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Light rail is mega-cost toy

The House Appropriations Committee has put the brakes on that ill-conceived west-east light-rail project. Lee Davidson's two in-depth pieces (Deseret News, June 9 and 11) incisively covered many of the reasons why this fiscal fiasco should die a-borning.

But your editorial, "Salvage west-east light rail," (June 12) pointedly ignores four promises lightly made but never kept by UTA and other light-rail advocates: (1) no new rail projects until the north-south line has been evaluated; (2) none without at least a countywide vote; (3) none without measurable public support; and (4) no tax increases.One more little "fib." When leading businessmen lawfully sought an initiative referendum, through channels to the state Legislature, urging no Main Street tracks, state lawmakers affirmed that the state had no fiscal involvement with light rail. Not many months later, when it looked as if Uncle Sam would foot the west-east bill, proponents smiled. That meant no need for evaluation, no public vote, no tax increase. Then Uncle Sam dropped his other shoe: Somebody had to guarantee, up front, 100 percent payment of a five-year (translate "forever") maintenance fee. Who is this "somebody"? That same "uninvolved" governor and Legislature.

Light rail is a mega-cost toy that no self-respecting VIP will ever ride. I know, because I've booked countless pampered prima donnas, of both genders and from all professions, who never once had to ride public transportation to perform on campus. A good host would never permit such manners.

Paul Cracroft

Salt Lake City