Trolleys status symbols - Istooksense

October 4, 2003
By Peter Samuel

Ernest Istook as Chair of the House of Reps Transport Appropriations subcommittee (Repub, OK) is a powerful guy. So when he sneers at light rail systems saying they are "often status symbols" which have little connection to relief of congestion of bang for the buck it matters. It might even be the end of the era of America's big spending on little trolleys. Istook made the remarks in announcing he would block moves to grant Washington state $500m in federal funds for its long disputed light rail line. Worse even than the patent waste of light rail - which is anywhere between ten and 40 times per passenger-mile provided as costly as car transport - is the way it is falsely represented as an alternative to roads, an an argument for not building roads. TRnews 2003-10-04


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