The shocker last night wasn't so much that a local toll-road official will take over as chairman of VIA Metropolitan Transit.This might be the first shot in a long Texas war that would attempt to combine these recently created mobility authorities with local transit agencies. Not something that is unfamiliar so close to the Alamo. My fear is a region wide transportation authority focused on toll roads will give suburban jurisdictions too much clout over all transportation and leave the more urban areas hanging out to dry. Specifically, Austin's outside pols have been trying to take away Capital Metro's sales tax for as long as anyone can remember. We'll have to watch and see what happens, but color me skeptical.
It had more to do with a revelation that behind-the-scene talks have drifted toward the possibility of merging the toll and bus agencies into a super agency. The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, which is banking on toll-road plans but can pretty much do any type of transportation project, recently outlined an idea to create an overarching Multi-Modal Transportation Finance System.
With it, VIA and the RMA would combine to maximize financing capacity while allowing each agency to operate independently, says the RMA document, which was prepared for a city-county transportation task force.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Remember the Alamo
In the back of my mind, this seems like a really bad idea. Should I have a reason not to be skeptical?