Many are upset about the expansion of rail systems across the country because the cost may not be covered by passenger fares. I personally fail to understand why investment in public transportation has to be offset by the income of the rail systems. It seems to me that expansion of rail systems improves our national transportation infrastructure and creates jobs. I'm curious how many of the naysayers would prefer that interstates and dams and bridges had never been built.
A report published by Thomas A. Garrett, a senior economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Missouri describes the necessity of light-rail systems throughout the continental US as a sound economic development. Garrett explains that: “the idea that rail transit can promote economic development with the cooperation of city officials and private developers is known as transit-oriented development (TOD). Although TOD is one goal of any public transportation system, officials see light rail as a particularly amenable tool for spurring economic development.”
Using the false reality of job creation, citizen preferences of trains over personal cars, mitigation of air pollution and alleviating traffic congestion are justifications that coerce the general public to support the construction of light-rail systems in their communities. The truth is that these expensive endeavors create solvency of citizens and state governments to the construction and operating costs of light-rail systems.