GMAT Critical Reasoning
According to the Tristate Transportation Authority, making certain improvements to the main commuter rail line would increase ridership dramatically. The authority plans to finance these improvements over the course of five years by raising automobile tolls on the two highway bridges along the route the rail line serves. Although the proposed improvements are indeed needed, the authority's plan for securing the necessary funds should be rejected because it would unfairly force drivers to absorb the entire cost of something from which they receive no benefit.
Which of the following, if true, would provide the authority with the strongest counter to the objection that its plan is unfair?
- A Even with the proposed toll increase, the average bridge toll in the tristate region would remain less than the tolls charged in neighboring states.
- B Any attempt to finance the improvements by raising rail fares would result in a decrease in ridership and so would be self-defeating.
- C Automobile commuters benefit from well-maintained bridges, and in the tristate region bridge maintenance is funded out of general income tax revenues to which both automobile and rail commuters contribute.
- D The roads along the route served by the rail line are highly congested and drivers benefit when commuters are diverted from congested roadways to mass transit.
- E The only alternative way of funding the proposed improvements now being considered is through a regional income tax surcharge, which would affect automobile commuters and rail commuters alike.
Correct Answer: D