For a group that comes out against any transit measure, anytime, anywhere – the ETA sure gets a pass from the P-I. In yesterday’s debate, Dick Paylor of the ETA was on the ‘stop anything’ side, and apparently the P-I has taken at face value the group’s claim that they’re in support of buses!
So, exactly which buses? They sure weren’t in support of Transit Now – even though RapidRide is exactly the kind of service they claim to want. They still claim that Proposition 1 is some absurdly high percentage light rail – I keep hearing 99%, or 95%, depending on which opponent is talking. So where does this come from?
Opponents, however, said the system would make little difference despite its large capacity. Dick Paylor of the pro-bus Eastside Transportation Association said more people could be carried at less cost on an expanded bus system than on light rail. (emphasis mine)
I suspect, in fact, that the ETA has never been in favor of any transit service, except strictly in theory. Once there’s a cost, that’s another story.
I think what’s interesting here is that they talk about the free market – that people should ‘be able to choose’ their mode of transportation. That’s fine – before the federal government started contributing to highways, we were traveling on rail. If they still want that now, maybe they should come out against projects like the 405 expansion – as it’s not paid for by toll revenue, it’s paid for by everyone in the state. Not just those who ‘choose’ to drive on it.