Wednesday, January 17, 2007

An MTA temper tantrum?

Los Angeles CA - The LA Daily News has a story about the Los Angeles MTA questioning a plan by the Govenator to slash transit funding. What is confusing in this story is this:

With the MTA already considering fare hikes to reduce its deficit, officials are grappling with news that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to withhold $100 million they'd counted on to build transit projects in the nation's most-congested area.

It sounds as though the money that Arnold Schwarzenegger is planning on holding back in his budget plan is capital money, not operating money. If the MTA is swimming in red ink as they claim, building more transit projects would only put them deeper in debt.

This is really making me question why the MTA is crying poor and threatening fare hikes and other revenue raising items to cover the red ink. If the money in question is capital funding, they wouldn't be able to use it to keep service on the road anyway. What I am getting from all this is that the MTA might be having a temper tantrum because they can't build more transit projects without the money.

This points out a big problem with public transit administrations today. They are losing touch with what they are supposed to be doing and that is providing service. Many transit systems are too busy planning the next big project to build and can't be worried about focusing on providing simple transit service.

If the money that Gov. Schwarzenegger is planning on withholding is truly capital funding, I don't have a major problem with it. Yet various news reports from various transit systems are all screaming about this and every one of them has the same tone to it that indicate that it's capital money for various transit projects these systems so desperately want to build.

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