Metro Light Rail, the slow-moving, unsightly train system that cost $1.4 billion to build in 2008 and costs taxpayers tens of millions in losses each year, may be expanding soon if Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has his way. In fact, his goal is to triple it over the next 30 years.
At a time when resources are still scarce, and there are so many pressing transportation needs around Arizona, this is just a terrible idea. The City of Phoenix alone recovers less than half of what it spends each year to operate and maintain the system, not unlike other East Valley cities. Further, as the Arizona Republic noted, tax revenue for the project could be $1 billion short of projections due to the tanking economy.
So how are Mayor Stanton and other city leaders going to fund an expansion of a system that is already hemorrhaging money, while trying to make up for a $1 billion shortfall? There’s only one way: More taxes. Specifically higher taxes both before Transit 2000 expires in 2020, and after if voters approve.
So join the Club in fighting this horrible idea, and let Mayor Stanton know that we can’t just can’t afford this scheme – especially with so many of our roads in need of repair. You can make your voice heard through Talktransportation.org, and let your elected representatives know just how you feel about expanding Light Rail, and its effect on both your taxes, and the financial future of Phoenix.