Railroading Fantasies

Watch out, Metroplex: you’re about to be scammed. The Regional Transportation Council, a 43-member quasi-governmental agency, is looking to fleece you. And at least one member of the council — a city official from Tarrant County — is going to be profiting from it.

According to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, a members of the RTC signed non-disclosure confidentiality statements yesterday so they could learn about a “private developer” looking to build a commuter-rail line from Plano to Fort Worth.

Oscar Trevino
North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar Trevino

One member of the RTC, North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar Trevino, has admitted that his company is part of the consortium of companies putting forward an undisclosed deal to build the line.

Commuter-rail is an inefficient pipe-dream sold by construction companies owned by insiders. Unlike buses, commuter-rail mass transit is — literally — fixed in place. It is a state-of-the-art transportation solution for 1890. Remember, many Texas cities had trolley lines and other versions of commuter-rail, which were wisely paved over when technology passed them by.

Here’s unintentionally funny bit from the FWST’s breathless write-up:

Elected and appointed leaders from across the region said that, although they hadn’t had a chance to go over the details of the confidential information, they were encouraged that it requires relatively little public funding beyond what has already been pledged.

It is noted that $90 million has already been pledged to the project, and another $50 million would be probably be needed soon. Only in the world of government can $50 million be thought of as being “relatively little” when compared to $90 million.

Investing in commuter-rail is simply a waste. Thinking it’s still a good idea even when your mayor stands to personally profit from it is simply a fantasy.

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