Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Paying for Metro

Katie at A Constrained Vision writes about a proposed sales tax increase to fund DC's Metro system. She says Metro should fund itself, instead, by selling corporate sponsorships.

While the idea of a free ride (literally!) sounds nice, I kind of prefer the sound of the Red Line and Blue Line over crass commercial names like the Microsoft Line and Sony Line. Besides, with revenue shortfalls of $304 million per year, there's no way Metro could sell enough advertising. This is Metro, not the Super Bowl.

On the other hand, raising regional sales taxes by 1 percent is not fair to people who don't ever ride Metro.

I guess they should just fix the budget shortfall with higher fares, so the people benefiting from the service actually pay for it. Even though I'd personally benefit from the sales tax because suburbanites would be subsidizing my commute.


Charles said...

Corporate sponsorships might work, if you don't mind the ads inside and outside the cars. Who knows, could even mean the cars stay clean and maintained to reflect well on the company.

Adam said...

It says a lot about where we are as a society that people would accept this readily. Not like this is so horrible or a danger to our society, but I'm sure the Founding Fathers would kind of glance at someone who suggested taxing everyone for a service few use, then laugh at them. It just strikes me as illogical to tax everyone for the few.

Walter E. Wallis said...

Elevators in a building are paid for by the building owner because they make multi-story buildings possible. Public transit is just horizontal elevators.

Jeremy said...

I'm with you - I'll take paying for a service over being pandered too by soulless corporations any day.

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