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METRO meeting June 18 regarding halting of transit expansion

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Show up! Tell Metro's board you want transit!

Metro's board wants to hear citizen comments about whether or not to halt transit expansion for many years in order to continue the diversion of hundreds of millions of sales tax dollars to 15 cities and Harris County. On June 18, from 6-8 pm, show up at 1900 Main to speak your piece - we need about 200 people!

We hope you'll agree that it is in the best interests of all the cities - especially the City of Houston - to invest that money in improving the quality of life and increasing the tax base through the rising property values and sales taxes that could occur around the new transit stations.

Corporations want transit in Uptown/Galleria

Uptown District CEO John Breeding told Metro's board "we are talking to corporations who are seeking space today and transit is paramount for them." Let's face it: as far as traffic goes, the Galleria area is full. Growth of that economy requires transit.

Interesting agreements for three area cities

Three cities in the Metro area have special arrangements with Metro to receive funds from the transit sales tax. Missouri City, Katy, and Humble threatened Metro in the legislature in 1997 and Metro then agreed to returning half the sales tax to them.

Incredible shrinking Metro

Strapped for funds, Metro's bus fleet has been shrinking. Metro chairman Gilbert Garcia told a Greater Houston Partnership transportation committee that "buses have diminished from about 1400 to about 1200." This implies service is shrinking too - as population increases.

What's at stake

With no money for additional transit, the central urban rail system that is necessary to enable a serious regional transit system that connects to jobs is threatened. People commuting by transit from the edges of the region need that service to get around when they arrive at work.

http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=eec237167293af5bc017cf80b&id=08edd61af9

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If the Galleria area is full, why does it matter that corporations are seeking space today? Logical annoyance in PR release.

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Incredible shrinking Metro

Strapped for funds, Metro's bus fleet has been shrinking. Metro chairman Gilbert Garcia told a Greater Houston Partnership transportation committee that "buses have diminished from about 1400 to about 1200." This implies service is shrinking too - as population increases.

What's at stake

With no money for additional transit, the central urban rail system that is necessary to enable a serious regional transit system that connects to jobs is threatened. People commuting by transit from the edges of the region need that service to get around when they arrive at work.

http://us1.campaign-...b&id=08edd61af9

There is a correlation between the funding and buildout of the Solutions light rail system and the decline in bus service. Decreasing service for public transit as a sacrifice to promises of quality of life, and development at some future date (almost a decade since 2003 and counting) is perhaps not the most efficient use of scarce taxpayer funds 4 years into economic hard times.

Edited by IHB2

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There is a correlation between the funding and buildout of the Solutions light rail system and the decline in bus service. Decreasing service for public transit as a sacrifice to promises of quality of life, and development at some future date (almost a decade since 2003 and counting) is perhaps not the most efficient use of scarce taxpayer funds 4 years into economic hard times.

I think the decline in bus service is due to the fact that buses are so inefficient and there are many routes with very low ridership. METRO is paying a lot of money per rider on a lot of bus routes so it makes sense that they are cutting bus service. On the contrary, METRO spends less per rider to maintain light rail.

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How about Metro stops wasting money on utterly stuipid rail projects, and starts providing better bus service to the people who really depend on transit to get around.

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The METRORail has one of the highest passenger/mile ratios in the country. Let's not discount that. Bus service may be declining because bus services are rendered obsolete by the light rail, and that will probably continue.

And if all else fails, consider making METRO a private company with a government contract.

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How about Metro stops wasting money on utterly stuipid rail projects, and starts providing better bus service to the people who really depend on transit to get around.

As a person who really depends on transit to get around, I applaud the rail projects.

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As a person who really depends on transit to get around, I applaud the rail projects.

What happens when you move to a part of town that isn't served by rail, but has less bus service because the rail sucked all the money out of the budget? And, rail is inflexible - it cna't be moved to accomodate changes in population.

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What happens when you move to a part of town that isn't served by rail, but has less bus service because the rail sucked all the money out of the budget? And, rail is inflexible - it cna't be moved to accomodate changes in population.

Is the shrinking bus problem that bad, or are you just exaggerating?

Edited by IronTiger

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What happens when you move to a part of town that isn't served by rail, but has less bus service because the rail sucked all the money out of the budget? And, rail is inflexible - it cna't be moved to accomodate changes in population.

This is a red herring. Freeways are rather inflexible, too. At least, they were the last time I checked. For that matter, I am aware of precious few arterial streets that have been moved due to changing population. And, what does "changing population" even mean, anyway? The Red Line runs from Reliant Park through the Med Center, Museum District, Midtown to Downtown. Are you suggesting that any of those population centers are going to move? The expansion is virtually all within the confines of Loop 610. In the two places where it is planned to go outside the Loop, Northline and the Galleria, there is no expectation that these areas will disappear soon.

Perhaps you could explain what you mean.

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Is the shrinking bus problem that bad, or are you just exaggerating?

There's a quote above that the number of buses has dropped from 1400 to 1200. There have been several articles in the media about protests by people who live on bus routes that Metro proposes to terminate. Those routes tend to be in places like Acres Homes, where the residents are more likely to rely on public transport, and there is no intent of building rail. Metro isnt' all about helping the professionals take the cool train to work. It's far more important, in my mind, to help the folks whose circumstances make it difficult for them to own cars. Edited by Ross

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This is a red herring. Freeways are rather inflexible, too. At least, they were the last time I checked. For that matter, I am aware of precious few arterial streets that have been moved due to changing population. And, what does "changing population" even mean, anyway? The Red Line runs from Reliant Park through the Med Center, Museum District, Midtown to Downtown. Are you suggesting that any of those population centers are going to move? The expansion is virtually all within the confines of Loop 610. In the two places where it is planned to go outside the Loop, Northline and the Galleria, there is no expectation that these areas will disappear soon.

Perhaps you could explain what you mean.

It is trivially easy to add buses and routes as needs change. Rail doesnt' have that same flexibility. Buses can run on smaller streets, or be rerouted if necessary. rail is stuck with a single path.

Populations move. Midtown was dead for 30+ years, and there's nothing to stop that from happening again. That applies to any population center in town.

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Freeways are also stuck to a single path. So what. This adaptability thing is a red herring proffered by the build more freeways crowd. It is hogwash. A route that constantly changes loses ridership, because the riders never gain confidence in its long term viability. In fact, let me quote YOU a couple of posts earlier: "There have been several articles in the media about protests by people who live on bus routes that Metro proposes to terminate." It is also detrimental to development, for the same reasons. A rail line...like a freeway...draws development precisely because it is permanent. You are citing a positive attribute of rail and calling it a negative one. And you are wrong.

Now, about this 200 bus reduction. Are you aware that METRO has 132 bus routes? Do you know how many buses it takes to serve those routes? Do you know which buses were decommissioned? Were they the old, inefficient and costly to maintain buses? In other words, how do you know that this reduction to 1200 buses is not an improvement to METRO's efficiency? Show me.

Edited by RedScare
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Freeways are also stuck to a single path. So what. This adaptability thing is a red herring proffered by the build more freeways crowd. It is hogwash. A route that constantly changes loses ridership, because the riders never gain confidence in its long term viability. In fact, let me quote YOU a couple of posts earlier: "There have been several articles in the media about protests by people who live on bus routes that Metro proposes to terminate." It is also detrimental to development, for the same reasons. A rail line...like a freeway...draws development precisely because it is permanent. You are citing a positive attribute of rail and calling it a negative one. And you are wrong.

Now, about this 200 bus reduction. Are you aware that METRO has 132 bus routes? Do you know how many buses it takes to serve those routes? Do you know which buses were decommissioned? Were they the old, inefficient and costly to maintain buses? In other words, how do you know that this reduction to 1200 buses is not an improvement to METRO's efficiency? Show me.

freeways are filled only with vehicles that are virtually unlimited in choices of paths once they exit. probably not the best analogy to fixed rail. any city benefits from as many transportation options as possible, including light rail.

but the mix vs. the available funds is the issue METRO seeks to raise here. they can fund buses til the cows come home and still give up their 25%. but not if they build out rail...

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Metro's eliminating the 44? I really doubt that. Link me to this article about an Acres Homes route being axed.

As to fewer buses, not as many buses are needed when rail is duplicating the path a bus used to go on.

Anyway, here's a list of Metro changes that went into effect today. http://www.ridemetro.org/SchedulesMaps/Pdfs/ServiceChanges/TakeOne061012_en.pdf

Edited by kylejack

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METRO is toning down bus routes due to their low ridership and the inefficiency of buses. If more rail is built, then some of those 1200 remaining buses will be free to serve other areas they couldn't serve previously because they were serving what the rail will now serve.

If that makes sense lol.

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METRO is toning down bus routes due to their low ridership and the inefficiency of buses. If more rail is built, then some of those 1200 remaining buses will be free to serve other areas they couldn't serve previously because they were serving what the rail will now serve.

If that makes sense lol.

So...after spending beyond our means forcing undesirable tradeoffs in the level of service, then (many years later and presuming that we still have those buses or that they still run) we can spend even more beyond our means on vastly more services. No, that doesn't make any sense at all.

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So...after spending beyond our means forcing undesirable tradeoffs in the level of service, then (many years later and presuming that we still have those buses or that they still run) we can spend even more beyond our means on vastly more services. No, that doesn't make any sense at all.

The fact of the matter is that Houston needs to do something in order to fund that vast amount of infrastructure it is going to need. Houstonians are going to have to decide how much, if any, of that cheapness quality Houston offers they will want to give up in favor of quality of life that comes with more parks, superior transit options, etc..

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More parks? Where are you going to get the land for more parks? And, buses ARE the superior transit option. I've found them far more useful than rail.

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More parks? Where are you going to get the land for more parks? And, buses ARE the superior transit option. I've found them far more useful than rail.

Lol, buses arent superior. Maybe in your specific situation, but overall, rail is clearly superior (on time performance, more capacity, etc.).

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More parks? Where are you going to get the land for more parks? And, buses ARE the superior transit option. I've found them far more useful than rail.

So about that Acres Homes route that is getting canceled...the article, please?

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More parks? Where are you going to get the land for more parks? And, buses ARE the superior transit option. I've found them far more useful than rail.

Most buses are empty, so I don't think people agree with you.

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So...after spending beyond our means forcing undesirable tradeoffs in the level of service, then (many years later and presuming that we still have those buses or that they still run) we can spend even more beyond our means on vastly more services. No, that doesn't make any sense at all.

The only thing that has forced undesirable tradeoffs in METRO's service is the General Mobility Tax. METRO needs more funding to adequately serve the Houston area, and I think it will get those funds.

In fact, IMO, having light rail as opposed to little used bus routes is a desirable tradeoff to me.

Edit: Re-reading your reply, I'm not sure you understood what I was saying. As the rail is built, it will replace some bus routes. If some bus routes are replaced by rail, then what happens to the buses that were running those bus routes before the rail came in? Well, they are free to beef up other bus routes that need more buses, OR they can serve new routes and/or restore routes that had been cancelled.

Get it?

Edited by mfastx

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More parks? Where are you going to get the land for more parks? And, buses ARE the superior transit option. I've found them far more useful than rail.

Not sure of how parks are in METRO's plans, but there is already plenty of undeveloped land in Houston, that's where.

On buses being a superior transit option, facts disagree with you. I'll go with facts any day.

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I'm at the meeting. Ordinary people support transit people that have a vendetta are against it.

Your noxious rhetoric reminds me of anti-semetic propagandistic political cartoons from a century ago. The concept of the 'other' always seems abnormal.

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I'm at the meeting. Ordinary people support transit people that have a vendetta are against it.

What are "transit people"? What are "ordinary people"?

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What are "transit people"? What are "ordinary people"?

I'm pretty sure the period is intended to come after the word 'transit' (i.e., Ordinary people support transit[.] [P]eople that have a vendetta are against it.)

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So...after spending beyond our means forcing undesirable tradeoffs in the level of service, then (many years later and presuming that we still have those buses or that they still run) we can spend even more beyond our means on vastly more services. No, that doesn't make any sense at all.

Horrific comparison, but nice try.

I'm pretty sure the period is intended to come after the word 'transit' (i.e., Ordinary people support transit[.] [P]eople that have a vendetta are against it.)

About 95% of the people wanted to get rid of general mobility payments. The only people were against it were former councilmen and leaders of "coalitions" and the chamber of commerce, one of the most corrupt organizations around. All ordinary people want the funds for more transit.

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The folks wanting to keep the status quo of the GMP were quite direct that no matter the referendum vote outcome they would go to Austin to resolve the issue (assuming if the GMP was not renewed). Time and again the board would corner each speaker that wanted to keep the status quo GMP and made them answer to that fact.

The board made it clear that they were going to use the public input from the meeting to determine the ballot language, however it was a wash in terms of support and arguments for either side. There was a suggestion that the board find some compromise in funding the GMP but no one elaborated on would that might entail.

Also maybe someone here can explain what is the "cap" for the GMP being proposed and how does the current apportionment work as "uncapped?"

Edited by infinite_jim

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The folks wanting to keep the status quo of the GMP were quite direct that no matter the referendum vote outcome they would go to Austin to resolve the issue (assuming if the GMP was not renewed). Time and again the board would corner each speaker that wanted to keep the status quo GMP and made them answer to that fact.

The board made it clear that they were going to use the public input from the meeting to determine the ballot language, however it was a wash in terms of support and arguments for either side. There was a suggestion that the board find some compromise in funding the GMP but no one elaborated on would that might entail.

Also maybe someone here can explain what is the "cap" for the GMP being proposed and how does the current apportionment work as "uncapped?"

I stayed until the very last speaker finished, and I disagree that it was a wash. There was significant support to get rid of the GMP payments, particularly from ordinary people with no hidden agenda.

I agree that METRO made it seem like a compromise was the most likely outcome. The fear mongering by certain speakers was rather disgusting and sickening; the fact they wouldn't even answer the judge when he asked if they would go against the will of the voters was hilarious.

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I'm pretty sure the period is intended to come after the word 'transit' (i.e., Ordinary people support transit[.] [P]eople that have a vendetta are against it.)

Are we even speaking the same language?

To simply characterize people as pro-transit or anti-transit strikes me as an exaggerated misnomer, a sinister element of rhetoric. There's more to it than that. Likewise, the word vendetta implies revenge-seeking behavior. I wasn't there, but when I've been to similar events, I'm more likely to describe input (from both sides) as "concerned" with valences for "reasonable/unreasonable" or "passionate/dispassionate".

This kind of rhetoric concerns me deeply. It signals that we're to a point where one or both sides have characterized the opposition as inherently unworthy of consideration, that it has more to do with winning the argument or saving face than with being correct in the first place.

-----------------------

On a slightly off-topic note, I've seen these same attitudes crop up on HAIF and Swamplot lately, as well as within my own professional discourse, wherein people have become polarized and defensive toward their way of life. On here, its usually affluent urbanites that resent suburbanites; offline, rural residents are resentful of urbanites. Suburbanites are a mixed bag. Some of them are quite uppity and socially cloistered; others just live where they do because it provides them an affordable lifestyle that would be unaffordable to them in the City and unavailable to them in the countryside.

These are just my observations. Your mileage may vary. But that's not the point. The point is, there are all kinds of different people with all kinds of perspectives. But we all pay taxes, we all have a say, we all can have flashes of brilliance and reason, and we are all subject to human frailties. We all try to make the best of our circumstances within the scope of what we know and how we feel.

I would hope that as we have these discussions, we can all try to understand where the other person is coming from, drop the defensiveness, narcissism, and toxic rhetoric, and try to relate to each other to arrive at some kind of reasonable and equitable compromise. It isn't even as though such a compromise has to be wholly distributive.

Granted, there are dishonest people and special interests seeking to usurp property rights and the democratic process. There are also highly effective trolls lurking in the darkness. (The Heights Wal-Mart thread and the Ashby thread come to mind.) Let them speak. Shine the harsh light of reason and truth upon them. They shall wither and melt away. They can only win, however, when people become so highly polarized that the arguments become personal, and not real. There's been so much controversy in the past couple of years, I'm afraid that damage has been done to that balance of things. And frustratingly, I'm not sure how to heal these wounds.

Edited by TheNiche
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Are we even speaking the same language?

To simply characterize people as pro-transit or anti-transit strikes me as an exaggerated misnomer, a sinister element of rhetoric. There's more to it than that. Likewise, the word vendetta implies revenge-seeking behavior. I wasn't there, but when I've been to similar events, I'm more likely to describe input (from both sides) as "concerned" with valences for "reasonable/unreasonable" or "passionate/dispassionate".

This kind of rhetoric concerns me deeply. It signals that we're to a point where one or both sides have characterized the opposition as inherently unworthy of consideration, that it has more to do with winning the argument or saving face than with being correct in the first place.

-----------------------

On a slightly off-topic note, I've seen these same attitudes crop up on HAIF and Swamplot lately, as well as within my own professional discourse, wherein people have become polarized and defensive toward their way of life. On here, its usually affluent urbanites that resent suburbanites; offline, rural residents are resentful of urbanites. Suburbanites are a mixed bag. Some of them are quite uppity and socially cloistered; others just live where they do because it provides them an affordable lifestyle that would be unaffordable to them in the City and unavailable to them in the countryside.

These are just my observations. Your mileage may vary. But that's not the point. The point is, there are all kinds of different people with all kinds of perspectives. But we all pay taxes, we all have a say, we all can have flashes of brilliance and reason, and we are all subject to human frailties. We all try to make the best of our circumstances within the scope of what we know and how we feel.

I would hope that as we have these discussions, we can all try to understand where the other person is coming from, drop the defensiveness, narcissism, and toxic rhetoric, and try to relate to each other to arrive at some kind of reasonable and equitable compromise. It isn't even as though such a compromise has to be wholly distributive.

Granted, there are dishonest people and special interests seeking to usurp property rights and the democratic process. There are also highly effective trolls lurking in the darkness. (The Heights Wal-Mart thread and the Ashby thread come to mind.) Let them speak. Shine the harsh light of reason and truth upon them. They shall wither and melt away. They can only win, however, when people become so highly polarized that the arguments become personal, and not real. There's been so much controversy in the past couple of years, I'm afraid that damage has been done to that balance of things. And frustratingly, I'm not sure how to heal these wounds.

Unfortunately, based on Houston's pathetic transit situation, either you are for progressively moving forward, or against it. It might be ugly, but it is the way it is. Based on last night, the ONLY people against transit were those with special interests. Ordinary people are sick and tired of the games and politics. They want a modern, efficient transit system. PERIOD.

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Unfortunately, based on Houston's pathetic transit situation, either you are for progressively moving forward, or against it. It might be ugly, but it is the way it is. Based on last night, the ONLY people against transit were those with special interests. Ordinary people are sick and tired of the games and politics. They want a modern, efficient transit system. PERIOD.

"Either you're with us or you're against us." -George W. Bush

------------------

This is a logical fallacy called a false bifurcation (or sometimes, false choice). There is a third way; there is also a fourth way, a fifth way, and so on to the nth way.

Ordinary people want lots of things. It's good to want things. The hard part is balancing what is wanted with what can be afforded, and also the mechanism by way of which it will be afforded. (Property taxes have hugely distortional impacts, after all.) Public finance is a poorly understood subject matter. Debates are worth having. If we just impulsively and hedonistically approved everything we wanted, it wouldn't last very long. Greece has national sovereignty that the City of Houston does not; and even Greece eventually gets its come-up'ins.

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"Either you're with us or you're against us." -George W. Bush

------------------

This is a logical fallacy called a false bifurcation (or sometimes, false choice). There is a third way; there is also a fourth way, a fifth way, and so on to the nth way.

Ordinary people want lots of things. It's good to want things. The hard part is balancing what is wanted with what can be afforded, and also the mechanism by way of which it will be afforded. (Property taxes have hugely distortional impacts, after all.) Public finance is a poorly understood subject matter. Debates are worth having. If we just impulsively and hedonistically approved everything we wanted, it wouldn't last very long. Greece has national sovereignty that the City of Houston does not; and even Greece eventually gets its come-up'ins.

Niche, you're very smart and knowledgable. But I get the sense from your history of posting you always find a way to leave the status quo. This mindset has left us where we are. Just like I said last night, the time of the dinosaurs like Bob Lanier is over. We don't care what it takes, we want a great transit system. Period. If you're in the way get out of the way. We will get what we want, it might take a while, but we will get it. When the 4th largest metro area has a putrid system, it must be fixed.

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I honestly don't see how this is a debate. Voters approved the FULL 1 cent tax to go towards METRO. End of story.

If Bob Lanier wanted more money to go to roads, he should have created a new tax and have people vote on that.

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Niche, you're very smart and knowledgable. But I get the sense from your history of posting you always find a way to leave the status quo. This mindset has left us where we are. Just like I said last night, the time of the dinosaurs like Bob Lanier is over. We don't care what it takes, we want a great transit system. Period. If you're in the way get out of the way. We will get what we want, it might take a while, but we will get it. When the 4th largest metro area has a putrid system, it must be fixed.

I still feel like we're not speaking the same language. (Never mind that the word "putrid" is a rhetorically loaded word strongly implying an offensive olfactory sensation, and was inappropriate in that context.)

You're telling me that I always find a way to leave the status quo, and yet you seem intent on aligning me with establishment figures, "dinosaurs," like Bob Lanier. Isn't that a contradiction?

In the same spirit of things, I could turn around and label fixed-guideway rail-based transit as being a "dinosaur" technology, declare Park & Ride service, HOV/HOT lanes, and vanpooling as innovative and successful projects that have been spearheaded by a forward-thinking budget-conscious METRO. And actually, that is my opinion. I do not pretend that mine is a popular opinion (and it certainly is not very sexy, as these things go), however it is also not one that a lot of people have considered or researched. Nevertheless, it is an opinion that I would promote as being worthy of consideration.

So let us consider it. What's so wrong with having a discussion? What's wrong with weighing the options? What's wrong with educating ourselves regarding public finance and attempting to quantify and optimize the burdens of taxation?

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I honestly don't see how this is a debate. Voters approved the FULL 1 cent tax to go towards METRO. End of story.

If Bob Lanier wanted more money to go to roads, he should have created a new tax and have people vote on that.

This is a debate.

Please elaborate as to why Metro should not have to pay for road maintenance its buses use and how the Metro member cities should/could recoup the loss infrastructure monies.

Conversely, why should Metro pay for road maintenance for roads that already have a funding mechanism and how the Metro member cities should/could be spending the monies they have received.

Convince me; this was my main point of frustration with the pro-rail now crowd in that there were many anecdotal appeals to emotion but quite sparingly devoid of details versus the status quo GMP crowd who were nakedly antagonistic but concerned none the least (even if the board had to correct some of their "factual" statements).

Compromises were made in the 2003 referendum, what sort of compromise would you like see going forward for the 2013 referendum.

I'm all ears.

Edited by infinite_jim

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This is a debate.

Please elaborate as to why Metro should not have to pay for road maintenance its buses use and how the Metro member cities should/could recoup the loss infrastructure monies.

Conversely, why should Metro pay for road maintenance for roads that already have a funding mechanism and how the Metro member cities should/could be spending the monies they have received.

Convince me; this was my main point of frustration with the pro-rail now crowd in that there were many anecdotal appeals to emotion but quite sparingly devoid of details versus the status quo GMP crowd who were nakedly antagonistic but concerned none the least (even if the board had to correct some of their "factual" statements).

Compromises were made in the 2003 referendum, what sort of compromise would you like see going forward for the 2013 referendum.

I'm all ears.

It's not a debate because voters approved METRO's funding when it was created. End of story.

Was there a vote to create the general mobility funds?

If the answer is no, then it should'nt be a debate.

Are you going against the will of the voters?

I'm all ears.

In my eyes a good solution would be to give METRO their full tax back, AND to create a whole new general mobility tax that people pay. METRO's responsibility is not to provide roads, but to provide public transportation.

This new general mobility tax would only be available to reconstruct and build streets in the city of Houston, and whichever other city wants to be included in the tax.

Edited by mfastx

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It's not a debate because voters approved METRO's funding when it was created. End of story.

Was there a vote to create the general mobility funds?

If the answer is no, then it should'nt be a debate.

Are you going against the will of the voters?

I'm all ears.

From last night's meeting the board confirmed that the GMP apportionment was part of the 1988 referendum (which included for it to be voted upon again in the 2003 referendum).

http://www.houstonpress.com/content/printVersion/217170/

Also at this point we don't know what the will of the voters is precisely b/c we do not know the ballot verbage.

I asked you to convince me not harangue me for not knowing what you know.

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This is a debate.

Please elaborate as to why Metro should not have to pay for road maintenance its buses use and how the Metro member cities should/could recoup the loss infrastructure monies.

Conversely, why should Metro pay for road maintenance for roads that already have a funding mechanism and how the Metro member cities should/could be spending the monies they have received.

Convince me; this was my main point of frustration with the pro-rail now crowd in that there were many anecdotal appeals to emotion but quite sparingly devoid of details versus the status quo GMP crowd who were nakedly antagonistic but concerned none the least (even if the board had to correct some of their "factual" statements).

Compromises were made in the 2003 referendum, what sort of compromise would you like see going forward for the 2013 referendum.

I'm all ears.

Isn't there already a drainage fee in effect? Also Christof noted that GMP is a very small percentage of overall road funds. So its effect on transit is much bigger than on roads. That alone is enough to say it should go back to METRO.

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From last night's meeting the board confirmed that the GMP apportionment was part of the 1988 referendum (which included for it to be voted upon again in the 2003 referendum).

http://www.houstonpr...Version/217170/

Also at this point we don't know what the will of the voters is precisely b/c we do not know the ballot verbage.

I asked you to convince me not harangue me for not knowing what you know.

I edited my previous post to include more information sorry for sounding confrontational:

In my eyes a good solution would be to give METRO their full tax back, AND to create a whole new general mobility tax that people pay. METRO's responsibility is not to provide roads, but to provide public transportation.

This new general mobility tax would only be available to reconstruct and build streets in the city of Houston, and whichever other city wants to be included in the tax.

According to the article you posted, METRO has payed well over their 25% share to GM payments.

It is incredibly obvious that there are many anti-rail people here in Houston (for whatever reason) and they'll do anything, including manipulating ballot language, to ensure that no rail would be built.

I believe that METRO is the victim of special interests and that the GM payments were proposed not as a way to improve city streets, but to prevent METRO from building rail.

That is why I believe that they should receive their full transportation tax back.

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I honestly don't see how this is a debate. Voters approved the FULL 1 cent tax to go towards METRO. End of story.

But that is NOT the end of the story.

Voters also approved diverting part of the 1 cent tax to the cities for general mobility project.

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But that is NOT the end of the story.

Voters also approved diverting part of the 1 cent tax to the cities for general mobility project.

If you keep reading, you'll notice that I was unsure if voters approved the diversion, and was informed.

However, Lanier took more money from METRO than voters approved.

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About 95% of the people wanted to get rid of general mobility payments. The only people were against it were former councilmen and leaders of "coalitions" and the chamber of commerce, one of the most corrupt organizations around. All ordinary people want the funds for more transit.

I'm an ordinary person. I am not at all interested in absorbing a tax increase from the municipality I live in once that municipality has to make up the funds it is giving to METRO. I suspect there are a significant number of ordinary people that feel the way I do.

You might also look into the idea that METRO is giving a % of it's tax revenue to the municipalities rather than the other way around. The mayors of every municipality in METRO's tax capture zone are on the record as saying it is the other way around, and they have declared a tax increase will be necessary to make up the loss.

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I'm an ordinary person. I am not at all interested in absorbing a tax increase from the municipality I live in once that municipality has to make up the funds it is giving to METRO. I suspect there are a significant number of ordinary people that feel the way I do.

You might also look into the idea that METRO is giving a % of it's tax revenue to the municipalities rather than the other way around. The mayors of every municipality in METRO's tax capture zone are on the record as saying it is the other way around, and they have declared a tax increase will be necessary to make up the loss.

I don't understand why these "municipalities" expect METRO to pay for their street and infrastructure improvements though. How does that make sense?

The mayors need to understand that if you want to have better infrastructure, then the city needs to create it's own tax. Not free load off someone else's.

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