Originally Posted by alexjon
electricron, the article explains why the costs rose. It's not easy to predict which way land or equipment prices will go, and you can't create a budget on the grounds of "better safe than sorry", you just can't. Costs rise as a matter of fact. Saying "they should have estimated better" ignores reality.
I'm going to agree, and disagree with you.
1. Costs can increase or decrease as the design gets more complete.
2. Charlotte taxpayers okayed building the Lynx light rail system at half the final costs.
After Lynx costs doubled, I believe CATS should have held another vote.
I believe there should be a percentage set in law when new votes should be mandated.
I in no way wish to suggest CATS shouldn't had built the Lynx. But I refuse to think Transit Agencies are given a green light to build anything with a blank check. Voters are given cost estimates. An attempt should be made to give half-way accurate estimates. I don't consider estimates off by 100% anywhere near accurate.
As for what should be built on Fredericksburg Road, I would prefer either a streetcar or bus rapid transit, because they plan to build a street
based transit. If they plan to use an abandoned rail right-of-way or another dedicated right-of-way, like the soon to be abandoned UP corridor, then I would prefer light rail or commuter rail. San Antonio's Via half cent sales tax revenues aren't large enough to finance much above or below grade transit systems. That half sales tax has to be able to sustain whatever VIA builds.
The Texas Transportation Code allows Transit Agencies to charge up to a 1 cent sales tax, depending upon what the local city charges, as there is a 8.25 cent cap. I'm assuming the VIA half cent sales tax causes San Antonio to reach the cap. Therefore, VIA can't levy a higher rate unless the City levies less. But there is a potential, although very unlikely, that VIA could levy a higher sales tax in the future.