Surface Transportation Innovations Newsletter

Surface Transportation News #147

Autonomous vehicles and transit | Innovative underpasses in Malaysia

In this issue:

Autonomous Vehicles’ Disruptive Potential for Transit

In discussions about the ultimate effects of fully autonomous vehicles (robo-taxis), the least attention is being paid to their likely impact on traditional mass transit. To be sure, some suggest that robo-taxis could serve the last-mile function, taking people from home to a transit stop and from a transit stop near their destination to the place they actually need to get to. But once inexpensive (zero labor cost) robo-taxis exist, why wouldn’t most people prefer door-to-door service?

The first steps toward this private transit future can be seen in the carpooling services now offered by Lyft and Uber: Lyft Line and UberPool. MIT Technology Review (Vol. 116, No. 6) has the most insightful article I’ve seen on this subject, “Lyft’s Search for a New Mode of Transport,” by Ryan Bradley. It relates the story of Lyft’s founder and CEO, Logan Green. As a student at UC Santa Barbara, Green got himself elected to the Santa Barbara Transportation Board and the UCSB Parking Rate Payers Board, as well as starting a campus ride-sharing service using six Priuses.

After graduation, on a vacation trip in Zimbabwe, Green discovered the informal, private transit system in Harare, in which drivers use their own large vehicles and establish their own routes. This inspired him, with a partner, to start Zimride in 2007, the predecessor of Lyft. Actually, what Green observed in Zimbabwe is a widespread phenomenon in developing countries-including the Jeepneys of Manila, the Matatu of Nairobi, the Bakassi of Khartoum, the Publicos of Puerto Rico, etc. These are all basically jitneys, and the phenomenon was well-documented decades ago in a book by Gabriel Roth and George Wynne, Learning from Abroad: Free Enterprise Urban Transportation (Transaction Books, 1982).

Lyft Line, the company’s shared-ride service, predates UberPool, which began operations only in 2015. Today, Lyft Line is available in a growing fraction of the 189 U.S. cities where Lyft operates, compared with only eight for UberPool thus far. Lyft in 2014 launched a new variant called Lyft for Work, under which a company can hire Lyft to bring groups of employees to and from transit stations. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has recently mentioned a new Uber service called “Perpetual Trip” under which UberPool drivers would “pick up and drop off passengers continuously along the way,” which is essentially a jitney service. Juan Matute of the UCLA Institute for Transportation Studies considers both Lyft Line and UberPool as 21st-century versions of jitneys.

Predictably, Streetsblog has criticized the “Uberizing of public transit,” seeing a threat to political support for transit expansion as jitney-like services proliferate. It cites transit advocate Jarrett Walker arguing that there is no way the economics could work, with small vehicles being uncompetitive with large buses and rail transit. While that may be true for the handful of metro areas with traditional (pre-auto) central business districts containing a large fraction of a metro area’s jobs, that is not where most jobs are in most metro areas. And since the economics are strongly affected by the cost of drivers, the potential to disrupt mass transit increases enormously in a future in which fully autonomous robo-taxis have been perfected.

One emerging obstacle to private services like Lyft Line and UberPool is the availability of legal spaces to pick up and drop off passengers. Eno Transportation Weekly (Dec. 4, 2015) published a proposal from Gary Rogers and Patrick Smith of The Autonomer. Their idea is that cities create Shared-Use Mobility (SUM) Zones, in which carefully selected curbside parking spaces would be designated for the pick-up and drop-off of passengers of such vehicles. Here again, this idea is not new. I first came across it in Curb Rights (Brookings Institution, 1997), by Daniel B. Klein, Adrian T. Moore (my Reason colleague), and Binyam Reja. This book should be required reading by those planning the future of shared-ride services.

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Innovative Underpass Project in Malaysia

Signalized intersections drastically reduce the throughput of major arterials, compared with limited-access highways of the same number of lanes. Thirteen years ago, civil engineer Chris Swenson proposed the idea of tolled grade separations as a way to apply the pricing principle of express toll lanes to signalized arterials: you pay a modest toll if you wish to use the expensive new flyover to bypass the traffic signals. When he and I collaborated on two subsequent studies, we expanded the concept to include underpasses as well as overpasses, because there is often resistance to the visual obtrusiveness of overpasses. We coined the term Managed Arterial to mean an arterial that has been outfitted with tolled grade separations at its principal intersections.

While the concept has not yet been implemented, an important step toward the idea is taking place in Sarawak, one of the states in Malaysia. The Borneo Post reported in mid-December that the Ministry of Infrastructure Development has signed a contract to implement a low-clearance underpass solution for the Petra Jaya Roundabout in Kuching. It’s intended as a pilot project for a projected 15 congested intersections in Kuching that had previously been planned for overpasses-but were not going forward because of both high cost and strong aesthetic objections.

The idea was first proposed to the Ministry in 2013 by transportation consultant Colin MacGillivray (a reader of this newsletter). The Ministry solicited an outside study from an engineering company, which made a persuasive case. The cost could be kept low by restricting the clearance height to 2.5 meters, allowing cars and light trucks up to 2 meters high-about 94% of all motor vehicles in the area. And by using underpasses instead of overpasses, aesthetic objections are almost entirely done away with. The 15 planned projects include some intersections with traffic signals and others with roundabouts. In both cases, higher vehicles will still be able to use the existing lanes.

MacGillivray notes that shallow underpasses have fewer, less-deep retaining walls, and shorter ramps compared with 5 meter full-height underpasses. And flyovers require 5 meter clearance underneath, which requires long ramps. They also must support the weight of all vehicles, including heavy trucks. Such bridge structures built from steel or concrete are expensive compared with roads on the ground, which is what underpasses are.

The major difference between our Managed Arterial proposal and the Sarawak projects is the lack of a toll being charged in the latter. For now, the Ministry seems happy that the underpasses will cost less and be much better accepted than the previously planned overpasses. But in more typical cases in most countries, where governments are strapped for funds, the idea of toll-financed underpasses is likely to be more appealing-especially in metro areas where many vehicles already have toll transponders because of express toll lanes or other tolled facilities.

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Rights and Wrongs of Interstate Tolling

Now that Congress has added use-it-or-lose-it provisions to the federal pilot program that allows three states to each replace a worn-out Interstate highway using toll finance, interest in the subject is increasing. Last fall Missouri DOT held a workshop (at which I spoke) on the potential of tolling and long-term public-private partnerships (P3s) for large-scale projects such as Interstate replacement. Missouri holds one of the slots in the pilot program (for aging I-70); the other two are held by North Carolina and Virginia, both for I-95.

I’m aware of three other states where there is serious interest in toll-financed Interstate reconstruction: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

  • In Wisconsin, the legislature last year appropriated funding for a year-long study of the cost and funding alternatives for reconstructing all the state’s Interstate highways over the next several decades.
  • Connecticut’s governor, Dannel Malloy, for the past two years has been beating the drum for increased transportation infrastructure investment, such as to widen and reconstruct most of I-95 and I-84 (especially the obsolete viaduct on I-84 through downtown Hartford). 21st century all-electronic tolling has been seriously discussed as a potential funding source, with recent discussions also now mentioning mileage-based user fees.
  • The most controversial is Rhode Island’s proposed RhodeWorks proposal-a 10-year, $4.7 billion plan that would, among other things, replace or refurbish a number of important bridges, on and off the Interstate system. Part of the proposed financing would be a $600 million revenue bond issue, backed by toll revenues from heavy trucks (but from no other users). The state Senate has already passed one version of this plan, which is being strongly opposed by the Rhode Island Trucking Association.

I’m troubled by both the Connecticut and Rhode Island discussions, neither of which seems to take the interests of highway customers seriously. In Connecticut, tolling appears to be viewed by public officials as a general transportation revenue source, rather than a fee that highway users pay so as to produce improvements for those same highway users. The tolls-as-cash-cow idea, mostly confined to the Northeast, has led to open season on toll-payers to support, for example, the canal system in New York, pet “economic development” projects in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and a multi-billion dollar heavy rail project in northern Virginia. If those projects are sensible public-sector investments, they should be paid for out of general taxation, not by the captive customers of tolled highways.

Highway user groups such as AAA and ATA (American Trucking Associations) have litigated against such pseudo-taxation, with current AAA litigation in process against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the virtual certainty of ATA litigation if the truck-only-tolling measure is enacted in Rhode Island. And highway user opposition may well lead to legislative votes against such plans.

A far wiser approach would be to offer highway customers a genuine value proposition: if you want a widened I-95 with state-of-the-art bridges, here’s what it will cost to build and maintain, and if we charge tolls only high enough to cover the capital and operating costs of that project (and use all-electronic tolling to make the tolling itself customer-friendly), you will get this improved highway in the near term, not 20 or 30 years from now, if you’re lucky.

The deal could be sweetened by taking seriously highway user groups’ opposition to “double taxation”-paying both fuel taxes and tolls to use a tolled highway. With all-electronic tolling, the system knows the vehicle owner (in order to send the bill) and the type of vehicle. So in addition to calculating the toll for the miles driven on that road, the tolling software could also calculate how many gallons were used for that trip, multiply by the state fuel tax rate, and provide a fuel tax rebate. Legislators and the state DOT’s initial reaction will be to balk at giving up any fuel tax revenue. But since a per-mile toll rate high enough to cover the capital and operating costs of the rebuilt Interstate will typically be about twice the per-mile yield of the state fuel tax, the state will come out ahead, even after providing the fuel tax rebate. And this provision could well persuade highway user groups to support toll-financed Interstate replacement.

Between litigation and political opposition, I don’t think the odds of expanded Interstate tolling are very high. But a genuine value proposition offered to Interstate users could turn opposition into support.

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Bottlenecks Costing Users Big Bucks

Two new studies on bottleneck congestion were released in November, one from American Highway User Alliance and the other from American Transportation Research Institute. Each released a quantified list of the most congested spots in America’s highway system. AHUA’s “Unclogging America’s Arteries: Prescriptions for Healthier Highways,” identified the 50 most-congested locations, based on GPS probe data assembled by a company named HERE. ATRI’s report, “Congestion Impact Analysis of Freight-Significant Highway Locations-2015,” used a database of truck GPS data to identify their top 100 locations.

The differences between the two are interesting. Nearly all the AHUA congestion hot spots are in major urban areas, with six of the top 10 in Los Angeles, two in New York, and one each in Austin and Chicago. The latter had the worst overall: I-90 between Roosevelt Road and N. Nagle Ave., with a 12-mile queue length, 16.9 million delay hours per year, and a value of lost time estimated at $418 million. By contrast, the truck bottlenecks are nearly all major interchanges located in a far wider array of metro areas. Of its top 50 bottlenecks, six are in Houston, four each in Los Angeles and Seattle, three each in Atlanta and Chicago, and one or two in freight-focused areas such as Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, Baton Rouge, Detroit, Gary, and Dayton.

AHUA estimates that if its top 30 bottlenecks were “fixed,” the 20-year savings would include $39 billion in recovery of currently lost time, 830 million gallons less fuel used, and 8.5 million tons less CO2 emitted. But the report does not estimate the cost of these unspecified fixes, nor does it compare the costs with the value of the benefits. Some of the freeway stretches it identifies are planned to be retrofitted with express toll lanes-on I-395 in northern Virginia and on the Palmetto Expressway (SR 826) in Miami. Similar treatments would probably make sense for many of these other congested corridors, which in some cases might require elevated lanes such as those on Tampa’s Selmon Expressway.

As for the interchange bottlenecks identified by ATRI, in most cases the gridlock there is the result of an obsolete design and insufficient capacity for the current and projected daily traffic. In many such cases, the only realistic solution is to replace the interchange with a better and more capacious design. Two such projects completed last decade illustrate how much this can cost for major interchanges of two or more freeways. Replacing the Springfield interchange in northern Virginia cost $676 million and replacing the Marquette interchange in downtown Milwaukee cost $810 million. A recent estimate for replacing the US 101/I-880 interchange in Silicon Valley came in at $1 billion. But innovative contracting may lead to cost savings compared to these conventional design-bid-build procurements. Georgia DOT had estimated the project to replace the bottleneck I-285/GA 400 interchange at $1.1 billion. The winning bid for this design-build-finance P3 contract reduces that total to $679 million, a 38% saving.

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In Defense of Dynamic Pricing

Twenty years ago, when variable tolling was introduced to America on the first express toll lanes (on SR 91 in Orange County, CA), the idea seemed strange to most people. While they understood and accepted tolling as a way to pay for the capital and operating costs of a highway or bridge, the idea that the price should relate to the value of the service struck many people as bizarre, especially for a public highway. In those early days, I often pointed out that government-owned Amtrak offers a choice of coach or first-class cars, just as airlines do with seats. The government-owned Postal Service was already offering Express Mail as well as regular first-class. And of course restaurants and bars offered lower prices during “happy hours,” and movie theaters offered lower prices for matinees.

Today, value-based dynamic pricing has become far more common. Airlines offer a whole array of fares for the same seat, depending on the strength of demand for particular flights at various times of day or times of year. Sports venues such as Major League Baseball and theme parks (including Disneyland and Sea World) are increasingly using value pricing to better match demand with capacity. Reporter Jack Nicas, who generally covers aviation, reported on this trend in a Nov. 14th Wall Street Journal article. The Philadelphia Zoo is a recent convert to dynamic pricing: adult passes that formerly cost a standard $16.95 now range between $8 and $30, depending on factors such as the weather, the presence of large school groups, etc. Since introducing dynamic pricing last year, Nicas reports, the zoo’s revenue has increased by 12%. And of course we all know about Uber and Lyft raising their prices during very busy times, both to increase the supply of drivers and to limit demand to match available capacity.

Nicas points out that big data and powerful software have enabled far more comprehensive dynamic pricing than was possible even a decade ago. It is very common in online sales, and is even moving into retail bricks-and-mortar stores. Kohls now has electronic price tags in 1,200 of its stores that enable it to change prices in response to slow or busy times.

My point in summarizing all this is that the transportation community has no need to apologize for dynamic pricing that is increasingly used to manage traffic flow, enabling express toll lanes to provide reliable, uncongested Level of Service C service. Dynamic pricing is the new normal.

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Good News and Bad on the Gateway Project

The much-needed additional Amtrak tunnel capacity between New Jersey and New York has received two important boosts recently. First, the two states reached an agreement with the U.S. DOT to a 50/50 split in funding of this project-now estimated to cost $20 billion. That agreement recognizes that the primary user of the project is the federal government’s Amtrak, but that the current 110-year-old tunnels also provide vital commuter rail service for huge numbers of New Jersey residents who work in New York City. Second, in the federal reauthorization bill called the FAST Act, Congress required Amtrak to change its accounting, basically enabling it to recognize its operating profits on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and use them to finance capital improvements there, rather than using those funds to cross-subsidize its massive losses on long-distance trains.

In the wake of these changes has come an agreement to have the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey serve as the lead agency to manage the project. By building two new tunnels, the Gateway project will enable much-needed repairs to be made to the two existing tunnels that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, in addition to being 110 years old. That’s about where the good news ends.

The bad news is that federal taxpayers are likely to be on the hook for a major share of that $20 billion cost. The federal 50% is expected to come from a combination of Federal Transit Administration New Starts grants (general federal tax money), annual Amtrak appropriations (ditto), and loans from the federal RRIF program. In turn, the two states are expected to apply for RRIF and possibly TIFIA loans. Since Amtrak’s nominal NEC operating profits will be pledged to support revenue bonds, there is no other obvious source for repaying any RRIF or TIFIA loans. Everything is all Kumbaya now, but when it comes time to make the debt service payments, where will New York and New Jersey-both already strapped for infrastructure investment capital-get the money? As for Amtrak’s own RRIF loans, it will have no other source than increased federal appropriations. In other words, taking money from one federal pocket and putting it into another federal pocket.

What a sad contrast this is to the construction of the original Hudson River tunnels in 1904-1906 by the Pennsylvania Railroad. I can highly recommend Jill Jones’s excellent book relating this heroic tale, Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age Epic-The Construction of Penn Station and its Tunnels (Viking, 2007). The entire project, all privately financed, was completed in three years. The Gateway project is optimistically projected to take 15 years. The December issue of Public Works Financing carries an article by Vincent Tirolo, Jr. of Arup, “Building the Original Gateway Tunnels-Privately, Ahead of Schedule,” based on a paper he presented at the 2014 North American Tunneling Conference in Los Angeles. The two Hudson River tunnels were only part of the larger project. As Tirolo recounts, “From 1904 to 1908, the PRR built over 16 miles of tunnels, including the seven miles of subaqueous tunnels, four permanent ventilation shafts, a major terminal [Penn Station] and two major rail yards. All were conceived and constructed and then placed into revenue service within 10 years at a cost of $150 million.” In today’s dollars, that would be a bit under $4 billion.

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Upcoming Transportation Events

Note: I don’t have the time or the space to list all transportation events that might be of interest to readers of this newsletter. Listed here are events at which a Reason Foundation transportation researcher is speaking or moderating.

Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting, Jan. 10-14, 2016, Convention Center, Washington, DC (Bob Poole and Baruch Feigenbaum speaking). Details at: www.trb.org/AnnualMeeting.

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News Notes

VMT at Record Level. FHWA’s latest Traffic Volume Trends reports that total U.S vehicle miles of travel hit 273.5 billion miles in October, 2.4% greater than October 2014 and the highest October total ever. And year-to-date, VMT totaled 2.63 trillion miles for the first 10 months, up 3.4% over the comparable period in 2014. Strong VMT growth has led to upgrades in bond ratings of four major toll agencies by Fitch Ratings, as reported in its 2015 Toll Road Peer Review released in mid-December.

Washington Post Discovers Millennials’ Move to Suburbs. In its Dec. 1st edition, reporter Jordan Fraade documents the trend reported on in recent issues of this newsletter. “Today’s young people are moving to the suburbs at a slower rate than their elders did, but they are still more likely to live in suburbs than in inner cities.” The reason is typically higher housing costs in cities; Millennials starting families can find more space for less money in the suburbs. The piece is worth reading: “Millennials Turned Cities ‘Hipster.’ Can They Do the same for the Suburbs?”

“Does Transit-Oriented Development Need the Transit?”. That is the provocative title of an article in the latest issue of the University of California Transportation Center’s Access magazine. Author Daniel Chapman of UC Berkeley surveyed residents of households within a two-mile radius of 10 rail transit stations in New Jersey, seeking information on their travel behavior, which he used to test for relationships between various factors and their travel behavior-such as the number of vehicles per household. That number depended on a several factors, but not on rail transit access. The same was true of the extent of driving to work and of driving to shop for groceries. This is a provocative study with important implications for policy.

Emissions Benefits from Dedicated Truck Lanes. I recently came across a paper in TRB’s Transportation Research Record No. 2341, published in 2013. In it, Alexander Bigazzi and Miguel Figliozzi examine the potential emission-reduction benefits of trucks operating in several different kinds of lanes: an added truck only lane (TOL), a general-purpose (GP) lane converted to TOL, and an added GP lane, and a GP lane removed. The results showed that “TOL strategies consistently outperform GP lane strategies in regard to total emission reductions.” This stems primarily from truck emissions being more sensitive to congestion than car emissions.

VMT Increases from Autonomous Vehicles. There has been debate among transportation planners on whether the advent of large-scale use of autonomous vehicles (AVs) will increase or decrease vehicle miles of travel, compared with current trends. A new report from KPMG seeks to quantify the effect on VMT from vehicle users at both ends of the age spectrum. Based on focus group findings, they predict double-digit percentage increases in personal miles of travel per capita in those ages 16-24, 55-64, 65-74, and 75-84. After converting PMT to VMT, they project total VMT in 2050 to be as much as 5 trillion, compared with around 3 trillion today. The November 2015 report is “The Clockspeed Dilemma: What Does It Mean for Automotive Innovation?”

Regulatory and Driver Issues Top Trucking Industry Concerns. An October 2015 report from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) identifies the top 10 issues of concern to trucking industry officials in 2015. The top two are both regulatory: Hours of Service (HOS) and Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA). Only two infrastructure issues made the top 10: absence of safe truck parking (#5) and infrastructure/congestion/funding (#9). On the latter topic, the policy recommendations are (1) more long-term funding via a fuel tax increase or other user fees, and prevent diversion of highway revenue to non-highway projects; (2) use new federal freight policies to ensure more targeted freight infrastructure investment; and (3) create a new funding program to focus on bottlenecks on major freight routes.

Royal Academy Recommends Road Pricing. Britain’s Royal Academy of Engineering has released a “challenge paper” in response to Department for Transport projections that roadway congestion will increase 55% by 2040. After reviewing 20 possible measures, it concludes that road pricing, technology-driven operator collaboration, and extended freight delivery hours offer the best ways forward. Road pricing is technically feasible today, used in some major metro areas, and can be implemented in a cost-effective and user-friendly way. In particular, any “surplus revenue” could be used to replace current vehicle ownership and fuel taxes, as well as for investments in additional system capacity.

Rail Privatization in Italy. The Italian government announced last fall that it will privatize as much as 40% of national railway operator Ferrovie dello Stato. The initial public offering of shares is expected in the second half of 2016, according to the Finance Ministry.

Bus Service on Express Toll Lanes. Information about express bus routes using express toll lanes in the San Francisco Bay Area arrived too late for last month’s report on this growing practice nationwide. Lisa Klein of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission informs me that six such routes operating 48 trips per day operate on the express lanes on I-680 and SR 237, and when the I-580 express lanes open early this year, that total will increase to nine routes making 80 trips per day. In addition to these routes operated by Bay Area transit agencies, there are several transit providers in the Central Valley that operate on these express lanes on their way to and from the Bay Area.

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Quotable Quotes

“While job and population densities remain high in traditional city centers, the growth of employment and population is occurring mostly in the suburbs. In the United States, the majority of commuting trips are suburb to suburb, while about a third are either within the urban core or from the suburbs to the urban core. The share of metropolitan trips toward the urban core has been declining. The same trend is observed in large cities of Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Because of the extension of suburbs, the average built-up densities of cities are declining everywhere. This decline is due to the combined impact of land and labor markets. The efforts of urban planners to ‘design’ higher densities are unlikely to succeed in the face of these market forces. . . . However, as employment disperses across metropolitan areas, efforts to expand the transit network to serve suburb-to-suburb trips are proving unsuccessful. Traditional transit is ill-adapted to serve trips with dispersed origins and destinations because of the weak demand for each specific commuting route.”
-Alain Bertaud, “Self-Driving Cars in the Evolving Urban Landscape,” Marron Institute, NYU, Aug. 26, 2015

“It’s scary to completely give up control. Even if the vehicle is being driven by a ‘perfect’ computer, that computer was still programmed by an imperfect human. And we’d rather that imperfect human was there to blame, or react, or not malfunction (though humans, as you know, do), or not crash (we also do that) or ‘do their best.’ Trust in one human doesn’t make us distrust a vehicle-trust in one vehicle may make us distrust the entire fleet. That’s why it’s taking so long. Many of us are used to the breakneck speed of the Valley, but one cannot move fast and break things when the things in question could be bones and organs. The results here are not a CRM application or an app that crashes. They’re careening, several-ton robots. It’s not impossible to do, and it’s getting closer to being real-but it will require both insane amounts of testing and an inherent change in the psychology of what ‘driving’ means. . . . In the end, we’re not going to become the fat people from Wall-E because of self-driving cars. People like to drive. People crave control. People love banal tasks done for them, but the transfer to a computer of a task that can threaten lives with one wrong turn will take a long time.”
-Ed Zitron, “The Self-Driving Car Revolution Will Be Slow and Help Us All, but It Won’t Kill Driving Any Time Soon,” TechCrunch.com, Nov. 6, 2015

“Though rail service undoubtedly attracts auto users in a way that buses do not, in some contexts it may also siphon off bus riders, walkers, and bikers. . . . Controlling for other factors, [short] rail station distance was positively correlated with rail commuting, but negatively correlated with other forms of commuting (such as by bus, walking, biking, or taking the ferry). . . . In other words, rail does not seem to draw its users from the ranks of auto commuters. This helps explain why rail access doesn’t seem to affect auto use, and why it affects auto ownership only in combination with other factors like scarce parking. . . . If access to rail is not a primary factor in reducing auto use, it could be a blessing, not only because rail infrastructure is expensive, but also because the amount of available land near rail stations is limited.”
-Daniel G. Chatman, Associate Professor of City & Regional Planning, UC Berkeley, “Does Transit-Oriented Development Need the Transit?” Access, Fall 2015

“Transport congestion really matters-it’s frustrating, it wastes time for people going about their lives, and it costs money for businesses transporting goods around the country. The technology to deliver an efficient road pricing scheme is available today and has the potential to be very effective. It makes road users aware of the full cost of their travel and encourages drivers to consider other types of journey-be that a different route, a different time, or a different mode of transport. There is ample evidence from where it has been applied around the world that it works and attracts public support.”
-Tony May, OBE [lead author], The Transport Congestion Challenge, Royal Academy of Engineering, November 2015

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Robert Poole is director of transportation policy and Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow at Reason Foundation.