In Smith's latest ad, er, column, she points out something I point out about IndyGo with regularity- the combination of taxes and fares fails to cover the operating budget.
Smith then does two things I don't do.
Another year, another shortfall.
This is IndyGo's story.
(Wait! Wait! Let's put on our surprised faces. Ready? OK, cool.)
This time around, the transit agency says it expects its budget to come up $6.4 million short in 2012. That's twice as big as the hole that IndyGo predicted and narrowly skirted last year.
Without an infusion of cash, possibly from a tax increase, fares could go up, bus routes could be eliminated and the frequency of service might be reduced.
1. She promotes a tax hike
2. She fails to point out that taxes already make up about 80% of the IndyGo budget.
My solution is to raise fares. The riders should pay for the service they use. Making those who do not ride pay to subsidize those who do ride is simply unjust. Now, THAT is too logical, I'm sure. It's the American Way anymore, to take from the majority and give to a small segment of the population. We wonder why we're in an economic freefall. To what extent is the fare a gift? Double it, and you still haven't reduced the operating ratio to half.
It would be nice if the officials who say they support building a robust regional transit system would prove it by voting for a tax increase, but I'm not holding my breath. That solution is too logical.
So instead, I've come up with some -- shall we say? -- out-of-the-box solutions to IndyGo's funding woes. When logic fails, it's time for the ludicrous.
It would be nice if the promoters of mass transit were honest enough to read a balance sheet and to disclose how heavily subsidized it already is, rather than making it sound like the riders are bearing the huge burden of paying full fare, while the taxpayers stand by and admire the buses.
I've written many times on this subject. Here is a link to those many, wonderful, redundant posts- many of which have links to IndyGo balance sheets.