March 1, 2021 - Greg Garrett, Senior Columnist, -

Last fall, my hometown of Austin, Texas, put a monumental public transportation bond question on the ballot: light rail, tunnels underneath downtown, electric buses. Austin’s Capitol Metro called the plan “bold.” Another way to say that: “Billions.”

Austin voters have considered less-expensive public transit bonds in recent years and voted them down while Austin grows and grows and grows.

Greg Garrett

My son Chandler and I were hiking shortly after Election Day, and after talking through everyone at the top of the ballot, he asked how I had voted on this bond issue.

“For it,” I told him, and there was a short silence as he processed.

“I guess I’m a little surprised by that,” he said. “Because you’ll never use it.”

Which is true enough. My wife and I drive cars, we live on the outer limits of Austin proper, and as much as I love trains, it’s unlikely I’ll ever come into town and take one to the airport.

“I know,” I told him. “But it feels like an issue of justice.”

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