Go Hillsborough – Part 1 – An Overview

Credit: HARTride 2012
Credit: HARTride 2012

Let the discussion begin

You’ve likely been hearing about it over the past few months, but now the official public outreach process has begun in Hillsborough County. What is this outreach process about exactly? It’s about building a better transportation network throughout the county. Because let’s face it, we’re at a pivotal crossroads right now, and unless we act to fix the situation at hand, things will only get worse from here.

We are at a crossroads

The situation at hand is this: Hillsborough County’s population continues to grow each year. But, at the same time, transportation funding continues to decrease.

Our roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair or replacement.

Our county bus system can barely sustain existing levels of service and needs to double its size to be able to efficiently and effectively serve the needs to county residents.

Our county is among the worst in the nation when it comes to pedestrian and bicyclist related traffic incidents and fatalities. Our bike lanes and paths, as well as other pedestrian/bike facilities are simply not enough to provide safe travel via walking or biking.

We currently have no passenger ferry services.

The TECOline Streetcar is marred in financial problems and isn’t considered as a meaningful mode of passenger rail transport.

Congestion continues to increase with no meaningful solutions in sight for the forseeable future, leading to more frustration, longer and more stressful commutes, and less time for people to spend with their families.

What is Go Hillsborough?

Go Hillsborough is a comprihensive community transportation plan that is aimed at improving the transportation landscape in Hillsborough County. The plan comprises of an extensive public outreach process by which I will discuss briefly in a few moments. This outreach process will allow for all county residents to have their say in what they want to see in our transportation framework for the future, as well as discuss all possible options and help build consensus towards the end.

Go Hillsborough is being spearheaded by the Hillsborough County Transportation for Economic Development (TED) Policy Leadership Group (PLG). This group comprises of all seven county commissioners, the mayors of Plant City, Tampa, and Temple Terrace, and the chairman of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) Board of Directors. The group has been meeting over the course of the past several months to put a comprihensive transportation plan together for Hillsborough County.

How will the meetings work?

The Go Hillsborough public outreach process will consist of four interactive discussion sessions, listed below:

  • Understanding issues: Understanding what is at stake when it comes to Hillsborough County’s transportation network, including how the network has been negatively impacted by limited funding sources.
  • Exploring Options: There are tons of transportation options out there. This session will allow for public input on what options and modes that people want to see; whether that is expanded bus service, commuter rail, or more roadway fixes.
  • Making Choices: Not every idea will be able to be carried out. But, what can be done is carrying out options that are both beneficial for everyone in the county, while being cost-effective on the county budget.
  • Finding Consensus: The final set of meetings will focus on coming together as a community to determine which options are most likely to happen, while figuring out how such projects will be funded.

Each session will be capped off with a telephone town hall, to allow an additional avenue for people to make their voices heard.

Letting your voice be heard

In addition to the public workshops and telephone town halls, Go Hillsborough has set up an I-Neighborhood App, which allows you to easily view and comment on various county transportation projects. You can also sound off via Facebook and Twitter, or via the contact form on the Go Hillsborough website. There will also be a phone number set up to leave comments at, which is 813-274-6922.

For more information

While I created this blog post to provide a basic overview of Go Hillsborough, the latest detailed information can be found on the Go Hillsborough website.

Coming up next…

As you may have noticed, this post is Part 1 in a two-part series. Part 2 will focus on the many challenges that lie ahead for Go Hillsborough; including learning from the past failed transportation campaigns (2010 and 2014).

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19 thoughts on “Go Hillsborough – Part 1 – An Overview”

  1. According to US Census studies of Hillsborough County:
    http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk

    “COMMUTING TO WORK”
    Workers 16 years and over 577,297
    Car, truck, or van — drove alone 461,778 80.0%
    Car, truck, or van — carpooled 55,266 9.6%
    Public transportation (excluding taxicab) 8,770 1.5%
    Walked 9,595 1.7%
    Other means 11,406 2.0%
    Worked at home 30,482 5.3%

    Mean travel time to work (minutes) 25.7

    90% of workers in Hillsborough County choose the freedom of driving their cars and trucks to work.
    Their average commute time is 26 minutes.
    It seems that 90% of the money raised from a tax increase should be used to maintain and upgrade our roads.
    Less than 2% of any population in any city other than the large, high density cities (New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, DC) depend on public transit.

    “…….the trends of the past 10 years indicate virtually no retrenchment in automobile orientation, as major metropolitan areas rose from 84 percent suburban and exurban in 2000 to 86 percent in 2010. This is despite unprecedented increases is gasoline prices and the disruption of the housing market during worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”
    http://www.newgeography.com/content/004384-new-york-legacy-cities-dominate-transit-urban-core-gains

    1. Why do think this is the case John? It doesn’t automatically mean that most people hate transit. Our transit systems are too unreliable for most commuters to depend on. That’s why we need more transit funding, so the systems can expand and attract more riders. Then we can really start breaking the auto stigmas that have entrenched the US for decades. Of course John, being you and your family are huge NTFT supporters/donors, I know we will never see eye to eye on these matters.

      1. First of all, let’s agree that I am not just a supporter of NTFT, I am a staunch believer that those who take taxes from the people (local, state and federal governments) should be held responsible for investing our money to best further the common good. Too much of our money is used to satisfy too few, primarily because there are “special interests” who are not really interested in the common good, rather their motivation is to transfer wealth from taxpayers to private interests.
        APTA is a lobbying organization that is funded by all transit agencies and most suppliers of goods and services to transit agencies. APTA is larger in terms of funding and personnel than all the highway lobbying groups combined.
        APTA represents a “special interest” group that truly believes that taxpayers should fund the services they provide because the people who use those services (riders) could never afford to pay the true cost of public transit.
        APTA provides transit agencies not only with representation, they also have “blueprints for success” that are now used in every municipality in the country to convince local voters to vote for transit expansion. And if the voters are not well informed, they fall right into line. So, in most cases, vast amounts of taxes are taken from the majority of people to satisfy the “needs” of a very small minority of people. The justification typically incorporates such statements as “all these poor people cannot afford a car to get to work, they need public transit.” Or often something like, “with all these new buses and trains, traffic congestion will be reduced.”
        The actual objective of all this has little to do with transit and its perceived benefits, the primary goal is to (a) get more federal funding to the local level (after all, it’s “free” money”) and (b) take more money from taxpayers and transfer it to public agencies and their suppliers and ultimately satisfy politicians’ unending quest for more control.
        Here is a specific example of PSTA’s performance, which is merely a compilation of their own data:

        “PSTA has already shown its inability to predict short-term travel patterns. Between 1991 and 2005, it increased bus service by 46 percent yet gained essentially no new riders and actually saw a 17 percent reduction in passenger miles. The result was that average occupancies of PSTA buses, which were already emptier than the national average, fell by 44 percent.
        Because of the 2008–09 recession, PSTA was forced to reduce bus service by 5 percent after 2008, yet bus ridership actually grew by nearly 9 percent. PSTA says it needs a tax increase to accommodate the growth in ridership, but as of 2012, PSTA bus occupancies of an average of 8 riders per bus were still well below the national average of nearly 11 riders per bus, showing that PSTA has a lot of room for growth without any increase in service.”

        We also have the data provided by the census bureau in my original post above. Public transit should be funded on the basis of performance – it serves the common good in those areas with sufficient population AND job densities.
        We do not have those densities in Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties. The Greenlight supporters made much of the fact that Pinellas is “the most densely populated county in Florida.” It is, only because population density is derived from population divided by land area. There are no groves, horse farms or swamps in Pinellas, so the population density is not diluted by vast, open areas as most counties have within their boundaries. Pinellas has 5 people per acre. Hillsborough has 2 people/acre – although Tampa has 4.6 people/acre.
        It is very difficult and therefore very expensive to provide meaningful transit service to low population and job density metro areas. People will not walk very far (subjectively, depending on weather, terrain, etc.) to a bus or train station. People prefer door to door service, they are not receptive to walking to a bus that takes them to a train that takes them to a station “downtown,” some walking distance to their job.
        While there are more jobs in downtown Tampa than downtown St. Petersburg, neither has the job density that justifies mass transit as seen in the legacy cities listed above. To put it another way, public transit might be deemed justifiable if the fare recovery is 50% of the operating costs. This implies one of two outcomes: low ridership would require very high fares or high ridership would allow more affordable fares. In Pinellas, it costs taxpayers $6.00 for every rider that boards a bus and the average rider pays 91 cents. The capital costs are 100% paid by taxpayers. There is no practical way that public transit can provide service to those who live in a suburb and work in another suburb. That is why we have over 500,000 cars and trucks criss-crossing Pinellas at all hours of the day and night. There is no way that enough buses could be deployed to reduce those needs.
        Those cars and trucks allow people to go where they want to go, when they want to go, at any hour of the day or night, from door to door. They are not going to give up that convenience and freedom. They are not going to allow the government to take massive amounts of money from them to provide a service that very few will utilize. The census numbers tell the story: the only way public transit service can be reasonably expanded is to move a significant number of people from the 98.5% who do not use public transit onto buses and/or trains.
        Do you have a valid reason why that might happen? Are all HART buses operating at full capacity now? Are people demanding more buses and willing to pay higher fares? HART is great, it works for a few people because it meets their needs. It is much more efficiently operated than PSTA, yet I would assume the ridership and costs are not dramatically different.
        Perhaps you can tell us the facts and help people understand why they need more public transit in Hillsborough rather than providing needed maintenance of the roads used by 100% of the population all day, every day.

        1. So let me get this straight John, this is why all of you believe that PSTA should be contracted out to a private operator huh? Do you all really think that PSTA is going to be managed better under TransDev or MV? You need to take a look at what is happening in other transit districts that have already had their operations contracted out to the private sector. They aren’t doing as peachy as you think they are.

          Why is it that you all believe that transit ridership is falling everywhere outside of New York City? I mean really?

          And here you go with the “HART is great” argument, just like those troll “buses”. HART is losing money and buses, HART can barely keep up with sustaining current service. Yet, so many out there believe “Oh, well MetroRapid is good enough for Hillsborough”, that is not true. MetroRapid is good stepping stone but it should not be viewed as the solution to “true” BRT corridors and passenger rail.

          By the way, HART also was forced to cut back service due to the recession. Remember 2007? Just before the worst of the recession hit? Yeah, mhm. Another economic hiccup and there goes HART’s night time and weekend services.

  2. Perhaps you can tell us the facts and help people understand why they need more public transit in Hillsborough rather than providing needed maintenance of the roads used by 100% of the population all day, every day.

    1. Why don’t you figure that out yourself John? Because not everyone uses the same roads each day. There are roads that get sparingly used and yet we subsidize them. Why does it have to be slash and privatize transit while the roads continue to be subsidized. Maybe it’s time for the communities by which yourself and Betsy, as well as Barb Haselden, and the Calverts, reside in to start paying for their own roads using their own money.

      1. Apparently you missed missed the point because of the word “rather.”
        Let’s try again:
        Perhaps you can tell us the facts and help people understand why they need more public transit in Hillsborough.
        You seem to know all of the facts about HART, so we would appreciate your sharing a few with us.

        Is it because they are asking for more? (the same theory was tested in Pinellas – it turns out we were obviously not asking for more or we would have voted for more). The vast majority of supporters were special interests, who funded a $1 million+ campaign. Most of them were out-of-state suppliers, realtors, developers, utilities, consultants, engineering companies and, of course, politicians. All were interested in transferring taxpayers dollars into their pockets, they had no interest in the needs of the people.

        What is the current bus occupancy on HART? Is it more than 50% of capacity?

        What is the total operating cost per ride on HART? What is the average fare on HART?

        What percentage of Hillsborough workers actually work in “downtown” Tampa, the only truly concentrated job center in the county?

        Is it because somewhere in the country (other than the legacy cities listed above), more than 2% of the population actually uses public transit?

        Is it because somewhere in the country (other than the legacy cities listed above), riders actually pay more than 50% of the operating costs (taxpayers paid 100% of the capital costs)?

        Everyone, 100% , of the people in Hillsborough (or any other county) depend on roads all day, every day. We could not function without roads. That is a simple fact. You refer to “subsidies” as if roads are subsidized. A subsidy is the payment for goods or services which are not fully paid for by the user. Those who use and/or depend on roads are
        all taxpayers. Part of their taxes paid pays for roads. There is no subsidy.

        Public transit is used by few and paid for by many. All capital costs are paid by taxpayers, even though an average of 2% of the population actually uses public transit. That is a huge subsidy forced upon the 98% by politicians, we did not ask for it. On top of that subsidy, public transit riders pay about 25% of operating costs, taxpayers pay the other 75%. That is a huge subsidy. Those who ride public transit pay a very small fraction of the total cost of public transit, whether it is bus, train, ferry or any other type of transit. All because special interest groups work through a very effective lobbyist (APTA) to convince politicians that public transit is for the common good.

        Please demonstrate that any county in the US (other than the legacy cities) has a public transit agency that produces less congestion, more ridership, less pollution or is financially sustainable by those who actually ride that transit.

        How about a simple example:
        You personally live in one place and work in another place; you say you want more public transit, ostensibly so you can get from home to work without using a car. Can you describe a public transit system that would provide what you want for yourself, how many people would ride that system, how much it would cost to build, how much it would cost to operate, how much you would be willing to pay to ride that system and how much you would expect
        taxpayers (local, state, federal) to pay for the capital costs and operating costs.
        Or do you just want anything the local politicians come up with no matter how much it costs as long as taxpayers pay 100% of capital costs and 75% of operating costs?

        1. I’ve already noted why we are needing more funding for more transit service. Neither HART or PSTA will be able to grow efficiently without more funding. As of now, without further funding, HART is projected to hit a funding shortfall in 2018, meaning that they will have to start evaluating whether to slash services across the board. That means that evening and weekend services could be eliminated, frequencies reduced to one hour for all routes, entire bus routes be cut off. HART already is in a position where they have lost roughly twenty transit buses, which restricts their growth. Yet you all continue to believe that these agencies run empty buses all across town. I’ve been on several HART bus routes before, including the 2, 5, and 6; buses were filled to capacity during the day. Is that an empty bus? No, it’s not. Yet yourself and many others continue to have the mindset that these transit agencies don’t need additional money. Rather, many rail haters believe that these transit agencies MUST be privatized in order to “save the taxpayers from whopping boondoggles”. Contracting out transit agencies to private operators like MV or TransDev is NOT the solution. It hasn’t worked in parts of CA, and it certainly isn’t working in New Orleans. What makes you all think that privatization will work for Tampa Bay? The day that these agencies are forced to slash services across the board and brutally hike fares to where most can’t even afford basic transit service anymore, that’s when you all, including your pals Barb and Sharon, will really start pushing for privatization of transit. Barb already acknowledged that she would rather see PSTA be privatized if they can’t provide safe and reliable transit service. That’s exactly what she is doing now. Watching PSTA choke to death so that she make her next move to lobby the county to contract out the agency to a private operator.

        2. Since you all clearly believe that we transit supporters “can’t do basic math”, why don’t you figure out the answers to your own questions? I don’t need to sit here and research all that for you. You go do the work.

        3. “That is a simple fact. You refer to “subsidies” as if roads are subsidized. A subsidy is the payment for goods or services which are not fully paid for by the user. Those who use and/or depend on roads are all taxpayers. Part of their taxes paid pays for roads. There is no subsidy.”

          lolololol… This must be a joke.

          How do we know roads are subsidized, and that certain people benefit from this subsidy way more than others do?

          Because roads are paid for with funding mechanisms that sock it to everyone, whether they drive or not, and irrespective of how much they drive and what kind of wear the vehicle they drive does to the roads they use. Funding sources for road projects, such as general revenues, sales taxes, property taxes, various fees. These are all blunt tax instruments that absolutely do not fairly assess taxpayer cost, according to the use of that taxpayer.

          You want unsubsidized roads? Pay for roads strictly through user fees, such as gas tax, registration and VMT.

          Besides John, as we’ve already discussed before, Hillsborough County isn’t the stagnant backwater that people like you have turned Pinellas County into with your all consuming appetite for more roads and more sprawl. You’ve successfully cheered on the paving over of the entire county and totally destroyed its natural beauty. Way to go. Now when your county’s residents want to get in touch with nature, they have to leave the county entirely, or use a park ringed by development. Moreover, Hillsborough County is nearly 50% more populous than Pinellas, and growing. Within 15 years or so, it will be nearly double Pinellas’ population. DOUBLE. We already know for a fact that a growth model predicated on issuing debt to fund sprawling development today, means an infrastructure replacement bill a generation later that the tax base absolutely cannot afford to pay for. It simply doesn’t add up. (And I triple dog dare you to make it add up) Either billions in needs go unmet, quality of life goes down, or as has happened here, residents get stuck with both symptoms. With a county that’s growing like Hillsborough is, we are faced with a stark and unmistakable choice; either find a better way forward, or the consequences of repeating the same disastrous mistakes Pinellas County just made will become so much more amplified here, and it will be all but unlivable for the next generation. Not only is the answer no, it’s hell no.

          Enjoy the view as Hillsborough’s residents achieve for their county, what Pinellas residents are apparently too weak and selfish to achieve for theirs.

        4. Try rebutting the math… http://www.citylab.com/housing/2013/05/quantifying-cost-sprawl/5664/

          This is why Pinellas’ budget is the mess it is. The tax base can’t afford the high cost of all of the roads needed to be built a generation ago serving the sprawl, and now that the county is built out, it will become increasingly economically stagnant and rundown over time, while at the same time it will become even more expensive to live in.

          Hillsborough residents are not letting this same slow moving disaster repeat itself in Hillsborough too. When our children grow up, we want them putting down roots in their own hometown. We don’t want them to have to move somewhere else, like most Pinellas youths do, now that the county has little ability to grow its population. We want our kids to stay here and raise their own families here. We don’t want to have to travel to another city to see our grandchildren. And that can’t happen if Hillsborough is paved from one end of the county to the other with sprawl, leaving nowhere for future generations to settle, and saddling future residents with legacy costs greater than the tax base can sustain. It’s already bad enough now. It’s time to get better, not double down on the failed “solutions” that people like you have already saddled us with.

  3. Reply to Walter:
    I just asked for facts, not a diatribe with name calling and false accusations.
    I know you do not have the facts and that’s OK.

    Reply to Jasonhouse:
    FL drivers pay about 68% of road costs in direct fees and taxes (state and federal gas taxes).
    The remaining 32% is derived from federal, state and local taxes of all sorts, as you point out. 100% of road costs are paid for by taxpayers in one way or another. 100% of taxpayers depend on those roads for their survival.
    You would like to make the point that users do not pay their fair share – however, everyone uses roads, 100%.
    Maybe they do not drive on them, but they do depend on them in every facet of their lives.
    Even those who walk need roads; without roads, there would be no fire or police protection, no stores, no buses, there would essentially be nothing without roads. Think desert.

    2% use public transit, they pay about 25% of operating costs, 0% of capital costs. Is that fair?
    Those who drive cars pay 68% of the costs of roads directly and let’s face it, those 98% who drive cars are paying at least 98% (probably more) of the other taxes which provide the other 32% of funding for roads. They pay 100% of their capital costs and 100% of their operating costs and very close to 100% of their infrastructure costs.
    If you insist on “fairly assessing cost,” then that’s fine, let’s see how many people who ride buses are willing to pay for their share of the capital costs and the operating costs of a public transit system. OK, they can’t. How about 50%? No? How about 25% of the capital and operating costs? Surely that would be fair – while those who drive cars pay the other 75%. That is quite a subsidy but is a lot more fair than 98% of taxpayers paying for 100% of the capital costs and 75% of the operating costs.
    You might be interested in knowing that in some countries, public transit is privately owned and riders do pay 100% of all costs and the agencies are profitable. A stellar example is Hong Kong, where all public transit is privately owned and operated (at a profit) and the poorest can afford to go anywhere they want to go without a discounted fare (except for seniors, who can qualify for a 25% discount). The average fare is less than US $1.00 for the majority of trips and transfers are seldom necessary. It is all because of population density, up to 340,000 people/sq mile in the most densely populated areas. “With its extremely high population density of 130,000/km2 or 340,000 per square mile, Mong Kok was described as the busiest district in the world by the Guinness World Records.”
    Be careful what you ask for, it is not as appealing as you might think.

    As for your article, read the last paragraph:
    “Clearly plenty of people prefer to live in suburban-style communities even as the costs of building and maintaining those places may make them seem less attractive to city accountants. If you want a back yard and a three-car garage, these charts probably won’t change your mind. But they should change how we think about municipal budget woes in the era of suburban sprawl.”
    Of course you know that people “prefer” and “choose” to live the way they live. 98% prefer and choose to drive their cars and trucks, where they want to go, when they want to go, door to door, 24/7.
    All those people in the concentrated cities choose public transit because it is the most efficient way for them to get to work. Most of them (except those who actually live in the core cities) have one or more cars at home for the remainder of their activities.
    The real point of the article is that it would be more efficient for people to live in multi-story housing – the higher the better. That concentration lowers the costs of infrastructure and increases the efficiency of public transit. That’s great for those who want to live that way – but most of the people in Florida moved here to get away from that way of life. They like their homes and yards and yes, even their cars and trucks. And guess what? They pay for their homes and their cars and all the taxes that go along with their choices. That’s fair.
    I am all for allowing people to live the way they want – let them vote for the way they want to live, how they want their tax dollars invested.

    Let’s look back in 25 years and see where those millions of people who move to Hillsborough County choose to live – in downtown condos or out where they can have a house and a yard all to themselves. Where has the growth been in the last 25 years? Do you really expect to dramatically change those preferences?
    “When our children grow up, we want them putting down roots in their own hometown.” Sure you do. But will that mean living down the street in the neighborhood or a few floors up or down in the condo building? How many families with children and pets actually live in high rise condos? Less than 1%. And they are getting more expensive, not less, even with the cost of cars added to the cost of housing.

    In the end, what this all comes down to is that there are always going to be some people who truly believe that they deserve something for nothing, that they are entitled to what they want whether it makes sense or not. As long as someone else is paying for it, it does not matter.

    By the way, we like Pinellas the way it is, that is why we live here. That is why we spread the truth about special interests who want something for nothing. That is why the people voted for what they wanted in their county.

    1. Glad to see you finally admit that drivers are subsidized. Shame that you’re not honest enough to admit the truth without someone having to rub your nose in it.

      But once again in your meandering response, you are supplanting your own personal ideology for the actual truth.

      Quote,”If you insist on “fairly assessing cost,” then that’s fine, let’s see how many people who ride buses are willing to pay for their share of the capital costs and the operating costs of a public transit system. OK, they can’t. How about 50%? No? How about 25% of the capital and operating costs?”

      This is hilariously self serving. Stop taxing urban neighborhoods to pay for suburban infrastructure they don’t use, and watch in amazement as those urban neighborhoods have all of the tax revenues they need for their own transportation needs, and then some…

      Try looking up the math sometime… The city of Tampa is only about 30% of the county’s overall population. But I bet you have no idea how much of a greater percentage of the county’s tax base is located in urban areas, not the sticks. A tremendous amount of money is forcibly transferred from urban neighborhoods to suburban ones.

      It’s long past time to end the suburban con game and get this nation’s priorities straight again. WWIi ended decades ago, the national interest in subsidizing greenfield development, so that GIs returning home from war have a place to live is long since over. . Furthermore, the interstate system is completely built out, and then some. That ‘national mission’ is also long since completed. The national highway trust fund is broke? Good. leave it broke. Drivers don’t pay enough to cover the cost of their lifestyle, and until they do, no more roads should be built. It’s obvious we can’t afford the ones we’ve already got.

  4. Interesting perceptions. You do know that public transit would not exist if there were no Highway Trust Fund.
    Roads and public transit would not exist without taxpayers. So the question becomes, how many taxpayers want their taxes invested in public transit and how many want their taxes invested in roads for their cars and trucks.

    Those who prefer/choose cars and trucks for their transportation needs are willing to pay the total cost of everything that relates to their use of their choice. Their direct taxes and fees pay for 68% of the infrastructure cost in Florida.
    Their indirect taxes (income, sales, property) pay for the other 32%. There is no subsidy. Period. No one has ever in the history of public transit shown that taxpayers who do not use or benefit from the use of roads are paying for anything related to the operation of vehicles in the US. Can you?

    Assuming Hillsborough County doubles in population by 2040, what percent do you predict will be living in (built out) Tampa? Drivers pay 100% of their own way (as explained above) and transit riders pay very little of the true costs of their transportation, whether they are urban or suburban.

    Driving and/or using public transit are individual’s choices, they are not rights guaranteed by the Constitution or by any statute or law. If you want public transit, you need to convince the 98% that they should pay for what you want.

    In the end, what this all comes down to is that there are always going to be some people who truly believe that they deserve something for nothing, that they are entitled to what they want whether it makes sense or not. As long as someone else is paying for it, it does not matter to them.

    No further comment.

    1. Absolutely 100% not true that transit wouldn’t exist, were it not for the highway trust fund. On the contrary, urban areas would be in vastly better fiscal position to serve their residents if they were simply able to pay for their own needs, without having to be saddled with paying for part of the needs of other places too.

      You continue to leave out fundamental truths in your conclusions… Such as the most important truth in this discussion of all; the suburbs need the city’s infrastructure and amenities to get by, but urban areas do not need anything from the suburbs. In fact, by even existing, the auto-centric sprawl of suburban areas makes the urban areas less attractive and livable, because it destroys natural beauty that would have been easily accessible for residents but now isn’t (look at Pinellas, it’s all but gone), and dumps tremendous amounts of traffic onto urban thoroughfares twice a day. Urban residents don’t drive on the roads in the sticks, why are we stuck paying even one cent towards them? In many cases, urban residents aren’t even the bulk of the traffic on urban roads either, it’s suburban residents flooding into the city from their deficient ‘neighborhoods’ which lack jobs and amenities to keep these people driving shorter distances within their own communities. Why should urban residents pay taxes to build wider roads cutting through their own neighborhoods, so that people from somewhere else can get their quality of life boosted with an easier commute? First, we shouldn’t even let the roads be built, they destroy our neighborhoods and dramatically reduce our quality of life. Second, if they must be built, then urban residents should be getting compensated for their sacrifice, not taxed, and they should be thanked and admired for their sacrifice to the greater good, not scapegoated and harassed for choosing to live in town, not out of town.

      The attitude of the NTFT types is disrespectful, ignorant of mathematical reality and blatantly self serving. As I’ve told you people before, it’s a real shame that folks in that group who apparently have the money, time and interest in such issues, can’t be bothered to acquire the kind of knowledge and perspective that would make them an actual asset to the community and part of the solution, not the roadblock they in fact are. I’m a big fan of people working to find consensus, but it’s impossible to find consensus with people who are strictly interested in raising their own quality of life at the direct expense of everyone else’s, rather than working with everyone else to raise everyone’s quality of life.

      1. “I’m a big fan of people working to find consensus, but it’s impossible to find consensus with people who are strictly interested in raising their own quality of life at the direct expense of everyone else’s, rather than working with everyone else to raise everyone’s quality of life.”

        Well said: consensus is the very essence of our privilege to vote. Knowing what one is voting for or against is much more difficult because of the money factor – those with the most money typically sway more people and more politicians to their argument for their schemes.
        Fortunately truth occasionally trumps money and the vote is genuine.
        The people in Hillsborough in 2010, in PInellas, Polk, Hernando and Alachua in 2014 voted against using their tax dollars for bloated transit projects that would serve less than 2% of their respective populations.

        Beware of those “people who are strictly interested in raising their own quality of life at the direct expense of everyone else’s.”

    2. “Their indirect taxes (income, sales, property) pay for the other 32%. There is no subsidy. Period. ”

      You just defined what a tax subsidy is and then said there is no subsidy. You lose.

      1. You must have missed the first part:
        “Those who prefer/choose cars and trucks for their transportation needs are willing to pay the total cost of everything that relates to their use of their choice. Their direct taxes and fees pay for 68% of the infrastructure cost in Florida.
        Their (the drivers) indirect taxes (income, sales, property) pay for the other 32%. There is no subsidy. Period.”

        Can you tell me who pays the taxes that support all roads? Drivers. The number of non-drivers who pay part of the 32% not paid directly by drivers is miniscule. Even the non-drivers depend on the roads for all the goods and services necessary for their survival. Therefore drivers pay 100% of what they use, including the capital and operating costs of their chosen mode of transportation.

        No one has ever in the history of public transit shown that taxpayers who do not use or benefit from the use of roads (there are none, everyone benefits from the roads) are paying for anything related to the operation of vehicles in the US. Can you?

        On the other hand, public transit requires massive subsidies from the 98% of the taxpayers who never use public transit. Those taxpayers pay 100% of the capital costs and, in all but the six legacy cities, 75% of the operating costs.

        In the end, what this all comes down to is that there are always going to be some people who truly believe that they deserve something for nothing, that they are entitled to what they want whether it makes sense or not. As long as someone else is paying for it, it does not matter to them.

        There will be no further comments from me. Whine on.

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