- To deal with the fact that 25% of the households in the area don't own/lease cars, a light rail mass transportation system estimated to cost $137M is proposed.
- The area measures 139 square miles but the proposed system will cover only 3.3 miles. (That's a cost of ~$41.51M/mile.)
- The entire area is currently served by a metropolitan bus service.
- Buses are cheaper to operate and maintain than railroads.
- Buses can maneuver in and around service areas. Railroads can't.
Oh, and then there's these other items:
- The metropolitan area is currently bankrupt.
- Even if the proposed light rail cars end up being jam-packed with riders, the proposed fare of $1.50 won't cover the system's operating expenses.
Should investors pour their money into light rail line or into more buses?
Before answering that question, consider this: An article in Reason Magazine reports the metropolitan area is Detroit and it's not investors who are making the decision. It's the federal government which is using the people's tax dollars to fund the project. To this point, the feds have already allocated $41M to the project.
But, as with all government boondoggles, that's not enough. Those pushing the project already are asking an additional $12M (or 29.2% more).
Do the math. That's a total of $53M for a project estimated to cost $137M (or 38.7%). Don't be surprised if, by the time the project is completed, cost overruns will raise the price to $250M.
And it's not just Detroit. Other metropolitan areas--Seattle, Honolulu, and Salt Lake City, among them--areas are doing the same.
Gotta love how projects like these fuel the nation's deficit and benefit the politicians profiting from it! Talk about crony socialism!
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Reason Magazine article, click on the following link:
"Is Detroit's New Light Rail Line America's Greatest Boondoggle?"