Ugh, Paul Gessing

I love some of the Alibi’s readers. In a recent blog posting, I asked Rail Runner riders and the businesses that benefit from the train to foot the bill to close the system’s $750,000 operating deficit (that’s in addition to the $18 million in recognized annual deficits).

This blog posting generated a largely ad hominem response (first online and then in the print edition, 3rd letter down) from a reader. His essential point, aside from the fact that I’m a jerk, was that people of the conservative/libertarian mind-set don’t care for the poor. This argument falls flat. For starters, the state might not be facing cuts if we hadn’t spent $400 million + plus tens of millions in operating cost for the train. Also, it might be noted that at least in the Washington, DC area, users of the rail transit system are wealthier than average and much wealthier than bus riders.

So, I guess if you are concerned about helping the poor, it would make sense to advocate for more buses, but I’ll be the Rail Runner benefits far more high income tourists and government workers than poor people. Yet another bogus pro-RailRunner argument falls by the wayside.

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2 Replies to “Ugh, Paul Gessing”

  1. You say–

    It would be interesting to do a short study to see what a “bus equivalent” to the Rail Runner would be. Would it break even at current Rail Runner ticket prices? If not what would the deficit be? Not $18,000,000 I’ll bet. Buses are usually the cheapest way to move people. But they aren’t sexy.

    1. Absolutely, buses would be far cheaper to operate. That’s in addition to saving the $400 million taxpayers put into the project in terms of infrastructure. Also, unlike the train, buses could pick people up and drop them off all over town rather than forcing them to go to the limited number of stations.

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