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In the hopes of improving “livability” conditions and stimulating real estate development, Arlington County officials are pressing on with their plan to replace bus service with a streetcar line on the Columbia Pike. Notwithstanding the sexy nature of trains, improving bus service would benefit residents more than switching to streetcars.
My good friends at Streetsblog highlighted an article by Darrin at Atlanta Urbanist stating that Georgia should build better neighborhoods, not bigger highways. However, this interchange does not add lanes; it simply reconfigures a functionally obsolete design. GDOT is right to press forward with this critical project.
The elephant in the room in reauthorizationJuly 8, 2014
In this issue:
- The elephant in the room in reauthorization
- First express lanes network concept of operation
- Ports may short-changed by new legislation
- Opponents vs. private passenger rail in Florida
- Upcoming Conferences
- News Notes
- Quotable Quotes
U.S. transit service is often poor because regions do not have the resources to build expansive rail systems and bus systems get stuck in traffic congestion. Using managed lanes on freeways and managed arterials on surface streets, buses can use a congestion-free running way 24 hours per day. For the cost of 1 light-rail line, regions can build at least 3 quality bus lines.
Several years ago, the Florida Department of Transportation wanted to increase freight movement in Florida. Juan Flores, Administrator, Freight, Logistics and Passenger Operations with the backing of Governor Rick Scott and FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad created a multimodal freight office in order to better manage all freight modes. In this interview I discussed with Flores public-private partnerships in freight, the growth of goods movement and performance based planning for freight.
Comparisons to California and other rail projects suggest rail system will cost Florida taxpayers much more than $280 millionJanuary 6, 2011
If the proposed Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail line goes over budget or fails to meet ridership expectations Florida taxpayers could get stuck with a bill of up to $3 billion, according to a new Reason Foundation report.
Long-standing research shows costs are underestimated on nine out of every 10 large passenger rail transportation projects, with cost overruns averaging 45 percent higher than anticipated. If the Tampa-Orlando rail line were to go over budget by 45 percent Florida taxpayers would be on the hook for $1.2 billion more than the $280 million currently forecast.
The Reason Foundation warns that Florida may be miscalculating the costs of high-speed rail by even more than that. Consider that the expected cost of building the first segment of California’s high-speed rail line is 111 percent higher than Florida’s - $67.8 million per mile compared to $32.1 million per mile in Florida. The costs of the Tampa to Orlando system would be $3 billion more than advertised using California’s estimated cost per mile.
The Reason study also flags concerns about ridership numbers. The Florida project is predicted to carry 2.4 million riders annually, which is two-thirds the ridership on the existing Amtrak Acela Express service. The Acela trains serve several big metropolitan areas, including New York, Washington, DC, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. The population of those cities is approximately eight times the population of the Tampa and Orlando metropolitan areas.
Policy Study 370September 1, 2008
With the high costs of building in California and the history of cost overruns on rail projects, the final price tag for the complete high-speed rail system will actually be $65 to $81 billion, according to the Reason Foundation report.
And while the Rail Authority forecasts between 65 and 96 million intercity riders by 2030, the due diligence report finds these projections are dramatically inflated. After compiling numerous ridership studies previously conducted for California rail systems, the study demonstrates the state can expect 23 million to 31 million riders a year in 2030.
Any failure to meet the Rail Authority's lofty ridership projections would force ticket-price increases, further cutting ridership, or require taxpayer subsidies to cover the financial shortfall, adding to future budget deficits. The due diligence report finds "the San Francisco-Los Angeles line alone by 2030 would suffer annual financial losses of up to $4.17 billion."
View Resources by Type
- Conservatives Should Embrace Obama's Plan For Tolls to Rebuild Interstate Highways
July 16th, 2014
- Let People Live Where They Choose
July 16th, 2014
- Why Taxi Medallion Owners Don't Deserve a Government Bailout
July 15th, 2014
- The Federal Highway Trust Fund Is Going Broke. Here's Why That Could Be a Good Thing.
July 14th, 2014
- Uber and Lyft Shut Down in Pennsylvania; Thousands of Citizens' Lives Made Worse
July 1st, 2014
- University of California Now Insists It Will Reimburse for Use of E-Hailing Ride Services
June 26th, 2014
- Uber Sued for Allegedly Violating Massachusetts Labor Law
June 26th, 2014
- Virginia's DMV Joins the Regulatory Crackdown Against Uber and Lyft
June 22nd, 2014
- Is Uber Undermining New York City's Taxi Medallion Racket?
June 17th, 2014
- Stuck in Traffic? Thanks, Obama!: Feds to Regulate Waze, Google Maps, and Other Navigation Apps
June 16th, 2014
- Why Europe's Anti-Uber Protests Backfired: Jim Epstein in The Daily Beast
June 13th, 2014
- Striking European Taxi Drivers Should Have Known: Letting Your Customers Even Know Uber Exists is Bad for You
June 12th, 2014
- Did Federal Trucking Regulations Influence Tracy Morgan's Car Crash?
June 11th, 2014
- Ralph Nader Q&A: How Progressives and Libertarians Are Taking on Crony Capitalism and Corrupt Dems and Reps
June 11th, 2014
- Local Governments Are Going After Ride Services Like Uber & Lyft to Help Politically Connected Businesses, Not Customers. Any Questions?
June 10th, 2014
- Colorado Becomes Second State to Allow E-Hailing App Services Like Uber and Lyft Statewide; First One to do So Legislatively
June 6th, 2014
- Virginia Reiterates: Uber and Lyft Are Illegal, And Need to Provide Services Less and Lobby Government More
June 5th, 2014
- Austin, Texas, Impounds Cars Because Their Drivers Were Giving People Lifts
June 3rd, 2014
- Are Google Cars Self-Driving to a Future of Fewer Cops and Licenses?
May 28th, 2014
- Size Matters
May 28th, 2014
- Brickbat: Size Matters
May 28th, 2014
- Click It or Ticket: Get Ready for Seat Belt Checkpoints! (Don’t cops have better things to do?!)
May 19th, 2014
- Is the 'Sharing Economy' a New Paradigm for American Capitalism?
May 18th, 2014
- Woman With a Car vs. Washington D.C.'s Taxi Cartel
May 13th, 2014
- Port Authoritarians
April 30th, 2014
- The California High-Speed Rail Proposal: A Due Diligence Report
Policy Study 370
- Tampa to Orlando High-Speed Rail Could Cost $3 Billion More Than Expected
Comparisons to California and other rail projects suggest rail system will cost Florida taxpayers much more than $280 million
Experts: Mass Transit, High-Speed Rail, Light Rail, Buses and More
- Baruch Feigenbaum
Transportation Policy Analyst
- Leonard Gilroy
Director of Government Reform
- David T. Hartgen
Senior Fellow, Reason Foundation
- Adrian Moore
Vice President, Policy
- Robert Poole
Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow and Director of Transportation Policy
- Samuel Staley
- Shirley Ybarra
Senior Transportation Policy Analyst
RSS Feeds: Mass Transit, High-Speed Rail, Light Rail, Buses and More
Media ContactChris Mitchell
Director of Communications
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