It's often the federal government that's giving out money for transportation. Well they aren't really giving it out, we paid them taxes and they give it back to us. In places like the Bay Area we get back less than we pay in. Why is it that regions who pay the most money act as welfare areas to the other parts of the state or country. I certainly don't want my money going to build Don Young's Alaska bridge to no-where. But how much extra money would there be if there was a regional system instead of a state system? It's an interesting question that might get an interesting answer if i had the data.
So yesterday two bay area congressional members, one of them is my Gramma's congresswoman, asked the congressional transportation overlord for more money back. I think its great but I'm wondering what types of projects it would go to. Freeway expansion? I don't care about that since i don't use the freeway often, and if i do, it's on Wednesday night when no one is on it and I still pay the bridge toll, which brings me to my next point...freeway o holics love to say that highways are paid for by user fees. But what about those of us who pay gas taxes but don't drive on the freeway, or drive on the freeway that doesn't get any of that money. I hardly call that a user fee. It sounds like subsidy to me given that none of my gas tax money goes to my street.
I think M1ek touched on this at one point but when are suburbanites gonna realize they are just freeloading off the people who use surface streets? I'm all for tolls and perhaps if people had to pay the true cost of suburbanization, they might realize, well of course we should build more transit and collectively ride it, it would save us a ton of money. I know i know, wishful thinking.
Anyways, perhaps we shouldn't have a federal gravy train at all. Transportation monies should go to regional entities rather than national ones. Then we'll get the money the region needs and it will be spent on regional problems. I dunno. Thoughts?