Orange County Commissioner Earl McKee once again made the case that the regional light rail plan is flawed and should not be implemented. He was ignored by his fellow commissioners. Again. Thus, the county commissioners voted 5 to 1 to impose the voter-approved half-cent transit tax on April 1.
McKee said he opposes the plan’s focus on a light-rail system that would serve a small part of Orange County and only one of Durham’s two universities. He argued for building up the county and city bus systems now and planning for light rail when the future population and tax base is adequate to support the system.
But that wasn’t enough for the commission’s leftists. They also imposed new fees on Orange County residents.
JLF’s former director of research, Michael Sanera, pointed out the reality of the flawed rail plan in his analysis written in the fall.
But promises of a “positive impact” on congestion have not panned out in other cities that have wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on rail transit. Of the 33 U.S. cities with some form of rail transit, only six account for more than 1 percent of the passenger miles traveled in the region, and 22 carry less than one-half of 1 percent. Does Orange County want to be like San Jose, where rail makes up 0.42 percent of passenger miles traveled? How about Denver (0.44 percent) or Dallas (0.26 percent)?