Monday, March 15, 2010

More Fluff on "Transit"

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.

1 comment:

John Foust said...

Boy, that MJS, they let almost anyone write on the opinion page, ain'a? And the County! What'd they do, swing a cat in the hallway of the county building and appoint anyone with a little fur stuck on them? What do they think they're doing, letting ordinary bus-riding people on the committee? Why don't they find someone who knows what they're talking about, like the way John Torinus knows about birthin' babies?

It's as bad as the MJS and their so-called "community columnists." Who's making the decisions about who gets to appear there? Who are these people, anyways, and who did they rub to get into print? Last time around, the MJS even had to re-elect people they've used before. What, there's no one in Milwaukee who can string a few words together? Why are they always picking the J. Random Citizens who coinky-dently also happen to have cozy connections with the High and Mighty friends of the MJS publishers? Man-O-Manischewitz.

Maybe the County Board should've used a jury process to pick a team who was absolutely uninformed about the subject at hand. But who would we give the power of voir dire? The lawyers? The bus-riding lawyers? You crack me up. I kid you not, 'cause I'm Art Kumbalek and I told you so.

Standard Contradictory Disclaimer™: This isn't to say that buses aren't necessary. It's not even to say that they should not be subsidized.