The Anti-Transit Propaganda Machine in Minneapolis
On Wednesday, March 10, 2004, at 06:45 AM, Karen Sandness wrote:
1. A "conservative student monthly serving the Houston area" mocking
public transportation? I knew that this was an article written by some
rightwing outfit before I got to the bottom of the article, because I
already recognize the snide, triumphant tone. If it's like comparable
articles written by anti-transit types in Portland and Minneapolis, I
would be cautious about accepting its claims at face value. The
anti-transit crowd in both cities routinely lies, exaggerates, and
leaves out inconvenient facts.
It's true that conservative Republicans seem to be waging an ideological war
against transit in the Twin Cities.
Here's the link to that Taxpayers League attack on transit:
... and a really sickening attack by columnist and talk show host, Joe
Not all anti-transit groups in Minnesota are conservative, howwever.
I have been researching the proponents of "PRT". If you check the links I
have on my PRT-Skeptic Web page, you'll find as I did that they are not really
a "transit" group, but a convenient mouthpiece for the car, concrete and
asphalt industry. They can say things that the auto & highway construction
industry could never get away with.
I'm sad to report that many prominent liberal and progressive people support
PRT and have repeated the PRT propaganda that rail and bus transit is old
fashioned, inefficient and a waste of taxpayers' dollars. They constantly repeat
that PRT would be "faster, cheaper, better" than conventional transit, even
though there is no real, functioning PRT system in existence to make that
comparison. While the PRT people fanatically bash transit subsidies, they are
at this moment asking for a grant of millions from the State of Minnesota to
build a "research facility".
David Morris of the "progressive" Institute for Local Self Reliance
(www.ilsr.org ) is a staunch supporter of PRT and has publicly bashed what
he calls "subsidized" rail and bus transit in print and on the radio.
Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak supports PRT. So do 5 members of the
Minneapolis City Council according to The Southwest Journal.
Green Party Minneapolis Councilman, Dean Zimmermann has spent nearly
all his time recently shilling for Taxi 2000. He has given PowerPoint
presentations prepared by the PRT people and handed out brochures from
Taxi 2000. He also has repeated on many occasions PRT disinformation
about rail and bus transit.
I used to think these proponents of "Gadgetbahnen" were harmless, silly
geeks, but I learned to take them very seriously. They have been very
effective in turning public opinion against buses and LRT. The response from
Minnesota's "progressive" political establishment to the bus strike and the
ideological attack on transit it represents was has been very weak and I
attribute this to the relentless and well funded PRT campaign of
I am trying to get an investigative reporter to do a story on the promoters of
"Gadgetbahnen" and their anti-transit agenda. If you have any stories or
information about PRT and Monorail's lies and dirty tricks, send them to me.
We already have "Personal Rapid Transit" it's called a car... and that's NOT