Monday, June 2, 2008

Current State of our Infrastructure

Second Ave Sagas has a nice little write up about the state of our failing infrastructure in the United States. The site comments on an article from the Wall Street Journal about how public transportation authorities are hurting from the rise in diesel prices like the rest of the country.

Rising fuel prices have hit public transportation harder than consumers. Diesel, the main fuel for bus systems, has gone up 40% since the beginning of the year to an average $4.72 a gallon last week. Regular gasoline is up 27%. Adding to the crunch: Transit budgets that are largely funded by sales tax revenue are shrinking as consumers spend less in response to tough economic times.

“We’re all getting killed,” says Cal Marsella, general manager for Denver’s Regional Transportation District.

To compensate, many agencies have been canceling plans to expand service, raiding emergency funds and raising fares to stay in budget. When that’s not enough, agencies are resorting to cuts in service. In a survey of the nation’s public transit agencies to be released Friday, the American Public Transportation Association, which lobbies for greater support of public transit, found that 19% of bus operators responding are cutting service to some degree, while 21% of rail operators are doing the same.
It's becoming all too familiar once again as we as a country can not foresee our future even though the history is all written down. We like to avoid being told we're doing something wrong instead of listening to facts reported by scientists and historians that show we are at an age where cheap gas will not last. What does our president do when faced with the fact that our environment is being destroyed? He threatens to block laws in congress because it could raise gas prices by 0.53 cents.

It's time we actually look at ourselves and see we are the cause for expensive gas, we are the cause of environmental destruction, we are the cause of congestion on roadways. Why do we block mass transit? The horrible excuse of increased taxes? The taxes that go towards lowering the cost of transportation. People that ride public transit save over $2000 a year for the price of perhaps a few hundred dollars a piece to improve public transportation. The writing is clear and we just ignore it and wait till we can't go anywhere cause most people can't afford it.

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