A $1.3 billion monument to arrogance.

According to the local paper today, the Region of Waterloo is now proposing to spend $790 million on rapid transit across Kitchener and Waterloo. Hidden in the article is a more complete price tag of $1.3 billion to include Cambridge. We’re talking about an area that is home to about 500,000 people, where pretty much everyone drives. Strangely, the price tag was only about $306 million a year ago.

And that doesn’t include the $11 million annual subsidy that will be required to operate the rapid transit system.

They are using the standard justifications:

[…planners contend trains deliver much higher benefits and do a better job meeting planning goals. They also claim rapid buses would reach capacity by 2030 in the north of the region.

[...]

Planners convened a panel of outside experts who have endorsed the proposal. They include urban planners, scholars and planning consultants from around Ontario.

But this is pie in the sky thinking at best, by a council that seems determined to spend tax dollars at an ever increasing rate. But from their point of view it’s no problem because the money is coming from the federal and provincial government.

Perhaps for once they could concentrate on taking care of the existing infrastructure in the region instead of finding ever newer ways to pick the pockets of taxpayers.

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