Friday, March 21, 2008

Public transit under attack

The Washington Post has a must-read article this week on the Bush administration's approach to transit policy. This is something we should all be aware of and worried about.

Bush appointees at the Department of Transportation are working to reduce traffic congestion by converting roads into privately-operated, for-profit toll roads. At the same time, the agency is reducing funding for mass transit, denying funds to new light rail projects, like the one proposed for Woodward in Detroit. Most fundamentally, the agency itself is being starved of funds. The gas tax has not been raised since 1993; assuming annual inflation of 3%, the tax rate today is therefore effectively 64% of what it was in 1993. The administration supports the continued reduction of the agency's budget because it will force the further privatization of transportation.

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