Out of Control Policy Blog

The masses vs. mass transit

Why don't more people ride mass transit? One big reason is the "mass" itself. People, especially those in prosperous nations, demand personalized transportation.

And as I mentioned in this post, cost also makes it tough for mass transit to serve the masses. Reader Ryan Kennedy responds with some interesting thoughts:

    A good substitute [to light rail] would be personal rapid transit (PRT). It's estimated that PRT can be built and operated at a profit.

    I anticipate you saying, "Well then, if this is so, the market will implement it." Yes, in time they will. London Heathrow is currently building a small PRT system, and a company in Sweden is building a test track for its own system.

    I know it would be preferable to have all transportation provided for privately, but government is so intertwined with transportation, I figure........ don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Whenever someone talks about/proposes LRT I find it useful to point out PRT can provide superior service without subsidies. They sort of look at me like a Martian at that point.

For more on PRT, go here and here.

Ted Balaker is Producer

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