Comment 52571

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted December 02, 2010 at 22:28:42

As an anticapitalist, I can definitely see the importance of critiquing the investment argument. It raises a lot of questions about whether "success" is being created, or simply shifted. And whether rising property values are doing more to support people (by raising tax revenues and building equity), or simply making the area less affordable for most people around. Most importantly, perhaps, is the question of whether the project is still worth hundreds of millions of tax dollars if it isn't generating investment in this fashion (cough Stadium cough), or if those investment revenues are not being shared among those who bore the costs.

What's obvious is that LRT does have benefits which go well beyond such investment. First and foremost, it is the most efficient way in which to move people. This makes sense monetarily as an alternative to buses or cars/roads, as well as in terms of energy, space, and personal commitment (you don't need to leave your train parked while you're at work). It addresses poverty by investing in transportation for those of us who can't afford cars, but also appeals to those who have money but would like another alternative.

The one problem is the extremely high initial capital outlay, but sometimes such things require them(solar panels, etc). Why such an objection to infrastructure which actually provides a return on investment, instead of just making an imposing visual statement to nearby highways.

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