Daimajin posed the question about how Metro should compensate for higher fuel costs. Systematically, this is how I see it:
- No negative impacts on ridership
- Introduces tax fatigue, poisoning the well for capital projects like light rail.
- Is likely to be regressive
- The usual suspects (Kemper Freeman, et al) don’t object.
- $2.00 is easier to pay than $1.75.
- Corporate pass purchasers (eg, Microsoft) are relatively price-insensitive
- Highly regressive to poor, occasional transit users.
Capital Investment for less diesel dependence
- Sustainable, both environmentally and economically
- Makes the funding squeeze worse in the short term
- Takes a long time
I would hate to see a 0.1% tax increase go to maintaining current service hours instead of getting light rail out to Microsoft, etc.
So what do I propose? How about going to $2.00/$2.50 across the board (aligning with ST express two-zone), and a tax increase for capital improvements like trolley bus lines, streetcars, and light rail?