Light Rail A Priority?

Posted: December 5, 2013

In a scant five weeks, Terry McAuliffe will take over as governor, so it’s not too early to begin assessing his apparent priorities.

If Aubrey Layne, Mr. McAuliffe’s pick for transportation secretary, can be believed, one such priority is extension of light-rail systems, particularly in Mr. Layne’s backyard, Hampton Roads.

But here’s the distressing rub: As Watchdog Virginia reports, the region’s 7.4-mile rail system, dubbed “The Tide,” is already dreadfully underused, at a mere 5,000 riders a week. What’s more, it cost $318.5 million to erect — $106 million over budget — a figure that, coupled with woeful patronage, suggests far too little bang for the taxpayer buck.

This is economic development?


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