While most of this New York Times article is focused on the Koch Brothers efforts to defeat the Nashville mass transit initiative, there are other regions in which they are funding "grass roots" initiatives to kill similar endeavors.
…Supporters of transit investments point to research that shows that they reduce traffic, spur economic development and fight global warming by reducing emissions. Americans for Prosperity counters that public transit plans waste taxpayer money on unpopular, outdated technology like trains and buses just as the world is moving toward cleaner, driverless vehicles.
Most American cities do not have the population density to support mass transit, the group says. It also asserts that transit brings unwanted gentrification to some areas, while failing to reach others altogether.
Public transit, Americans for Prosperity says, goes against the liberties that Americans hold dear. “If someone has the freedom to go where they want, do what they want,” Ms. Venable said, “they’re not going to choose public transit.”
The Kochs’ opposition to transit spending stems from their longstanding free-market, libertarian philosophy. It also dovetails with their financial interests, which benefit from automobiles and highways.
One of the mainstay companies of Koch Industries, the Kochs’ conglomerate, is a major producer of gasoline and asphalt, and also makes seatbelts, tires and other automotive parts. Even as Americans for Prosperity opposes public investment in transit, it supports spending tax money on highways and roads.
“Stopping higher taxes is their rallying cry,” said Ashley Robbins, a researcher at Virginia Tech who follows transportation funding. “But at the end of the day, fuel consumption helps them.”
David Dziok, a Koch Industries spokesman, said the company did not control the activities of Americans for Prosperity in specific states and denied that the group’s anti-transit effort was linked to the company’s interests. That notion “runs counter to everything we stand for as a company,” he said. .
Posts: 9390 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002
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quote:Originally posted by Gilbert B Norman: While most of this New York Times article is focused on the Koch Brothers efforts to defeat the Nashville mass transit initiative, there are other regions in which they are funding "grass roots" initiatives to kill similar endeavors.
Any effort they may have made toward defeating the Nashville transit concept was completely unnecessary. As presented I saw no redeeming features. The proposal massively overreached. If dialed back to something that made sense as a starter system it might could have passed, but as presented is simply choked everyone. The concept drawing was simply goofy. The street shown with the transit line was much more congested than the street without the transit line. That drawing should never have gotten out the door without the situation being reversed. I have spent most of my working life working on rail transit and am a strong proponent of it, but I would have voted against this one.
Posts: 2693 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 2002
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