Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Taking Tri-Rail Semi-Private

The Herald reports today that the Florida Department of Transportation is in talks with the FEC (Florida East Coast Railway) about transferring operations responsibility to the FEC.

First, I would like to concede that my throwing rocks at Tri-Rail is like someone living in a glass house (Metro-Rail) throwing stones.

That being said, Tri-Rail exists thanks to $61 million of annual capital and operating subsidies from the federal government, the state government, and the three counties through which it runs. Riders contribute $11 million a year. Let me restate that. For everyone $1 a Tri-Rail rider pays, the taxpayers of the United States, Florida, and the tri-county area, pay $6.

Furthermore, the Tri-Rail riders transfer to Metro-Rail to complete their commuting trips, and there we have another set of tax-payer subsidies. Tri-Rail riders pay nothing for their Metro-Rail ride.

In addition, as far as I can tell when the noisy Tri-Rail riders join us Miami-Dade riders on Metro-Rail, they consist of Broward County and Palm Beach residents who ride down to go work at the county, veterans, and UM hospitals and the state offices at Civic Center, and the Metro-Dade County offices at Government Center. That is, their employment is also government subsidized. It is also interesting to note that Metro Rail was designed so that their desks are but a few steps away from the Metro-Rail stations where they finish their commute.

(Yes, I've ranted about this before.)

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