Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

Transit Horrors: Myrick Line to Nowhere, More

Where to start?

The Metropolitan Transit Commission has spent all day today getting reacquainted with reality. The result confirms everything we’ve said for the past five years about CATS’ transit dreams. The low-lights:

  • Admission that the half-cent transit sales tax cannot possibly build the $9.5 billion 2030 Plan.
  • The $500m. 10-mile streetcar across Charlotte is dead as far as CATS is concerned. The only portion that has any funding going forward is the 1.5 mile rump bit on Elizabeth Ave. — where the city of Charlotte previously spent $10m. of its road dollars to lay track and generally ruin the road — which requires an additional $37m. to complete. The city opted to raid the General Fund for $12m. to match the $25m. federal grant Rep. Sue Myrick backed. Myrick backed the project despite CATS indicating that it would not pay for the operation of the segment.
  • As a result the city now confronts a 1.5 mile nothing it has spent at least $25m. to build and requires untold General Fund dollars to operate. Unbelievable.
  • Actual honesty in that the the North line up I-77 will cost at least $456m. and must have some sort of “private financing” to get built. Essentially CATS and its consultants are telling Carroll Gray and the Northern towns that if they’d like a train line they need to go find a way to build one. Alone.
  • More truth — CATS expenses will exceed revenues by 2025. Really? Do tell.
  • The Independence corridor is on life support. Paging Dan Clodfelter.
  • The only thing CATS can afford to build is $1.2b. worth of the line to UNCC. The problem? Figure at least a $1.5b. pricetag for that — possibly $2b. when all is said and done. No wonder CATS says it needs additional tax authority.

Listening intently to all this has been the local Rent Seekers Guild. Recall that the Guild is on record for fully supporting the 2030 transit plan as adopted in 2006 — hence its opposition to the 2007 transit tax repeal effort. But now CATS itself says that the 2030 plan is dead without additional taxes. This suggests a question for Bob Morgan and friends they may not like to answer: Do they support additional taxes for CATS?

Or do they support a new — affordable — transit plan for Charlotte?

14 Responses to “Transit Horrors: Myrick Line to Nowhere, More”

  • Nov
    17
    2010

    It was so simple a Caveman could see it.

  • Nov
    17
    2010

    Damn, it feels good to be right, even if certain people will never acknowledge it.

    The new transit plan should be simple and revolve around one word: Buses. They use existing roadbed (which is already paid for and built — duh) and put transit users in the same boat with the rest of us with respect to delays, traffic jams, etc. (Trains, on the other hand, are the elitist snobs of the transit world — they demand their own expensive systems and they ALWAYS get right of way over everything else.) The bus system needs to be reworked with more intelligent routing and scheduling, a fare schedule that actually puts more of the burden of operating the system on those who use it, and possibly improved amenities to encourage use by yuppies who look down on buses but like shiny trains (WiFi, etc.).

    The real question now is whether these insane politicians will acknowledge reality and abandon their plans to rail this place all to hell no matter the cost. This is not a theme park, people — it’s a city and should be managed as such.

  • Nov
    17
    2010

    Well, thank goodness we got all that free Federal money coming for our high-speed bullet train to keep the coo-coo choo-choo lovers wettin’ their Pampers.

  • Nov
    17
    2010

    I try to look at it this way. If the good fight hadn’t been fought in 2007 for transit sanity, then we’d most certainly be worse off today. If the public had never been told that this would happen by the naysayers (who happened to also be right), then they’d be easy pushovers for more taxes now. If the various government bodies hadn’t been forced to say “trust us, we know what we’re doing” so many times, then they wouldn’t be caught in their lies now.

    Maybe the transit repeal effort wasn’t the victory it rightly should have been, but at least it was a blocking action that allowed reality to catch up to these hucksters. And maybe, it will stop the bleeding in the long run.

  • Nov
    17
    2010

    And where are we on the 100,000 uptown jobs that Ron Tober said in 2006 would be necessary in order to make our transit fantasy camp worthwhile? Well on pace to hit double 2005’s numbers by 2025, surely.

  • Nov
    18
    2010

    Cornelius Mayor Tarte, has said that the ridership of the train up our way will in no way justify using tax money to buy the train set. But wait there is more… Economic development will! And for that Jeff Tarte, Carol Gray et al are getting ready to put at least a half a bilion dollars of other people’s money on the line. I wish I could take Messrs Gray Tarte and Bensmen et al on a tour of South Blvd….

    We’d start at the modest used car lot where I sell 1995ish Camrys/Accords to the amigos that cut the above mentioned members of the LKN ruling class’ yards. From there we would go south to the closed down “texas” steak house behind the Steak and Shake, right before you get to Pineville. The “texas” steak house is litterally on the train line parkinfg lot.

    I’d go north from there, as looking for a failed busines on the McCory line is a target rich enviroment. Then I’d buy the leaders of the Northern towns lunch at Reid’s Fine Foods (sic) when we got to uptown. But wait (insert F word here)! Chuck Richards, the owner of Reids, has closed his store that is right on the light rail line, and is moving to Selwyn Ave. I guess Mr. Richards has been reading his bank statement and not the Urban Land Institute report that said all business on the light rail line will thrive. All for now

  • Nov
    18
    2010

    The empty lots and transmission shops along Old Pineville Rd. are my favorite balloon busters.

  • Nov
    18
    2010

    You really have to wonder what plant Jennifer Roberts is on. From today’s paper:

    “We’re still thinking big,” Mecklenburg County commissioners’ Chair Jennifer Roberts told the group. “We may be doing something smaller in the short term, but we’re going to do the big thing long-term, and make it bigger.”

  • Nov
    18
    2010

    You really have to wonder what plant Jennifer Roberts is on.

    Marijuana, probably. Lots of it.

  • Nov
    18
    2010

    supposed to be planet but you could be right clay

  • Nov
    18
    2010

    Nah — I’m going with something from the opiate family. There is not enough THC in the world to get that divorced from reality.

  • Nov
    18
    2010

    And now it may be decades before anything but the 1.5 mile streetcar line gets built. But we just couldn’t let any other city get that money, could we, Sue?

    The streetcar that Observer readers….AND Charlotte Post readers….were against two to one.

  • Nov
    18
    2010

    as far as the opiate goes, I wonder if some Costa Rican Tylenols (it’s a long story) have come into play here- This dillusion on the part of the rulers regarding trains goes way past cannibus. Buzz managment is a life skill that many never master.

  • Nov
    18
    2010

    I thought it was just fetishism. Perhaps a residuum of having watched Risky Business or North By Northwest at an impressionable age.

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