There are options
New cost projections for a proposed east-west transit line across Baltimore show that the most widely favored alternatives are too expensive to qualify for federal funding, while the only clearly affordable choices are ones already rejected by City Hall.It seems like the rut that MTA and other leaders are stuck in (as usual) is the thought that the only source of revenue available to fund the project is through taxpayer dollars from both the state and federal governments. But we all know that this is exactly the kind of project that will simply waste taxpayer dollars and create enormous cost overruns.
Cost-effectiveness figures released this week by the Maryland Transit Administration for the proposed Red Line show alternatives that involve tunneling to put portions of the line underground exceed the federal standard for consideration of 50 percent funding of the project....
...All of them exceeded the figure of $24 per hour of user benefit that Federal Transit Administration uses as its cut-off line for judging the cost-effectiveness of competing transit proposals.
The two proposals involving the most tunneling - and the least potential disruption to neighborhoods - came in so far over the mark that MTA officials said it is practically impossible to fund them.
It sounds like the exact kind of project that a private company could build for a fraction of the price it would cost the government.
If the MTA and public officials are serious about building the Red Line, they should really step back and consider their options. Privatization is the most cost effective way to get this project down, and this would be the perfect test case to be able to prove that point...