Studying light rail

Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2001

For years I have thought a monorail or light rail system that ran from downtown, made a loop through the valley and returned downtown via the airport would offer Juneau a unique means of transportation. I would gladly pay a nominal fee to periodically ride such a system. Beyond that I would encourage local and state government to provide access to right-of-ways and expedite the issuance of the necessary permitting to facilitate its construction. But I would not support government development, operation or a cost subsidy of light rail.

Let's encourage those who support projects like light rail to themselves put together a private enterprise business plan and determine if it actually makes economic sense. If it doesn't, then let's not ask government to undertake a project that will only result in a higher tax burden on everyone for the benefit of the few. But if it does, let's encourage government to help reduce the roadblocks to its non-governmental construction and operation. That will allow investors to raise the funds and build it, as was the case with the tram. The route to Juneau's long-term health lies with the development and growth of private business enterprises.

Tom Williams


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