Is air quality important or not?

Here’s an interesting juxtaposition of headlines from this morning’s DMN:

“Natural gas taxis going to the front of the line at Love Field.”

“Solo drivers may be able to buy way onto Dallas HOV lanes.”

On the one hand, our government leaders are busting the chops of small, individual-owned taxis by requiring them to purchase a natural-gas fueled vehicle in order to get priority at the airport. The reason: Improved air quality from the few natural-gas cabs that will be converted, probably primarily by large corporations with available funds.

And on the other hand, our government leaders are willing to sell off what were originally billed as traffic- and pollution-busting high-occupancy-vehicle lanes to the highest bidders. Potentially, if you’re willing to pay a higher price to ride in the HOV lanes, you won’t need another person in the car. Another “innovation” in the works, thanks to cash-strapped DART: If the HOVs will be clogged with single-occupancy vehicles, then the number of regular HOV people required to ride for free in the HOVs is going to increase from two to three or four to reduce the number of those drivers in the lanes.

So we’re beating up on small taxi owners at Love Field in the name of cleaning up the air, but we’re selling off the “clean-air” HOV lanes to anyone willing to pay, particularly solo drivers who naturally pollute more.

Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?


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