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News / Opinion / Letters to the Editor
The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

Letter: How fair are fares?

By Mike Terry, Brush Prairie
Published: April 27, 2023, 6:00am

The Columbian believes tolling on the Interstate 5 Bridge is “fiscally responsible, sensible and equitable” because users should pay their fair share. “Just as those who purchase gas pay more for road maintenance through gas taxes, residents who use the bridge should pay a little more for its construction.”

Substitute “fares” for tolls and “light rail” nearly every place they use “Interstate Bridge Replacement.” Are they consistent in their argument about users paying? “Fares would place more of the burden for light rail upon those who use it most — a user fee that meshes with conservative ideology.”

“Fair,” of course, can be a nebulous term.

“Should somebody who lives in Vancouver and works in Portland pay more for light rail than somebody who lives in Amboy or Battle Ground, and never uses the MAX light rail? Fairness dictates that they should.”

Estimates are that the3-mile light-rail portion will cost between $1.3 billion and $2 billion, with 11,000 daily transit riders. Would The Columbian dictate fairness means MAX riders pay over $180,000 per rider over 30 years? C-Tran buses are more cost effective and fair.

We encourage readers to express their views about public issues. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Limit letters to 200 words (100 words if endorsing or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure) and allow 30 days between submissions. Send Us a Letter