- We are in the middle of the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression. While I appreciate good use of good technology, wouldn’t it at least be prudent and responsible to just wait a little while – and bring up the topic of spending millions of tax dollars on this system maybe in 2 or 3 years?
- One of the ideals from our country’s origins was that there should be no taxation without representation. Put another way, or combined with our other American values and political ideals, the only government officials who should ever spend my money are those that I can vote out of office. Period. So, how did these various boards and agencies run by people who I did not elect, and cannot vote out of office, ever get the power to spend money without any direct oversight by the public? Sure, they hold public meetings – but everyone knows these are mere formalities, and often annoyances for the agencies involved. They’d much rather just spend and spend without ever having to (pretend to) justify it to anyone.
- But here’s the most annoying issue: For the past nearly two years, Caltrain trains have arrived at their destinations, on time, 94% of the time. Of their 90 running weekday trains, most delays are on the order of minutes, with just a handful of serious issues causing significant delays or cancelled services – which are almost immediately communicated already via Twitter feeds setup (for free) by riders. Don’t use Twitter? Well, the morning news programs, radio traffic reports and all manner of communications that exist today will let you know if something really major has happened to your ride.
So, in spite of a global economic crisis, and huge cuts being made to budgets everywhere (or, apparently only to schools, fire and police – but not effecting transportation agencies or the postal service it seems), Caltrain, Samtrans and a whole host of other agencies, just in this one part of California, have decided to (and have the power to) spend millions of tax dollars to solve a problem that actually doesn’t seem to be that much of a problem at all.