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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New group to advocate for regional light rail system

We didn't realize this yesterday when we posted the thread on rising fuel prices below, but it appears that The InlandRail web site went live this morning, and man, it's an interesting read. Not only is this group focused on a new and improved light rail concept but their goals and objectives are much broader in scope. They are now emphasizing a regional system that reaches right into downtown Coeur d'Alene! Check out the goals here.

As we mentioned in the post below, the skyrocketing price of fuel is reason enough to give light rail another look. And it looks like the InlandRail board of directors has done just that. They are now advocating for an electrified Light Rail Transit system rather than diesel powered, and the first leg would go from the Spokane County Fairgrounds west to the airport. The second leg would go from Liberty Lake to downtown Coeur d'Alene.

What about the middle link through Spokane Valley, you ask?

Well, I'll just let InlandRail's "vision" page explain that one. Read what they have to say about the Valley and STA under the "Other Thoughts" heading. (I told you it was an interesting read).

So, how do you think Kootenai County taxpayers will react to light rail system from downtown Cd'A to the Spokane International Airport? Would they be willing to pay for it?


Richard W. Bryant said...

I think it would be an excellant idea and should be pursued at this time before the costs increase.

jeff said...

Personally, I do too. I noticed a pretty interesting nugget at the bottom of the Vision page on their web site. It is bolded in a different color for emphasis and basically says that the cost of doing nothing is actually more expensive than the cost of operating the system after the project has been built. I think they should move that statement out to their home page and ellaborate on that. If they could show that mathematically, that would make a very strong case for building it now...

Riverdog said...

You guys are are dead on, Jeff and Richard. Seattle's fiasco should be a lesson to us not to wait too long to get something going. It'll be a tough sell (especially here in Idaho) but sometimes it takes years of talking for the public lightbulb to come on. Kudos to the light rail group for being on the ball and thanks for posting their link. I'm getting my checkbook warmed up for a donation.

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