...Parker said he'll likely brainstorm other ways to raise money so rail lines can be built sooner.After years of spending on things other than transit, the Mr. Parker has the right idea about trying to catch up, which would make it cheaper in the long run. Their 10 year wait for the first line did nothing but cause project inflation and almost lost them thier funding source all together with the referendum last year. Yet Pat McCrory, the Mayor, Gubernatorial candidate, and staunch transit supporter, is against the idea of using any funding outside of the current half cent funding stream.
With the cost of raw materials rising, Parker believes it's important to build Charlotte's rapid transit in the next decade, rather than by 2035, the finish line in the current plan. If the federal government isn't willing to send more money to CATS, Parker said he may bring the Metropolitan Transit Commission and the Charlotte City Council options.
McCrory said this week he doesn't want to consider a new tax or bond to build the transit system sooner. CATS already wants to use some property taxes to build the commuter rail line, and the city of Charlotte is considering the same for the streetcar.
“We'll have to live within the confines of the half-cent sales tax,” McCrory said. “During these economic times we'll have to be both economically and politically pragmatic. And at times, patient.”
In transit funding, patience costs money, and there are other ways to pay for transit projects. Because transit creates value that often isn't credited to it, there needs to be more attention paid to the value is created and capturing it to pay for the project. Putting a cage on it isn't the answer.