June 9, 2008

Who Spent the Money? Souto Did. Moss Did.

Where did all the money from the 1/2 cent tax go? It was supposed to expand mass transit.

But now we're facing budget cuts and routes being shut down.


One of those routes is Route 82. It wasn't added as the result of studies showing it was needed. It wasn't the result of taxpayers clamoring for service along that corridor.

No, Javier Souto demanded the route. When the transit authority tried to close down the money-wasting route, Souto stopped them.
''They're killing bus routes!'' said Souto, who voted against the sales tax in 2002. "That's not what the people voted for! If you expand, you don't kill what you have. You expand.''
-- Miami Herald
I just want to make sure you understand this: Souto didn't want to pay for the expansion in the first place, and then demanded the addition of a route that didn't service the community. And when it was discovered that no one was riding this route, he overrode a decision to axe it.

So we've spent $1,080 a day for the last two years, servicing about 35 riders at a cost per passenger of $30. That's 13 times what's spent elsewhere around the county. That's your money, wasted by order of Javier Souto.

The problem with Miami-Dade County is the Miami-Dade County Commission. They micro-manage. They interfere. The spend your money like drunken sailors on leave. They bicker. They demand. They spend more money.

Mr. Souto, we didn't ask for random expansion; that's stupid. We want better service. We want routes that get us from where we are to where we want to go. You don't do that by dictating a bus "here" or "there." And if you're too stupid to see that, you're too stupid to sit on the Commission. Take a hike.


But while Souto thoughtlessly threw your money away, Commissioner Dennis Moss demanded that the Transit Authority violate county law. He forced through a bus line to a trailer park outside the Urban Development Boundary. The County had established that bus service would only be available inside the Boundary.
"These are working-class people out there saying, 'You passed this tax. You're running service, 24-hour service, all over the county. Where's our service? How about us?'"'
-- Miami Herald
How about you? You chose to live outside the UDB. You could have chosen to live inside it. Even I don't think we should run buses everywhere. That's crazy.

But in spite of Ross's claim that there was demand, these working-class people never rode the bus. An empty bus would make the trip every 20 minutes. Way to go, Dennis. We could have done something useful with that money, but you threw it way. $2000 a day, for over a year, gone forever.

Tired of your money disappearing? Tired of waste? Don't return anyone to the Miami Dade County Commission. Time to start from scratch.

Could we really do any worse?

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