Monday, September 09, 2013

Even Shinier Than Light Rail - Its Bus Rapid Transit!

In the continuing effort to regionalize Detroit's expenses and wastage on the suburbs, there's a new push for a new tax on the region to support a rapid bus transit system. SWPL types love the idea of regional rapid transit, even when it costs a ton and goes nowhere either useful nor fast.

Note that rapid in this case means an estimate of 35 mph on these large buses to nowhere. Estimates of course tend to be optimistic at best compared to reality.

The Detroit News: Metro Detroit tax touted to fuel rapid bus system

Cleveland's experience shows it took 10 years to develop and $200 million to build a 6.8 mile system. At around 28.5 million per mile, its rather spendy, especially for the planned route in Detroit. Also Cleveland, as much as it pains me to say it, is a tad more vibrant and functional than the dysfunctional D.

At the cost of $200 million the system could buy and give away 7,300 Chevy Volts (likely 1 per rider of this boondoggle), and cause the SWPL types to swoon in happiness at the thought of electric car sharing, not to mention offering a lot more flexibility, but less opportunity for graft and corruption.

Of course Detroit's BRT backers, not ones to think small, want to spend $500 million on a system. The money they expect to raise will be from a handy regional tax of course.

At some point the suburbs will have enough of this regional tax approach to pay for Detroit projects and the results of Detroit squandering its resources. The suburbs are already bailing out the Detroit Zoo and DIA, and asking them to pay for Detroit's latest expensive vapid yet rapid transit dreams may prove to be a bit too much.

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