Haslam, McWherter OK on Mass Transit… Except for Funding It

Both candidates for governor told Nashville-area mayors Wednesday that they support mass transit but won’t commit to more state funding for it until the economy improves, reports Richard Locker.
Democrat Mike McWherter said he would be willing to consider shifting existing state funding into mass-transit systems, which he said are more efficient at transporting people to and from their jobs.
Republican Bill Haslam said that during his seven years as mayor of Knoxville, the city built a new transit center and doubled local funding to its local transit system.
“I support it as long as you understand I have to work within the budget,” Haslam told the Middle Tennessee Mayors Caucus, a year-old conference of city and county mayors in Nashville and nine surrounding counties.
The mayors have been working to secure a dedicated, earmarked source of revenue for a regional mass transit system centered on Nashville. Haslam said that as a mayor, he has “mixed feelings” on dedicated revenue sources because they restrict the ability of future officials to channel funding where needed at the time.

See also, TNReport’s Andrea Zelinski, who attended the same event but focused her story on budget talk — in particular Haslam’s “thousand little cuts” theme.

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