trolley_lappinOne of the things I am constantly accused of is being out of touch with reality. I regularly receive emails and messages telling me that I don’t understand the complexities of the actions taken by governments. Mostly, I’m told to go away and stop blogging about El Paso. My piece on the trolley generated many “you have no clue” messages telling me how I didn’t understand the beauty of the trolley project. Therefore, it was nice to see another take on the whole trolley fiasco. A group calling itself Empower Texans published a piece about El Paso’s trolley on Friday, August 29, 2014.

The piece titled “TXDOT’s Race To Waste” by Christopher Paxton points out how TXDOT is telling Texans that there is no more money for roads as it gives “away $97 million of borrowed money going to an expensively ineffective streetcar project in El Paso.” According to Paxton, the $97 million is coming from a fund that is funded by TXDOT by borrowing moneyagainst future revenue by issuing bonds”. In other words, the $97 million that the city said it would lose if it didn’t spend it is being borrowed by TXDOT to give to the city for the trolley.

It seems that El Paso politicos don’t understand that it isn’t bad enough to make taxpayers pay for their follies but to make them pay interest as well is just adding salt to a wound already abused by mistreatment.

Paxton goes on to point out that the monies being used by TXDOT have not been properly vetted by the taxpayers as well as questioning how TXDOT can proclaim they don’t have enough money to fund road construction projects while borrowing money for the El Paso trolley project. He asks very pointedly that “taxpayers should be asking, ‘why borrow at all if the money is spent on projects such as these, when other worthy projects exist?’”

Like Paxton, Joe Pickett has been telling anyone that will listen that there are more pressing road projects that need the $97 million. If the taxpayers of the city don’t get to have say on whether to pay interest on the money they should at the very least have a say on what projects are more important for the city.

The trolley project is now even worse for the community when everyone realizes that not only is it taxpayer monies but monies on which the taxpayers will also be paying interest on as well. It is a double whammy for the taxpayers.

How anyone can continue to justify the trolley project as a viable economic stimulator for the city is beyond me. But then again, for the El Paso politicos it isn’t about what’s good for the city but rather what those pulling their strings tells them is needed regardless of the stupidity of the whole fiasco.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

5 replies on “Other Texans Noticing the Trolley Fiasco”

  1. Most people in El Paso have no clue nor do they understand economics. Most don’t even have their personal finances in line.

  2. This trolley thing is like someone winning a car on a gameshow.
    Sure they are excited to get this awesome new toy to ride around in and brag to everyone how much good use they are going to get out of it and how it will help them earn more money (you know, taking them to work on time).
    What they never realize that while you “won” this nice gift, you still have to pay for taxes, gas, insurance, registration, upkeep, repairs….etc. All out of their own pocket. Then they are shocked when their car wont run because they cannot afford a new alternator.

    The trolly is no different. “Free money” that is going to end up costing all of us more than we can afford all because we didn’t look beyond the “free” toy in the box.

  3. The city’s own estimate is that the trolley, however charming it might be, will lose $2.5MM annually which really means twice that figure EVERY YEAR forever. Right now, Acosta wants to have a garage sale with the PSB to find an extra $3.5MM.

    The twisted logic driving all this spending is that the trolley it will generate increased property values and hence, taxes along the route. Ten-to-one according to the Ecstatic One. That is not a business case, it is a gamble. The stadium was supposed to do the same and it lost the city $500K the first year with its games sold out. Of course, anyone who points this out is a whiner, wailer, and a crazy.

    It is as if we are being governed by people disconnected from reality and in love with an impossible vision fueled by debt spending.


    State moneys also concern El Paso,it is not free.

  5. congratulations to the politicos for making El Paso look stupid again to the sensible rest of Texas. Pickett has said from the beginning that this was a fiasco of epic proportions. how in the hell is a trolley going to increase the tax base? it isn’t and it’s going to cost us a fortune to maintain. This is another example of crap leadership from the top all the way to the bottom where frankly the entrenched workers are running the asylum. Talk to any business person and they will tell you that this trolley thing is a waste of money. it’s also added to the absolute destruction of any traffic sensibility on Mesa, Stanton, Oregon and beyond. Just like BRIO ridership will be announced as terrific at the start but it will dwindle in year 2 and beyond. Think about this: $90 million initially, and our roads still have potholes. Yeah, thanks idiots.

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