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LETTER: A cheaper use of taxpayer money should be found to increase transit

One message from the town hall on the Metropolitan Council Sept. 28 which struck me was: will the Gold Line bus-rapid transit (BRT) become an albatross around the neck of Washington County like the Northstar commuter rail line has become to Anoka County? Fifty-plus attendees heard this message from Commissioner Scott Schulte of Anoka County on Sept 28. Taxpayers subsidize the Northstar $45 per rider and they are required to run it for 50 years!

Why won’t leaders listen to what a poor investment that was before it’s too late? Really, how many people would choose to personally pay that much for one train trip from Minneapolis to Big Lake? Why do we accept this kind of waste of our taxpayer dollars?

Light-rail transit and BRT are funded at almost the same amount as roads but service only about 3 percent of trips. What kind of balance is that? Even the person with no car depends on roads so that products and food are delivered to stores, public safety vehicles and ambulances can travel unimpeded, and services are delivered to homes.

Another challenge with transit (not regular buses) in the metro area is that there is no continuity plan for transit lines that are already built. What will be done in 30 years to the Blue and Green lines to replace them? Are we even able to afford to maintain the lines so they remain safe and viable until then? The same issues are in play if the Gold Line exclusive guideway BRT is ever built.

Voters should consider this carefully Nov 8. Do you want additional gas tax increases for wasteful transit projects on top of already increasing levies and fees? Do you want to continue to have your taxes increased to fund costly infrastructure at the expense of roads and bridges that everyone needs? I know I don’t.

Linda Stanton