Sunday, March 26, 2006

Local bus?

There's a survey out locally regarding the possibility of extending Metro Transit service into our town and a couple of neighboring towns. I think this is a good idea and filled out the survey in that vein.

It'll never happen. Local politicians running in spring elections already are falling all over themselves to be champions and protectors of the battered and beleaguered taxpayer. Bus service like that never makes any money, one said. The service will require a subsidy forever, said another.

One of the city council candidates on the panel Q&A session at least had the gumption to say he'd like to see the results of the survey before making too many comments. even with that, it's all about the cost to the taxpayer.


I pay taxes. Paying taxes isn't really fun, I know. But what the hell. There are costs associated with living in this country and taxes are the way we pay our dues to the many rights and privileges we enjoy. Taxes are how we take care of each other. Taxes are how we share the costs to spread the benefits of this great country to as many people as possible.

Before we see any survey results, I have no idea what the potential demand is for bus service out here. And it is true, users probably can't or won't pay the whole freight of operating bus service and yes, I have to assume service is going to need a subsidy from us taxpayers.

I'll pay whatever itty-bitty incremental tax there might arise from the addition of bus service to our commuter communities. Most people are going to keep driving their cars and they're not going to stop until they literally go broke. In the meantime, they'll bitch about a tax supporting a service they won't use.

But getting a bus line out here prepares for the future. Getting a bus line out here is going to take at least a few cars off the road every morning and night. I could go on about how that might be good but people are going to see a tax, God no not that, and whine and vote accordingly for the politician who makes the most noise about standing up for the poor, battered, overworked taxpayer.

Too bad, really. It's sad to watch the spirit of this country die one little community at a time because we can't figure out the value of a shared investment in public infrastructure. Much better we use our "tax savings" to buy a new car.

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