James Phillips e-mails with more on light rail:
You will be happy to know that on Sacramento Light Rail's website, your wonderful new light rail is characterized as a "success story." Of course I suspect that to the bureaucratic mind, the mere existence of this taxpayer subsidized boondoggle is a "success story."
You might be interested in the site for the CFTE - "Center for Transportation Excellence" a "a non-partisan policy research center created to serve the needs of communities and transportation organizations nationwide." This non-partisan website has such non-partisan news items as "Missing the Train: How Bush Is Derailing Transit", "Washington's Metro: Deficits by Design", "Aging Americans Left With Little Choice", and "Beware of LRT Oversell" (which links to a paper that seems to guide the erstwhile government planner in how to fudge the numbers to justify light rail. I am not sure because my eyes glazed over and my hair started to hurt as I started to read it.)
This site on "Transportation Excellence" also has a news report on an apparent "must read:
"If you don't have time to read Richard Florida's book, "The Rise of the Creative Class," don't worry because he is offering parsed versions on his website. In case you haven't heard, Florida's book describes why cities that don't have gay-friendly communities, vibrant music scenes, and yes, modern and convenient public transportation, are losing the economic development race. Chock full of information to combat the critics with!" Yes, I am sure it is.
I am still peeved over light rail being extended into my community (Folsom, CA). As you may be aware, we have a prison in Folsom (what, you knew that?). Two actually. Folsom State Prison, and California State Prison - Sacramento. We all know that one of the benefits of light rail is that it increases the crime rate in the vicinity of all its train stops. In our case, it will also make it easier for the families of the inmates to travel into Folsom to visit. Yeah, I'm liking that idea a lot.
Finally, for now (I am not going to mention that we also have a "Friends of Light Rail and Transportation - FLRT.), one of the pictures the Government Planners won't show you is a light rail stop like we have here Downtown Sacramento on 12th Street Drive by virtually any time, day or night, and it looks like Darwin's Waiting Room. Granted, a multi-culturally diverse Darwin's Waiting Room, but one nonetheless.
Nice to see that the central planners from the Soviet Union found a home after the collapse of Communism.