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.'"