Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lots of Stim

Treehugger runs over three different transit based new deal programs. The Apollo Alliance seems to have the most aggressive:
Transit plays a prominent role in the Alliance's 10-year, $500 billion plan to create 5 million new jobs. Among their proposals: bringing government investment in mass transit at least up to par with investments in highways, increasing the government's share of funding for transit and infrastructure projects and prioritizing repair and maintenance of infrastructure over new highways.


Robert said...

The transit lobby would be well served to keep in mind the arguments that the pro-road lobby will use, particularly in response to your idea that transit should be funded to at least the same level as roads. Some pro-road activists will argue that since the gas tax is the federal source most responsible for highway and transit spending and since the gas tax is paid for by users of roads (it is my understanding that public agencies that drives buses are exempt from the federal gas tax), it is completely fair for transit to get only a small portion of that funding.

The argument to counter this is that fairness is not the ideal on this issue. The transit lobby should emphasize the fact that energy will only become more expensive and investment is needed now to transition the country's use away from single-person vehicles, regardless of what is fair.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Well I think you have to think about it in the way that they frame it as well. Prioritizing repair over expansion and bringing investment up to par. We can continue to fund repair through the gas tax but could find other funding sources for transit. I mean of course the gas tax is going to be for cars, because you don't tax gas for buses, they are more efficient anyways per passenger. Also, we shouldn't be measuring based on fuel used. Rather it should be value added. Property owners benefit enormously from investments in transit yet we're only getting limited funding in that way. In not talking about the gas tax but rather talking about transportation funding that is appropriate in value added (such as the green dividend) we can change the whole conversation instead of talking their language.