Thursday, August 29, 2013

Something About Bert

No, not Bert of Bert and Earnie fame, but the current Bert of Georgia transportation fame. We all remember Bert Lance and his involvement during the Carter Governor years, but now we're talking about Bert Brantley who is a top bureaucrat in our nascent Tollway bureaucracy. In a recent AJC article exposing research concluding that the I-85 Lexus Lanes really are Lexus Lanes our new Bert offers some prize quotes.

First he blasts the research done by Southern Environmental Law Center declaring the study "flimsy". Well of course the study is flimsy Bert. That would be because you and your bureaucrat buddies refuse to a) publish detailed information or b) do the study yourself. In fact, we'll wager you don't publish the data at all but use the formality of Open Records requests to dissuade acquisition of the information.

When it is suggested that marching forward on other tollways in Georgia should be gated by understanding the impact of the I-85 HOT lane which was intended to be a pilot program for just that purpose Bert drops this jewel:
"...there's still plenty of time to learn as we move forward. Do you sit back and do nothing?"
Wow Bert, really? So why did you wait on commissioning the detailed data analysis? Is that because it is a foregone conclusion that you're going to "move forward" with these other projects come hell or high water? Why weren't you giving routine weekly reports on the details of lane usage beyond peak pricing? We're one eighth into the twenty first century now Bert and it has become painfully apparent that everyone who wants to has access to and can leverage real time analytics. Oops. Isn't that exactly what the HOT lane operation does to dynamically adjust the fares--real time analytics?

What we have here is another government agency with a hidden agenda and if past behaviour is any indicator of future behaviour then this agenda is intentionally hidden because it is largely about moving public money into well connected private hands.

Thanks Bert for all you do.