What city hasn’t tried to push a light rail system on taxpayers…it’s the latest in taxpayer boondoggles. Atlanta spent $98 million on a streetcar that NO ONE RIDES ON:
Atlanta Curbed reports:
A vocal critic of the $98 million transportation project, Benita Dodd of the Georgia Public Policy Project, is calling for a shutdown of the city’s nascent streetcar network, which has been boarded by a mere fraction of the passengers planners had expected and hoped for, according to Channel 2.
“The best thing the city can do is say, ‘Okay, let this serve as a monument to our colossal failure on this project,’” Dodd told the news station. “Stop it.”
And Detroit spent millions on a light rail system for Woodward Ave. Do these light rails even carry passengers? One of the big complaints is that the government spends a fortune to build the system but no one rides on it. Take the “People Mover” in Detroit…It’s a money sucker that is now a joke to citizens of the city. Does your city have a “boondoggle to nowhere?”
The irony in all this is that a lack of affordable housing is why this problem exists. Why not take that money and build affordable housing instead of a light rail?
MINNEAPOLIS LIGHT RAIL – ANOTHER BOONDOGGLE TO NOWHERE!
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Building a light rail system allows municipal bureaucrats to bark that they are every bit as P.C. as those running other cities. But light rail does have purposes other than to showcase creeping socialism and bogus environmental posturing. For example, in Minneapolis, it serves as housing for the homeless:
Authorities estimate some 200 people are using the system for shelter each night and the number is rising at an alarming rate…
Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington said the problem has gotten worse since his tenure began in 2012.
“If you were a cop and you worked the system, you recognized it because there were ones or twos out there” but it’s “hundreds now at several different platforms,” he said. “It has become very noticeable and it’s also become increasingly disruptive.”
“Being homeless is not illegal, and when we checked, about 85 percent of the homeless do, in fact, have paid fares,” he said.
“Now, those paid fares often times come from the social service agencies who have bought them a bus token or a train token so they can ride, because there’s no more room at Higher Ground. There’s no more room at Union Gospel Mission or one of the other centers,” he added.
“So, they are not breaking any law by being on the train and so we said we’re not going to take any action against people who are lawfully riding the train.”
The chief acknowledged complaints by Metro Transit riders about the conditions of the trains at night but noted the sometimes desperate reality of the homeless who have nowhere safe to go.
“We recognize we’re not the best place but we also recognize that for a mom and her kid, it’s safe, it’s dry, and if somebody’s bothering them, the police come right away,” he said.
“If the alternative is under a bridge or sleeping in your car,” he added, “I am more afraid of her safety and the well-being of those kids than I am about the comfort of a few others.”
At least bureaucrats won’t have to worry about the cars running empty.