Saturday, January 24, 2009

Griping About the Cost of Mass Transit

I suppose I would gripe if I lived in Indy and looked at light rail as benefiting only Hamilton County. But Indy Tax Dollars Blog's The beat goes on - and gets worse takes it all to an extreme:
"We refer to Senate Bill 497 which would allow the establishment of 'Regional Transportation Districts' (RTDs). While advocates of slimming down government in the state are hard at work, this would be a new layer at county or multi-county level.

The RTD would be operated by an appointed board which would have the power to raise funds from: property taxes from an 'allocation area' within the district; a special property tax; a food and beverage tax; a 'green tax' of $10 per automobile registration; and a county economic development income tax. Plus, naturally, any free federal funds lying around. This is NOT an 'either / or' list of options."
I need to take a look at Senate Bill 497, but does anyone else have any idea of how to get mass transit off the ground? Capital intensive at best, we have a bit of a credit crunch going on nationally. That makes the theoretical private enterprise choice even less likely than normal. (And before any free market ideologue goes off that private enterprise is the best and only way, you had better know just how many railroads were built in the nineteenth century without government subsidies. Short answer: one.)

Gasoline will remain $1.88 for only so long. I ask again, how will people get to work when it hits $4.00 an hour?

We are long past working on Indiana's mass transit.

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