Friday, June 26, 2009

Rep. John Mica (R) on Transit

Ranking minority member on the house Transit and Infrastructure Committee, Republican Representative John Mica has an interesting interview with PBS which gives me hope that Republican's may--at least temporarily--support public transit.

Here's Rep. Mica:

I became a mass transit fan because it’s so much more cost effective than building a highway. Also, it’s good for energy, it’s good for the environment...seeing the cost of one person in one car. The cost for construction. The cost for the environment. The cost for energy. You can pretty quickly be convinced that there’s got to be a more cost effective way. It’s going to take a little time, but we have to have good projects, they have to make sense – whether it’s high-speed rail or commuter rail or light rail. We got to have some alternatives helping people--even in the rural areas--to get around.
So cars are bad and transit is good? I think his simplification is excessive. Cars are incredibly useful in rural areas and areas with insufficient density to support public transit. As the density of an area grows, the space required by the cars so eats away at the area as a whole that those places are essentially stripped of their comfortable social spaces, leaving isolated enclaves of leisure, work and commerce.

There are places where cars make sense and transit doesn't. There are places where transit makes sense and cars don't. We shouldn't add components to a system that destroy it's performance (economic, social, environmental...).

If Rep. Mica is truly interested in transit, the one sure way to promote it is to provide incentives for projects that don't promote daily automobile use and penalize projects that encourage it.

1 comment:

  1. not all republicans are wack jobs, just almost all of them