President Obama now wants us all to ride trains -- just like in his beloved Europe -- as a means of reducing our carbon footprint.
Here come the subsidies.
First, though, the president should consider the plight of a previous federal effort to manipulate the transportation market under the guise of easing traffic congestion in an eco-friendly way.
Ten years ago, a Virginia representative secured $2 million in pork for one of those "transportation demonstration projects" congressional piggies love to fund to buy votes. The plan was to create a fleet of electric buses in Falls Church, Va., encouraging commuters to ride the green-friendly trams and demonstrate to the nation the virtues of alternative transportation systems.
This month, however, local officials may finally pull the plug on the whole thing.
First off, two different contractors failed to provide suitable electric vehicles, leaving the city to settle on diesel buses equipped to reduce emissions.
The bigger problem, though? Ridership is well below projections -- there's a real shocker to anyone familiar with bureaucrats and mass transit promises -- forcing taxpayers to subsidize the service to the tune of $8 a ride!
In other words, residents of little Falls Church, a Washington, D.C., suburb, might be better off subsidizing free cab fare for everyone rather than continuing to support this boondoggle.
The city council will soon consider whether to kill the bus system. Not surprisingly, though, "The system still has supporters," notes The Associated Press. Councilman David Snyder, for instance, maintains that the federal spending will have been wasted only if the city gives up on the project.
Sounds like a man angling for a spot in the Obama administration.