The N&O today joins the chorus of economically-challenged cheerleaders of light rail in the triangle.
of increasing the sales tax a half cent to put 75 more buses on the road and add
a light-rail component between North Raleigh and Cary by 2019.
RCC and Civitas (remember Max?) have documented the ridiculously wasteful aspects of light rail, and pointed out the fact that light rail rarely, if ever, lives up to the promised benefits (i.e. congestion relief, environmental benefits).
But let's look at a breakdown of who benefits from light rail boondoggles:
- Politicians who get to spend other people's money on a shiny new train and say they helped turn Raleigh into a "world class city" – all for the approval of duped citizens ignorant of the true cost-benefit ratio
- The company awarded the bid to construct the rail line will reap millions, and will go over budget by even more millions (as they almost always do) to pad their pockets even further
- Developers who profit from the inflated land values surrounding the light rail stops
- Yuppie, upper middle-class suburbanite commuters who fancy themselves too good to take the bus, but will gladly take advantage of the massively subsidized light rail fares
So we have politicians, big businesses and snobby well-to-do people benefiting the most from this boondoggle. But at whose expense?
- Everybody else. Especially the poor who are hardest hit by increased sales taxes.
The N&O editors would be well served to take this into consideration before they offer more support for such an illiberal boondoggle.