Streetcar Math

Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan

What would Ronald Reagan say?

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

It may be that a billion dollars of private development has occurred along the Tampa streetcar route, but to attribute that to the streetcar alone has to be upsetting to all the other economic and business development agencies, departments, chambers and authorities out there, each claiming for themselves full credit for that same billion dollars.

The often heard claim that each $1 invested in “mass” transit returns $6 is ludicrous.

Who gets the 500% profit?

Private sector investors who could make a 500% profit on a sure thing,  would be crazy not to beg, borrow or steal every dollar they could in order to invest in mass transit.

The public sector would likewise be foolish indeed to not invest all of the taxpayers’ money on the assurance that city/county/state
/federal coffers would increase by 500%.

Lastly, if there is a 500% profit to be made from building mass transit, why are taxpayers ALWAYS expected to keep pulling money out of their pockets to subsidize the thing?

Who is putting all that profit into their pockets?

There needs to be a better accounting.

Stop the rhetoric.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


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