LETTER: Transit should be funded by users, plain and simple

The Editor,

Are transit challenges a money problem or a political problem? The growth of a major city requires sound planning – with transportation at the top of the list.

When we elect individuals to run our governmental financial affairs, I don’t think the voters expected to be asked to have to spend more money for answers that they elected their representatives to handle.

Personally, I have watched the bobbing and weaving on transit and I shake my head at the explanations and alternate ideas for having transit be a viable business. Simply put, when a business adds a service, it does so when there is a demand from the public. Financial forecasting is simply based on income and expenses.

As an example, the government has no problem in raising taxes, vehicle insurance rates or gas prices. It is interesting that with all the ideas on how to solve transit’s financial woes, there has been little public discussion on increasing fares.

I believe it is past time that when major proposals for public services are requested, that not only the capital cost of the service be provided but also the operating costs that will be out-of-pocket expenses to the users.

We need to have the public be aware that there are no free lunches and services can be provided on a user-pay basis. This may not be politically acceptable but it may give a greater sense of realism to those who think governments have a magic formula for producing income. Their only source is the public.

Sherrold Jack Haddad, Surrey