Don’t shelve light rail |

Don’t shelve light rail

Dear Editor:

It is difficult to comprehend the logic employed by the RFTA Board in considering spending over $180 million to implement a Bus Rapid Transit plan that will do little to solve traffic congestion while doubling the number of buses operating in mixed traffic. Does this cost even include the land acquisition costs for all the necessary parking spaces?

It is even more astounding that local elected officials are willing to be told by a Washington lobbyist that they will lose credibility if they pursue funding for a light rail solution which has proven time and again to operate efficiently in the most adverse weather conditions. The split results of the local election in the 1990s were a result of a campaign of misinformation perpetrated by individuals with only their self-interests at heart. A number of other local elections have had differing results, yet this one county vote will seemingly forever seal our fate.

One only need read recent newspaper articles about the gridlock of the RFTA fleet during the storm last Friday to realize how significantly buses are affected by adverse weather conditions. It is somehow appropriate that the mindset at RFTA embraces a dinosaur logo and more dependence on fossil fuels rather than exploring all of the most efficient transit options available.

In this climate, valley residents deserve safe, reliable and efficient mass transit that can operate in all weather conditions. We should certainly not forever shelve a light rail solution, which will preserve the environment and our quality of life, because of the opinion of one Washington lobbyist.

Lisa Markalunas



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