Selfish roadies are blind to the benefits of mass transit

Recent letters by me-first, "I'm-not-helping-out" writers only show how poorly we educate people regarding their civic responsibilities ("High taxes and fees won't end until voters act," July 5). It takes taxes to run an economy such as ours, which is so dependent on functioning infrastructure — roads, bridges, utilities, water, sewer and schools.

But the short-sighted, self-interest do-nothing approach to local and state government just allows our infrastructure to crumble, our roads to fill with potholes and our bridges to fail under the stresses of ever increasing traffic congestion.

Such shortsightedness overlooks the simple fact that for every rider on light-rail and transit there is one less person on the highway. Just in Baltimore, one of every four commuters uses transit.

People who insist on driving their cars should be happy to invest in transit to get even more drivers off the roads. Yet they are so short-sighted that they fail to realize how seeing the bigger picture is really in their own self-interest.

Noxious emissions per transit rider are less than 10 percent those of car commuters. Again, gas drivers should be happy to contribute a tiny bit for transit to have cleaner air and get a quarter of the other drivers off the road.

In the selfish view of a car driver who would never take transit, light rail does not "pay for itself." But in the enlightened view of citizens with the broader view of our community, city and state, transit pays for itself several times over in reducing congestion, suburban sprawl and noxious emissions.

Bob Bruninga, Glen Burnie

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