Socialized Transportation

Published in the Rocky Mountain News, October 27, 2001


In his October 12 column, Jon Caldara makes many excellent points about the high cost, inefficiency and infeasibility associated with the proposed monorail along the I-70. Caldara gives voters plenty of reasons to vote "No" on Amendment 26, which will raise taxes to fund a study of the project's feasibility.

There are plenty of other reasons to oppose Amendment 26. Many of them have to do with what I call socialized transportation. Amendment 26 is one more in a long line of proposals to shake down the many to pay for the wants of the politically privileged few.

I, for one, have no professional or personal use for government transportation. I work in outside sales and use my car to get to and from the office, as well as to visit prospects and clients. I cannot wait for a bus or a train to show up to get me around town. I need a means of conveyance which goes where I need to go when I need to go there. Public transportation does not meet this requirement. And yet, I am forced - not asked - to subsidize a local light rail system that I never use. (Maybe I should start an outside salespersons' movement to put a measure on the ballot to force the light rail riders to pay for my gasoline and all the wear and tear on my car that I incur in doing my job.)

If we desire more widespread mass transportation, let us end the RTD bus monopoly and let as many companies as the market will bear compete for business. Let them compete on the basis of pricing, scheduling, routes, etc., and let the best ones win.

I resent the idea of being forced to subsidize a monorail I will never use. My favorite mountain places are far away from I-70. It would make no sense for me to carry my camping gear on the monorail to Copper Mountain, and then go to the added expense of renting a car to drive to Twin Lakes, 30 miles away.

Caldara recommends several alternatives to monorail as a means of relieving I-70 congestion. These include bus rapid transit and competition. Let us also repeal barriers to entry into the transportation market in the mountains. Likewise, let the best companies win. And, instead of raising taxes, let us have a hefty tax cut to make it all more affordable.

Douglas F. Newman

Freely Speaking: Speeches and Essays by Doug Newman

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