Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Better Late Than Never

It was time to coordinate this in 1974 but the state is finally getting involved. Rock County is out in front of the curve and can help lead the way.
With gas prices on the rise and laid-off workers looking farther from
home for new jobs, is it time for mass transit?

That’s a question that might not be answered anytime soon, but the
state Legislature is taking a step in that direction.

A new legislative study committee with members from Rock County
soon will begin looking at a way to unite local governments to create
transportation options.

Sen. Judy Robson, D-Beloit, is the committee’s vice chairwoman.
Members include Larry Arft, Beloit city manager, and Richard Johnson of
Janesville, an advocate for the visually handicapped.

The committee has 22 members from across the state. Its chairman is
Rep. Alvin Ott, R-Forest Junction.

Mass transit in 2010 will have more to do with vanpools and intercity busses than light rail in this area but you've got to start somewhere.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

It's about time. This is why I've been an advocate of $4 gas for years; we simply won't develop alternatives unless there is consistent price pressure.

Japan and Europe went this route years ago and they're weathering the current oil problems much better than we are.

Although I don't expect it to happen, I would strongly support any state or national politician who advocated a 'floor' of $4 for a gallon of gas to be achieved via tariffs and taxes. Why? At $4, we're seeing demand fall of dramatically (gasoline inventories are much higher than normal right now). If gas is going to cost $4 regardless, personally I'd rather pay $2 in taxes to the federal government, which could use the money on infrastructure like bridges harbors and railways than pay all $4 to countries that seem to hate our guts.

Kudos to the folks in local government who are trying to get ahead of the problem. Like it or not, the area between Janesville and Rockford is becoming (or has become) a single economic entity.