Randal O'Toole

  • Link to editorial here.

    VIA fails to see its growing irrelevance
    Randal O’Toole
    For the Express-News
    August 28, 2016

    VIA transit officials are seeking to raise local taxes to build exclusive bus lanes, and possibly light rail, in major corridors throughout San Antonio. This sounds a lot like the light-rail tax that voters defeated and the ATD tax that voters approved but hasn’t delivered the advanced transportation or roads that were promised.

    What VIA fails to see — or hopes taxpayers won’t see — is that transit is not only irrelevant to most San Antonians today, it will be even more irrelevant in the years ahead.

    VIA’s Vision 2040 plan notes that San Antonio’s population may grow 80 percent by 2040, which means that the sales tax revenues that provide VIA with most of its funding will also grow by at least 80 percent. But VIA wants more so it can build its own network of transit routes and traffic signals to give its buses (and rail cars) priority over everyone else at intersections.
  • Link to article here.
    San Antonio plans for light rail despite voter opposition
    By Kenric Ward
    August 17, 2016
    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.

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