No Light Rail in Vancouver!
New Mexico has committed clost to half a billion dollars to a commuter-
Worth a campaign contribution.
Flickr photo by Michael Brown.
By an amazing coincidence, the state is short about half a billion dollars for necessary highway projects. State officials fear that cash shortages could “trigger cutbacks in highway maintenance and new road construction.”
The good news is that they are thinking about tolls and other user fees as a way of making up shortfalls in highway funding. The bad news is that most of the federal funds and a small portion of the state funds being spent on the commuter rail line are coming from highway user fees, so auto drivers are having to pay far more than any benefits they get.
The state started running a commuter-
The existing line runs on existing tracks. Going to Santa Fe will require many miles of new rail construction. The high cost of such construction is hardly justified by a few thousand riders a day.
The “Rail Runners” typically consist of a Diesel locomotive pulling two train cars. You are not going to save much energy or reduce much pollution pulling only two cars, especially if they are not full.
Beyond killing the state’s transportation budget, the commuter train chalked up two more victims just a week ago when it hit a car and killed the two occupants. There were 50 people on board the train at the time, which leads the Antiplanner to ask: why do they need a train when buses can easily hold 50 people and cost far less to build and operate?
No doubt Richardson believes the train is a good deal for his state. After all, the
company that operates the train under contract to the state gave his gubernatorial
campaign $25,000 — a month after he was re-
In addition, a local developer who received a contract to develop state-
So it sounds like spending hundreds of millions of dollars of other people’s money
has provided Richardson with returns worth well over $50,000. Not a bad benefit-
Trackback • Posted in News commentary, Transportation
Money for Rails, But Not for Roads
Reprinted from The Antiplanner