Sunday, March 28, 2010

Let us stop subsidizing death News

The private auto system kills and maims our loved ones. Yet we throw billions of dollars at it every year to keep it going. We are now even printing money to keep up with the infrastructure costs. Let's stop.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Quincy to keep free transit for seniors

The city of Quincy will probably keep providing free bus rides to seniors even if the Illinois General Assembly passes legislation to end the statewide practice of granting free public transportation to the elderly.
..."When we decided to follow the lead of the state, it turned out to be easier for us because we didn't have to worry about issuing yearly passes to seniors anymore," Spring said.
"So from our perspective it's been a good thing for our community. We haven't had a great loss of income at all from it. At this point, my recommendation would be to continue that for our seniors...."
Edward Husar Quincy Herald-Whig

Friday, March 12, 2010

Another conservative breaks free from the highway lobby

“For the 101st time: sprawl — an umbrella term for the pattern of development seen virtually everywhere in the United States — is not caused by the free market. It is, rather, mandated by a vast and seemingly intractable network of government regulations, from zoning laws and building codes to street design regulations. If [nominally libertarian newsman John] Stossel wants to expand Americans’ lifestyle choices, he should attack the very thing he was defending, namely, suburban sprawl.

-- Austin Bramwell, in The American Conservative pasted here from NRDC Switchboard

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why can't autosprawl operate as a business?

... Many rural lawmakers would happily see urban transit systems dry up and blow away. The common cry from the transit doubters is the same today as it's always been: Why can't the MTA operate as a business?

The problem with this thinking is that it recognizes the costs of transit services but not their value. The MTA's fare box recovery rate may be hovering around 30 percent, but that doesn't mean it's inefficient. Roads are heavily subsidized by tax dollars, too, as is every form of transportation, yet nobody talks of the state highway or airport "business model."

Transit connects people to jobs and gets them off government subsidies. It reduces traffic congestion and the need to build massively expensive new highways. It uses energy more efficiently, causes fewer pollutants to be spewed into the environment and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Why spend taxpayers' money on transit? Ultimately, for only one reason: because it's in their interests.

If the MTA can be more efficient, we're all for it. Still, the question the MTA ought to be asking itself is this: What can we do to attract more customers?... BaltimoreSun

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Urbanophile speaks up for free public transit

...Why have a fare in the first place? It is odd that we pay per use on transit. We don’t pay to check books out of a library. We don’t pay to visit most city parks. We don’t pay when the police or fire department come to our house for a legitimate emergency. Most non-utility municipal services are provided for free to users and funded by taxes. So why is transit different?... Urbanophile