Prop 1 in 1 minute

This FAQ provides a pro-transit, anti-Proposition 1 perspective. Here’s the extended version of this FAQ.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Pro-Transit, Anti-Proposition 1

Why would a pragmatic progressive that wants to move Austin away from car-dependence oppose an investment in light rail? In brief, because the details of this proposal mean more sprawl and lower transit system ridership. Here is the pro-transit, anti-Proposition 1 perspective to Frequently Asked Questions about this November’s bond.

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Posted in Transportation

Rail Risks

Proposition 1 rail has much higher operating costs than bus-based alternatives, yet it will achieve essentially the same ridership as bus service. This is due to the selection of a route with ridership potential too low to take advantage of rail’s economies of scale. As a result, serving East Riverside-Highland (ER-HL) with Proposition 1 rail lowers overall system-wide ridership.

rail_risks_scenarios

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Posted in Transportation

Let’s Go do rail like Houston!

Advocates for this November’s ‘road and rail’ Proposition 1 would like the electorate to believe the proposed light rail segment will achieve success similar to Houston’s stellar Red Line. Here are the top 3 reasons why they are wrong and why it matters.

rail_opex_ntsd1

Source: National Transit Database. “UPT” means unlinked passenger trip (i.e. boarding). Median values for a category in bold.

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Posted in Transportation

10 bucks or 10,000 homes

A homestead exemption based on a fixed percent of home value is a regressive and ineffective affordability policy. It engenders a permanent loss of much-needed revenue for public investments. Spending directly on policies that promote abundant housing supply is an effective, progressive alternative. Said progressive alternative targets the actual problem: extraordinary assessment growth due to a lack of supply in desirable neighborhoods.

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Posted in Fiscal

Austin Identity

Municipal identification cards are a new service innovation that solve multiple problems. Several large cities successfully operate municipal ID card programs. In Austin, an ID program would use minimal resources and serve diverse constituencies.

muni_id_timeline

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Posted in Muni ID

City Budget Realities

A new City budget is being debated. Here are five key points that help clarify the meaningful choices policymakers face.

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Posted in Fiscal