It seems like a simple question: what is the purpose of mass transit? And I have a feeling that how you answer this question goes a long way toward predicting how you’ll vote on Prop 1.
Personally, I believe that the purpose of mass transit is to move people from one place to another—between home and work and shopping and recreation, and back again—quickly, conveniently and affordably. That’s why I prefer grade-separated solutions like rail: they’re fast, comfortable and reliable. And I’m guessing that a majority of folks who support Prop 1 would give a similar answer.
The No folks, on the other hand, I’m guessing they see mass transit primarily serving a different purpose altogether, namely, relieving traffic congestion. They don’t envision themselves using mass transit, but for the most part wouldn’t mind paying toward a cost-effective solution that got other people out of their cars and off the roads, preferably soon, and at the lowest possible cost. Still, their primary concern being freeing up space on our crowded freeways, they’d prefer a more direct solution rather than paying a perceived premium for a transit system other people will use.
I think, perhaps, this may explain why the two sides so often seem to talk past each other. One side sees transit primarily as a means toward easing traffic congestion for single occupancy vehicles, while the other sees transit commuting as an end in itself.
What do you think?