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Reason Foundation

Soaking the Rich...OK, Everybody...for PA Transit

Leonard Gilroy
February 2, 2005, 3:34pm

This article from the Philadelphia Weekly describes how the Pennsylvania Transit Coalition (PTC)--a statewide alliance of labor, business, civic, religious and environmental groups--wants to "raise awareness" of the need for dedicated funding for the Commonwealth's mismanaged and broke public transit systems. They basically want new legislation that will rob Peter to pay for Paul's transit. Some of the ideas on the table: Sure they don't. As long as "free" money is coming from someone's pockets to pour more money into the transit black hole, then PTC's objectives are met. Notice though that there's no call for trimming transit bureaucracy and waste; opening transit up to private competition; higher fares to better reflect costs; performance-based management/budgeting; or any other types of market-based approaches that would force transit systems to actually step up, compete, and provide better service. The solutions so far boil down to one thing -- increase fees and taxes on Commonwealth residents in the stealthiest way possible. Truly sad.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform

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