Texas TURF,

  • Calls to end gas tax diversions due to failure of transit programs

    Link to article here.

    Failure of transit programs prompts renewed call to end federal gas tax diversions
    Federal Highway Administration reports a 3.5% increase in vehicle miles traveled in 2015. Yet, 28% of federal surface transportation funds (which primarily originate from federal gasoline taxes) are diverted from highways to public transit. It’s high time this raid of road funds ends. If local cities want mass transit, they should pay for it with local taxes, not raid federal road dollars to waste on transit systems with little to no riders.
    By Terri Hall | June 6, 2016
    Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research

    When you digest the latest report on public transit by Steven Polzin of the University of South Florida, it deals a fatal blow to the philosophy, ‘If you build it, they will come.’

    The report notes a 1.3% – 2.5% decline in transit ridership in 2015. But perhaps the most damaging figure is that transit ridership has remained flat for 45 years. That’s a pretty stubborn figure. Contrary to the narrative of transit advocates, overall ridership has also remained flat despite fluctuations in the price of gasoline. Meanwhile, transit supply has exploded while demand for transit has remained the same and even declined (despite lack of car ownership among millennials, urbanization, and the high cost of car ownership). So, after spending billions in taxpayer dollars on shiny new buses and rail cars, government has little to show for it in terms of actual riders.

    By contrast, the Federal Highway Administration reports a 3.5% increase in vehicle miles traveled in 2015. Yet, 28% of federal surface transportation funds (which primarily originate from federal gasoline taxes) are diverted from highways to public transit. It’s high time this raid of road funds ends. If local cities want mass transit, they should pay for it with local taxes, not raid federal road dollars to waste on transit systems with little to no riders just to satisfy their anti-automobile and anti-petroleum ideology.
  • Cintra hands SH 130 to its creditors

    Link to article here.

    Texas’ first foreign-owned toll road handed to its creditors

    By Terri Hall
    August 15, 2016
    Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research

    It was so predictable. The people of Texas revolted against former Governor Rick Perry’s grand network of toll roads, once dubbed the Trans Texas Corridor, and many grassroots groups that sprung up to oppose it predicted its eventual demise. The press, always eager to jump on the ribbon cuttings, seldom show you the angling inside bankruptcy court, yet that’s where State Highway 130 Concession Company ended up. As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Spain-based Cintra and San Antonio-based Zachry ceded the delinquent toll project to its creditors Friday.

    The southern 41-mile stretch of SH 130, a bypass designed to avoid Austin traffic from Mustang Ridge to Seguin, opened with much fanfare in November of 2012, including an appearance by Perry who hailed this first public private partnership (or P3) as highway nirvana and ‘visionary.’ But crony capitalism is as old as dirt and taxpayers didn’t see it as anything other than graft.
  • San Antonio still pushing light rail despite repeated defeats at ballot box

    Link to article here.
     
    San Antonio plans for light rail despite voter opposition
    By Kenric Ward
    August 17, 2016
    Watchdog.org
     
    Despite repeated defeats at the polls, a controversial light rail system remains in San Antonio’s planning documents.
     
    City officials say, “It is important not to rule out any method or mode of transportation.”
     
    National transportation expert Randal O’Toole retorts, “I suspect that they have ruled out dirigibles, helicopters and pod cars. Rail should be ruled out for the same reason: It is expensive and few will use it.”
     
    “It’s not really about rail or offering commuters options, it’s about rent-seeking developers looking for their next handout, courtesy of San Antonio taxpayers,” said Terri Hall, founder of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom.

Donate Now

Help us fight to preserve our rights and freedoms!
Make a secure donation today!
or donate by mail. We cannot do it without you!