While the discussion about some sort of public transit system in Oklahoma City grabs headlines, let's remember that the goal is to provide a simple way to know where the public transit system is available for travel and provide a cost-competitive alternative to automobiles. Should we string electrical lines all over downtown or tear up new streets to lay tracks? Why not find a low-riding, curb-level, CNG-fueled, modern-looking bullet-trolley that runs on rubber wheels, not permanent tracks?
Paint each trolley a different color to indicate the route they take. Then put down a two-foot strip of paint matching the trolley color on the street route so everyone can plainly see the route. Those driving in cars could see how they may be traveling a trolley route. Maps everywhere could provide potential riders the option to see if they can get where they need to go by using the multicolored trolleys. This would provide more confidence in riders to know they're getting on the right trolley, prevent expensive installation of wires and track and allow trolleys to be used for special events, to earn additional revenue and greater financially viability.
While voters in Oklahoma City approved a streetcar, we should heed the facts regarding the cost to taxpayers of these systems. Rarely, if ever, do government-run public transit systems come close to paying for themselves. Let's evaluate updated technology to provide the best service at the best price for all taxpayers.
Larry Stein, Edmond
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