Isn’t it funny when lefties try to think they are making a point but all it does is further reinforce the arguments against a subject?
In a blog post this morning, Chris Fitzsimon tried to make the case for light rail by pointing to an article in today’s New York Times about the “success” of light rail in Phoenix. But in doing so, he just further reinforces that light rail is nothing but a subsidy for the rich.
Just take a look at who is and who isn’t riding the rails in Phoenix:
“Unlike the rest of the country’s public transportation systems, which are used principally by commuters, the 20 miles of light rail here stretching from central Phoenix to Mesa and Tempe is used largely by people going to restaurants, bars, ball games and cultural events downtown.
Ah, so the rail is being used by upper-middle class suburbanites to go spend their disposable incomes at ball games, museums and bars. Not exactly meeting the whole “public transportation helps lower-income people get to work” test now is it?
We already have a variation of this in Raleigh with our bus system. The R-Line, which circulates around the bars downtown is free, but people wanting to take the CAT bus to work have to pay $1 each way. Sounds fair, right?
And apparently the light rail is supporting binge drinking among college students who now don’t have to worry about designating a driver. “Pub crawls along the light rail have become a weekend staple.” Good to see Fitzsimon thinks tax dollars should go to support this.
But it’s rather funny that here we have a supposed progressive advocate for working class people who supports financing a light rail project here in the Triangle through a highly regressive 1/2 cent sales tax increase. A tax increase that will be paid by low income people but used to help upper income yuppies feel good about themselves and take the train while leaving their BMW parked in waiting to take the kids to lacrosse practice that evening. Apparently, advocating for the poor now means raising their taxes to transfer wealth to RTP workers and real estate developers.
Light rail is nothing but a subsidy for the wealthy and does nothing to relieve traffic, reduce sprawl or help poor people get to work. Pointing out the success of the Phoenix system’s ability to transport barhoppers around town does nothing to disprove this point.