19 April 2015

Another Point of View: Light Rail doesn't create new economic growth

According to a report with a link here dated April 14, 2015 that was published by The Arizona Republic and reported by Robert Robb, data from both Valley Metro and the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey indicate than less than 5% of Valley of The Sun commuters use public transportation and 80% of Valley Metro's passengers use the bus.

Click on image from Valley Metro to enlarge
As Robb reports, " . . . light rail doesn't do much to get people from Point A to Point B and costs a lot to not do it . . . the bus system, not light rail, is the public transportation workhorse . . . Over a billion dollars of local money has gone to building light rail . . . To the extent light rail causes economic activity to be relocated, that does increase property values along the routes. Perhaps light rail should be financed with a special tax district so those benefiting from that effect pay for it . . . The attempt to justify a tax increase for light rail based upon claimed regional or city-wide economic benefits, however, is an exercise in misdirection."

Whoa! Your MesaZona blogger invites comments from readers . . .

Nearly everyone - involved in business or government or civic organizations in Mesa - your blogger has featured here or spoken with about the prospects for the revitalization and regeneration of the New Urban Downtown Mesa has claimed that the light rail will bring new economic benefits.

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