Monday, January 22, 2007


The Bears weren't the only team that scored. The Moving Beyond Congestion initiative got a big boost from the Daily Herald editorial board. The 1/22/07 editorial, found here, was a strong endorsement.

The editorial lamented past decisions to stop service on lines like the North Shore to Milwaukee and the Fox River trolley, pointing to the high expense of efforts to restore service to those corridors. (Interestingly, the editorial did not point to the STAR Line, that suburban sacred cow, as an example of throwing much money after bad decisions.) It also notes that if Chicago gets the 2016 Olympics, the region will have to upgrade its transit system.

The editorial closes with these words:

Whether the state can commit to the RTA’s full request is an open question, depending on the details and revenue sources. Generally speaking, however, the cost to improve public transit could be chump change compared to the cost we’ll all pay for failing to act.

It is something to see $57 billion in capital investment and many billions of dollars more in operating subsidies be described as "chump change." Let's hope that the Daily Herald's readers will be so sanguine if and when the General Assembly raises taxes or users fees to obtain this "chump change."

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