We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Dallas Light Rail a “Knife in Our Back”

26th October 2017

Read it.

A new report on transportation equity demonstrates that Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s zeal to build the largest light-rail system in America has harmed the city’s low-income population. While the report (really a PowerPoint show) itself is fairly mild in tone, the interpretation by Dallas Observer columnist Jim Schutze is anything but moderate.

DART light-rail lines, “built at costs in the billions, reach up into Carrollton, Plano and Rowlett — suburban areas that need light rail like they a ski lift,” says Schutze. Meanwhile, “DART does an appalling job of providing mass transit to inner-city, low-wage workers who need it.”

DART isn’t stupid — they serve the areas that pay the high taxes that support their service. The Underclass are graciously allowed to piggyback on that arrangement.

Schutze makes this out to be a debate between cities vs. suburbs, compact development vs. sprawl. But really, it is a question of what is the appropriate mission for transit agencies. Outside of those few urban areas with large downtowns–New York, Chicago, and a few others–most people don’t ride or need transit, so transit agencies have to come up with some rationale for continued subsidies. At one time, that rationale was that poor people needed mobility too. But now, most poor people have cars, so today the rationale is the need to get middle-class people out of their evil automobiles.

I’ve used DART and it suffers from the same flaws as every public transport system: If you’re live and work near a rail line, you’re golden; if not, it’s of no use to you. There are never enough hipsters available to cover the (unionized worker) costs, so it needs massive subsidies in order for fares to be ‘affordable’ — if passengers were charged full freight, minority representatives would scream bloody murder. Transit subsidies are just another way that race pimps buy votes.

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