Here are a couple of excerpts from Portland transit reports. Please take note:
"The transportation maintenance liability continued to increase faster than revenues. The primary source of PDOT’s discretionary operating revenue, the State Highway Trust Fund, is not indexed to inflation and has not been increased by the Oregon Legislature since 1993. The result is a continuing loss of general transportation revenue purchasing power from 1993, which is projected to continue over the next five years. Additional parking revenues while increasing have been dedicated to streetcar operations (33% City share), aerial tram operations (15% City share) and transit mall match debt service. While funds are identified to build projects, ongoing operating and maintenance costs become the long-term obligation of the City’s Office of Transportation."
That was in 2007 - AFTER they had raised the parking rates in 2004 to $1.25 per hour to get more revenue for the streetcar maintenance backlog as discussed here:
Also in 2007 a new gas tax was proposed to offset the $422 million dollar road maintenance backlog:
Again - every dollar that is spent on a streetcar is a dollar that cannot be used elsewhere. If they need more money for maintenance or operations costs they will simply raise fees and taxes to get it.
When the transportation needs of Boise are being discussed, it is important that taxpayers dollars are spent in ways that provide the best benefit to the taxpayers.