...to describe plans for surface transportation as "pie in the sky?" Maybe only if those plans actually do "get off the ground!’
This morning’s paper tells us of renewed interest in the legislative possibilities for the proposed mass transit plan which has been around for some years now.
Here’s what we’re talking about. "Advocates are touting a 10-year, $1.3 billion transit plan for Marion and Hamilton counties, about half of which would be federally funded. It would double the size of IndyGo and add rail service from Noblesville, through Fishers to Downtown." (Our emphasis.)
We’ve added the emphasis because the article refers to hesitation about the concept stemming from concern as to what it may do to other local government funding. We’re even told that the newly elected governor doesn’t want communities not served by transit centers to get stuck with the bills for the plan.
If federal tax dollars are going to constitute over half a billion, it seems to us that a lot of people who will never use the system are going to "get stuck with the bills."
Of course, since it is federal money, we’ll be getting help from all over the country. That’s a good deal. Maybe!
While our share of the federal largesse is about half a billion, some of which will come from California, that near-bankrupt state is looking at a $100 billion transit plan. Do the local "advocates" think the plus and minus for local taxpayers add up favorably on that and similar federally aided boondoggles all over the nation?
Second graders who can read may have seen the term "fiscal cliff." Seventh and eighth graders probably may even have some basic idea of what those words mean. Is it possible that these local "advocates" do not? Do we really want Uncle Sam to take out another multi-million dollar loan with China to be added to the new costs to be absorbed locally?
And we must ask one more time - with Indianapolis building and giving away parking garages, and huge increases in new and more efficient highways, from whence will come the ridership for these trains?
We’re all for increasing IndyGo service for those citizens who cannot afford private transportation. We do not favor rewarding or encouraging urban sprawl. Especially while spending other tax dollars trying to lure people into "downtown living."