Cars Are Basic has stated that BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and projects in the L.A. basin are not the answer, particularly when the costs are in the billions of dollars.
An Associated Press article printed Monday states that BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger resigned under presser in May 2011, but collected $330,000 in pay and additional benefits that included two added months of vacation!
BART is part of the heavily subsidized and expensive commuter rail system that has failed in the San Jose area and has questionable ridership outside of the San Francisco Bay.
The BART board did not know Dugger was still being paid — another San Francisco area government screw-up in the long tradition of stupid or corrupt governance.
The connection to an extravagant and unneeded high-speed rail project is the initial billion-dollar bond recently approved to build “stupid is as stupid does rail.” A good portion will be spent not on the rail but multimillion-dollar spinoffs for inefficient BART and projects not related to the bullet train. It’s money going to an agency that can’t prove fare box existence. Typical of most government agency waste.
Think that is harsh? Besides pointing out lousy government, does it ring the bell locally?
Now for the South County Connection.
Santa Barbara MTD under similar type management problems in the past decade has seen most of its board resign for lousy decisions, and MTD’s director forced out. Remember the “all electric bus” that failed to meet freeway specifications, fuel efficiency (batteries), violated federal contract provisions, etc.? What did the South County cities do? Appointed new board members who gave the disgraced MTD director a golden parachute, approving more routes that are badly used, and don’t forget the failed (and expensive) long-distance commuter buses to Santa Ynez and Lompoc. Forced routes in and around the South Coast that cities like Goleta and Santa Barbara have told MTD they have to run.
Why would they do that? Government has to justify street destruction by saying they have provided you a great alternative! Santa Barbara spends only 30 percent on needed street maintenance (nope, not forgetting failed bike programs).
Think voters are fed up with all of the above? Evidently not. They elect councils and supervisors who applaud these decisions, dismiss the minimum $50 million of your tax dollars for commuter rail from Ventura to Goleta. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just the opening ante.
Scott Wenz, president
Cars Are Basic