“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
You Want to Spend How Much on a Low-Capacity Rail Tunnel? | The Antiplanner
Sigh! This really is not difficult, but we make it impossible by allowing yammerheads to have control over public funds.
Public rail transit was a great idea during the 19th century. It remained a good idea during the first few decades of the 20th century, but it ran its course well before mid-century. Its revival today is like a bad joke, funny but ridiculous.
Rail uses up lots of land, costs a gargantuan amount of money, moves few people, but is retro-steam-punk-cool! So, we buy it. Then we have to cannibalize the functioning bus system to pay for the retro-steam-punk-cool crap. This hurts the poor the most, and "helps" the upper middle class the most. Why would any sane society subsidize its upper middle class transportation?
Here in Portlandia, the urban, and transit planners are incapable of seeing or understanding changes like the self drive auto. They live in a linear, zero sum world. This mindset is very difficult to understand since it is seldom replicated in nature. It seems to be a function of government employment, and is likely driven by the zero sum nature of government budgeting.
Portlandia just finished a $1.4 billion, 7 mile long light rail line, which will never move more than an insignificant number of people. Burned money, doesn't move people - win/win!
The lede comes from the first comment.