...about "mass transit." And much needed they are! According to this morning’s paper, Senator Kenley is said to question "...the long term affordability of maintaining transit." Sen. Long "...questions the effectiveness and cost of a single rail line."
This is the Noblesville to Indianapolis 21 mile route which is a prime part of the "central Indiana" proposal, and about which we wrote in some detail back on December 6. We questioned the possibility of a carrier vehicle (train, single car, ???) making the trip at grade level with multiple street crossings through the urban area - with a proposed twelve stops - in anything less than half an hour.
We did not raise that question from the standpoint suggested by the senator. What happens to all schedule timing when an accident happens at any point on a single rail line?
What indeed happens to the idea of fast or express service at all on a single rail line? Suppose the 7:00 a.m. carrier leaves Noblesville on the 21 mile run, with the twelve stops, and arrives at Union Station at 7:25??? A five minute turn around puts the vehicle back in Noblesville with five minutes to load for the 8:00 run.
This would appear to have an extremely expensive service - currently estimated at a construction cost of $625.4 million plus a guess of $16.8 million for annual operations - available for just two round trips for each morning rush hour - at 7:00 and 8:00.
We would raise a further question, based on the history of fiscal policy locally. About half of the proposed cost of the overall plan - $600 million - will have to come from federal monies. Future availability?
Our instinct tells us that, having already approved the local tax increase, should federal sources dry up, we are likely to see a complete reversal of "needs," and the then "lack of total funds" will somehow allow the resulting new local revenues to wind up in a new soccer stadium.
Or some other magnificent economic activity generator currently unknown to local taxpayers!