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"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" - Patrick Henry

Re-Inventing IndyGo

Who needs Democrats when you have liberal tax-and-spend Republicans occupying all three county commissioner seats?

Very quietly, Hamilton County is developing a mass transit system that resembles the failing IndyGo system in every way: there are few riders, and rider fares fail to cover even a quarter of the operating expense. Check out the numbers for the expanded service, per the Noblesville Daily Times article:
A pilot program - the Hamilton County Express - began early last year and covered Noblesville Township as well as Carmel and Fishers. With slightly more than 2,000 riders traveling countywide in the course of nine months, officials wanted to combine the two services into one.

Huffman said it will cost almost $550,000 to operate the service after the expansion with more than half of that amount going to labor expenses, benefits and materials and supplies.

They will make most of that money back through funding from the Hamilton County Commissioners and state and local grants with about $20,000 coming from fare revenue.

Let's do some math. $20,000/$550,000 = 3.6%

That means that 96.4% of the operating costs are borne by taxpayers. Well! That has IndyGo beat! (IndyGo's 2004 balance sheet showed fares covering 16% of costs. See page 27 of their online balance sheet.) Congratulations, Hamilton County. Proportionally, you have a bigger suckhole than Marion County. Why are our County Commissioners so unaware of the math? Why are Hamilton County Repiblicans such fiscal liberals? Will the county's voters ever begin to look beyond the Elephant uniform and vote on the actual substance of the candidates?

Here's the baseline question: Why are we doing this? I get the initial reason for Janus and it's transportation mission. I won't argue that. But using that mission of assisting the handicapped for the purpose of helping them find employment, and then expanding beyond that to create a more full-blown mass transit system is a scam on the taxpayers.

Adult human beings who are not mentally handicapped should be providing for their own transportation. Taxpayers should not be providing subsidies for public transportation. Indeed, if public transportation was a winning proposition, you might see a private company get into the business of bus service.

Hamilton County must stop re-inventing Marion County. IndyGo is the worst model to re-invent, and yet, our County Commissioners fearlessly, mindlessly stepped up to the plate. Heaven help us all.

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posted by Mike Kole @ 8:03 AM, , links to this post