Libertarians Prod Kansas City to Forget Light Rail

Libertarian groups Cato Institute and Show-Me Institute are scrambling to convince Kansas City to end talks to consider building a light rail system in the city.

"The Show-Me Institute, a St. Louis-based libertarian group with Kansas City ties, released a study Wednesday that lambastes light rail as a bad fit here. However, the author and some of his arguments have been at the center of controversy elsewhere."

"The author is Randal O'Toole, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington D.C. He has written several papers and books denouncing light rail, and national pro-rail groups such as the Center for Transportation Excellence have accused him of presenting flawed and inaccurate arguments about this increasingly popular form of mass transit. Some of those arguments - such as associating light rail with crime - appear in the Kansas City study."

"'I think it's important to look at this study in the context of its author,' said Mark Huffer, executive director of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, which is leading Kansas City's light-rail planning. 'I think the conclusions were a foregone conclusion before he (O'Toole) started.'"

Full Story: Study author, known for controversy, bashes light rail in KC



Haha. You have to get a

Haha. You have to get a kick out of O'Toole's "statistics".

"O’Toole wrote that light rail has “by far the worst crime record in the transit industry” and cited a decade worth of federal statistics for crimes such as homicide. However, those statistics show all light-rail lines across the country were associated with just two homicides in the last seven years of federal data."

"Because most light rail lines don’t systematically check whether riders paid at stations before boarding, “you encourage crime when you encourage fare evasion,” O’Toole said in an interview."

Fare collection on the honor system with random checks => crime => murdering of innocents. Excellent work Randall. Please, do tell us more.
I wonder what the stats backing up his other arguments are, such as "It (light-rail) doesn’t carry as many people as buses but it costs a lot more". Didn't realize that one of the bus' beneficial characteristics is capacity.

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95