Thursday, March 25, 2010

The case against rail transit

Ohio is planning to build a passenger rail system, with millions from the federal government. However, that project would require even more millions from Ohio taxpayers to construct and a taxpayer subsidy of at least $17 million a year - over and above any revenue - to operate.

I've written in opposition to this passenger rail project because it cannot be self-sufficient.

Now comes a new study from the CATO Institute that demonstrates just what a bad deal such projects are - for everyone!

Over the past four decades, American cities have spent close to $100 billion constructing rail transit systems, and many billions more operating those systems. The agencies that spend taxpayer dollars building these lines almost invariably call them successful even when they go an average of 40% over budget and, in many cases, carry an insignificant number of riders. In a new study, Cato scholar Randal O'Toole uses the latest government data on scores of rail transit systems to evaluate the systems' value and usefulness to the public.
- Defining Success: The Case against Rail Transit, by Randal O'Toole

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