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Rail project “subsidizers” will be taxpayers

A READER SAYS

Rail project “subsidizers” will be taxpayers

taxpayers

Re: “SanBAG planning $242M in funds for Redlands Passenger Rail project (June 7)” I appreciate the Facts’ ongoing and dedicated reporting of the Redlands Passenger Rail Project (RPRP) and, in particular of the fact that SanBAG has neglected to provide consistent and transparent information regarding lack of funding for operations and financing the service debt.

The $9 million EIR (~$13,000 per page) indicated an estimate of $8 million in annual operations yet was reduced to $6 million according to the article.

There has been absolutely no response to my inquiry how SanBAG estimates cost of operations. Obviously, the cost will not be from tickets; 720 to 820 riders a day will not pay $7,000 to $11,000 a year ( ~ $38 a day) to fully fund the operations.

Politicians and governmental administrators simply say, “It will be subsidized by another agency….” They deceive the public by not articulating that it is the taxpayers who actually “subsidize” these projects.

SanBAG estimates a 55 to 63 percent increase in ridership from 2018 to 2038. Never do they cite an estimate of the annual operational cost. They also neglected to cite replacement costs over the 20-year plan.

The second issue that the article stated, “…SanBAG will not be responsible to repay this bond and it is the state’s responsibility to pay the interest.”

Isn’t it more accurate to say, “…SanBAG will not be responsible to repay this bond and it is the taxpayers’ responsibility to pay the interest”?

— Sam Wong, Redlands

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