Thursday, March 22, 2007

Work Trumps Welfare

From the Lexington Herald-Leader:

Ask any LexTran official how the mass transit system is doing these days and chances are you'll hear the word "phenomenal" at least once in the answer. Bus ridership is up dramatically. There were 2.1 million boardings in the 2004-2005 fiscal year; this fiscal year's ridership figure is projected to be 3.9 million. LexTran buses traveled 1.1 million miles two fiscal years ago; this fiscal year they are expected to travel more than 2 million miles, LexTran officials say.

The local bus system, which had to cut services by 33 percent in mid-2004 because it was on the brink of collapse, has restored those services and has added more, thanks to millions of dollars generated from a dedicated transit tax approved by voters in 2004. The once cash-strapped agency even expects to have more than $9.1 million in local tax dollars collecting interest in a money market account by the end of June. "I would characterize LexTran like the Phoenix rising out of the ashes," said LexTran general manager Terry Garcia Crews.

LexTran’s renaissance is exceptional. They exemplify the Republican ideal. Given minimal assistance, they reinvented and reinvigorated themselves.

As Governor Fletcher champions Fordfare, he should observe LexTran. He should then mimic their successful formula.

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