As predicted, cost projections were a bit too rosy. The real cost, says Hillsbororough Area Regional Transit officials, will be much higher.
NoTaxForTracks.com has continuously pointed to the huge costs and record of cost overruns associated with rail projects and already the evidence with this rail tax is in: (From the St Pete Times today:)
Projections by the county’s Metropolitan Planning Organization put the construction costs for a new light rail system — the figure commissioners considered — at $70 million per mile.
Now, Hilllsborough Area Regional Transit officials say the cost likely will be $85 million to $120 million per mile, based on an analysis issued two weeks ago that doesn’t consider inflation.
"I think that’s a consistent pattern and it’s occurred in city after city," said Martin Wachs, who supervises transportation research at Rand Corp., a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank.
Past history is a much better indication of reality than the rosy, overly optimistic assumptions and predictions from those who are in support of this initiative.
Phoenix: Mayor told voters cost would be $500 million, actual cost is $1.4 Billion and with $240 million deficit to close added a 2% tax on food and groceries in April, a portion of that money to keep rail operating (after cutting bus and rail svcs) Also, University of Phoenix bought tens of thousands of passes and free rides are given to students who pay for them thru their tuition (many paid for by parents or tax subsidized loans or grants). Those “free” rides are included in their ridership numbers.
Phoenix is rated one of the 15 most bankrupted cities according to BusinessInsider.com: http://www.businessinsider.com/americas-most-bankrupt-cities-2010-4
Charlotte: Charlotte had cost overruns of over 100%, first leg cost $48 million per mile, to build out will now cost $101 million per mile and they have raised fares and delayed build out they promised voters due to declining revenues. Regarding their transit oriented development, Charlotte taxpayers subsidize the rail, subsidized the developers and subsidized some of the residents to entice them to move into high density housing by waiving their property taxes for 5 or more years. And their rail ridership includes 4000 previous bus riders who simply moved over to higher taxpayer subsidized rail.
Stop the Boondoggle BEFORE it starts!
VOTE AGAINST THE RAIL SURTAX