4/23/2010 10:55 AM
Among Austin-area conservatives (yes, there are some), no agency of local government (other than maybe the Austin City Council) is a bigger target than Capital Metro. The Austin-area transit provider is bad even by the standards under which transit agencies are judged. Now the non-partisan Sunset Advisory Commission has produced staff recommendations which basically confirms everything Austin conservatives said about the agency: that it wastes money, that it suffers from misplaced priorities, that it needs major reform. Frankly, there's not much to add to this excellent report, so I highly recommended clicking here to read it in its entirety.
Now that the staff recommendations have been published, the Sunset Commission will have hearings in May, and will make decisions in July. www.sunset.state.tx.us has more details on the process.
For conservatives, Capital Metro has often been a poster child for government waste. The election where light rail got defeated was a rallying cry for center-right voters in this town. The effort to raise Capital Metro's sales tax to 1% was bitterly opposed on the conservative side of the fence. In our readers want to see a concrete example of this government waste in action, go to the Leander station on Capital Metro's new train line. It's a Taj Mahal-style monument to public excess. There's a clock tower, massive landscaping efforts, more bus stops than bus routes, a retaining pond with a trail around it. And it's out in the middle of nowhere, off of US 183 near where 183 and 183-A intersect. Another disturbing part of this report is its statement that Capital Metro put expanding rail service above rail safety.
Now that Capital Metro's problems have been documented by a non-partisan arm of state government, here's a good question: anyone going to make an effort to lower Capital Metro's tax rate and give money back to the taxpayers?