Yesterday's Journal Sentinel featured a column by "our" Transit Advisory Committee. The Committee, apparently an organ formed by the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors to advocate for addition spending on buses and the creation of a regional transit authority claims to "represent a broad cross-section of people in the county affected by transit, which is to say, everyone."
It's hard to imagine a less representative group of people. The group is dominated by people with ties to County government or the transit system. Even the percentage who say they are transit riders (a majority) is unrepresentative because the fact of the matter is that, in southeastern Wisconsin, most people rarely see the inside of a bus.
This isn't to say that buses aren't necessary. It's not even to say that they should not be subsidized. But the column is typical of the approach taken by "transit advocates." There isn't even a pass at establishing that a relationship between the costs of the system and the services it provides.
We see the same thing - repeatedly - from rail advocates. Folks like me - who might be persuadable but are skeptical - have to go a long way to get credible information on such matters.