Transit ≠ Rail

We don’t need a multi-county “cheerleading” committee to promote rail, we need a hard-headed group dedicated to developing a cost-effective means of moving people around the region. Could this be TBARTA?

So far, TBARTA, like HART, is considering rail as the only solution to rapid public transportation.
Just about everyone has given up on considering Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

Why? Because 20 years ago Tampa business leaders decided that a shiny new Choo-Choo through their downtown would be great for increasing property values there. Now, 20 years later we have the same group with the same vision of personal profit that an improved bus service they felt would not bring them.

The latest wrinkle in this greedy profit-taking scheme has to do with investing in county-created, tax-exempt, mortgage-backed, GNMA Federal government-guaranteed loans to lower-income, first-time home-buyers which can be turned into securities and which in turn can be bought and sold profitably by investors. There is much money to be siphoned out of the many transactions involved, with no money going to The County.

Worse, The County might miss future  revenues from lost transfer fees each time these mortgages change hands.

What better way to increase the availability of these investment securities  than to have The County buy up distressed housing along proposed rail routes so that developers can build “affordable housing” thereby qualifying hundreds more for these mortgages funded by municipal bonds.

The proposed light-rail system construction, operation and maintenance is almost 100% taxpayer financed. Only a very small percentage comes out of selling tickets to passengers. Compare this to what is already possible in the outside world with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

Bogotá Columbia has one of the world’s most efficient, cost-effective public transportation systems in the world through extensive use of BRT and feeder buses. The government built only the bus stations, special bus lanes and bus traffic control systems, while private companies own and operate the BRT buses. This is true public/private partnership.

And now, CSX has finally come to the negotiating table over use of their rail right of way. However, putting commuter traffic on freight lines is like putting the cart before the horse. That is, moving people from homes to jobs is not like moving freight in and out of the port. 

Instead of putting transportation between where people work and live, the CSX option would force people to live and work where the tracks are already located. Great for developers. Not so great for taxpayers who have homes, businesses and jobs along existing transportation routes.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

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One Response to “Transit ≠ Rail”

  1. Marilyn Smith Says:

    Yes, it is apparent BOB CLIFFORD, ‘Mr. I REAAAALLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT INTERMODAL IS….but I do want rail…ANY KIND OF RAIL’. NOW, the CSX folks do have lots of sway and on the FEDERAL AND STATE LEVEL. This forcing more housing along transportation lines so the more children can become ill from the VERY BAD AIR QUALITY generated by buses and rail….and DON’T FORGET THE THOSE LIGHT-RAILS RUN ON TECO ELECTRICITY…so good ole’ TECO will be pumping our pollution to make a little amount of WATER, VIA TAMPA BAY WATER,
    and LOTS OF ELECTRICITY. So this idea of ligth-rail helps a REALLY BIG MONOPOLY GRAB A EVEN TIGHTER STRANGLE HOLD ON THE PUBLIC UTILITIES. Yeah BOB REALLLY WANT ANY KINDA RAIL CLIFFORD.

    Hey, folks remembers..YOU AND I PAY THESE GUYS TO INSULT US DAILY.

    Let’s see if RICK SCOTT can fix CLIFFORD AND THE PICK OUR POCKET CROWD…I’ll bet he WILL NOT DO ANYTHING TO UPSET THAT LITTLE CART, TOO MANY OF THOSE BEHIND THE SCENE CONTRIBUTORS ARE CONTROLLING TOO MUCH….you know the SAME GUYS WHO SUPPORTED JIM NORMAN…..transparency is not a word THESE GUYS REALLY BELIEVE IN……

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