Monday, December 14, 2009

Half the Story McCrory

While it would be nice to believe that Light Rail changed the world in Charlotte, Mayor McCrory is doing a bit of oversell if this article is complete evidence of what he said to some streetcar folks in Fort Worth.

McCrory is credited with pushing through a transportation plan that, with the help of a $200 million federal grant for light rail, revitalized blighted Charlotte neighborhoods. On Friday, he visited with about 200 advocates of returning electric trolleys to the Fort Worth streets.

Now that light rail is on the ground in Charlotte, he said, "our bus ridership is not just people who have to have it but people who want to ride it. Bus ridership is all races and classes. The bus system is unbelievable now."

What happened in Charlotte was not only the construction of light rail and the planning for a rapid transit network, but most of the half cent sales tax went into improving bus service. This is what the referendum focused on back in 2007. If passed, it would have severely hampered the bus system as well as the LRT expansion. But as a reward for the investment, Charlotte has had substantial gains in ridership directly related to the upgraded network and improved service.


John C said...

So what does this imply for San Francisco and our decreasing bus service?

Jay Heikes said...

Well while 70% of the tax does go to bus operations it was not the increased amount of service that revitalized Wilmore and the blighted area of Dilworth now reffered to as South End. That credit belongs to the Trolley project and now the Light Rail.