While the Republicans are trying to rein in deficit spending, this administration is doing its darnedest to spend money we don’t have. This time, the beneficiary is San Francisco, home to Representative Nancy Pelosi (D. Ca.). Here is the most recent scam.
San Francisco wants to build a subway in Chinatown. Right now, before a shovel of dirt has been turned, the project is estimated to cost $1.6 billion for the 1.7 mile line. Nope, no typo there…almost $1billion per mile. But, the facts get even better.
The subway misses connections with 25 of the 30 light-rail and bus lines that it crosses, and there is no direct connection to the 104-mile Bay Area Rapid Transit line or to the ferry…Tom Rubin, the former treasurer-controller of Southern California Rapid Transit District, calculates that taking the bus would be five to 10 minutes faster along every segment.
Now, the punch line. San Francisco has applied for a full funding grant agreement from the Federal Transit Administration for 60% of the projected cost, or, $942 million. And it looks like, under Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s new rules, this project will “go to the head of the class”.
Old rules…a direct quote from Mr. LaHood:
Measuring only cost and how fast a project can move the most people the greatest distance simply misses the boat.
New rules…also a direct quote from Mr. LaHood,
…people tell me they want…the opportunity to leave their cars behind…And to enjoy clean, green neighborhoods. The old way of doing things just doesn’t value what people want.
So, from Washington, where cost efficiency and common sense are now passe, all taxpayers will have the opportunity to pay for this San Francisco boondoggle.
Do you think Ms. Pelosi will send us a thank you note?