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million a year and wants to sell about 20 years of revenue for $300 million. By my count, the investors would double their take. The MBTA proposes to set a ceiling above which it would take additional revenue. There are a lot of questions here, but consider this one:


Who are the investors going to hire to ensure that the $30 million shouldn’t really be $50 million? Does anyone care if they are getting a good count? My sources tell me that the numbers from those 100 MBTA garages and lots may be a little iffy. The MBTA might be opening a can of worms. The


investors could require a full-fledged audit and may find that their estimates are low, and have been low.What board mem- ber is going to stand up and take responsibility for under- counts over the past few years, if any? Just saying…


Why not let everyone park for free? (Posted Jan. 5) The city of Nashville has passed an ordinance allow-


ing those driving hybrids and electric cars to park for free. They do have to pay a $10 fee and get a sticker. About 6% of the local residents qualify for this benefit. However, a metro councilman has asked that everyone be allowed to park for free, as long as they pay a fee to offset their vehi- cle’s carbon footprint. Read about it here. Why not? If energy companies can buy and sell carbon


offsets, why shouldn’t folks who drive cars? However, it does get complicated. Although the electric car may not pour out CO2 or CO, certainly the power plant that pro- vides the electricity for it does. And did it take more energy to produce the Volt or Prius due to the complex batteries that must be installed?Are not mercury and other trace ele- ments involved in making these cars run potential environ- mental hazards? The real question might be: “What is the reason you


want to give hybrids and the like free parking?” Is it because they are helping to save the planet? Or is it because you want to feel good and give rich people who can afford this type of vehicle a reason to buy one? If the reason is the first one, then the councilman’s plan


may make some sense. However, if it’s the second, then it makes no sense at all, because the second reason makes no sense at all. Perhaps I could understand lowering the cost of driv-


ing for using HOV lanes for high-occupancy vehicles. After all, that reduces the number of cars on the road and actual- ly reduces carbon emissions and congestion. However, lowering the cost of driving a hybrid certain-


ly doesn’t remove a vehicle and may actually increase the amount a person drives. If I have to pay for parking, I might combine a couple of trips to save some money. But if park- ing is “free” to me, then why even think about it. Jump in the car and go. Charging for parking by vehicle size, thus collecting


on the amount of space taken, makes sense, as does charg- ing based on time and location. However, charging for parking based on the type of locomotion a vehicle uses seems to be a discriminatory practice and therefore uncon- stitutional. No?Yes?


Continued on Page 48


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