- About Reason
- Policy Areas
- Policy Studies
- Press Room
Get weekly updates from Reason.
Today's Top Topics
Policy Study Authors
Robert Poole is director of transportation policy and Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow at Reason Foundation. Poole, an MIT-trained engineer, has advised the Ronald Reagan, the George H.W. Bush, the Clinton, and the George W. Bush administrations.
In the field of surface transportation, Poole has advised the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the White House Office of Policy Development, National Economic Council, Government Accountability Office, and state DOTs in numerous states.
Poole's 1988 policy paper proposing privately financed toll lanes to relieve congestion directly inspired California's landmark private tollway law (AB 680), which authorized four pilot toll projects including the successful 91 Express Lanes in Orange County. More than 20 other states and the federal government have since enacted similar public-private partnership legislation. In 1993, Poole oversaw a study that coined the term HOT (high-occupancy toll) Lanes, a term which has become widely accepted since.
California Gov. Pete Wilson appointed Poole to the California's Commission on Transportation Investment and he also served on the Caltrans Privatization Advisory Steering Committee, where he helped oversee the implementation of AB 680.
From 2003 to 2005, he was a member of the Transportation Research Board's special committee on the long-term viability of the fuel tax for highway finance. In 2008 he served as a member of the Texas Study Committee on Private Participation in Toll Roads, appointed by Gov. Rick Perry. In 2009, he was a member of an Expert Review Panel for Washington State DOT, advising on a $1.5 billion toll mega-project. In 2010, he was a member of the transportation transition team for Florida's Governor-elect Rick Scott. He is a member of two TRB standing committees: Congestion Pricing and Managed Lanes.
Poole is a member of the Government Accountability Office's National Aviation Studies Advisory Panel and he has testified before the House and Senate's aviation subcommittees on numerous occasions. Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Poole consulted the White House Domestic Policy Council and the leadership of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.
He has also advised the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of the Secretary of Transportation, White House Office of Policy Development, National Performance Review, National Economic Council, and the National Civil Aviation Review Commission on aviation issues. Poole is a member of the Critical Infrastructure Council of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation and of the Air Traffic Control Association.
Poole was among the first to propose the commercialization of the U.S. air traffic control system, and his work in this field has helped shape proposals for a U.S. air traffic control corporation. A version of his corporation concept was implemented in Canada in 1996 and was more recently endorsed by several former top FAA administrators.
Poole's studies also launched a national debate on airport privatization in the United States. He advised both the FAA and local officials during the 1989-90 controversy over the proposed privatization of Albany (NY) Airport. His policy research on this issue helped inspire Congress' 1996 enactment of the Airport Privatization Pilot Program and the privatization of Indianapolis' airport management under Mayor Steve Goldsmith.
Robert Poole co-founded the Reason Foundation with Manny Klausner and Tibor Machan in 1978, and served as its president and CEO from then until the end of 2000. He was a member of the Bush-Cheney transition team in 2000. Over the years, he has advised the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush administrations on privatization and transportation policy.
Poole is credited as the first person to use the term "privatization" to refer to the contracting-out of public services and is the author of the first-ever book on privatization, Cutting Back City Hall, published by Universe Books in 1980. He is also editor of the books Instead of Regulation: Alternatives to Federal Regulatory Agencies (Lexington Books, 1981), Defending a Free Society (Lexington Books, 1984), and Unnatural Monopolies (Lexington Books, 1985). He also co-edited the book Free Minds & Free Markets: 25 Years of Reason (Pacific Research Institute, 1993).
Poole has written hundreds of articles, papers, and policy studies on privatization and transportation issues. His popular writings have appeared in national newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, and numerous other publications. He has also been a guest on network television programs such as Good Morning America, NBC's Nightly News, ABC's World News Tonight, and the CBS Evening News. Poole writes a monthly column on transportation issues for Public Works Financing.
Poole earned his B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and did graduate work in operations research at New York University.
- Gingrich Is Off Base on Fixing the Air Traffic Control System
March 16, 2009, 10:01pm
- President Obama Should Stick to Guns on User Fees for Business Jets
March 16, 2009, 9:58pm
- Paying for the Transportation System We Need
February 12, 2009, 3:45pm
- Who Is Going to Pay for Air Cargo Screening?
February 6, 2009, 12:17pm
- Paying for a Modernized Air Traffic System
February 6, 2009, 12:00pm
- What are the Greenest Transportation Modes?
November 13, 2008, 11:48am
- Midway Airport Lease Could Inspire Austin, Milwaukee and New Orleans
November 11, 2008, 12:32pm
- Will Private Sector Still Invest in Infrastructure?
November 11, 2008, 12:27pm
- Is There A Problem With FAA's Safety Culture?
October 8, 2008, 7:54am
- Implementing Next Generation Air Traffic Control System
October 6, 2008, 8:53am
- Midway Airport Lease Deal
September 29, 2008, 2:51pm
- Editorial: Prop. 1A a Fast Track to Bankruptcy
September 22, 2008, 2:56pm
- Study: Public-Private Partnerships Superior in Cost, Time
September 21, 2008, 1:10pm
- Nation's Highway Fund Being Bailed Out Too
September 8, 2008, 8:37am
- Premium Lanes or Truck-Only Toll Lanes in New Jersey
August 27, 2008, 8:02am
- Air Quality at California's Ports
August 27, 2008, 7:52am
- Air Traffic Computer Woes and Long Travel Delays
August 26, 2008, 11:41am
- Air Traffic Controllers - Too Many or Too Few?
August 21, 2008, 8:22am
- Uncongested Toll Roads Provide Greater Value for Drivers
August 20, 2008, 11:42am
- Lexus Lanes and the Fairness of Toll Roads
August 20, 2008, 11:33am
- Taking Your Laptop Out in the Airport Security Line
August 19, 2008, 11:54am
- Good News and Bad News on Trusted Traveler
August 18, 2008, 8:53pm
- Sen. Schumer Wants to Protect Airlines From Competition
August 17, 2008, 1:32pm
- TSA Doesn't Look Into Airport Security Screener Failures
August 13, 2008, 1:11pm
- High Gas Prices Prompt Less Driving Again
August 12, 2008, 1:15pm
- Toll Roads 'Deliver $23 Billion to Sydney'
August 11, 2008, 8:26am
- DOT Wisely Rethinks the Federal Role in Transportation Funding
August 11, 2008, 8:23am
- Earmarks Aren't Helping Congress or the Taxpayers
August 10, 2008, 10:22pm
- Air Transport Association Sues Over Newark Auction
August 10, 2008, 12:59pm
- Congress Is Stuck in the Old Road Funding Paradigm
August 10, 2008, 10:41am
- HOT Networks, Converting Carpool Lanes to Toll Lanes
August 10, 2008, 10:15am
- How Are Drivers Actually Responding to High Gas Prices?
August 7, 2008, 8:35am
- Newark Runway Slot Auction a Step in the Right Direction
August 6, 2008, 9:11am
- Registered Traveler Computer Loss: Much Ado About (Almost) Nothing
August 6, 2008, 9:07am
- Can TSA Meet Air Cargo Screening Mandate?
August 5, 2008, 12:46pm
- Leasing Chicago's Midway Airport
May 8, 2008, 9:55am
- Impact of High Gas Prices on Driving
April 16, 2008, 1:38pm
- McCain's Gas Tax Holiday Is a Bad Joke
April 15, 2008, 8:48am
- Pennsylvania Turnpikeís Credit Rating Downgraded
April 14, 2008, 2:06pm
- Congestion Pricing on Golden Gate Bridge
March 18, 2008, 9:05pm
- Indiana Toll Road Producing Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Interest
March 10, 2008, 8:59pm
- Problems With Gov. Corzine's NJ Toll and Tax Plan
March 9, 2008, 8:04pm
- Planes Barely Avoid Mid-Air Collision
March 6, 2008, 7:53am
- NYC Congestion Pricing or Congestion Tax?
March 6, 2008, 7:40am
©2013 The Reason Foundation. All rights reserved.
5737 Mesmer Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90230 (310) 391-2245
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about this Web site.