Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Rail Then, the Rail Now

When I lived in Salt Lake City, the area was putting in a light rail system. And you will not believe how people reacted. A tax increase? No! People were actually protesting, marching about with signs up about how "Don't use my tax dollars for light rail", old people standing up in town meetings and shouting about the use of "their" money to build the light rail.

Then, it went in. And it proved to be one of the most popular things in Salt Lake. People were using it all the time. So popular the Mormon Church bought the entire rail line once every six months and let people ride free over the weekend. Last I heard, they were expanding the line, traffic was cut down, and it was still going strong.

So I'm not surprised to read that Tampa is having their own issues getting a light rail installed. "Oh, no, you're going to raise out taxes by 1% during a recession and you'll kill business!" "Why build this thing, let's do it later."

Later never comes. And this, combined with the Obama stimulus money, means that *now* is the best time to get the light rail for Tampa installed.

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