Federal funds for rail expansion aren't free money

2014-03-07T00:00:00Z Federal funds for rail expansion aren't free money nwitimes.com
March 07, 2014 12:00 am

In 2008, three propaganda mailers costing $130,000 were sent to Northwest Indiana taxpayers promoting the alleged need to expand the South Shore. A new effort is being repeated in 2014 to promote this same $1 billion albatross.

Others have said it would be far cheaper to buy luxury buses, pay most operating expenses, and charge riders $5 per day to transport them from pickup spots in Northwest Indiana to downtown Chicago than to spend $1 billion to expand the South Shore.

The hidden cost of the South Shore expansion is the enormous future cost of replacing and maintaining the extra passenger cars, rails, roadbed, infrastructure (bridges, street crossings, crossing gates, switching equipment, overhead electric wires, transformers, etc.) after this $1 billion albatross expansion occurs (if it occurs).

Last, federal funds are not free money that some apparently think comes from a congressman's printing press.

- Rick Volbrecht, Highland

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