The same Brookings report that a letter writer (TNT, 4-24) referred to in justifying his position that “transit expansion is soaking taxpayers” ends with a section noting the benefits of rapid transit.
It notes that roads and highways also require government subsidies. It notes that the development of rapid transit stations has been linked to higher land values, higher office rents and lower office vacancy rates. In addition, rapid transit reduces congestion on the roads.
The report describes the example of Los Angeles, where a strike by Los Angeles transit workers temporarily shut down service in 2003 and resulted in a 47 percent increase in highway delays. The report is a summary report and has links to other, longer reports that emphasize the importance of developing strategies for funding rapid transit.
What the letter writer views as, apparently, unnecessary taxes are in fact the way our transportation infrastructure is paid for. In Colonial times there were privately owned toll roads, but that policy was and is inadequate to the job of building the economic powerhouse that a transportation infrastructure provides through taxes. Think of our taxes as an investment in our country.