It would be interesting to have light-rail advocates drive from Los Angeles to Palmdale, Calif., between the hours of 6:30 to 9 a.m. any Monday through Friday.
What explanation would they give for the miles of bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic creeping toward Los Angeles on the freeway system? No alternative? Not so - an Amtrak commuter train runs parallel to the entire route and begs for use. People simply do not wish to ride on the train for a variety of reasons. The horrid frustration of stop-and-go traffic is more attractive.Mayor Deedee Corradini and others given to fantasy have pronounced Salt Lake City's unbuilt rail system a great success; so much a success that money is being spent on studies to expand "fantasy rail" to the airport, the university and perhaps Ogden.
A Forum letter written by a gentleman from Eastern Europe concluded, from his experience, that people would use light rail only if it were "free." The "free" part is of course relative since taxpayers would foot the bill. Given the experience of England where "socialized everything" has failed and they are desperately trying to privatize and remove government from business including transportation, it hardly seems an attractive solution.
Americans must wake up to the fact that there is no free lunch, no such thing as "government money" and no gifts from government. Someone must pay for everything through taxes, inflation and devaluation of the dollar.
Salt Lake City