it be correct to conclude that finding FLAW questions is basically a subset of WEAKEN questions ? Or are BOTH finding FLAW and WEAKEN are NECESSARILY same ?

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RBBmba@2014 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.

Premise: The fee will exceed the cost of round-trip bus fare.
Conclusion: People will switch from using their cars to using the bus.

This CR assumes that the COST of travel is linked to the MODE of travel.
To weaken the conclusion, the correct answer choice must BREAK THE LINK between the COST of travel and the MODE of travel.

Answer choice 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.
Even though it is MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE to travel to the city by car than by bus, the city has traffic congestion that needs to be alleviated.
Implication:
The high COST of traveling by car is not sufficient to dissuade people from driving into the city, weakening the conclusion that the proposed $5 fee will induce people to switch to the bus.

The correct answer is B.

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.
Here, many commuters do not WANT to pay a $5 fee, possibly STRENGTHENING the conclusion that people will switch to the bus so that they can AVOID paying the fee.
Eliminate D.

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GMATGuruNY wrote:
Premise: The fee will exceed the cost of round-trip bus fare.
Conclusion: People will switch from using their cars to using the bus.

This CR assumes that the COST of travel is linked to the MODE of travel.
To weaken the conclusion, the correct answer choice must BREAK THE LINK between the COST of travel and the MODE of travel.

Answer choice 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.
Even though it is MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE to travel to the city by car than by bus, the city has traffic congestion that needs to be alleviated.
Implication:
The high COST of traveling by car is not sufficient to dissuade people from driving into the city, weakening the conclusion that the proposed $5 fee will induce people to switch to the bus.

The correct answer is B.
Got this. But could you please clarify why it'd be wrong to construe the Option B as mentioned below -

Option B: If I construe that As cost of taking private vehicle is ALREADY more than that of taking bus, mayor's plan would likely act as fuel for the car to bus switching by adding $5 further to the cost of taking private vehicle, then doesn't this actually strengthen the CONCLUSION of the argument ? (as more people will avail bus,decreasing traffic congestion)

GMATGuruNY wrote:
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.
Here, many commuters do not WANT to pay a $5 fee, possibly STRENGTHENING the conclusion that people will switch to the bus so that they can AVOID paying the fee.
Eliminate D.
Although I agree to your explanation above and understand it, but BIT CONFUSED here because NOT able to get it how traffic congestion would STILL be ENDURED,even after they switch to the bus from cars ? (Per the argument, it's the private vehicles/cars that lead to traffic congestion, NOT the buses. Right ? If so then how the question of ENDURING traffic congestion comes into play after taking bus,INSTEAD of cars ? )

Isn't this Option somewhat WEIRD ?

P.S: Also, please shed some light on this aspect, in GENERAL -

Will it be correct to conclude that finding FLAW questions is basically a subset of WEAKEN questions ? Or are BOTH finding FLAW and WEAKEN are NECESSARILY same ?

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It appears that D conveys many commuters would NOT want to pay $5 fee to avail car, hence they'll avail bus. But don't get it how availing bus means enduring traffic congestion because argument says just the OPPOSITE that availing private vehicles/cars leads to traffic congestion -- that's why mayor proposes this PLAN so that people avail bus,decreasing traffic congestion. Right ?

Isn't this Option D itself FLAWED ?
Commuters don't get to choose between paying a $5 fee and enduring traffic. If they continue to drive private vehicles, and traffic congestion remains, you're right - they'd have to endure both the traffic congestion and the fee. But the answer choice never suggests that commuters get to choose between paying the fee and enduring traffic. It's simply a matter of which unpleasant outcome would bother them more. We already know that the traffic congestion wasn't enough to persuade people driving private vehicles to take the bus, because they're still driving private vehicles! But if the $5 fee is even more unpleasant than the traffic congestion, perhaps this will be the added incentive that will prompt commuters to make the change to the bus, thus increasing the probability that the plan will work. It certainly isn't a flaw in the mayor's plan.

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RBBmba@2014 wrote:
Got this. But could you please clarify why it'd be wrong to construe the Option B as mentioned below -

Option B: If I construe that As cost of taking private vehicle is ALREADY more than that of taking bus, mayor's plan would likely act as fuel for the car to bus switching by adding $5 further to the cost of taking private vehicle, then doesn't this actually strengthen the CONCLUSION of the argument ? (as more people will avail bus,decreasing traffic congestion)
Focus on the LINK.
The mayor concludes that people will switch from using their cars to using the bus because the fee will exceed the cost of round-trip bus fare.
According to B, the cost of driving ALREADY exceeds the cost of round-trip bus fare, yet people have NOT switched to using the bus.
Thus, the mayor's reasoning is FLAWED: exceeding the cost of round-trip bus fare is NOT sufficient to induce people to switch to the bus.

Quote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
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.
Here, many commuters do not WANT to pay a $5 fee, possibly STRENGTHENING the conclusion that people will switch to the bus so that they can AVOID paying the fee.
Eliminate D.
Although I agree to your explanation above and understand it, but BIT CONFUSED here because NOT able to get it how traffic congestion would STILL be ENDURED,even after they switch to the bus from cars ? (Per the argument, it's the private vehicles/cars that lead to traffic congestion, NOT the buses. Right ? If so then how the question of ENDURING traffic congestion comes into play after taking bus,INSTEAD of cars ? )

Isn't this Option somewhat WEIRD ?
D simply indicates that some people don't LIKE the mayor's plan.
These people would rather continue to sit in traffic than allow the mayor to implement his plan of imposing a $5 fee.
Whether people like the plan is irrelevant.

Quote:
P.S: Also, please shed some light on this aspect, in GENERAL -

Will it be correct to conclude that finding FLAW questions is basically a subset of WEAKEN questions ? Or are BOTH finding FLAW and WEAKEN are NECESSARILY same ?
Your understanding seems correct.
In both cases, the correct answer choice must BREAK THE LINK between the premise and the conclusion.

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GMATGuruNY wrote:
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
please shed some light on this aspect, in GENERAL -

Will it be correct to conclude that

1. finding FLAW questions is basically a subset of WEAKEN questions ? OR

2. are BOTH finding FLAW and WEAKEN are NECESSARILY same ?
Your understanding seems correct.
In both cases, the correct answer choice must BREAK THE LINK between the premise and the conclusion.
@ GMATGuruNY - a quick clarification is requested.

So,which one between 1 & 2 we should consider CORRECT (and more prominent) on GMAT ?

Look forward to your feedback!

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@ GMATGuruNY - Is it possible to provide a quick update on the above question Sir ?

Thanks in advance!

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Hi David

I really get confused in such types of arguments. I believe this is a cause-effect argument. But in this there is no alternate cause given to weaken. Rather the conclusion given itself falls. There are other arguments where conclusion doesnt fall but some alternate reason is cited for the conclusion to take place-that in turn weakens. Can you pls suggest how to identify one from the other?


DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
The mayor's plan: assess a $5 fee on private vehicles to persuade drivers to take the bus.
The reasoning: $5 is more than the cost of the bus.

So the plan here is predicated on the notion that commuters are making decision about how to travel to work based on cost. Personalize this argument. Imagine you're a commuter and you typically drive to work. If the mayor proposed a $5 daily fee on private vehicles, would you stop driving and take the bus? If you weren't taking the bus because you wanted to avoid the bus fare, then maybe. But if you preferred driving for other reasons (it's more convenient, it's faster, etc.) then you'll likely pay the fee and continue to drive. So that's the question: have you been driving primarily because it's cheaper to drive (the mayor's assumption) or have you been driving for other reasons (which would expose a flaw in the mayor's plan.)

A) This has nothing to do with the mayor's plan to assess a fee. It does suggest that driving will become more expensive in the future, which could potentially dissuade commuters from driving, but it sheds no light on whether the mayor's plan to assess a fee is likely to succeed.

B) Interesting. If driving already costs more than public transportation, then the mayor's assumption that commuters are predicating their decisions about how to travel to work based on cost is incorrect. This looks good.

C) Irrelevant. The plan is to persuade those who do ride in private vehicles to switch to the bus. Those who don't own private vehicles clearly won't be affected by the plan.

D) The mayor's plan isn't about making people happy - it's about getting drivers to take the bus. A plan can still achieve its objective even if it's making people miserable in the process. Moreover, if drivers really don't want to pay the private vehicle fee, they'll be more likely to take the bus, thus increasing the likelihood that the plan will work. We're trying to find a flaw in the plan, not strengthen it.

E)Irrelevant. The plan is to reduce the number of people driving to work. The precise percent of the traffic that private vehicles are responsible for doesn't have any impact on whether the fee will dissuade people from driving.

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Hi David

I really get confused in such types of arguments. I believe this is a cause-effect argument. But in this there is no alternate cause given to weaken. Rather the conclusion given itself falls. There are other arguments where conclusion doesnt fall but some alternate reason is cited for the conclusion to take place-that in turn weakens. Can you pls suggest how to identify one from the other?
A cause and effect argument will typically involve an observed correlation between two elements. This observation will lead to the conclusion that one of the aforementioned elements is causing the other. In this argument, we have a plan predicated on logic (commuters avoid the bus because of cost), rather than any observed correlation. In other words, if the author had observed that in the past, whenever bus far increased, the number of people using the bus decreased, she may have concluded that the increased cost caused the drop. That's not the case here.

(However, I suppose you could argue that the conclusion is: lower cost (compared to the bus) causes people to drive. And while there's not an alternative cause presented, the correct answer clearly stipulates that it's not the lower cost that motivates people to drive, and therefore, there must be some other motivation. Put another way, you want to focus less on how to categorize an argument - is it causality? - and more on understanding the logic of a given prompt.)

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Thank you David. Will try to focus more on the logic. Let' see how it works.

DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
Quote:
Hi David

I really get confused in such types of arguments. I believe this is a cause-effect argument. But in this there is no alternate cause given to weaken. Rather the conclusion given itself falls. There are other arguments where conclusion doesnt fall but some alternate reason is cited for the conclusion to take place-that in turn weakens. Can you pls suggest how to identify one from the other?
A cause and effect argument will typically involve an observed correlation between two elements. This observation will lead to the conclusion that one of the aforementioned elements is causing the other. In this argument, we have a plan predicated on logic (commuters avoid the bus because of cost), rather than any observed correlation. In other words, if the author had observed that in the past, whenever bus far increased, the number of people using the bus decreased, she may have concluded that the increased cost caused the drop. That's not the case here.

(However, I suppose you could argue that the conclusion is: lower cost (compared to the bus) causes people to drive. And while there's not an alternative cause presented, the correct answer clearly stipulates that it's not the lower cost that motivates people to drive, and therefore, there must be some other motivation. Put another way, you want to focus less on how to categorize an argument - is it causality? - and more on understanding the logic of a given prompt.)

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