The Selling of Metro
The hard battle to inform the public on the costs and risks of Metro to Loudoun is being fought. In this complicated mix of opinions and messages there is cause to doubt that enough attention has been given to very basic considerations.
At the top of that list is the question of whether or not a heavy rail commuter line that is a match for the transit needs of the Washington Metropolitan area is also a fit for shuttling a few hundred passengers a day back and forth to catch a flight out of Dulles Airport.
Here in Loudoun there is a massive effort to sell the train as a plus to Loudoun. Many supposed benefits have already been refuted yet they are still called benefits. One example is that there will be a financial benefit to the entire county even though costs exceed revenue.
Another example can be found simply by examining Loudoun staffs own material provided to the public. At the first , the presentation made by people wearing Loudoun staff name tags made this outrageous claim. I sent this to Chairman Scott York late last week:
Please notice that page 2 of the attached PDF makes several affirmative statements pertaining to projected effects of Rail.
I picked up this Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project flyer last night from the MWAA / WMATA table. These are the guys pushing the rail project, and it says:
"Proximity to stations significantly boosts property values: Residential by 6.8 percent, multi-family by 9.4 percent, commercial within half a mile of a station by 8.9 percent."
They (staff) are part of YOUR OFFICIAL presentation.
Are you prepared to take full responsibility if these representations prove wrong?
If a realtor were to make those claims, they would be in deep trouble simply because one should not confuse speculation with information.
The Loudoun Opt Out Group has shown Loudoun staff that when using staff’s own data, the cost of rail far exceeds revenue, and that opting out would secure far more benefit to taxpayers than opting in.
What was the official response to that? Chairman York decided that Opt Out could not be part of the public information presentation and that we were barred from handing out printed material within 40’ of the Public Information Session entrance. In contrast, the pro-rail group, Rail Now, who routinely pushes out their own fabricated message points, was allowed to set up a table a few feet from the entrance of the session to hand out t-shirts.
In summary, I hope that the outpouring of public opinion continues to show an unwillingness to be left in the dark on this monumental spending decision that will shape the character of our beautiful county.
Loudoun Opt Out.com