Transportation facts and fantasies politicians won't tell you

from “The Government Racket 2000 and Beyond” by Martin L. Gross

“In one of the most wasteful boondoggles in American history, over $100 billion in gas-tax money has been invested over the years in the generally failed light-rail system. Now, through the newly passed $218 billion TEA-21 "highway" bill, another $42 billion is being spent on mass transportation that the masses of people don't want.” 

from “The Government Racket 2000 and Beyond” by Martin L. Gross

"Wendell Cox, a transportation consultant who has testified before Congress several times. "But people prefer their cars, so with federal and local costs, we've wasted most of the $200 billion invested by Washington and localities so far.  I'd say that overall, we've decreased road congestion by only one half of 1 percent through light rail construction-not a very impressive record for all the money we've spent." 

from “The Government Racket 2000 and Beyond” 

“So why is the federal government investing perhaps a half trillion dollars eventually to build rail systems most people don't want? The answer to that is the answer to the dilemma of unrepresentative government that Americans face today.  If we had the right Initiative and Referendum (see Part Three), would we approve this massive, unending boondoggle? I would venture an emphatic "No!" 

The cost of rail vs. highways?  It is cheaper to lease luxury cars to new commuters than it is to finance a rail system

from The Public Purpose

"The following table calculates the annual cost and 40 year career cost per new commuter (worker) of building and operating new transit projects as proposed to the United States Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration. The formula for calculating the annual cost is the cost per new passenger trip times 450 (each commuter works an average of 225 days and commutes twice daily). All except one of the listed projects are more expensive than the cost of leasing each new commuter a new economy automobile in perpetuity. Some projects are more expensive than the cost of leasing a luxury car, such as a $55,000-plus Jaguar XJ8 (pictured) or a BMW 7-series." 

While appearing on The Guetzloe Report, Wendell Cox addressed the traffic congestion in Central Florida:  “Changing the schedule of garbage collection would have a bigger impact on traffic congestion in Central Florida than light-rail would have”. 

from Public Purpose  

Feds Guarantee 6 Years Severance Pay to Transit Employees

Section 13(c) of the US Federal Transit Act requires that transit agencies pay up to six years severance pay to any employee laid off due to an efficiency or economy. On average, less than half of US private sector workers are covered by severance pay. In the US market severance pay is usually measured in weeks, not in months or years.

US Urban Transport Costs Higher than Auto

from Public Purpose

The cost per passenger mile of urban transport service in the US was $0.60 in 1994 --- 2.5 times the $0.17 cost per passenger mile of the automobile.” 

from “The Government Racket 2000 and Beyond” by Martin L. Gross

Miami's Metrorail, built in the 1980s with federal assistance and a final price tag of over $1 billion, is ridden by only 1 percent of Dade County residents-who still dearly love their cars. 

from “The Government Racket 2000 and Beyond” by Martin L. Gross

Who pays for these new mass-transit systems?

Naturally, it is the car driver, just as his bridge tolls pay for the New York subway.  It all comes out of the 18.4-cents-a-gallon federal gas tax.  We've seen that some of that $20 billion a year is wasted on pork "demo" projects. We've also seen how up until 1998, more than a third of the gas tax went into everything from welfare to limos for government appointees. 

from “The Government Racket 2000 and Beyond” by Martin L. Gross

Buffalo spent more than $600 million, mostly federal money, to construct a rail line, but the combined bus and rail ridership is much like the old bus ridership before the money was invested.

Back to Transportation vs. Representation   Home