The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Monday, June 09, 2003

Huzzah! T.J. Rodgers has a guest op-ed in today's Merc. He lays into the idiocy of light rail:

Light rail is a slow, expensive loser
By T.J. Rodgers

MY daily commute to Cypress Semiconductor takes me past two Santa Clara County light rail stops, both within a block of our North San Jose headquarters. Despite the proximity and apparent convenience of the light rail system, I rarely see more than one or two of our 1,500 local employees disembarking from the trains.

The underutilization of light rail is a chronic problem of national proportions. According to the U.S. Census, during the period of 1980-1990, 10 cities (Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Washington, Baltimore, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland and Sacramento) invested heavily in light rail.

In nine of the 10 cases, public transportation's share of market decreased after the investment. Only in San Diego did light rail ridership remain constant, at a low 3.2 percent figure. Another survey, by Illinois-based Wendell Cox Transportation Consultancy, found that if the light rail ridership in 11 major cities were dumped onto the streets, they would not increase traffic congestion in those cities by even one-half of 1 percent.

Read the whole thing. (Listen to me, I'm turning into Instapundit.)



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