Build the public transit system with tax dollars

Taxes, taxes are the revenue that will and could build us, Asheville, a major transportation system. This transportation system, getting right to the point, could provide citizens with a reliable means to an end. Citizens who want to work should be afforded the right to travel to and from work aboard a public-transportation system. An efficient, state-of-the-art transportation system will allow us citizens to work and live in a greater amount of peace. Our private vehicles can then be saved for mere personal use.

Of course, we cannot expect a modern public-transportation system to extemporaneously appear out of the void; we must build this public-transportation system. The issue might be debated: What is the best way to build modern, efficient public transit in Asheville? Yet, one way to build such a project is to have it built with tax dollars. An investment in transportation would soon pay the cost of its own construction, plus generate the city annual revenue. This could be a long-term investment that could keep Asheville unique, green and a close community.

With the influx of tourists and new residents, we need to take the steps now to build an efficient mass public transit that incorporates Asheville and its outskirts. Building this transit will reduce the amount of motorists on the road, which will help us keep pollution to a minimum. A mass transit system might also retard the construction of new roads and the widening of highways, thus preserving our natural landscape. Finally, mass transit will strengthen the already tight sense of community that exists here in Asheville.

— Jesse Moore
Asheville

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8 thoughts on “Build the public transit system with tax dollars

  1. travelah

    There are several issues with this. In order to pay for this with taxes, you have to increase the tax burden on the people of Asheville through either property tax increases or a sales and use tax of some kind. Secondly, a public transit system is not a financial investment that pays for itself and earns the city a net revenue stream. I doubt you could point to a single transit system anywhere that is in the black lacking government subsidies of some sort.
    What would be inappropriate with funding this through bond issues and having the people who actually use the system pay for it? That is really the only alternative and even that leaves the city/county with enormous risk and debt.

    Present a plan with details.

  2. J

    I think Travelah’s point still stands. In theory, roads are paid for through gasoline taxes (though now if you use “green fuel”, that cost is being waived, which gives way to Paul’s point that roads will no longer pay for themselves).

    In order to get this massive public transit system up and running, the costs will have to come from somewhere. Clearly we’re in no position to fund this currently – barring massive cuts or massive tax hikes.

    I wonder if the letter writer was talking about light rail, buses, or what?

  3. travelah

    Paul, how do you think roads and infrastructure improvements are paid for?

  4. missanne thrope

    trav, how do you think roads and infrastructure are paid for?

  5. travelah

    Through fuel taxes, property taxes, bond issues, tolls and other user taxes. Look at the cetificate stickers pasted onto the next truck tractor you come across and you will have an idea how the repairs to highways are paid for.

  6. chops

    I don’t think it would cost much (in the scheme of things) to add bike lanes and bus routes. The ultimate cost to the taxpayer may even result in savings.

    Also, a public transit system need not be a financial investment. It needs to be a transit system.

    Thirdly, I believe that there is nothing wrong with spending tax dollars to improve the quality of life for citizens, even if it means raising taxes.

  7. JamPeanutButter

    Let us not hesitate to build a new transportation system that implements light-rail, bus, and bike-lane as an addition to the present transportation system in Asheville. The long term effects of implementing this infastructure now, far outwiegh any doubt, hesitation, or fear of cost. Long-term, a light rail could bring residents from Marshall or Canton or Waynesville, Hell even Swananoa, directly to Asheville. Family members could travel to church without the hassle of using their car. This would also eliminate much of the Driving Under the Influence that already happens; citizens could easily take a system of light-rail and bus to their destination.

    Additionally, by building this dream now, we can preserve our precious forests and fragile eco-systems. Those same forests and eco-systems that we use in our livelihood, work, homes, and everyday living. We are blessed to have such a well-preserved sylvan landscape.

    Unfortunately, it is my opinion that urban sprawl will happen, has happened, and will continue to happen. Nobody really wants to see it happen; it just does. But we can easily make WNC resistant to urban sprawl: Build the light-rail / bus system now that can save our culture, heritage, and dignify the city of Asheville.

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