If you picked up the $30 tab at lunch yesterday, you probably did not realize that in addition to sales tax, 15 cents funded TransNet, our regional transportation program, of which five cents went to pay for mass transit.
When the voters approved this added tax 20 years ago and extended it another 40 in 2005, it was to address their No. 1 complaint: congested traffic.
Spending one-third of TransNet dollars on mass transit has been a failure.
The success of the Coaster is an exception. Folks that crowd the Blue Line trolley from the border previously rode the bus. Transit ride-share in the region is at best 4 percent of total daily trips. True, another exception is Padre and Charger game crowds, but that is not why we invested billions in transit. Add to this that we are “burning the furniture” by failing to maintain and replace transit infrastructure.
It appears that most transit riders do not own or, at least, use a car. So how does this reduce congestion? True the less fortunate, young and old need regional mobility. But should social equity be a goal of a program sold to us to reduce rush hour auto traffic?
Check out the SANDAG website and see the massive new investment in transit in the Regional Transportation Plan 2030 now up for review. We are talking about spending at a minimum another $13 billion. Does this make sense?