Selling Waste: Big Projects for Something to do Nothing

Tucson, Arizona, with the Santa Catalina Mount...

Downtown in center. U of A behind. Connect the 2 w/century old tech.

There’s a new project for Tucson, a bus that goes on steel, with nor tires. It’s called a streetcar, or a neat swell name of light rail, like balloons that way many tons. This mini-LRT is short and has very small ridership projections. No part of Tucson has even 10,000 ppl/sq.mi. It’s patterns are dispersed and only has 1and1/2 interstates (no other freeways). Good grid street structure, but traffic only goes fast and not conditions for frequent mass transit. The over-budget amount, alone, would pay for the buses for this route. Why should non-users pay for the several 1,000 riders on this route? It would also impede other traffic.

Hey, for that dinky (4 mi) rail project from downtown Tuscon to the University, (1/2 paid for by Porkulus Package) its capital cost ($150 M)is about $40,000/rider (3,900/day). Would it be prudent for any individual to pay even $10,000 for a car that would be driven only about 7 miles each day, along only one route? And without storage capacity?

They greatly over-estimated the amount of people living and working within a 1/2-mile, by at least 3x. There # has 1/8 of the urban population, either, living or working in 4 sq.mi. Tucson is a joke; it hasn’t had an office tower built since 1986. And it has only 1.5 freeways (I-10 and an offshoot I-17). AZ has no 3 digit Interstates. Stimulate economy w/more jobs? Net? For those in transportation (including construction), if more jobs, that means overall higher costs for transport. Stimulate economy for each hub? That’s just rearranging spending. For $ spent in visiting city, it’s not spent in home city.

tunnel The $6-14 billion will go to more value when spent on just about anything else. With transit users being <4% of the population, they can be estimated to pay <2% of taxes, since, on avg they earn less money. Why should general taxes pay for anything that only goes to <4% of the population? That’s ridiculous. That’s the worst program; about any other program goes to more people.

Hey, the avg of the $12 billion bridge, among the filers who pay Federal Income Tax, is $160, for those to take a minute trip under water. Why should others be charged for that trip? Only $160? Well, can every little group, like those tunnel commuters, charge the rest, for stuff? The capital cost of that bridge is about $20,000 per regular commuter. Would it be fair for all people to have transport projects like that, for just 1 route? Unfortunately, there are other projects, of that waste and very low value-per-dollar. Or is that every group of 500,000 commuters should have $10 billion for several miles of tunnel? Such a valuable deal.

http://www.cato.org/jwmediaplayer44/player.swf

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About Randall
A contrarian, not for conflict, but because many decisions are made, without considering the full impact & consequences.

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