Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Rep. Bachmann gets a promotion

She's now Senator Bachmann. The jump-up is courtesy of Kennel Ration, the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist. Would I lie to you?

In Minnesota, the biggest supporters of PRT are the usual anti-rail transit suspects: Senator Michele Bachmann, Rep. Mark Olson (16b), Phil Krinkie.... and Dean Zimmermann [ellipses in original]. Source

Too bad no other Los Angeles Times readers know or care who Olson, Krinkie or Zimmermann are. People less concerned with Guilt By Association and more into finding additional transit alternatives probably care more that PRT has been endorsed by the World Wildlife Fund* and the EU.

Also today: World Premiere!
New Feature!

* Click Skycab thumbnail

Ken Avidor, the human cut and paste hot key


eflink said...

I'm not a big fan of Republicans as they currently exist (I've never heard so many people making six & seven figure salaries WHINE SO MUCH), but I can think of two reasons that they support PRT:

1) the proposition that a PRT system could be built & run by private enterprise rather than "Big Liberal Government"

2) the idea that the entire operating budget of a PRT system could be covered by the take from the farebox.

Nothing a these people like better than a private enterprise making a profit.

In this case, I would agree with them, with a couple of cautions - namely that fares be subject to regulation (after all, how would like to buy water at a price determined by "what the market will bear"?) and that there be a covenant between the private company & the local governing body that the private company has a duty to "serve the public good" which is as important as its "duty to shareholders".

Mr_Grant said...

Welcome, eflink!

I am even less sanguine about Republicans than you. I would say they are more about privatizing megacorporate profit and socializing risk & losses -- as we can see going on on Wall Street (which Kiln Ovendoor thinks is just a Michael Douglas movie).

Neocons didn't invent PRT, and the handful who support it* can't be sincere, because it is cheap and straightforward. It's small change to them.

If PRT is a right wing scam why are US PRT companies so poorly funded??? -Ed.

* Labridor showcases 2 MN Repubs who support PRT -- well I can count more progressive Democrats who support it. Ayer, Cook, and now Hinchey.

eflink said...

Hi Mr_Grant & thanks for the welcome.

I won't go into detail about my feelings about Republicans, but your comment re:privatizing profits & socializing losses is pretty "on the mark" IMHO.

I dont know whether Olsen, Bachmann, et al have any nefarious hidden agendas in their support for PRT but, if they are sincere supporters I believe that private enterprise & no subsidy aspects of PRT would be attractive to them.

I've been following PRT issues for a couple of years & reading your posts for several months (you can't avoid the Big A's posts & that eventually lead me here, for a few good laughs) - are there any forums that you might recommend for serious in-depth discussion on the topic?

Mr_Grant said...


If we distinguish between principled conservatives and neo-cons, then the former certainly could sincerely support PRT for the reasons you suggest. However, Bachmann and Olson are neo-cons, of the subgenus Theocrat.

I just don't see what PRT can offer a neo-con. I can't think of how it can be made into a commodity and shares driven up by speculation. I don't see how a city PRT network could be offshored.

These and other issues can be discussed in a number of online venues. There's Seattle PRT, PRT-Talk, and Transport-Innovators.

The Big A tends to lurk on any public PRT discussion, and troll the comments sections of PRT news stories. This is why most discussions among PRT advocates take place offline via email.

But even though Seattle PRT and PRT-talk may look quiet, they perk up quickly if someone new posts a question, so try it. Transport-Innovators is busy and the discussion can be quite learned. Be warned though that there is a lot of posturing about whose proprietary PRT design is the best! -Ed.