fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Why is the Ramsey County board going to waste up to $2 billion on a pointless streetcar?

This tweet from the Star Tribune’s transportation correspondent is pretty incredible. Why? Because it shows that so much of the current mania for ‘mass’ rail transit is about building for the sake of it, not about solving any notable problem.

Why do we need to spend up to $2 billion on a streetcar from Union Depot to the airport and the Mall of America when the 54 bus already runs along exactly the proposed route? You can see the route the 54 runs on the map below. Check it against Janet Moore’s tweet. It is exactly the same!

If we need more capacity between Union Depot and the airport/Mall of America, add more buses to the route. It will be a sight cheaper than spending $2 billion on a streetcar. It will also have the benefit that it won’t involve shutting down West 7th for three years while it is done. It also has the benefit that, if demand changes at some point in the future, bus capacity can be added or subtracted as needed. With buses, the route can also be modified as needed. Once you’ve built tracks, you’re stuck with them.

“I feel like I’m taking crazy pills” – Jacobim Mugatu

Kids like playing with train sets. Most people grow out of that. If you didn’t, get yourself on the Ramsey County board. Like my old Thomas the Tank Engine toys, the West 7th streetcar is nothing more than a train set for the overgrown kids at the Ramsey County Board Office to play with. The difference is that my Island of Sodor didn’t cost $2 billion and shut down a major road for three years.

John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment. 

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Lunch Forum with Amity Shlaes

    Location: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 1300 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Buy tickets HERE. About This Event: Enjoy our Early Bird Ticket Special through February 23rd! After this date, ticket price will increase to $30. Doors open at 11:30 AM, program and lunch begin at Noon. In Great Society, the New York Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Man and Coolidgeoffers a stunning revision of our last great period of idealism, the 1960s, with burning relevance for our contemporary challenges. Today, a battle rages in our country. Many Americans are attracted to socialism and economic redistribution while opponents of those ideas argue for purer capitalism. In the 1960s, Americans sought the…

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast Series: Moorhead

    Location: Moorhead Country Club 2101 North River Drive, Moorhead, MN, 56560

    Join Center of the American Experiment Friday, February 21 at the Moorhead Country Club for a FREE breakfast with policy fellow Isaac Orr.

    Register Now
  • 2020 Annual Dinner Featuring Sarah Huckabee Sanders

    Location: Minneapolis Convention Center Ballroom 1301 2nd Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55403

    American President: The Unorthodox Approach to Politics that Changed the World. Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as White House Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump from 2017 to 2019. A trusted confidant of the President, Sanders advised him on everything from press and communications strategy to personnel and policy. For two and a half years, Sanders was at the President’s side, battling with the media, working with lawmakers and CEOs, and staffing the President on every foreign trip, including dozens of meetings with foreign leaders. Sanders is only the third woman and the first mother to hold the job of…

    Register Now