The demand for mass transit in Indianapolis appears to be well ahead of the supply. Ridership on IndyGo's inadequate lines was up 5 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, [...].It's reasonable for me to subsidize a service I never use? How's that? The editorial goes on to point out that Charlotte, North Carolina runs over twice as many buses on half the budget, which suggests (to me; certainly not to Mr. High-Minded Editor*) that IndyGo can follow their lead, reduce their budget of a quarter of what it is now, and not need taxpayer support.
Finances, however, remain a challenge. The key to building a strong transit system is to decouple funding from property taxes, which now account for 25 percent or more of IndyGo's money.
Although it's reasonable to expect riders to pay for a portion of the cost of bus and rail lines, taxpayers will have to continue to underwrite the mass transit budget, just as they do now for most other municipal services.
If mass-transit operators can't make money (or at least break even; I could probably be argued into supporting the Citizen's Gas "non-profit public trust" model), then they need to get of the mass-transit business and let another entity give it a try. For editorialists who point to a system four times as efficient as IndyGo an example of why us taxpayers should be deprived at lawpoint of even more money (he wants to shift the source from property taxes to sales taxes, presumably to add revenue from that all-important homeless-bum demographic, given that they are the only folks who don't end up shellin' out more when property taxes go up), I have no easy fix. Tax-funded brain transplants? I'd rather see that State-extorted money go to something semi-useful, like a cheap-bikes-for-ex-bus-riders program, or a study of the hive-like lifestyle of the naked mole rat -- which brings us right back to to topic of editors, come to think of it.
* Not that I would ever, ever imply the typical Editor is even high. Not in a million, zillion years. Never. --Well, hardly ever.