By Superviser Jim Desmond
5th District 

My transportation vision


Last updated 7/10/2021 at 8:43am

In last week’s op-ed, I talked about SANDAG’s latest proposal for a ‘road charge.’

For those who didn’t read it, this would be a set price all San Diegans are charged

for every mile traveled within the state of California. The money would then be

used to pay for public transportation.

While I believe public transportation has its place, I’m completely against a per-mile road charge and continuing to add taxes to San Diegans. But the question has come up, “If you were in charge, where would you want to see transportation money invested?”

Currently, the push from SANDAG and the State of California is to fund trains and

trolleys, a transportation method that peaked in the 1800’s. Instead, we should

be focusing on future technologies that will make our commute easier and safer.

Self-driving cars are closer than they’ve ever been, but to make them a reality, we

must invest in technology that allows the cars to “speak” to each other. As an

airline pilot for 33 years, we’ve had this technology for a long time; aircraft letting

each other know where they are positioned, thus avoiding collisions.

That technology exists in cars right now and is being tested through pilot programs in cities across the country. San Diego County should be at the front of the line

looking at the latest means of transportation.

Americans like freedom. Families need flexibility. We like going where we want to

go, and when we want to go there. Public transportation, while useful in some

areas, doesn’t work for the entirety of San Diego County, which is why only 3.5%

of San Diegans use it. When it comes to spending billions of taxpayer dollars, we

should be investing in our future, not the past.


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