Randal O’Toole’s Light Rail Presentation in Austin

COST Commentary: Randal O’Toole recently visited Austin to provide education briefings regarding rail transit in general and specifically about Austin’s proposed light rail, The City’s Proposition 1 on the November election ballot near the end of the ballot. His briefing can be found on his blog AntiPlanner. His briefing is filled with facts which support the view that this is absolutely the wrong solution for Austin’s congestion problems and will actually increase congestion while imposing a huge tax and cost increase on 99.7% of the citizens who will never use this rail.

Below is a brief sketch of Randal O’Toole.

Randal O’Toole is a Senior Fellow with the CATO Institute and is one of the nation’s foremost rail transit experts. He has recently written two papers addressing light rail transit in general and specifically Austin’s proposed light rail. The first, short paper is an op-ed published in the Austin-American Statesman on June 2, 2014. The second is a longer critique of Project Connect’s Austin rail plan. These articles can be found at:

Austin/Project Connect’s Proposed Light (Urban) Rail is Very Misguided

Although often criticized as “anti-rail,” Mr. O’Toole is a “life-long lover” of trains, having taken his first train trips as a toddler. Since the formation of Amtrak in the early , he has traveled more than 200,000 miles on U.S. and Canadian trains as well as trains in Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Mr. O’Toole helped restore to operation the nation’s second-most powerful steam locomotive, the Spokane, Portland & Seattle 700. He also maintains a large web site called “Streamliner Memories” which details the history of passenger trains in America.

O’Toole states: “While I think riding in a dome car is the most elegant form of intercity travel, I don’t believe other people should have to subsidize my hobby.”

He is also an active cyclist who has never commuted to work by automobile. Recently, Randal did a cycling tour of the southern island of New Zealand.

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