Friday, March 18, 2005

Mass Transit Hysteria

From P.J O'Rourke
The Heritage Foundation says, "There isn't a single light rail transit system in America in which fares paid by the passengers cover the cost of their own rides." Heritage cites the Minneapolis "Hiawatha" light rail line, soon to be completed with $107 million from the transportation bill. Heritage estimates that the total expense for each ride on the Hiawatha will be $19. Commuting to work will cost $8,550 a year. If the commuter is earning minimum wage, this leaves about $1,000 a year for food, shelter and clothing. Or, if the city picks up the tab, it could have leased a BMW X-5 SUV for the commuter at about the same price.

And, of course, the city will pick up this expense. Where is the advantage to light rail? In St. Louis the first light rail line connected the City to the thriving metropolitan area of East St. Louis, which has a much deserved national reputation. One amendment to East St. Louis' reputation, however. In a discussion with an Illinois State policeman several years ago, he told me that they had "pulled out" of ESTL. When I asked him why, he commented that "there is nothing left to steal".

Okay, so St. Louis got the Soul Train. It connects low income areas to the downtown area. Oh Boy! The only decent stops are at St. Louis University, Washington University, and the ball parks. How much for that convenience...

Oh yeah, you can park in a lot so you can grab the Soul Train to the ballpark. Hopefully, your car will still be there when you return. It is a joke and a waste of taxpayer dollars on both sides of the river. Oh, by the way, the Metro finally decided to connect from the City to the County seat, Clayton. That light rail spur has wasted more millions... and still isn't complete.


Post a Comment

<< Home