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Friday, December 30, 2005

DFL Blog on Zimmermann Mentions "Personal Rapid Transit" (PRT).

DFL Blog rings in the new year with this thought:

"One wonderful thing about 2006 is that Dean Zimmermann will no longer be on the Minneapolis City Council...."

The DFL blog post mentions Zimmermann's promotion of PRT and also mentions Michele Bachmann's support for PRT.

Does this signal a change in DFL policy on Personal Rapid Transit?

DFLers at the state and local levels have voted for PRT. The progressive think tank, Institute for Local Reliance (ILSR) and its head David Morris still promotes PRT and opposes rail transit. David Morris is a regular on the local Air America talk radio station.

PRT, like other gadgetbahn schemes is a stalking horse for right-wing and libertarian anti-transit groups here and in other cities. There are ties between groups like Seattle's CETA (Coalition for Effective Transportation) and Twin Cities PRT proponents. PRT is more about stopping light rail and commuter rail projects. Some of these anti-transit gadgetbahn groups receive funding from the auto, highway and oil industries who have an interest in stopping transit initiatives.

The recent special elections in Saint Cloud have demonstrated that Northstar is very popular in the northern metro. The DFL has a good chance to win in 16b next year. DFL-endorsed Jim Huhtala is a strong supporter of Northstar and LRT. Representative Mark Olson, like his pod-partner Dean Zimmermann has been a tireless promoter of PRT and an opponent of LRT and Northstar for years.

DFLers needs to listen to responsible transit groups like Transit for Livable Communities that has a resolution opposing public funding of PRT projects. The DFL leadership should make sure that DFL legislators never again lend their names to PRT bills like Senator Mee Moua and Senator Yvonne Prettner-Solon did the last couple of years.

If the DFL is smart, they will hang the PRT/gadgetbahn albatross around the necks of Representative Mark Olson, Senator Michele Bachmann and other right-wing Republicans foolish enough to continue supporting it.

Learn more about the PRT scam at the PRT is a Joke web site.