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Your Opinion: Mass transit should be funded by riders, not those who don't use it

Your Opinion: Mass transit should be funded by riders, not those who don't use it

May 20th, 2014 by ­Bert Dirschell, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

The front section of a recent edition of the News Tribune carried articles on both public transit and the push by politicians to get us to accept a one cent increase in sales tax to pay for roads. I believe placing both articles in the same edition was very appropriate. I have no doubt that part of the one cent "transportation" tax would soon be diverted to subsidize mass transit.

If MoDOT can show me that it needs more funding to keep our roads and bridges safe I would support an increase in per gallon fuel taxes. I would also support diverting the sales tax on fuels to MODOT, to provide additional funding for road and bridge maintenance. (When the state has a half million dollars to build sidewalks along Missouri Boulevard it will take a lot to convince me that our roads bridges are in desperate need of additional funding. Please don't tell me the same tired old story that the project is funded with money from the magic money tree in DC, the federal government is broke! Further indebting all future generations to fund such projects should be cause enough to vote self-serving politicians out of office.)

As a driver I don't think non-drivers should have to pay to build/maintain roads that I use. Everyone does pay something for roads/bridges because when they buy most items part of the cost of the item pays the trucker for delivering it, and the trucker pays fuel taxes every time he fills up.

I haven't used mass transit since living in the Chicago suburbs in the "70s. I do not believe that the Illinois Central received any subsidies to provide service. It was supported by ticket prices. The same should hold true today. If people want to make use of buses, trains, etc. they should bear the total cost of such service. Those who don't use mass transit should not have to subsidize it.