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Light rail for everyone

Local media is doing a poor job (big surprise) of informing the public about transit tax pros and cons (Boomer With Attitude: "Needed: A Transit Tax 'Surge'" by John Grooms, Oct. 24). Ed Williams may do a fine job giving his opinion on the editorial page, but sadly, too many readers skip that section and just skim the front pages. Same for TV news -- the bobble heads specialize in sound bites, not in-depth reporting which would provide the full monty about a story to help educate people about the issues.

You write some rail advocates love the potential for urban villages to sprout along rail lines and believe government should use its powers to create urban regions that work well. I agree. But idyllic urban villages/regions must include everyone, not just the high income crowd. That means low and middle income housing and businesses that cater to such residents built along rail routes -- not just luxury condos and upscale retail. Downtown and proposed rail corridors seem to sprout mostly high-end condos and upscale retail. Including Joe Poor Schlub and Jane Working Stiff into this "new vision" for the city could help convince more voters to support rail.

While rail supporters trying to coax suburbanites out of their cars is laudable, there is another customer base -- the working poor, and elderly non-car owners who depend 100 percent on public transportation -- that would appreciate high-speed rail in their neighborhoods. It would reduce time spent waiting on buses and hopefully provide more run times during the day and evening.

-- Beverly Rice, Charlotte

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