There's a spirited discussion underway by people commenting on an earlier blog posting about high-speed rail, with conservatives predicting the need for big operating subsidies.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I would predict that these same people will scream the loudest when the state adds tolls to certain stretches of interstate and then goes all the way to fee-for-driving, with a mandatory bar code or reader, like an I-Pass box, on your car registering use and a monthly bill or credit card debit coming your way.
These systems are already in use in congested spots or time slots, like rush hours, or in downtown London, and Singapore.
So why not on I-94 in the Zoo Interchange, or on Madison's Beltline, or on a bridge in Green Bay?
Let's ask the question.
If there was a collection for the full cost of driving - - road repairs, policing, plowing, rebuilding, and, God forbid, the broader impacts such as dirty air and lung disease, for example - - the costs would greatly exceed the thirty-some cents now paid as the gas tax.
Do the anti-rail folks want to step up and pay the full cost of driving?
The gas tax, onerous as it is in Wisconsin, where it is the second-steepest in the nation, does not pay all the drivers' bills, thus requiring additional subsidies that communities (people ) pay through property taxes, and what the state and feds (people) throw in every year in additional fees and the income tax.