About a year ago, the Bountiful Mayor began talking up steetcars and wanted to some pork spending for his latest pet project. Shortly thereafter, it came out that he and a Centerville Cit Council member had gone on a UTA-sponsored, taxpayer funded junket to Europe. A few months later, streetcars appear on the Bountiful City General Plan revision.
That brings us to today where UTA wants to fulfill another pet project fantasy at taxpayer expense. Fortunately, the plan has met some resistance (Davis County streetcar proposal draws heat):
During a crowded open house Tuesday night, an overwhelming majority of residents opposed a plan to use a streetcar to connect southeast Davis County with Salt Lake City…
Money also worries about a tax increase to fund the streetcar.
The transit line could cost between $411 million and $472 million, said UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter.
A TRAX line, which was considered previously, would have cost up to $700 million. Carpenter said the next step would be to find funding for the line, which could be a mix of federal and local dollars. [emphasis added]
Take note of the last line I quoted. They are going to want federal pork funding and tax money for a wasteful mass transit project. Perusing the rest of the article, UTA comes up with some “justifications” bordering on the ludicrous of helping the local economy. The good news is, however, that an opposition group is organizing.
Local politicians and special interests have, thus far, been very effective in forcing taxpayer to cough up money for their unnecessary projects. Part of that is the demonstrated propensity of local politicians to just shove their projects down citizens’ throats and the other part is provided by Milton Friedman (a highly recommended read). The opponents better be ready to fight hard.